SEPT. 4, 2013:
Over the past few weeks, my youngest stepson has been visiting his father in northern Maine. He never left the state of Maine but did rack up some enormous “international roaming charges” by inadvertently bouncing his signal off a nearby Canadian tower.
But here’s where it gets strange. On or about August 5, my wife got a call from AT&T, alerting her to a recent spike in our activity. Laura explained the situation, and the customer service representative assured her that our account was noted and the bill would be cleared. Flash forward to August 19, 2013, when I went to pay my online bill. According to my statement, I owed a little more than $800.
I called AT&T and spoke with a very courteous and professional woman named “Crystal.” She noted that my wife had already talked to their customer service department. She gladly adjusted my bill, and we both noted that a previous payment from July strangely had yet to be applied. Thus, Crystal adjusted my bill, and I had a $203.00 credit (approx.) Crystal also said the problem would not happen again. The account was noted, she assured me. The next day, AT&T asked me to participate in a text-to-text satisfaction survey.
I gave the company high marks. They were responsive, helpful and courteous.
Exactly two weeks later, I now owe AT&T more than a thousand dollars. How did this happen? I spent nearly 90 minutes on the phone with the company. This time, they said there was little that they could do except offer me the ability to retroactively purchase three international calling plans to cover the amount of charges (each $60 plan covers 600 minutes, they explained.
Sure, $180 is a lot better than $1,016.21, but I was left unsatisfied. We had twice been repeatedly told by AT&T that the problem was resolved and no more international charges would be applied to that line.
AT&T refuses to budge. So, let the games begin.