AT&T charged me $150 for equipment I never received

By | January 12th, 2017

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.

Related story:   3 reasons social media matters more than you think

How confusing.

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 AT&T rescinded its $150 bill, as agreed.



  • AAGK

    This is classic AT&T incompetence.

  • Mel65

    AT&T is one of the few compaines that I ever totally lost my s**t when dealing with. I had to call them almost daily for MONTHS to get an issue they caused, fixed and finally just lost it. When possible, I avoid them like the plague!

  • The Original Joe S

    If it ain’t in writing, it don’t exist. Calling them is worth the paper it’s written on.
    Send a certified letter to the HMFIC and tell him to buzz off on the bill in light of the attached evidence. Complain to the government if they persist. Let the govt do a job for you.

  • joycexyz

    Buy your own router. It’ll pay for itself within a year. Routers last a long time, but even if you had to replace it yearly, you’d be ahead of the game. And this entire fiasco reminds me of what I say about AT&T versus Comcast: Pick your own poison!

  • William Leeper

    Agree. In Nov, AT&T offered me a new rate plan for $124 a month, and I confirmed online and verbally with the representative the price. Guess what, it magically increased to $198 per month.

    Took me 2 months to get it sorted out, and the long story was “We train our representatives to exclude the installment agreements on the phones, as well as all optional services such as insurance.” Basically, we tell our people to lie to the customer.

    They eventually wrote off the installment plans and got my bill to the quoted price though.

We want your feedback.Your opinion is important to us. Here's how you can share your thoughts:
  • Send us a letter to the editor. We'll publish your most thoughtful missives in our daily newsletter or in an upcoming post.
  • Leave a message on one of our social networks. We have an active Facebook page, a LinkedIn presence and a Twitter account. Every story on this site is posted on those channels. The conversation ranges from completely unmoderated (Twitter) to moderated (Facebook and LinkedIn).
  • Post a question to our help forums or ask our advocates for a hand through our assistance intake form. Please note that our help forum is not a place for debate. It's there primarily to assist readers with a consumer problem.
  • If you have a news tip or want to report an error or omission, you can email the site publisher directly. You may also contact the post's author directly. Contact information is in the author tagline.