By Samantha Vercellino
Two months had passed and Chicago-area resident Michael could not understand why AT&T was sending him bills for home phone service that he did not have.
But when he called to resolve the issue, he said AT&T representatives told him he was responsible for paying half the bill for this phantom service. The reason? Michael said AT&T told him he had not been proactive enough notifying the company about the billing problem.
“I did not think it was fair that they wanted me to split the bill 50/50, especially since I did not have the service,” Michael said.
Then Michael enlisted the help of CUB Consumer Advocate Danielle Holmes—who immediately sent a request to AT&T’s executive office to look further into the case.
“As an individual, I have very little influence,” Michael said. “But with CUB in the corner, the power balance between the phone company and me is more equal.”
Within a couple days, AT&T reached out to Michael to refund him for the months he had been unfairly paying. He called Danielle to relay the good news and thanked CUB by donating $125—roughly the amount he received back from the company.
Michael said he hopes CUB uses the contribution to continue its mission of giving a voice to utility customers—and sparing them the frustration he experienced with AT&T.
“We’ll put it to good use helping Illinois consumers,” Danielle said. “Just receiving a simple thank you is always nice, but it’s a good feeling when the consumers feel so grateful about our work that they give back.”
If you have a complaint about your utility, phone or cable service, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline, at 1-800-669-556, for help.