AT&T accused of fraud when it comes to some of its promotions
Intrigued, the daughter noted that the price of “$27.70/month” was crossed out and replaced with “As low as $0.00/month” in a larger bolder type. Some small print followed that said “with eligible trade-in and added “Requires 0% APR 36-mo. Agmt (agreement) and svc (service). Well-qual(ified]) customers only. See price details.”
And since the image on the ad happened to be of her current phone, she assumed that her phone was eligible for the trade-in deal. “AT&T knows what phone I have, so I assumed mine was eligible,” she said. But when the pair went into the AT&T Store to do the deal, it turned out that the daughter’s current handset was not eligible for the trade-in deal.
Another couple, Carolina and her husband took AT&T up on a BOGO offer. The salesman said that the initial bill wouldn’t reflect the BOGO deal and that it would take two billing cycles before a revised invoice would be received. There is nothing strange about that and most carrier deals don’t show up on an invoice until the third billing cycle. But months went by and the couple continued to get billed for two phones instead of one as per the BOGO deal.
Post your complaints about on social media if you’re looking for justice
Carolina explains the rest of the story, “The store manager had the audacity to tell us that he acknowledged that they owed us $750, but that this issue was ‘over 12 months old’ and because of that small detail, THAT was the reason why they were not going to refund us what was owed to us. … This is a scam and fraud by AT&T. To drag the issue long enough to make sure customers don’t get refunded what is owed to them.”
Dr. Eunkyu Lee, Associate Dean for Global Initiatives and Professor of Marketing at Syracuse University, advises consumers to pay close attention and “think about if a deal is worth the effort.” Considering that some of the deals result in a free phone, we’d say that such deals are indeed worth the effort. Dr. Lee suggests that if you feel that you’ve been ripped off by a carrier, make your voice heard on social media.
“If (a consumer) believes (a promotion) is deceptive, they can make their voice heard and the company might try to resolve the issue in a positive way,” Dr. Lee said. As an example, on AT&T’s Facebook page, a post made by a disgruntled AT&T customer received 2,600 comments and 46 shares. That was enough exposure for an AT&T representative to step in. “That’s not the experience we want you to have. Please meet us in a PM [private message], so we can talk things out,” the rep commented.