AT&T Says It Will Call Me Back About Bill Dispute, Sends Me To Collections Instead

Consumerist reader Sam says he cancelled his AT&T service on June 8. But when he got the bill a few weeks later, it hadn’t been prorated and was demanding payment for the entire month. Little did Sam know that his attempt to dispute an obvious billing error would land him in the hands of a collections agency.

Sam, tell us what happened after you received the non-prorated bill:

I called to let them know their billing was wrong, and a representative said, “I know, that’s not your final bill.” Despite the fact that it said “REVISED FINAL BILL.”

After going back and forth with her, she finally said that I would receive an “final” final bill and that, “I don’t need to pay this one. Just wait for the final bill.” So, I waited.

Two weeks later I got an overdue notice from AT&T. I called and spoke with a rep who reiterated the same thing that the previous rep said. I finally received a “final bill,” but it was still wrong [Ed. Note: They had only credited Sam for one week of service instead of the full three weeks].

When I called to dispute it, I was given a different phone number to call. The person I spoke to sounded like they belonged in a head shop or midnight pizza delivery place, not someone representing the largest telecommunications company in America. She took down the details of my dispute and told me, “someone will get in contact with you by Friday.”

I spoke with her on Monday or Tuesday, 8/1 or 8/2. By Friday, I still hadn’t received a call. So I called back on Monday 8/8. I was told that, “someone would be in contact with me soon.” The following Saturday, I got a notice that the bill was sent to collection.

I don’t dispute that I owe AT&T for my final bill, but the amount is wrong… The fact that they kept blowing me off and then had the nerve to send this to a collection agency is the reason why I’ll use 2 cans and string before I’ll ever be an AT&T customer again.

We’ve put Sam in touch with someone at AT&T in the hope that he’ll be able to resolve the issue. As soon as we hear how that goes, we’ll update this post.

UPDATE: After we put Sam in touch with a high-level AT&T rep, he was able to escalate his issue and not only get the error corrected but get his balance zeroed out. AT&T also contacted the collection agency to let them know there was no debt to collect.

Writes Sam:

Thank you again for all of your help and getting me in contact with the right people who were able to quickly resolve this situation. I’d also like to thank Tammy with AT&T customer support for going above and beyond in solving this problem.