To say I have been very frustrated with AT&T Internet service would be an understatement.
Whenever I call them they tell me something else and actually do something completely different. e..g I had moved recently and called them for change of service address. Once the bill came at the new address it had equipment fee on there. I called them and told them I havenít ordered anything from them and they need to refund this fee. They said they will refund the complete fee but then actually refunded only half of it.
Few months ago I got tired of AT&T and called to cancel the service and they told me that I am under a contract. I have been a customer with them for about 5 years and the only time I agreed to a contract was 5 years ago when I hooked up with AT&T. Apparently there is some sort of auto-renewal thing. I have called AT&T and after hours of wait and run around only few things happen:
1) Sorry, you are under a contract or you changed the rate plan (I never did! see point 3 below). 2) Extremely rude customer service and they will just hang-up. 3) The will just change something else in the service e.g. rate plan, new equipment or something else.
So at this point I donít want to call AT&T again and I cannot go to an AT&T store either because they cannot help with AT&T home internet or tv plans. Just like everyone our time is precious and we donít have spare hours to be on hold with customer service and end up being more frustrated.
I just want to end this contract and not have service with them anymore. What do you guys suggest is the best way to handle this?
I get the same crappy service from Comcast.† Specifically told them not to put me in a 2-year agreement and I was happy to pay $10 more per month as a result.† Bill came and sure enough I was enrolled in a 2-year contract.† They fixed it but implied that it was a good thing I called before the 30-day window was up or I would've been stuck with it.† As if it was my issue.
I'm convinced this is shady business practice.† Regardless of whether Comcast endorses it or some call screener does it to make a quota, I don't for a minute think it's an honest mistake.
In your situation, you need to ask them to show you the proof that you signed up for the current contract or the auto-renewal.† I imagine it's possible you did (unknowingly) sign up for auto renewal 5 years ago.† They conveniently make those things lesser-known in their sales pitch.
Stick to your guns, be polite, and keep records of your transactions.† If you escalate enough you can usually get taken care of, or at least get a fair resolution.
If you asked them to cancel, but after hearing that you are under contract you didn't insist on cancellation, then it's your own fault. The easiest thing would be to call back and insist on cancelling the service. If you don't want to call them, try to find the phone, email, or chat option for their executive customer service team. If this doesn't work, you'll have to start writing letters, which takes longer. I'd start by sending a letter to ATT executive customer service (if you can find an address) and submitting an FCC complaint (online). Explain the situation in great detail, and in the "desired resolution" specify that you want the service canceled and all charges and fees refunded as of the date on which you requested cancellation.
I suspect that CSRs mentioning a contract is just a delaying tactic to get you off the phone, keep charging you, and keep their own metrics up. If it's not a tactic and after cancelling they send you a bill with an Early Termination Fee, you'll then have to pay or dispute in writing. I'd very carefully go through all of your past bills for however long a contract could be (12-24 months?) to make sure you're really not under contract.
If none of this works, sue them in small claims.
I have personally found that FCC is effective at getting someone to examine your case and provide a detailed written response, but not necessarily effective enough to get the desired resolution.
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