• Report: #245515
Complaint Review:

Alltel Communications

  • Submitted: Tue, April 24, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, May 19, 2007

  • Reported By:Raleigh North Carolina
Alltel Communications
One Allied Drive Little Rock, Arkansas U.S.A.

Alltel Communications, Unlimited "Free" My Circle, Mobile-to-Mobile billing scam Little Rock Arkansas

*Consumer Comment: Detailed billing

*UPDATE Employee: Nope

*Author of original report: Resolved, but...

*Consumer Suggestion: Detailed Billing - Charging for that service

*UPDATE Employee: Sorry to tell you....

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After a couple of years with Alltel and relatively decent service, everything came tumbling down with our latest bill.

I saw the writing on the wall on April 3rd, when I went to add a new telephone number to "My Circle". I logged into My Account and noticed all of the My Circle information I had was gone.I called 611 from my cellular phone and the operator told me to re-enter everything. She spoke as if this was an everyday problem and didn't bother researching anything.

I re-entered my information and printed a copy, half expecting to find a problem on the next bill.

Boy, was I right.

Our bill arrived shortly thereafter with over $60 in overage charges. Some of the phone calls I was billed for were supposedly from my cellular phone TO my cellular phone. There are a couple of these, with prices from $10 to $12 each. I don't call myself -- I'm not that interesting. The Alltel records only showed *incoming* calls from myself to myself. Had I actually called myself, I would have expected to see an entry for the incoming call *and* the outgoing call.

None of this should matter, because mobile-to-mobile calls are supposedly free and unlimited in my rate plan.

I was also being billed for calls to members of My Circle, which are also supposed to be free and unlimited. Many of the billed calls occurred *after* I re-entered my "missing" My Circle information.

Alltel has handled our telephone calls regarding this manner extremely poorly. Every time we call in, we are initially told that they can't view or call details because we don't subscribe to something called "detailed billing" (which they charge for on a monthly basis). Alltel will then claim they can't help research their bogus bill because I am not paying them for this "detailed billing".

Classy, huh? It gets better.

I can download my call details as Excel spreadsheets from their website for free.After telling the representative that I'm not going to play their "detailed billing" game, they admit the information is available to them.

Nobody I've spoken to has been able to explain why I'm being charged for these calls. Everyone needs to research the problem and call back. Of course, nobody ever returns a phone call and there is no way to contact these support people. I can only imagine this technique is standard operating procedure: It gets customers off the phone and lets another day or two go by before the bill becomes due and the customer has to pay up or risk early termination fees.

Completely fed up, I took my laptop with the Excel spreadsheet and sat down with someone at my local Alltel store. I had to drive over 50 miles and stand around for 45 minutes before I could speak with someone. The Alltel guy couldn't believe the billing problems. We went through all of my calls, including the My Circle errors. He submitted my bill for a "re-rating" and I received a text message from Alltel saying my bill had been reduced by $28:

From: 8887646429
FREE ALLTEL MSG: A rate plan adjustment for ($28.00) has been completed. For current balance info dial *611 from your mobile phone. Thank U for choosing Alltel.

Unfortunately, this isn't even half of the amount Alltel is trying to scam out of me. I called the representative at the local Alltel store. He is unable to determine which calls were credited and which weren't. He said that he'd make some phone calls and would get back to me today. The store is now closed and I never heard from him.

Alltel is also showing over 600 minutes of our 1200 minutes have been used for the current month. Best I can tell, all of my My Circle calls are being counted as normal airtime usage this month. I won't be able to see the call details until the next billing cycle.

I've spent over a week trying to resolve this problem and have had little assistance from Alltel. I have already filed a BBB complaint and will be sending off a complaint to the North Carolina Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office later this week.

If you're unfortunate enough to be an Alltel customer, keep a close eye on your "My Circle" numbers. I strongly recommend printing the webpage out at least monthly. If you get a monster bill without making any significant changes to your calling patterns, research the issue completely.

Unfortunately, this is where my advice will stop because Alltel doesn't seem at all interested in resolving their billing problems.

I will be looking for another carrier when this contract expires.

Shame on you, Alltel!

Raleigh, North Carolina

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/24/2007 04:25 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/alltel-communications/little-rock-arkansas-72202/alltel-communications-unlimited-free-my-circle-mobile-to-mobile-billing-scam-little-ro-245515. 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 Consumer Comment

Detailed billing

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

I have tried to find Detailing Billing ...on All tel. I couldn't find it.. I also asked for a printout of all my calls.. All tel Billing said that it would cost $2.00.. I said o.K. put it on my Bill..Then she Hesitates and said, that you can go to you account and view you bill of all the calls that were made ..I haven't found it yet..I know what you are going through...
I am standing by you side they all-tel did the same thing to me with my Circle..and.. mobile to mobile...
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#2 UPDATE Employee


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

Many wireless carriers such as cingular, sprint and tmobile charge for detailed billing. It is leagal to do so as long as they make detailed billing availible online for free. However if you had detailed billing for free when you 1st got service it will remain free, any new alltel customers will be charged the fee.
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#3 Author of original report

Resolved, but...

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

... Detailed Billing is a complete scam. The Alltel employee who replied still pushes it. Why? I can download my usage information right from your website.

Customer Service Reps give you the initial song and dance that THEY CAN'T SEE YOUR USAGE if you DON'T SUBSCRIBE TO DETAILED BILLING. That, as we all know, is total BS.

To the Alltel Employee: I don't have voicemail, thus I can't call myself.

I also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I was contacted by Alltel's Executive Customer Service, who credited my bill when I supplied the printouts showing my Alltel MyCircle having the appropriate date/timestamp *and* the numbers for which I was billed.

This was a total nightmare. Alltel should try harder to resolve these issues before they become BBB and public forum complaints. Better still, Alltel should rectify whatever is wrong with their billing system.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Detailed Billing - Charging for that service

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

I thought the FTC had ruled that cell phone companies cannot charge additional monies for detailed billing... Detailed billing is supposed to be a consumer right and not an optional feature which to charge...

I would check with the FTC regarding that.. Who cares if a company sends out a 30 page bill... That is the cost of doing business...

As for your other problems, you are going to have a hard time getting those monies back.. UNLESS you have proof showing that you had entered the MY CIRCLE information.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Sorry to tell you....

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

I am an employee of alltel. I work In Customer Service at the Manhattan Kansas call center. I want to address some of the issues you have presented. 1st let me say alltel is not perfect. They do have humans working there and you should have have empaty to your situation. When you 1st entered you my circle #'s and hit save you will recieve confirmaition that your numbers were in fact saved. If you don't get one then they were not saved. second. the phone calls to yourself were you dialing you voice mail and alltel as well as any other cell phone company will not consider that mobile to mobile. detiled billing is an extra $2 per month. they do this for many reasons. alltel sends out bills for some customers with 30 page bills due to all the call detail. That gets a little pricey with cost of postage and the paper. there is a much eaiser way to view your detiled billing on line with out downloading it to an excel spreedsheet. I do this myself so i dont have to go throuh pages of bills every month. with all that being said I do belive they sould have credited you back you overage as a curtosy. I would have if I had spoken to you.
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