It is truly frustrating when you are promised a rate by internet providers and charged another. When this happens to many users of the same service provider, it can be a leading to a systematic problem within the provider. A latest report now claims that many AT&T and DirecTV users have been complaining about this for years.
CBS News found that more than 4,000 complaints have been registered against DirecTV and AT&T in the previous two years regarding promotional pricing, deals, and overcharges. CBS News highlights the experience of two subscribers, where the first one signed up for a $99.99 promotional offer and got a bill for almost twice the amount. The other user, a Florida-based woman, said, “I keep getting bills for $79.49 and my contract says I was only going to pay $24.99 for two years.”
An AT&T customer representative replied, “There’s some specials on discounts that I’m thinking was actually being removed in error. Your bills are no longer combined. It wasn’t done on our end — it was done on your end.” Another representative said, “The pricing you were getting was because you were a new customer with the services, now you are an existing customer.”
The customer pointed out that she had signed up for a two-year agreement and that the rate change came before the expiry of the two-year agreement. It is not clear in both of the cases how much of the increase in the bill amount was due to an increase in the base rate of the package and how much was the change in add-on charges and fees.
AT&T and DirecTV have agreed that the pricing process might have had an error and they promised to credit the difference to the affected customers. AT&T has made its own place as the fastest internet provider in the country and has gained about 150 million subscribers in the last two years.
“In my experience, when a large company has a lot of consumers coming forward and saying we feel like we were bait and switched. We were promised one thing and then we got something else. The company knows about it,” consumer advocate and attorney Paul Bland explained. “So it turns out to be a license to steal.”