01-02-2012 12:35:32 PM - edited 01-02-2012 12:36:23 PM
I recently went into my local AT&T store in Santa Monica to activate a Mifi hotspot. What I thought would be a simple 20 minute errand turned into an hour ordeal that day, and even longer thereafter.
I was told that since I was not the account owner (but I am an authorized user) that my mother (who owns the account) would have to call 611 have a credit check run on her account and reserve a number for me and then the store could issue me a sim card. I had my mother call in and in a few minutes she texted me for the number of the store so that the rep she had on the phone could call the store and discuss exactly what they were asking. They had never heard of the need for a credit check in this situation. I thought it odd as well since we had been AT&T (previously Cingular) customers for over 10 years without missing a payment. The rep called the store and WAS HUNG UP ON 3 TIMES, all the while my mother remained on the phone and I sat in the store FOR OVER 30 MINUTES.
My mother finally let me know that they said the process was complete and I could get my sim card. The in-store rep checked my account and found that they had only made a note on the account stating my mother called in and hadn't actually run a credit check or reserved a number.
After consulting with the manager (who was no where to be seen during this entire time), the rep returned and said that they "aren't suppose to do this, but they would do me a favor" and set the account up without my mother in the store. She continued to reiterate that they were making an exception for us, which I began to take offense too. The disconnect was between the store and the 611 representative. I had done what had been requested, and yet the rep (on behalf of the manager) continued to insist that they were doing me a special favor by setting up the account for me.
I also asked with her if there was both a $35 (3gb) and a $50 (5gb) plan. She said there was and I requested the $35 option. I also asked her if there were any other fees that would need to be paid since I was aware of activation fees. Her reply "No, just $35 a month plus tax". I signed off on the new number and I FINALLY was able to leave the store thinking all was well…
… then I received the bill.
To my shock and surprise not only was I signed up for the $50 plan, there was also a $36 activation fee. I immediately called 611 and was told that the Mifi hotspot only has a $50 option and if I wanted to dispute the activation fee, I would have to contact the store itself.
Not much help, but I took their advice.
I dialed the store told the answering rep my story. After being put on hold, he returned telling me that he talked with his manager and the rep that helped my and that they had “already made and exception for me” (there is was again) and that the rep I worked with told me about the activation fee at the time. He also told me that the system rejected the request for the $35 plan; as If I was suppose to know that. I disputed everything. I told him I NOW understood that the $50 plan was the only option, and I was fine with it, but that the store reps needed to be aware of that before offering it as an option (she was the second rep to offer that price). I was also told that if I wanted to dispute the activation fee I would have to return to the store and discuss it with the manager.
I haven’t returned yet since I was on vacation at the time of the call and just got back, but to be honest with my experience and the reviews I have read about this place on Yelp and Google (unfortunately after the fact) I feel like I am fighting a losing battle. I guess this is what being loyal customers for over 10 years and over $3K a year gets you.
If anyone can offer any suggestions on how this can be dealt with (i.e. phone number, email, contact) it would be much appreciated!
01-02-2012 01:14:23 PM
I understand all the other frustration w being given incorrect info but.. They actually should never have allowed you to add line if you weren't acct owner..period.
01-02-2012 01:28:17 PM - edited 01-02-2012 01:40:37 PM
True. I have personally witnessed people getting fired for braking this particular policy. This is one of those thing that I will never do, ever, no matter what the situation is. As far as being misinformed, there used to be $35 plan but it got discontinued and being mi-fis are not out most popular products some reps might just have missed a memo, I do agree that they shouldn't making silly excuses though. And lastly the activation fee... did they give you your service summary? Everything is outlined on it, but even if you didn't get one, activation fees are covered in your wireless service agreement. You can definitely try and ask for it to be waved, but don't expect anything since you did agree to it when you signed you service agreement. From everything you said I have 2 suggestions for you:
1. Go to a different store next time.
2. Carefully read and understand what you're signing.
Good luck with everything.
I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
01-02-2012 04:31:46 PM
01-02-2012 04:41:57 PM
According to the AT&T website, the $50/$60 options are the only options for ANY type of hotspot. It also seems that if she tried to give me that plan at the time of activation, it would have rejected it and I would have been told at the time. I guess just because you expect something to work that way, doesn't mean it will
While I am aware of activation fees with AT&T, the fact that I asked her point blank if there was any other cost and she told me "No", is what gets me. Also, I was never given any documentation, only told to give my electronic signature. Probably my fault for not asking to see the fine print.
Thanks for your advice.
01-03-2012 06:43:54 AM
I'm very sorry you had this experience. The community members repsonding here are correct in stating that the representative should not have opened the account at all. I am more concerned by the inaccuracy in the pricing and the general poor service you received.
Would you please send me a private message with your name, account number, phone number and the best time to contact you. If you would also include the store where this occured and the representative's name (if you have it), I would appreciate it.
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I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.