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Saved from a high phone bill, retiree says: ‘Illinois consumers need CUB’

By Samantha Vercellino

Last October, Chicago retiree Cassandra packed her bags and moved across town to the West Side of the city. She welcomed the change in scenery until she found out a new address also meant she had to switch to pricey digital phone service.

Before the move, she had called AT&T to see if she could transfer her landline service to her new apartment and keep her Consumer’s Choice plan—a low-cost local-calling plan created by CUB. An AT&T representative told Cassandra her service would be transferred without a problem.

But when an AT&T technician arrived at her new home, the 71-year old learned that instead of traditional landline service she was getting U-Verse, a digital phone service that requires the purchase of a modem and router. (Plus, it would cost her an extra $15 a month—at least.)

“The workman led me to believe that landline wasn’t the best service to go with,” Cassandra said. “He insisted I get a modem because it was cheaper and more reliable.”

The next day Cassandra reached out to AT&T to see why she couldn’t get the service she wanted.  After getting no response she called CUB—an organization she had turned to in the past.

“AT&T wasn’t being considerate or accommodating to my needs which upset me, since I had been a loyal customer of the company for 30 years,” Cassandra said.

Luckily, Cassandra’s case fell into the hands of Environmental Outreach Coordinator Ivonne Ortiz. It wasn’t long before an AT&T representative called Cassandra and informed her that her old landline service would be restored—and she could stick with the Consumer’s Choice plan.

Having been saved from an extra $180 a year in phone costs, Cassandra immediately called CUB to thank Ivonne, and even gave a small donation for a job well done. “I owe you guys for all you’ve done for me.” Cassandra said. “Illinois consumers need CUB.”

If you have questions regarding your utility, phone or cable service, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline like Cassandra did, at 1-800-669-5556, for guidance on your rights.