AT&T WIRELESS -- Major Overbilling -- Anyone else have same problem? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have been triplebilled this month on my AT&T Digital One Rate plan... the last two bills, $203.70 and $240.28, being erroneous. These billings have been deducted from my checking account because my AT&T account is hooked up to my Visa Check Card. In other words, AT&T essentially stole (if accidentally) a total of $443.98 from me, on the eve of a trip to Europe (my first real vacation in years). They are supposedly crediting the amounts to my card...on the other hand, that's what they told me last week, before billing me the third time. There's more to the story, but that's the basics.

Has anyone else experienced these problems? I am planning to write Dan Hesse, the President of AT&T Wireless, about this. I find it exceedingly strange that this egregious error would happen twice in the same week.

Scott Johnson

-- Scott Johnson (, May 18, 1999


close italics, damnit!. :)


-- Scott Johnson (, May 18, 1999. more try.


-- Scott Johnson (, May 18, 1999.

Yes I had error in AT&T billing 2 months ago. I was billed $0 for long distance that month, for which I was thrilled. Too bad the charges came a month later...

-- Gia (, May 18, 1999.

was that regular AT&T or wireless? scott

-- Scott Johnson (, May 18, 1999.

It's systemic, Scott. Happens all over the world. Some companies randomly select customers to overcharge, knowing that many will never recognize the overcharge. They always apologize and credit the ones who catch them doing it: "Please accept our sincere apology..."[note to billing dept: take this yoyo off the overcharge cycle list]

I am not Andy and it really is happening.

-- notAndy (, May 18, 1999.

Notandy, c'mon. I was overbilled $443.98 by one of the biggest companies in the world. If $443.98 is something you wouldn't catch, then I'd like to hitch a ride on your yacht. This can't be SOP... it's never happened to me or anyone I know before.


-- Scott Johnson (, May 18, 1999.


I had a somewhat related experience with the investment services department of a bank where I used to have some investments. I had a portfolio set up so that a certain amount was automatically deposited each month to a checking account at a different bank. Toward the end of last year, right around the time they were switching to their new Y2K compliant system, my monthly payment was not transferred. I called to notify them and the secretary said that it must not have been set up on the new system and that she would take care of it. OK, no problem, I'm pretty reasonable.

The next month, everything went through fine and there were no problems.

The month after that (Jan. 99) the transfer was again not completed. However, I was unaware of the problem until I received a notice from my local bank that the check for my quarterly tax payment to the IRS had bounced due to insufficient funds. Now THAT was a problem. (To be honest, I could give a shit that a check to the IRS bounced, but I wouldn't want it to happen to someone I really cared about paying).

I again called the secretary and explained the problem. She apologized and said that for some reason, the transfer instructions "just didn't take". I didn't mention the bounced check because I felt it wasn't worth complaining about and decided to just pay the NSF fee myself.

It happened once more the following month, but I told the secretary not to worry about setting up the monthly transfer again since I was just about done withdrawing all of my money from their institution anyway. Coincidentally, the newsletter they sent out around the same time mentioned that they had recently completed the installation of their new computer system and thanked the clients for their patience, which led me to believe I wasn't the only customer who had a problem.

I'm sure that some of the Y2K Debunkers out there will want some substantiation of this story, but I won't name the bank. I just don't want to bad-mouth the institution, and if you choose not to believe me, that's up to you. I have no reason to lie, and it's because of my own experience that I'm more likely to believe some of the other anectdotal evidence that I have been reading at this site and others like it.

I'm also sure that they (the Debunkers) would contend that it is probably a minor problem that will be straightened out without much difficulty and it won't be the end of the world. I agree. However, I prefer to let the bank work out THEIR bugs with someone else's money and I am willing to forgo any interest payments or capital appreciation on my funds for the rest of the year while they straighten things out.

If things are OK next year, then I'll send them a check (or find someplace else to invest) and we'll pick up where we left off. That's my decision to make. It is not panic or hysteria. It is a calculated investment decision involving my money, and my personal perception of the current risk vs. potential rewards.

-- Sidelined (, May 18, 1999.

Wow, what a coincidence! I have posted a couple of times about my problems with AT&T and BellSouth. All my problems started after they made their announcement of 'successful' completion of their 'new software implementation'.

Our first problem was being billed for AT&T WorldNet to which we've never subscribed. Then our AT&T long distance started being billed separately from our BellSouth local bill; we had previously requested and received only 1 bill for all our phone service for months. Then we did not receive a bill for our cell phone service for April from BellSouth Mobility, which is also usually included on our single bill. When we called to tell them about this, they proceeded to tell us that we were overdue and owed nearly $691! We requested a detailed bill which didn't seem to contain double billing, but we know it must since none of our previous bills have been that amount! Less than a week later, as we were still pouring over the details of the copy of the bill we had to request, they sent an overdue notice. Two days later we got a shut off notice on the same day we received our third letter welcoming us to AT&T. All the while we've called these folks and let them know that there are problems with the bill. On the phone they are quite nice, but still we've gotten the notices. Hope we still have phone service while we're working this out! Good luck in resolving your problems! Hope you have a great vacation!!!

P.S. We saw the back of your head on C-SPAN one day about a month ago as you asked a question & we recognized your name. Keep up the good work!

-- Johnny & Laura (, May 18, 1999.


I have been using Cable and Wireless as my long distance carrier for the lasr six months. We call long distance extensively. Every month we get a bill, the amount is always the same: 0.0. We have not bothered to complain.

-- Watcher4 (, May 18, 1999.

Scott, My typical client would not notice a 600 over charge, as they are on their cells almost as long as they are in my car (20 min downtown, 2.5 hrs to Columbus, etc.).


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, May 18, 1999.

Scott, My billing error occured on regular not wireless AT&T One Rate plan. It will be interesting to see what happens this month. As for the practice of overbilling, I can tell you this happened to my mother. She was billed for the same amount 3 times and had paid twice when she realised something was wrong. She managed to not pay the third time, but due to her absence of records, and their poor practices, never did recover 2nd payment.People, I can tell you one thing...KEEP RECORDS!

-- Gia (, May 19, 1999.

-- Stan Faryna (, May 19, 1999.



I have another problem. I made a payment to my Citibank credit cards and they deducted from my principal, but they did not deduct the monthly fees. Therefore, I am now late in my monthly financial fees and if this goes 30 days, my interest rate will move from 12.5% to something like 18.5%. Hopefully, we can get it solved before that happens.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, May 19, 1999.

Johnny and Laura... the back of my head just asked me for a raise. :) Thanks for the kind words.

Chuck... These phones are on a flat rate, and they billed me three separate times, not one gross overbill.


-- Scott Johnson (, May 19, 1999.

We just had numerous cellular phones cloned by some outside individual. This is apparently a common practice. Watch your cell phone bills.

-- Slick A. Roo (, May 19, 1999.

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