In anticipation of my 93 year old mother-in-law moving in with us on August 13, 2007, I went online and started the application for AT&T phone service for her. When I thought I had finished the order, I received an email telling me that the service could not be established online and that I would have to call in to their 800 number to complete the order. I decided to go with my current company, Brighthouse, and called them to add the second line in my home.
A few weeks later, to my surprise, I received a bill from AT&T for $89.96. I phoned on 9/11/2007 and spoke to "Ms. Edwards". I explained that the order was never completed, that we had no AT&T phone service, that we didn't want AT&T phone service, and to please fix it. She was to check into things and call me back that day. That call, of course, never came. On 9/12/2007, I phoned again and spoke to Connie Gonzalez. This person told me that the final bill would be "zeroed out", and we owed them nothing!
October 12, the bill comes again saying payment is late; I phone and talk to a really nasty woman who informed me that in order to get a credit on the bill, I would have to supply a copy of the email THEY sent to me! I asked her why can't she just look at the emails THEY sent and see for herself. She was so full of herself and her new-found authority to make simple things complicated that I decided to end my conversation with Ms. Knucklehead!
I called again a few moments later and spoke with "Melissa". She checked the "order" and determined that there had indeed been a problem and she would cancel the bill. She apologized profusely, of course.
November 12 -- what appears in the mail but a letter from a collection agency saying we'd better pay up that $89.96 Or Else!! I called again and spoke to another "Melissa". She claimed the problem was that the person who worked on the order never generated a final bill -- therefore, no one could zero the bill out! She would even take care of the collection agency part because AT&T really screwed up. Okay, that's more information than I really care about, but let's do what it takes to fix this.
December -- you guessed it -- another bill; a new letter. This letter is now from an attorney for AT&T. There's no way we're going to pay a bill for a phone service that we never had. Ironically, in order to AT&T to even give us service, they would have had to come into the house because there were no jacks in the bedroom where the alleged phone was to be used.
These people even have a phone number established for her -- 407-294-3898. I think this is a shame because it's something that any internal process should be able to fix -- give a credit that matches the debit. Any fool can pull that off. We won't pay the bill, of course, but I can imagine a senior citizen getting scared of all of the letters and collection tactics used to collect debts that don't even exist. I have been placed on hold for literally 15-20 minutes at a time trying to fix this mess.
Shame on you AT&T and Bellsouth!