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Thread: New Mobility Administrative Fee

  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
    Does no one here have any real collections experience? I would love att or any other company with deep pockets to turn something like this over to a collections agent. It will never get that far, but again the defense here is the contract. It will never get as far as a collection agent, or court, as while the c/s folks may try to bluff the "low info" crowd, in the end, they will eventually concede to just end the contract.

    Should they file anything which in anyway defamed my credit, they would be liable for any damages, and they know it.

    This whole thing is absurd on it's face. They are calling this an administrative fee. What if I decided, arbitrarily decided to charge att an administrative fee of say .61 cents for writing a check to pay my monthly bill. What would happen? First they would send me a bill for the .61, and if I tried to argue to above, they would say something to effect, that I signed a contract, which didn't allow for the fee.

    We customers are arguing the same thing. If either att tries to raise their price, or I try to lower it, we are both violating the terms of the original contract. Neither of us can do either, without the other parties consent.

    You're saying if you gave them notice and then stopped paying your bill (or ported your number out) that they wouldn't send your account to collections? I'm pretty sure they would even if they are liable for any damage they could cause. For instance DirecTV once put my parents in a contract without their consent when we called about a broken satellite receiver. They exchanged it without saying anything. A year later when they went to cancel the service they told them they were in a two year contract and couldn't. They said that they never agreed and to cancel anyways and DirecTV sold that to a collections agency.

  2. #182
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    JMO, but I think efparri, is just offering his best info he has, but the issue with him and others is that in this particular issue, they are out of their expertise. His and others advise, answers, into, etc, etc, is their experience in what typically occurs with issues for the various carriers(and again imo, they are usually very accurate). And as others have mentioned, most folks don't have a clue about contracts, have no real experience with collections, or courts. They are reflecting their personal experiences that in the majority of cases, the carriers simply bluff their way over the uninformed customer, in probably way over 90% (just a guess) of their customers.

    The other 10% (those who are smart enough to fight back) they(efparri, et al) probably aren't aware of. So I view their opinions as more uninformed than a blind defense of att or whoever.

    Also, someone asked to see a post of getting out of contract, this is only the first 30 days of these charges. The billing for this period is just now appearing, which is where the real fun will begin.

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by petard View Post
    You're saying if you gave them notice and then stopped paying your bill (or ported your number out) that they wouldn't send your account to collections? I'm pretty sure they would even if they are liable for any damage they could cause. For instance DirecTV once put my parents in a contract without their consent when we called about a broken satellite receiver. They exchanged it without saying anything. A year later when they went to cancel the service they told them they were in a two year contract and couldn't. They said that they never agreed and to cancel anyways and DirecTV sold that to a collections agency.
    No, I am not saying that. You are confusing apples and oranges. From what I read from your direct tv thing, they were simply not honoring the terms of their contract extension and stopped paying their bill. If I recall, they make a recording of your acceptance of the contract extension. There was no effort on direct's part to raise their fee to them. I have direct tv, and like att, when I get a new receiver, I can either pay full price, or agree to to an extended contract. They explain this to customers, usually in English which is very understandabe.

    And as you know, direct raises their charges about twice a year, now that is when you can cancel the contract, unless the contract says and you agree, to periodic rate increases. (I have direct, but I have no clue what the contract says, and I have gotten numerous new receivers, always with a contract extension, and if I don't pay them, they will turn my service off and collect what they are rightfully due, as you are trying to change the contract (not direct) The reverse is the case with att, they are asking your approval to change the original contract. You can agree to or not. ie, do you want to continue service with us and pay an extra 61 cents, or do you want out of your contract. Direct, sort of did the same thing. Do you want a discounted receiver, with a contract extension or not. they are not forcing you do do anything.. Same thing with att, they aren't forcing you, they are asking.

    Att's contract says if we raise our charges, pre cluding government charges, we will notify you, and if you don't agree, you have a right to a no etf contract cancellation. Again, read the freekn' contract.

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
    No, I am not saying that. You are confusing apples and oranges. From what I read from your direct tv thing, they were simply not honoring the terms of their contract extension and stopped paying their bill. If I recall, they make a recording of your acceptance of the contract extension. There was no effort on direct's part to raise their fee to them. I have direct tv, and like att, when I get a new receiver, I can either pay full price, or agree to to an extended contract. They explain this to customers, usually in English which is very understandabe.

    And as you know, direct raises their charges about twice a year, now that is when you can cancel the contract, unless the contract says and you agree, to periodic rate increases. (I have direct, but I have no clue what the contract says, and I have gotten numerous new receivers, always with a contract extension, and if I don't pay them, they will turn my service off and collect what they are rightfully due, as you are trying to change the contract (not direct) The reverse is the case with att, they are asking your approval to change the original contract. You can agree to or not. ie, do you want to continue service with us and pay an extra 61 cents, or do you want out of your contract. Direct, sort of did the same thing. Do you want a discounted receiver, with a contract extension or not. they are not forcing you do do anything.. Same thing with att, they aren't forcing you, they are asking.

    Att's contract says if we raise our charges, pre cluding government charges, we will notify you, and if you don't agree, you have a right to a no etf contract cancellation. Again, read the freekn' contract.
    It was not explained. I was the one who spoke to them about it. I told them it's malfunctioning and they gave us a new one and took the old one which was a PURCHASED receiver that we owned. They also gave us the SAME MODEL receiver that we had. Never signed or agreed to any contract extension. They extended it without permission. And they still sent it to collections. They ignored it and eventually the collection agency stopped calling.

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
    JMO, but I think efparri, is just offering his best info he has, but the issue with him and others is that in this particular issue, they are out of their expertise. His and others advise, answers, into, etc, etc, is their experience in what typically occurs with issues for the various carriers(and again imo, they are usually very accurate). And as others have mentioned, most folks don't have a clue about contracts, have no real experience with collections, or courts. They are reflecting their personal experiences that in the majority of cases, the carriers simply bluff their way over the uninformed customer, in probably way over 90% (just a guess) of their customers.

    The other 10% (those who are smart enough to fight back) they(efparri, et al) probably aren't aware of. So I view their opinions as more uninformed than a blind defense of att or whoever.

    Also, someone asked to see a post of getting out of contract, this is only the first 30 days of these charges. The billing for this period is just now appearing, which is where the real fun will begin.
    I doubt it is even near 10% that fight back to any decree, it's a number that doesn't even blimp on AT&T's radar unless CS is handing out credits like candy at a faire. The reason we see news stories about So and so took carrier to small claims and won is because those are rare and interesting cases, not the norm.

    Though we disagree about what the outcomes will be, we can agree it should get interesting shortly - to see what if anything comes of this.
    My opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employer AT&T.

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by FormerRuling View Post
    I doubt it is even near 10% that fight back to any decree, it's a number that doesn't even blimp on AT&T's radar unless CS is handing out credits like candy at a faire. The reason we see news stories about So and so took carrier to small claims and won is because those are rare and interesting cases, not the norm.

    Though we disagree about what the outcomes will be, we can agree it should get interesting shortly - to see what if anything comes of this.
    I think you are right.

  7. #187
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    AT&T resonse to BBB complaint.

    I got an email from the BBB with AT&T's response:

    AT&T investigated X's contact with the Better Business Bureau regarding an administrative fee he is being billed.

    Customers were notified on their April 2013 statement, that effective May 1, 2013, the Administrative Fee would be $0.61 per line per month. The Administrative Fee helps defray certain expenses AT&T incurs, including but not limited to: (a) charges AT&T or its agents pay to interconnect with other carriers to deliver calls from AT&T customers to their customers; and (b) charges associated with cell site rents and maintenance. This type of fee is common across the wireless industry. For more information about this fee, customers may visit www.att.com/additionalcharges. Under our Wireless Customer Agreement, in addition to the monthly cost of the rate plan and selected features, customers are responsible for paying certain monthly charges and fees, including administrative fees. Thus, this charge does not reflect a rate plan change, nor a material change to the agreement. If customers cancel service prior to the completion of their contract they will be billed the applicable early termination fee. AT&T regrets any inconvenience caused by this matter.
    I spoke with Mr. X on 5/17/2013 and provided him with the information above. The customer stated that he does not agree with the fee.
    Although I attempted to address Mr. X's complaint, he remains unsatisfied with the resolution.


    I responded to the BBB as follows:

    1) AT&T stated: "[T]his charge does not reflect a rate plan change." This is not true.

    This fee is not a government tax or fee, rather it is intended to cover AT&T's normal operating expenses. AT&T has simply decided to effectively raise prices by pushing some of thier business expenses "below the line", whithout deducting the same amount "above the line". Hence it is the same thing as a rate plan change. The fact they are shifting some of the price to the "Fees" section of the bill does not change this. It is a word game that doesn't change the underlying facts.

    If AT&T's assertion were accurate, then they would be whithin thier rights to shift, for example, all of thier personnel expenses to a new fee, and impose a $50 "Payroll Expense Fee" on each customer, while claiming that the rate stayed the same. This is clearly absurd.

    In the course of our coversation I asked Ms. Thomas this very question, "Does AT&T believe that it is within their right to add a fee of $50 to existing customers as long as they call it a 'fee'?" She only answered "We wouldn't do that."

    2) The company's statement that the change is "not material" is false. A price increase of any magnitude is "material."

    3) All the rest of AT&T's response, i.e. that the charge is common in the industry, and that customers were notified, etc. has no bearing on the issue at the heart of our complaint.

    We are not contesting AT&T's right to invent new fees when entering into an agreement with a customer. We are contesting the company's right to impose them during an existing contractual agreement.

    4) On a final note we should say that the whole idea doesn't pass the "duck test" to any reasonable person. If it looks like a price hike, feels like a price hike, and sounds like a price hike, then that's what it is.

    AT&T ought to be ashamed of this shameless money grab. As I stated in the complaint, it's only 61 cents, but multiplied per user per month it amounts to 3/4 of a billion dollars a year.

    Let's see what happens next. Probably nothing, unless lots more people do the same thing.

  8. #188
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    You've obviously gone to a lot of work here, and I know it sounds like I am taking both sides to the argument, but it appears you are trying to say att doen't have the right to raise their rates, which of course is what they are doing. IMO, att, me, or any other business has the basic right to raise their prices. The issue is is they had contracted to provide their service for a specific price, and now want/need to charge more.
    while trying to hold the customer to the remainder of the original contract. This is where the issue of "material change" becomes the issue.

    I'm sure there are many reasons, but my guess is these contracts are important because of these huge subsides they have provided on new handsets, especially the high dollar smart phones.

    As I've mentioned, we do the earliest upgrade possible, or the highest price phone available, and promptly sell them. Although, I have kept one of those for myself, the others have provided sort of a rebate on our monthly fees. On att's side, I understand they have written contracts to recover these subsidies. They have the right to do that, but not change the rules (price) in the middle of the contract.

    As you mentioned, there are so few customers who either complain or aware of the issue, and honestly I don't believe I would have been aware of the issue, had it not been mentioned on this forum, It just amuses me to read the ignorance of these very basic legal basics which have been posted here. But we are all ignorant in some ways.

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
    it appears you are trying to say att doen't have the right to raise their rates, which of course is what they are doing. IMO, att, me, or any other business has the basic right to raise their prices. The issue is is they had contracted to provide their service for a specific price, and now want/need to charge more.
    while trying to hold the customer to the remainder of the original contract.
    Look at my post again, item 3:

    3) All the rest of AT&T's response, i.e. that the charge is common in the industry, and that customers were notified, etc. has no bearing on the issue at the heart of our complaint.

    We are not contesting AT&T's right to invent new fees when entering into an agreement with a customer. We are contesting the company's right to impose them during an existing contractual agreement
    So we are in agreement.

  10. #190
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    Hello All, I've been following this thread almost since it began. I had the following chat session with AT&T today. I'm ready to take it to the next level.

    I first initiate the Chat Session by stating that my bill has increased and I want to know why.
    AT&T Rep: Hey Customer! I can definitely help you with this today. How are you feeling?
    Me: Great! You?
    AT&T Rep: I'm doing great! Thanks for asking!
    AT&T Rep: How much did your bill increase?
    Me: It looks like $1.22
    AT&T Rep: That is due to the Administrative Fee that was added on this bill it a surcharge that is added for all customers you were informed about this fee on your last months bill.
    Me: Ok. This is a change in contract terms.
    AT&T Rep: No this is not.
    Me: I don't agree as of today, May 22, 2013.
    AT&T Rep: This is a surcharge and not a change of rate plan.
    Me: What is the cap on surcharges?
    AT&T Rep: If you look on page 3 of your last months bill under "News you can use" You will see "Mobility Administrative Fee"
    Me: That's fine. I would like to know the limits to adding surcharges.
    AT&T Rep: I do apologize can you clarify what you mean for me?
    Me: Well, what is the limit on "surcharges" that AT&T can add to my bill?
    AT&T Rep: Allow me a few moments to look into this for your.

    7 minutes pass…

    AT&T Rep: Okay I'm sorry for the wait!
    AT&T Rep: We (AT&T) does not dictate surcharges, they are federally mandated
    Me: The federal government didn't mandate an "administrative" fee that AT&T is supposedly using to recoup some expenses.
    Me: This is not a federal tax or fee.
    AT&T Rep: The administrative fees are in place for servicing issues, and has been applied to each customer, and I do apologize for any inconvenience it has caused you.
    Me: Back to my original question...how often and to what extent can AT&T add "surcharges" to my bill?
    AT&T Rep: I am sorry. I am not the appropriate person for you to speak with. Allow me to get you the contact information for our local Corporate Communications/PR person.
    AT&T Rep: The number is 952-656-9266
    Me: Thank you and have a great day!
    AT&T Rep: Thnak you nad you have a great day as well.
    Your AT&T representative has closed the chat session.

  11. #191
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    JackJ,

    Unfortunately, your question was beyond the rep's pay grade and they could not answer your question directly. That's why you were offered the toll free # to the specialty group. No guarantee that those folks will treat the situation any differently. Would be the same thing if you threatened to contact a lawyer, CS would no longer speak with you and refer you to their legal group.

    I guess this means that At&t has taken a strong stance on the issue and folks are not getting out of their contract without a fight.
    Don't make me turn this car around.....

  12. #192
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    Got a $60 credit.

    But then again I wasn't a **** to the CSR. It's not their fault the fee was charged.

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by tibbyt View Post
    Got a $60 credit.

    But then again I wasn't a **** to the CSR. It's not their fault the fee was charged.

    Just curious, what were the terms of the credit. Was is a monthly credit, or lump sum?

  14. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    JackJ,

    Unfortunately, your question was beyond the rep's pay grade and they could not answer your question directly. That's why you were offered the toll free # to the specialty group. No guarantee that those folks will treat the situation any differently. Would be the same thing if you threatened to contact a lawyer, CS would no longer speak with you and refer you to their legal group.

    I guess this means that At&t has taken a strong stance on the issue and folks are not getting out of their contract without a fight.
    That was not a toll free number. It is a telephone number in the Bloomington, Minnesota area.
    Earl F. Parrish

  15. #195
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    Is this .61 per line or per contract?

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