From: Altadena, CA
ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer
(Already posted in the Media Section)
A couple of years ago I came on here and talked up this great deal I got when I pulled my annual Sunday Ticket con after switching all services to ATT. Ricky J said the tablet I got for free hadn't been offered to him for free and Richard N said he had such a bad billing experience that he left hundreds on the table to leave DirecTV/ATT. I had gotten all the freebees: Sunday Ticket, a big ass tablet, a $350 credit to switch, a free phone, bill credits, etc. I even got an extra $175 in items from the ATT store when I went there to get glass protector for our phones.
Except that almost all of it was a lie. The phone was free and I did get the items at the store, but they reduced my rebate to $175 because of it----and then I never got the rebate. The tablet was free, but they put me on a two-year contract for an extra phone line even though my "switcher" repeatedly said I wouldn't get billed if I never used it over the air. I got billed for the Sunday Ticket; as I disputed this along with all the other lies, they "accidentally" cut me off three Sundays in a row and then charged me $50 each week for the single-week pay-per-view (they did refund one). They didn't even give me the $10/month discount for combining billing.
When I call up to pursue my dispute, they cite the $23 credit I get each month until I convince them that's the credit for my free phone. We go through a highly annoying round and round over my contact number (all my numbers are with them), the history of the dispute, non-solutions like the $23 credit, silence once they start reading through the meat of the dispute, apologies, citation of the difficulty of addressing this after so much time has passed until I point out that I've been talking to them about it from the start, a promise to resolve it after they've contacted corporate, another go-round with the contact number so they can call me back within a couple of days and then......nothing until I call again weeks or months later.
I've never been through anything like it. The user agreement stipulates arbitration which requires fees up front, and I don't have solid proof other than the trail of calls. The contract is about to run out, but we're stuck because our local cable service is horrible, only ATT and Cingular phones work where I live (up against the San Gabriel Mountains), and we're slaves to our TV habits (DVR, certain shows, mix of local and national sports, etc.). The saddest part is I'm going to try to work the Sunday Ticket con again now that we're not under contract, but I've learned a key thing:
When you want to get something out of ATT customer service, use their chat feature because you can get a transcript (first copy and paste, then use their feature to have it sent to your email). We're not going anywhere, but I'm going to at least try to extract some value from those mofos.
How good is your internet? If you have decent internet you aren't a slave to anyone.
My internet (through ATT, BTW) is good, but as I said above we're slaves to our TV habits, including local and Minnesota sports and DVR dependence. If I want to watch the Vikings and support my wife running races on Sundays, I need the Sunday Ticket and a DVR.
I hate the way American business treats their customers and employees, but I recognize that I choose to participate to a great extent.