• Report: #1801

Complaint Review: Pacific Bell Cellular

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  • Submitted: Tue, March 28, 2000
  • Updated: Fri, January 31, 2003

  • Reported By:Winnetka CA
Pacific Bell Cellular
Los Angeles Nationwide U.S.A.

PAC BELL Wireless Billing Scam

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I was forced to indulge these practices as an employee.

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Beware the billing scam employed by Pacific Bell Wireless.

Your bill will be printed and held by Pac Bell so that it arrives no sooner than 10 days before the amount becomes delinquent. If the amount is not received by Pac Bell by the due date, the amount is delinquent. Of course, with snail mail delivery times of 3 to 5 days, you must write your check and get it in the mail within a week of receipt. I rarely open my bills and write checks on a daily basis. I prefer to batch the payments and do the chore twice a month. This policy requires that I write a check almost immediately upon receipt of the bill. If the bill were not dependent on current charges, I would be happy to prepare the check a week in advance, and even mail it to the billing department. But the bill varies every month, and I cannot know how much to send, until 10 days before the delinquent date.

I called their customer service, and I was told that there are absolutly no exceptions to this policy. I repeated to anyone who would listen that all I wanted was "a reasonable opportunity to pay my bill in a timely manner, and seven days cannot be considered a reasonable opportunity".

I escallated the issue several levels, and finally, after contacting the office of one of the VP's, I was told that "Because of my excellent credit history, I was granted a 10 day grace period", "But because many of the customers have questionable credit, the policy was required"

Sorry, but this is total crap. The billing policy is devised to trap customers into late payment fees. Nothing less.

To top it all off, the consumer doesn't find out about this gotcha until after they sign a one or more year commitment.

I am also a long standing customer of Pac Bell (land service), and this division of Pac Bell does not subscribe to the same billing policies. I have almost 30 days to pay my land service bill.

I wonder if Pac Bell Corporate knows that this separate entity is giving their company a bad name.

Does anybody know if this falls under the category of a "man trap"?

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/28/2000 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Pacific-Bell-Cellular/nationwide/PAC-BELL-Wireless-Billing-Scam-1801. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I was forced to indulge these practices as an employee.

AUTHOR: Nathan - (U.S.A.)

I used to be an Employee of Pacific Bell Wireless for about 1 year. As a previouse employee, I know exactly what you are going through. I was forced by my superiors to screw the customer on a daily basis.

Basically we were to take a stern attitude and pretty much say "no its not our problem, just give us money" to every customer with a problem, which by the way was usually created by Pacific Bell Wireless.

I still don't understand why customers didn't get their bills on time, but I wouldn't put it past the billing department to totally disregard the dates in which they are sending them out. We were never to give ANY leighway with the customer.

I hated working for that money hungry evil company. I was soo stressed by my superiors to screw customers left and right that I eventually became physically ill and had to take a few sick days off to go to the doctor for stress. The Doctor stated that I am not the only patient that he has had from Pacific Bell Wireless due to stress.

I was then fired for taking more than 3 sick days off. (we only recieved 3 sick days a year at that time.) By the way, the address to the call center (Which we are never to give out as employees for fear of customer retaliation) is: 1910 Customer Care Way, Atwater, Ca. 95301.

Recently they were taken over by Cingular Wireless, and apparently word is that things have gotten alot better, except for the policies on screwing customers.

I say to everyone CHOOSE ANOTHER WIRELESS PROVIDER FOR YOUR OWN SANITY AND BANK ACCOUNT.

There coverage isn't that great anyway considering the alternative. I hope with this rebuttle I helped save at least one consumer from the mistake of trying to do business with this company.
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