Bong Allen receives a $150 bill for equipment he never ordered or wanted. Should he pay for it?
Question: AT&T is charging me $150 for equipment I never received. I didn’t ask for any equipment. I don’t need anything.
I contacted the company three times by phone and by chat and was told not to worry, it will be canceled, but they keep on billing me. I didn’t pay and I don’t know how to stop this hassle.
I am 86 and I am very disturbed by this annoyance. Please advise and help me. — Bong Allen, Westminster, Calif.
Answer: AT&T shouldn’t have sent you equipment you never ordered, and if it did, it shouldn’t charge you for it. (But if you think about it, isn’t that every ethically challenged company’s dream: to charge you for nothing?)
A review of the paper trail between you and AT&T — you saved the chat session, which was really good — shows that AT&T made a “mistake” and that it quickly agreed to rescind the bill.
Even after you received assurances from AT&T, it billed you. You paid your phone bill, but didn’t pay for the errant equipment. That didn’t sit well with the company, which, unsurprisingly, wanted you to pay for the entire bill.
Here’s what appears to have happened. You called AT&T to complain of connectivity problems, and a technician identified the problem as a bad router. The company wanted to replace your router. Then a technician determined that it was actually a wiring issue and quickly fixed it. In the meantime, the order for a new router went through. You say you never received the router, so it appears that somewhere down the line, the order was canceled — but you still received a bill.
AT&T may well envision a world where “everything and everyone work together.” It may even, as its mission statement suggests, “envision a world that works for you. But neither of those things happened for you. Quite the opposite, actually. Maybe it’s time to rethink that corporate credo, AT&T?
I might have sent your paper trail to an AT&T customer service executive. I list their names, numbers and email addresses on my customer advocacy site. It may have led to a fast resolution.
Your case took a little longer to fix. Your repairs took place in August and you had to wait until late November before my advocacy team could help reach a resolution. AT&T rescinded its $150 bill, as agreed.