Ok, I have the "Pick Your Plan" from Cingular/ATT. I have been on this plan for 5 months now, ever since I became really sick of Verizon's lack of PREPAID nationwide coverage, the dollar a day access fee whether you use the cel-phone or not, and when they overhauled a lot of protocols in late January 2007 which to me meant more money paid out for less customer service.
But anyway, with the Pick Your Plan you pretty much have a set date to where you pay $69.99 plus tax every month on your auto-recharge date using your debit or checking account. Most of the time I am out of minutes before my auto-recharge date occurs so I just manually recharge early and they even tell me that my new auto-recharge date is 30 days away and is it okay to process the order. I say yes, lah dee dah.
Well, I did this as normal on Dec 28th, 2007 about 0354am. So they charge my checking account $77.61 which is good because I have like $90 in my checking account, everything going great, just living life like a normal consumer. I then notice that my balance on my phone about 4 hours later says $138.97 or something like that. I'm like "thats not right," and almost immediately it hits me what happened. So I call to confirm and of course, the auto-pay kicked in about an hour later, at 0543am on 12/28/07. And since it was by checking account there was nothing they could do until the check cleared or bounced, as it was already sent into the system.
So, I file an "unauthorized debit" with my bank. They are more than willing to work with me through this. So form filed everything is good. I went through heck trying to recover the $25 returned check charge, but it was not my fault in the first place. I had to explain my story to about 3 different collections specialists and finally after being on hold for 30 minutes, it was finally done and they waived the $25 fee.
This was early January 2008, about the 9th or so. Then, on January 23rd, as normal, I am running low on minutes early again. So I pay with a check, and then Jan 25th about 2030pm my phone says no minutes available. I should had $50 bucks available. Of course they shut your phone off at this time and not at a decent flippin' time to where you can figure out whats going on.
Only collections with Cingular/ATT has that answer and of course that office is closed. So, I drive a semi truck by trade and I am up here in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin and its puring snow, I need my cel phone for at least an emergency. So I use my debit card, pay the $20.16 in minutes that I used plus the $25 return check fee and then I do a $15 recharge just to get my phone working again. This part works great, my phone gets turned back on. So, now today is Saturday morning, I called my bank and they are like "what are you talking about, we have not had any transactions cross our system, your balance is still $293.43 like it has been for the past 4 days."
So I call Cingular/ATT back and talk to collections. I talk with a guy named Brian, his Rep ID is 10325 and they time is precisely 0900am on 1/28/08. He says that the processor, Amerinet, showed a disputed transaction and did not approve this check and returned it. So I ask how do I get my $25 bucks back for the return fee, because again, this is in no way my fault. He said I should've went about it a different way. I guess this is where I need help.
If there is a totally unauthorized almost $80 dollar charge that is going to totally screw up your checking account, would you or would you not file an unauthorized debit??? Well, that phone call ended with me threatening to plaster the whole situation all aover the internet to which I am thus doing now. I tried calling back, got ahold of Collections again, this time spoke with a Betsy, her Red ID is 12408 and the time was 0923am and she at least gave me some information; they are not a part of Cingular/ATT, they are actually an outside collection company called Vesta Corporation, no, I am not getting my $25 back, my checking account is now blacklisted(which is good I think in case I'm stupid enough to try this a 3rd time) and that I can either talk to a manager or I can write to a Mr. Kester PO Box 23874 Portland, OR 97281.
No, I did not speak with a manager, you know at some point that they are just not going to give in. Now someone, please tell me this is not theft???? I did dispute ONE CHECKING debit, not all of them! And I cannot help Amerinet's actions of declining the check. Why should I be charged the $25 when I had ample money in my banking account to begin with??????
AM I MISSING SOMETHING?????? I WANT MY $25 bucks back!!!! By the way, if anyone is doing research on this, ALL times listed are precise and are based on Central Standard Time Zone. Thanks... Mike, Rankin, Illinois
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