AT&T Stepped Up to the Plate and Made Things Right
When I emailed AT&T about an outrageous international roaming charge that I wanted reversed, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of a positive response. But I got one, and I am making good on my promise to let people know about it. If anything is a complex system, cell phone customer service certainly is, so I view this as on topic :-)
The lament I had was a common one: purchase an international data roaming plan, come home to find thousands of dollars in data roaming charges anyway. My “mistake” was that while France and Spain are part of the Roam Zone, Turkey is not. My beef was that AT&T didn’t let me know this even though I told them where I was going and asked what I needed to do to avoid overage charges.
After several hours on the phone with customer service, getting escalated up the chain, ultimately I got no relief. So I decided to write up my grievance in an email as a final attempt to get them to come to their senses. Well, it worked. A day later I got a response from AT&T Online Customer Care Professional, Brook Green, with a case number and an explanation that they were seriously looking into my case, no need to pay the current bill just yet, sorry for the bad experience and gave a time window of two weeks when I could expect a resolution.
In just one week, I got a call from Michelle Gallaway (sp?) letting me know that they decided that my data roaming charges were indeed unfair since I wasn’t given a reasonable warning of what to expect, and they will be crediting my account with the full $4,747.05 in international data roaming that they had charged me. Mike Mc(?) called twice to confirm the credit was going through (but would take a few days given the large amount and number of manager approvals it would take). I have to say, it feels good when justice is done, and I give AT&T credit for attempting to turn over a new leaf in the customer service department.
Just as a heads-up and reminder to people with iPhones, if you travel internationally here are some good web pages to know about:
- International data roaming plans
- Which countries are part of the Roam Zone
- Tips for iPhone users (since it sucks data without you knowing if you are not careful)
For those looking for sympathy on their own cell phone customer service nightmares, you are not alone. Act Two of this episode of This American Life says it all: On Hold, No One Can Hear You Scream.