Lower Your AT&T Bill, Illinois

Illinois AT&T customers looking to save can now sign up for a new reduced plans.

The plans range from $3.05 a month to $21, depending on your usage needs. Read this CUB brochure [PDF] for more info.

Illinois residents may want to call the Citizen’s Utility Board, a non-prof org representing consumer’s needs, at 866-688-4282, to schedule a 3-way call.

Reader Mary did just that and the CUB worker walked the AT&T rep through his screens to find the proper choices. The plans are so new that some call center employees haven’t even heard of them yet. — BEN POPKEN

Mary’s success story, inside.

Mary writes:

    “This tip will only be for Illinois AT&T telephone subscribers, but it’s so good I have to share it.

    Every time I receive my monthly AT&T phone bill, I bemoan the fact that I’m paying around $50 a month for phone service that I almost never use (I use my cell phone for everything but local calls). Several years ago when I tried to lower my telephone expenses, I called AT&T, they “analyzed” my usage, and said that the “Personal Choice” plan would best fit my needs. All I needed was a basic plan that would cover local calls, Caller ID and Call Waiting. I made sure that I told them to take LINE-BACKER off (this is a service that pays for the cost of repair to wires and jacks). The rep told me that I wouldn’t be charged extra for it because it was automatically part of the “Personal Choice” plan.

    Fast forward to today, when I received the latest bill, which contained a notice from the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), a non-profit watchdog group that represents the interests of utility customers. It said that as a result of an agreement with AT&T, the prices for three local service packages have been reduced and will be frozen.

    The part that I was interested in was “For more information on how to lower your phone bills, call CUB.” I dialed as fast as I could–the rep asked me a few questions about my usage, and said that the cheapest of the three packages– the “Consumer’s Choice Basic”– would meet my needs and recommended that I call AT&T and change my plan. I hesitated, since calling AT&T is always dicey, but when he volunteered to do a conference call, tell them what I wanted, and make sure that they gave it to me, I said “sure” and in about 2 minutes, we were talking to AT&T.

    My CUB rep explained to the AT&T rep which of the new plans I wanted. I felt unstoppable and strong with my CUB rep guiding the AT&T rep by saying things like “It’s on screen 6” and “look at the subscreen.” (According to CUB, these plans are so new that some of the call centers aren’t aware of them yet.) As it turned out, this call center wasn’t aware of the new plan yet, so my CUB friend suggested that I take the traditional basic plan for now and call back in a couple of weeks to change it. He was also very firm in telling them I didn’t want LINE-BACKER (he told me that AT&T always tells people that it’s included, when it really isn’t and the consumer is paying for it). I don’t know if it was because the CUB representative was on the line with me or I just happened to have a very nice AT&T rep (I suspect it was the former), but within a matter of minutes, my phone bill was cut by about $11.00 a month.

    I encourage any Illinois AT&T customers to run, not walk, to their nearest (AT&T) phone and contact CUB at 866-688-4282 or go to citizensutilityboard.org.”

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