AT&T charging for an extra month with month to month service

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Jun 19, 2016
8
0
1
54
#1
Going month to month with AT&T to avoid being locked in to a service contract seemed like a good idea at first. But when we decided to switch we were met with a surprise charge.

Company you have a question or comment about: AT&T

Hi. Thanks for this service! My problem with AT&T is that they are charging me for an extra month's usage on phone service that was a prepaid, month to month service. The reason we used this method is to avoid being locked in to a lengthy contract. We decided to cancel our service and had an overdue bill as well. We allowed the service to lapse due to the unpaid bill and thought that was the end of it. Then, we received a letter in the mail stating we owed a past due amount of $296.52. When I called, ready to pay this amount and let them know we did not want it reinstated, I was told I owed about twice that amount! They said it was because it was pay ahead and was being cancelled in the middle of a billing cycle. This results in us paying for not one, but two months we have not even use their service! What is your advice? Thanks!


What's your desired resolution? I already paid the first S296.52 that I have been billed for, and officially cancelled the account as of today. I would like the added month's amount - - the rest of the bill - - to be dismissed without further collection attempts or negative credit reports or other negative results.


What's the value of your claim (in US $)? 296
 

Michelle Bell

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Apr 15, 2016
80
147
33
51
#3
You need to go back to the terms and conditions of the contract you signed when you started the service. It's important to note whether or not they require a notice of cancellation, and if so, how much notice is required, before appealing this additional charge. If your account had been in good standing, you would definitely have a shot at having at least part of this additional month credited back, but it sounds like your bill was past due and that instead of notifying them of your cancellation, you simply let them shut off the service. IF that's the case, the T&C is your best hope. Once you have answers to Joe's questions above, come back and let us know.
 
Likes: Patina
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,896
113
New York
#4
I have had ATT for a million years. I don't get the reluctance to get a 2 yr contract. With a 2 yr contract and an extra number, I get a new phone once a year for @199, since they are staggered. I learned upon having to replace it myself once the phone cost $800, so it's a good deal. My bill is lower than yours and I have my phone. I would avoid that month to month and ATT Next nonsense and do it old school.

Follow Joe and Michelle's advice. You need to check the billing cycle, etc. Never assume not paying a final bill "is the end of it." Also, if you ever want to use ATT again, don't dispute this with your credit card or do anything other than resolve it directly with them. I would probably just use it an extra month and cancel at the appropriate time the following month. If you already switched carriers, then you will have to pay unless ATT is mistaken. It makes mistakes all the time so long as you can show them exactly what it did wrong, it will fix the problem.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Michelle Bell

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Apr 15, 2016
80
147
33
51
#5
I have had ATT for a million years. I don't get the reluctance to get a 2 yr contract. With a 2 yr contract and an extra number, I get a new phone once a year for @199, since they are staggered. I learned upon having to replace it myself once the phone cost $800, so it's a good deal. My bill is lower than yours and I have my phone. I would avoid that month to month and ATT Next nonsense and do it old school.

Follow Joe and Michelle's advice. You need to check the billing cycle, etc. Never assume not paying a final bill "is the end of it." Also, if you ever want to use ATT again, don't dispute this with your credit card or do anything other than resolve it directly with them. I would probably just use it an extra month and cancel at the appropriate time the following month. If you already switched carriers, then you will have to pay unless ATT is mistaken. It makes mistakes all the time so long as you can show them exactly what it did wrong, it will fix the problem.
I've been with AT&T since 2004, so I agree completely with the 2-year contract vs. month-to-month comment. I'm not sure how it happened, but I somehow switched to the AT&T Next. I hate it. I want my 2-year contract and $199 phone back.
 
Likes: AAGK
Feb 9, 2016
2,449
2,797
113
#6
I just went thru a small nightmare with ATT in reference to their Uverse.

ATT does forward bill. I switched to Direct TV mid cycle. ATT Uverse wanted $152 for the billing period April 25 to May 26. I got Direct TV May 7. I paid a prorated rate (that I calculated) and was assured by a CS rep that ATT would work out their end of the proration by the next billing cycle. They didn't. I came home to throttled internet and disabled Direct TV.

I called and, after 3 hours of explaining the billing issue, got everything turned back on, leaving the $90 amount still outstanding. 2 days later, I assume because there was still an amount outstanding that they considered delinquent, it all got turned off again. I called, explained myself again and thankfully the CS rep issued me a $90 credit on the spot that took care of the outstanding balance, and turned everything back on.

I know someone that works for Alorica. Alorica is one of the few companies that sets up the customer service cube farms for ATT, Apple, Verizon, etc. You name it, they set up the cube farm and train the people. Here (the US), the Philippines, Jamaica, India etc.

Always be polite with your CS rep. Always take their name, etc. Get it when they first come on the call. Ask for it, first and last and an extension. If you feel as if you have exhausted the capabilities of the CS rep you are talking to, and someone higher up might be able to help you, ask to speak with the "floor manager".
 
Last edited:
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,896
113
New York
#7
I've been with AT&T since 2004, so I agree completely with the 2-year contract vs. month-to-month comment. I'm not sure how it happened, but I somehow switched to the AT&T Next. I hate it. I want my 2-year contract and $199 phone back.
They are pushing NEXT on people bc it saves ATT so much money. Try and get your other arrangement back. They semi pushed it on me and then sent me the terms and when I read them I realized my new phone was going to be $800 anyway so I didn't accept they still switched my account anyway. I called them and they moved me back to my 2 year, which was just about up and got my iPhone 6s for 199 again. They have largely phased this out but I think it is still doable. Now Apple is also doing a version of ATT NEXT. I have had ATT since @2003 also.
 
Jun 19, 2016
8
0
1
54
#8
Did you cancel BEFORE the first day of your billing period?

Did you give AT&T 30 days notice of cancellation?

Does AT&T bill in advance or in arrears?
I did not give 30 days notice as we were on a month to month basis; therefore, when one bill was late, we decided to go ahead and let them cut off the service thereby "cancelling" it. So, according to AT&T it was not cancelled until I called to pay the bill. When I got the letter stating a past due amount, I paid it though we were no longer using their service. However, when I called to pay it by phone they said we had the additional month's bill and that they do not prorate and we missed the billing cycle cut-off. At this rate, if I had gone on longer, I would rack up an unending amount of monthly debt with the phone service cut off. The statement that they bill ahead shows that the bill is for an unused month, (which I paid) yet they want us to pay for two unused months.
 
Jun 19, 2016
8
0
1
54
#9
I have had ATT for a million years. I don't get the reluctance to get a 2 yr contract. With a 2 yr contract and an extra number, I get a new phone once a year for @199, since they are staggered. I learned upon having to replace it myself once the phone cost $800, so it's a good deal. My bill is lower than yours and I have my phone. I would avoid that month to month and ATT Next nonsense and do it old school.

Follow Joe and Michelle's advice. You need to check the billing cycle, etc. Never assume not paying a final bill "is the end of it." Also, if you ever want to use ATT again, don't dispute this with your credit card or do anything other than resolve it directly with them. I would probably just use it an extra month and cancel at the appropriate time the following month. If you already switched carriers, then you will have to pay unless ATT is mistaken. It makes mistakes all the time so long as you can show them exactly what it did wrong, it will fix the problem.
 
Jun 19, 2016
8
0
1
54
#10
Our reluctance to getting a contract with AT&T had to do with a variety of issues, including knowledge that our family needs are changing and we want to be free to make necessary changes without being locked into an ongoing contract.

I am willing to eat the charges for one month (paid ahead), but not two.

The billing cycle is not relevant since I paid the bill for our last month of service plus the month where service was suspended and am not seeking a reinstatement. I am not asking for anything to be prorated.
 
Jun 19, 2016
8
0
1
54
#11
You need to go back to the terms and conditions of the contract you signed when you started the service. It's important to note whether or not they require a notice of cancellation, and if so, how much notice is required, before appealing this additional charge. If your account had been in good standing, you would definitely have a shot at having at least part of this additional month credited back, but it sounds like your bill was past due and that instead of notifying them of your cancellation, you simply let them shut off the service. IF that's the case, the T&C is your best hope. Once you have answers to Joe's questions above, come back and let us know.
 
Jun 19, 2016
8
0
1
54
#12
Agreed. It would have been nicer to cancel up front and in person. I actually tried to, but hit a snag as it is in my husband's name and at the time he was unavailable. So we continued another month, then agreed to let it run out and just pay what was due. However, what is due should not be two months of service after service is inoperable! (Of course it is really three months since you pay a month ahead.)
 
Jun 19, 2016
8
0
1
54
#13
Going month to month with AT&T to avoid being locked in to a service contract seemed like a good idea at first. But when we decided to switch we were met with a surprise charge.

Company you have a question or comment about: AT&T

Hi. Thanks for this service! My problem with AT&T is that they are charging me for an extra month's usage on phone service that was a prepaid, month to month service. The reason we used this method is to avoid being locked in to a lengthy contract. We decided to cancel our service and had an overdue bill as well. We allowed the service to lapse due to the unpaid bill and thought that was the end of it. Then, we received a letter in the mail stating we owed a past due amount of $296.52. When I called, ready to pay this amount and let them know we did not want it reinstated, I was told I owed about twice that amount! They said it was because it was pay ahead and was being cancelled in the middle of a billing cycle. This results in us paying for not one, but two months we have not even use their service! What is your advice? Thanks!


What's your desired resolution? I already paid the first S296.52 that I have been billed for, and officially cancelled the account as of today. I would like the added month's amount - - the rest of the bill - - to be dismissed without further collection attempts or negative credit reports or other negative results.


What's the value of your claim (in US $)? 296
 
Jun 19, 2016
8
0
1
54
#15
UPDATE:
I received a bill (regular bill, sent out prior to my phone conversation with AT&T) stating the previous balance (paid by phone) of 296.52 plus new charges of 119.40, which is less than I was told. Looks like I may need to go in person and ask for a FINAL BILL amount to even know what to dispute.
 
#16
I did not give 30 days notice as we were on a month to month basis; therefore, when one bill was late, we decided to go ahead and let them cut off the service thereby "cancelling" it. So, according to AT&T it was not cancelled until I called to pay the bill. When I got the letter stating a past due amount, I paid it though we were no longer using their service. However, when I called to pay it by phone they said we had the additional month's bill and that they do not prorate and we missed the billing cycle cut-off. At this rate, if I had gone on longer, I would rack up an unending amount of monthly debt with the phone service cut off. The statement that they bill ahead shows that the bill is for an unused month, (which I paid) yet they want us to pay for two unused months.
They did not 'terminate you,' they suspended you for non-payment.

I'm curious if you think that a company that suspends a customer for not paying and who then calls up to pay what is admittedly owed, should get a break?

Sounds like what happened is that you were suspended in month A - called up in Month B to pay and were charged a feee for Month B as well -

Do you have a copy of the contract you agreed to? What does it say about suspension, reinstatement and termination? I'm pretty much certain all of this is covered in the contract. . .
 
Likes: AAGK

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,640
11,990
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
I've been with AT&T since 2004, so I agree completely with the 2-year contract vs. month-to-month comment. I'm not sure how it happened, but I somehow switched to the AT&T Next. I hate it. I want my 2-year contract and $199 phone back.
You can't get the old one back. We are all stuck with Next when our current contract expires. Thanks to Next I was forced to pay for my Iphone on monthly instead of buying it outright at a lower price.
 
Mar 23, 2015
39
72
18
53
#19
Well I think you may be out of luck. Because it sounds like month one you were late and then you got notified it was late and you decided to just not pay it and hope that they would cut your service off. But that's not the same thing as cancelling it and you seem to think it is. Then the next month you got notice of the unpaid amount decided to pay it but you also now owed for that month since they charge in advance and depending upon when that month you paid it and said hey I want to cancel my service you were probably already into the period for the following month then two months of service that you actually do owe to AT&T. It matters not that you didn't use the service per se because the service was still available/active to you until you actually cancelled it. It can sometimes take three or four months before AT&T or Verizon or T-Mobile shut off service and you still owe everything for the periods until they do. Think about it: if you just didn't pay your electric bill, do you think that the electric company would assume or know, that you wanted to cancel your service and treat it as such?
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,896
113
New York
#20
Well I think you may be out of luck. Because it sounds like month one you were late and then you got notified it was late and you decided to just not pay it and hope that they would cut your service off. But that's not the same thing as cancelling it and you seem to think it is. Then the next month you got notice of the unpaid amount decided to pay it but you also now owed for that month since they charge in advance and depending upon when that month you paid it and said hey I want to cancel my service you were probably already into the period for the following month then two months of service that you actually do owe to AT&T. It matters not that you didn't use the service per se because the service was still available/active to you until you actually cancelled it. It can sometimes take three or four months before AT&T or Verizon or T-Mobile shut off service and you still owe everything for the periods until they do. Think about it: if you just didn't pay your electric bill, do you think that the electric company would assume or know, that you wanted to cancel your service and treat it as such?[/QUOTE

I understood this as the LW wanted to take care of the cancellation properly but since it was in husband's name, she needed his participation, to some extent, but couldn't get him to prioritize this. I feel for her there and many of us have experienced this frustration. I think she realizes she will have to pay this. ATT waives things all the time for current customers, but since they left, any effort to get out of paying would probably be futile.