Report: #582524

Complaint Review: AT&T Wireless (formerly Cingular)

  • Submitted: Thu, March 18, 2010
  • Updated: Sun, October 17, 2010
  • Reported By: Robin — Santa Rosa California U.S.A.
  • AT&T Wireless (formerly Cingular)
    115 East 55th St
    New York, New York
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I am writing this out of extreme frustration with AT&T Wireless.  I have owned a small business in California for 16 years and have had this same phone number through all of their corporate changes the entire time (to Cingular, back to AT&T, etc).  I am the sole business owner. 

I admit that I haven't had any problems with this account or with AT&T up until now.  Approximately November of 2009 I received my usual email to pay my bill online and I logged in to pay it.  My password wouldn't work.  I phoned AT&T to clear this up and they refused to give me any information saying that I needed to contact my company Administrator.  Growing more frustrated I kept stating that I was the only person on the account and they stated that no, they had a different name listed but they refused to give me the name.  They said I was only an authorized user.  Well, about ten phone calls, which included AT&T reps hanging up on me, AT&T reps leaving me on hold forever, AT&T reps promising to call me back and then never returning my calls, it became clear that an AT&T employee, by the name of S. Zomorrodi had put his or her name down as the owner of my account.  The account rep stated it, was "no big deal" and just a mix up and that he would put it through to be fixed.  Well, fast forward to almost April of 2010.  It has NOT been fixed.  I still cannot access my account yet I am expected to pay for it.  I feel like I have been beating my head against a brick wall of sheer and utter incompetency. 

They seem completely incapable of being able to merely look at my account and determine that I did not, as the ONLY authorized person on the account WITH A PASSCODE did NOT authorize this.  So far I have five months of billing that I have paid and I have NO BILLING STATEMENT for them as I had signed up for paperless billing and was accustomed to downloading them.  I can't change to regular paper billing because I'm not authorized.  For my own company. 

I have called AT&T every single month and have gone through the same circus act of being on hold, being told it was being "researched", being promised a phone call back, being assured it would be resolved and, oh, I need to pay my bill in the meantime or my phone will be shut off. 

Is there anything else I can do?? I'm going to go into the physical store and see if any real life people can help me but I was told on the phone not to bother doing that, that they would just call the same phone numbers I've been calling.

I can't believe I am this TRAPPED.  I NEED my cell phone and current phone number to remain as is for now as I have over 200 business contacts in my contact list.  Due to the nature of my business I can't just arbitrarily switch providers and thus numbers.  I would love to though! I would love to tell them where to stick it and have them forward all future bills to this "AT&T employee"'s house.  I investigated this person's identity and I have their home address and phone but so far when I call their home phone it just rings.  I may go to a private investigator to see if I can get more information on this person and demand they fix their mistake.  Maybe contacting them in their off hours will shock them enough into taking action. 

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/18/2010 10:48 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Problem finally corrected.

AUTHOR: Robin - (USA)

I wanted to come back and update and say that AT&T finally did correct my account about two months after my last update.  It was all thanks to the ONE customer service representative that actually seemed to care named Missy and I'm not sure what her last name is.

The AT&T employee who put himself down as the account administrator said he had no idea how that happened and finally confirmed that he had no affiliation with my company.

Missy, to her credit, immediately reinstated myself as the only authorized owner, re-sent me passwords and access to all of my accounts.  In all fairness to AT&T there were no hinky charges or usage during the time I was blind to my billing statements, so at very least my account wasn't being used for nefarious purposes.

I'm grateful to Missy for finally clearing it up, but once my contract has expired I am so done with AT&T forever.  I will never do business with this company ever again.  This should have been such a simple thing, the employee should have been fired and/or brought up on fraud charges but, as it turns out nothing happened, he played innocent...I'm not sure how that is possibly a valid defense, but if AT&T wants to employ unscrupulous employees, I guess that's their business.

So thank you to Missy, whomever you are for actually having a heart and doing your job.

As for AT&T, screw you.

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#2 Author of original report

Back to the original deduction. *sigh*

AUTHOR: Robin - (USA)

To Missy's credit, she actually called me back, which puts her miles ahead of all the rest of the drones.  but Missy was a supervisor, maybe that's the difference.

So basically Missy says that the last drone, Rebecca was unable to fix the account because I did not provide the "Foundation" account number.  Well, 1. Rebecca never asked me for it and 2. WTF is Foundation?  She states it was some discount program I had signed up for.  I stated not only had I never signed up for it but because I had opted for all of the paperless billing I NEVER receive anything in writing from AT&T.  I tried to have that changed but, you know, I'm not authorized.  I feel like I'm doing business in Wonderland.

Missy once again confirmed that an AT&T employee had put themselves down as the account administrator but that she (in a bold step not thought of by the braintrusts in the AT&T customer service dept) had filed a complaint with said employee's manager and said that she expected a call back on Monday.  She promised to call me Monday and I'm really afraid to drum up hope at this point that she will keep that promise but I'm trying to keep my fingers crossed that Missy keeps her word.  She seems to be my only connection to a logical outcome.  

I asked her if I could have the employee written up for fraud and she stated that she would discuss that with the manager when they returned her correspondence on Monday.  Once again, like the trapped moron I am, I paid my bill of $508 not knowing any of the charges or what my monthly breakdown was and am hoping that Missy keeps her word.
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#3 Author of original report

Shocking. Still not resolved as of 5/14/2010.

AUTHOR: Robin - (USA)

I just called AT&T to make a change to my account and perhaps get online access so that I could at least pay my bill.

As usual, it was like nothing was ever done in regards to changing it.  I'm still not authorized.  This mystery person is the only one who can make any changes to my account.  However, they still wanted my payment.

I asked to speak with a supervisor and was transferred to someone named "Missy" who promised to call me back by the end of the day.  I'm not holding my breath.  I want to just give up.  Just let the telephone get shut off for nonpayment and then they can try to collect from whomever this authorized user is.  

I hate AT&T SO SO SO SO much.  Everything I have written is 100% true.   I wish a lawyer could help me but I wouldn't even know where to start.
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#4 Author of original report

Thanks for the reminder...

AUTHOR: Robin - (USA)

Of why this is one of the most maddening companies to deal with on the planet. 

I'd be upset if someone was given access to my account with my passcode??? THEY WERE! Hello??? Is it SO difficult to trace it back to that moment in time when it occured to see that it wasn't me?

I have no doubt that the mindless drones (aka "reps") at the front line are adept at following procedure and getting me off the line.  This is the great customer service you've been trained to provide, obviously.  The fact remains I've spent tens of thousands of dollars over the years and AT&T has forever lost me as a customer.  My monthly bill is typically in the $400+ range and it's been as high as $900 in the old days.

So basically, in defense of your company, you are stating that is no escalation procedure to have someone besides a powerless drone actually LOOK at what might have happened.  No, it is it up to me, as a loyal and long term customer to not only waste hours on the phone but to now gather all sorts of documentation, waste at least half a day (our AT&T typically has a 45min-2hr wait just to get seen let alone the hours it would take to deal with the main company) and try to prove that I own my own business.  Despite the fact that this is easily verifiable with a 10 second input of data on the California state corporate database, but God forbid an AT&T employee should actually, I don't know, do their own job.  Fix their own companies mistakes? Care a d**n about their customers? 

Be patient?  It's been FIVE MONTHS.  I've spent almost $2000 on bills I've never seen. 

OH, but they did send me an email on 3/24.  I suppose I should be really impressed by their commitment to my needs.  Here is what it said:

"Thank you for choosing AT&T for your business wireless needs!

This e-mail is a follow-up to our previous conversation on 3/24/2010 to ensure your needs were serviced correctly.

On 3/24/2010, Useless Drone* processed the following changes to your account:

1. Account Status Changes

Thank You and Have a Great Day. 

Please allow 1-2 bill cycles for this transaction to reflect on your next bill and account summary. If you have further questions about your AT&T business needs, please refer to or by calling us at (800) 331-0500.


Useless Drone
Business Markets Group (BMG) Customer Services
(800) 331-0500"

I am breathless with anticipation. 

As for your funny little remark about me going to prison, at least I managed to crack a smile.  So thanks.

*name changed to protect the stupid.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

You need to go to the store.

AUTHOR: Customer_Rep_27 - (United States of America)

I understand you are probably very frustrated right now and may feel trapped, I would too,  however you need to look at this from the rep's position as well. I work from AT&T will tell you that if you were only listed as an authorized user on the account, and didn't know the passcode, I wouldn't give you access either. If it hadn't been you that had called, someone else, and were alllowed complete access to YOUR account, you probably would not  be very happy. Those policies are put in place for your security, to limit unauthorized access to the account. I can't speak for the other reps you say hung up on you, however I can tell you why you were not given a callback-you couldn'y verify the account, if the caller does not verify, than for security purposes we can't call you back. Remember when you call customer service you are on the phone, the reps can't see you, have no idea what you look like. At this point your best bet would be to go to an AT&T corporate store, not a retailer, an actual corporate AT&T store, take your driver's license or other form of government ID with you, along with some sort of official form, tax documentation, bills, something to prove that you do own that company, and if you do have an old AT&T paper bill or something that includes your name and account number, take that too.

As far as this other employee whom you've stated put his own name on the account, I don't know how that could have happened, and if it has been proven that he did so, is probably no longer with the company. However, calling him at home, going to his house, making demands in person, that will do you no good, but may get you in trouble for harrassment. Calling him on his "off hours", making threats that you have his address, that can all be seen as harrassment or even stalking and the only thing you will get then is a possible prison sentence.

I know you're frustrated and want this fixed, but take my advice, go to the corporate store and let them handle, they can physically see you and any documentation you bring, whereas the call center reps cannot. Leave the other employee whom you say did this alone, if it is proven then there are other legal ways of handling it, and may have already been when his supervisors found out what he had done.

I hope this all works out for you, just be patient and remember, don't blame the other reps you spoke to after the fact, it was not their fault that this had happened.

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