AT&T’s Billing Dept. Refuses To Let My Canceled DSL Account Die

You know how awkward it is when you bid farewell to someone you think you’ll never see again, only to then keep bumping into them and having to say goodbye all over again? Well, imagine how much more it would suck if your bank account was being charged each time your old pal popped up again.

Consumerist reader Hunter doesn’t need to imagine this situation, as it basically describes her current relationship with AT&T.

Back in July, Hunter and her husband bought a house and tried to move the AT&T DSL account over from their old apartment. The new house was also set up for AT&T but not for DSL; only U-Verse.

Since they were only switching types of service and not changing companies, it couldn’t go all that wrong, right?

And yet things were screwed from jump street.

First off, they weren’t allowed to open a new U-Verse account until after the former homeowners canceled the old service. For some reason, that took around six weeks.

While they were waiting, AT&T inexplicably set up several new accounts for Hunter and her husband. She tells Consumerist that she spent around eight hours on the phone sorting that mess out. It was a mess, but at least they ultimately got their Internet service set up.

That’s when they began running into their old DSL account, which AT&T continued to bill, even after Hunter had confirmed with AT&T that it had been closed out.

Since they were still only seeing one monthly debit from AT&T, they assumed it was for their new U-Verse account. “But no,” she tells Consumerist. “It was our old, uncanceled account. And our new account? The charges were just racking up, and incurring late fees.”

So it was several more hours of being passed around various people at AT&T before yet another CSR swore that the problem was solved and that the old account would be shut down and the payments would go to the U-Verse account.

“Nope,” she says. “That was a few weeks ago, and we just got a new bill for $142 for our old apartment!”

This led to another two-hour call to AT&T, during which Hunter spoke with three more people. Once again, she’s been promised that this billing error has finally been resolved. Perhaps the third time is the charm.

Hunter writes:

“The most frustrating thing about AT&T customer service is that all the departments are separate and they’re unable to communicate with each other. They pass you and pass you. First you have to go to the high-speed person, then the U-Verse person. Then someone’s not in your time zone, and they can’t help you. Then they have to check with various departments, but those people aren’t in. It is mind-numbing…

“If I weren’t so scared of the mess that would ensue, I’d leave their Internet service. But I’d still be charged for it, so I stick around.”

We’re going to try to put Hunter in touch with someone at AT&T’s top-level customer service to confirm that her issue has been resolved once and for all.