Awww… it’s a family with a cute baby being lied to!
Sigh. As a writer, I often deal with things by writing. (Weird, right?) So here goes. I have a great deal of bitterness towards AT&T and since I have gotten nowhere with them, I turn my attention to warning customers away from them.
Thinking about switching? Don’t! Thinking about renewing your contract? Don’t!
AT&T family share plan is a scam. Pure and simple. And I have the outrageous bill to prove it.
Unless you’re independently wealthy. I am not. Which means I have a budget – I have to feed and clothe children, put gas in my car and it’s difficult to make ends meet.
So when AT&T started airing commercials saying that I could reduce my bill, I perked up. Could it be true?
I called them. Twice. I talked with someone inside an AT&T store. And I did an online chat with another rep. Four different AT&T sales people. They all assured me of the same thing.
All 4: Yes, you’re bill will be $175 under the new plan. $100 for the plan and $15 per phone. (That’s what they advertise on TV>>>still!!)
Me: I have four phone upgrades due on my plan. Will I be able to buy those outright and not be charged extra?
All 4: It’s $175.
Me: So I can still buy my phones, agree to a two year contract and not pay anymore on the monthly bill?
All 4: It’s $175.
Me: Are you sure? Because I can’t afford to pay for the “next” upgrade plan for each phone, I’d rather pay more outright to buy them.
All 4: That’s fine. It’s $175.
Me: Are you sure? Should I upgrade the phones first or switch plans?
All 4: It doesn’t matter. Switch your plan to reduce your bill now, your upgrades will still be there.
Me: Are you sure?
All 4: (Frustrated at my skepticism). YES!!! Do you want me to switch your plan?
(Fast forward a month later)
My bill comes and it is $275. Not $175. I call. I see on the bill that they are charging me $40 per phone. After hours and talking to supervisors, they tell me – “That $175 price is only for the phones already on your plan. Not if you upgrade. If you change phones then they are $40 each.”
It didn’t matter how many times I told them that I asked those questions and I was assured over and over that would not happen. Over and over I was told that it was “my mistake” and that I “misunderstood”.
So AT&T flat out lies to me and I’m the stupid one??
Here’s what they don’t tell you:
1 – The $15 rate is only for those phones on their “next” plan. That plan costs you an average of $25 per phone. Volia $40. You will pay $40 per phone. Either they penalize you for owning your phone (and charge you $40) OR you are on their plan and you still get charged $40.
2 – The only way that cute family can pay what the commercials promise is if they never upgrade their phones. The phone you have when you switch is the only one that will be $15.
3 – AT&T can say whatever they want to you and you have no recourse. Because it will be your fault for not understanding. You will be treated like an idiot.
For a family like ours, that comes out of our grocery budget. The gas for our cars. I asked a thousand questions because I knew what our budget was. And now I’m trapped. Trapped for two years paying AT&T more than $2,400 more than they promised.
Where’s the truth in advertising? Nonexistent.
And when I call and complain, I am treated like I’m an idiot. No AT&T – I knew there was a catch and four salespeople all avoided telling me the truth. That is a conspiracy.
Did I mention that I’ve been an AT&T customer for more than 15 years?? 15 years! I know they have an archive of that chat somewhere. I regret not getting the names and positions of everyone I talked to. I regret not getting what I was verbally told in writing. I regret trusting that surely 4 different people aren’t lying to me! I regret not saving that chat.
And I know I’m not the only one – it’s happened to many.
So be warned! Be careful! Don’t fall in the scam pit with me!