AT&T To Charge $5 For Payments Over The Phone In May

An anonymous AT&T employee who says to call him “Vernon” wrote in to tell us that starting next Tuesday, March 11th, some customers in the Southeast who call in to make a payment will be charged $5, with the fee going nationwide by May. He writes, “I feel this is taking advantage of our customers’ trust, because even when we put it on all of their bills, and let people know, there will be tons of reps that won’t let the customer know they’re being charged for taking their payment.”

Here’s his full email:

I have been working for ATT (Cingular, before SBC bought ATT Wireless) and starting March 11th, they are going to be doing a trial in the Southeast Market in charging customers who call in to make a payment. $5 is the charge to be exact, and they expect it to roll out nationwide by May.

I would be forwarding you the official internal memo, but they do monitor our emails with Nazi prowess…so no official email from them..

This upsets me as two fronts, as first, a customer. Why the fuck would they CHARGE their customers for taking their payments?

“So, you’re telling me I have to give you MORE money for giving you my regular payment?”

“Yep”

Secondly, it upsets me as an employee. I feel this is taking advantage of our customer’s trust, because even when we put it on all of their bills, and let people know, there will be tons of reps that won’t let the customer know they’re being charged for taking their payment.

I feel that if this gets enough word and bad press, maybe this shit ball of a company will change its mind.

Well, you’re welcome AT&T, we just helped alert readers to your new fee scheme.

We doubt they’ll drop the fee, though—it sounds like a classic case of a company deciding to no longer foot the bill for what was formerly an included customer service.

Prediction: someone will introduce “live operator” surcharges in the next 24 months.

(Photo: Guillermo Esteves)