Be careful if your elderly relatives have a landline at home. They might just get a five-figure bill for antiquated technology.
I couldn’t believe when I read about an 83-year-old man named Ron who received 2 AT&T bills for his home phone service that amounted to $24,000!
AT&T is contemptuous of the customer
His normal monthly bill for a dial tone was $51, which is sky high as it is, but Ron quickly knew something was wrong when he got one bill for $8,597 and then the very next month another one for $15,689.
So he gets this bill and says, “What’s up?” AT&T says they don’t know, but basically told him in so many words that he better pay up or else they would disconnect his line.
That’s when Ron got in touch with consumer reporter David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times. Laz called and went to bat for Ron. Finally, AT&T came back and said they would waive the $24,000 bill…and that they had already planned to do so before the Los Angeles Times got involved. Yeah, right.
The reality: Crazy billing can happen. But it’s more about how do you treat a customer when there is a problem?
This wasn’t like the usual calls I get where people take a cellphone overseas and get hit with huge bills. This was a home phone the guy used for AOL dial up! The only explanation AT&T gave was that when Ron logged on, his modem unexpectedly dialed a long-distance number and stayed connected for hours.
But AT&T, you obviously have a culture that is so contemptuous of the customer. For that, you’re my Clarkrage of the day!!!
Look after the seniors in your life
If you have aging people in your life, be nosy to make sure they’re not being taken advantage of. Keep your eyes and ears open to what they say about not only crazy bills like this, but about being approached about investments, tax planning and more.
You need to be that cop on the beat in their lives!