Landline Downsize – The Saga Continues
As part of our drive to reduce unnecessary recurring monthly expenses, Mr. ToughMoneyLove has been trying to downsize our landline telephone service to the bare minimum. I want a single residential phone line with no call waiting, caller idea, or other features.
Not so. My bill showed a downsize in service, but not to the cheapest plan. This time, I found a way to make the change online. I received an email and paper confirmation from AT&T. Finally, I thjought, it’s done ….
But wait, there’s more!
Yesterday, I received an email telling me that our bill was ready. (We are on electronic billing only – no paper for me.) I checked the amount and was not happy.
I drilled down into the billing details and discovered that although we had the most basic service ($13.95/month), we were being separately charged $9.99 for caller ID and $7.95 for call waiting. Unbelievable.
AT&T has an online dispute feature which I immediately used for both of those charges. I also called AT&T customer service to report the unwanted services and charges.
Surprisingly, I was immediately told that the charges would be removed retroactively. I would not have to wait the ususal one or two billing cycles to see the credits – they would be effective immediately. Wow. Theoretically, I can pay our existing billed amount less the credits. We shall see if that works.
After I hung up, I noticed that I had already received two emails regarding my online disputes of the two charges. Those messages also advised that my disputes had been approved and that I would be credited for the disputed charges.
Given the apparent pace of the corrective responses, I’m starting to wonder if this sequence of events is part of a grand scheme by AT&T. It’s as if they are trying to say to customers who downsize: “Are you sure you don’t want caller ID and call waiting? Just in case, we’re going to keep those services on your account and force you to contact us one more time.”
I wonder how many folks just put up with it?