AT&T Waives $645 In Early Termination Fees For Reader With No Service

Reader Y0himba was a loyal and happy customer of AT&T Wireless. But then the iPhone 3Gs became cheaper and proliferated, and he told both Consumerist and AT&T that his family’s phones became completely non-functional. But this is not a complaint–it is a tale of victory.

We have had AT&T wireless for over 3 years. Starting in May, when the iPhone was discounted to sub-$100, our service died.

See, we are on an island tower, meaning that everyone in a 5 mile radius uses that one tower. These towers are only supposed to process so many minutes per hour, and ours was over 100% capacity before the price cut on the iPhone.

In our first 3 years, we called AT&T’s support twice. Since May however, we have been on the phone almost every day, 4-8 hours a day. See, we are an older couple, and one of those families that likes to stay with one brand, one mechanic, Etc. In our first 3 years, we called AT&T’s support twice.

Suddenly, after 3 years of perfect service, we found ourselves unable to send any MMS messages, taking up to 6 times to send an SMS message, and whenever we would call out or receive a call, the signal would just drop.

After four months of troubleshooting and lack of service, we decided to cancel.

Our ETFs(Early Termination Fees) came to around $610! When I initially called about this, the young lady said they would not waive those fees, even though she could see four months of notes in front of her.

After 8 hours on the phone, I was finally directed to Ruth, who promised a call back to waive them after our billing cycle. That was today.

Problem is, I am a bit aggressive and a worry-wart. I had on my “evil corporation” tinfoil hat, so I fired off a pre-emptive email to a few corporate AT&T emails I found thanks to The Consumerist, and a Google

I then called AT&T after firing those off, and believe it or not, the young lady that answered instantly said that the waiving of the fees had been approved, and she sent a form to the credit and adjustments department to have them credited back to the account. I was astonished, but still leery, waiting 7-10 days to see if the credit would be approved bothered me. I could see the denied email already.

While I was on the phone with her, a called came through on the other line, but I didn’t answer it. It was from somewhere is Washington according to the caller ID.

Once I finished up with a huge sigh of relief, I listened to the voicemail attached below.

One of the emails I had sent off earlier in the day had reached the “executive offices”, and the young lady on the phone had instantly adjusted the ETFs off our account, resulting in a credit of $1.11!

With the help of the Internet, and with sites like The Consumerist made by regular people, the balance of power may be shifting to our hands. Yours and mine, ladies and gents.

Just remember to always be polite but firm when dealing with “customer service” or tech support. There are still good folks working those positions, folks like you and me.

Take heed: politeness and determination can get you many great things in life.

Holy CRAP! AT&T Waived $645! []

(Photo: mrbill)

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