File this one under 'A' for "alleged," but according to one pissed off cell phone service subscriber who wrote into The Consumerist, AT&T's store employees have a history of telling bold faced lies to boost their commission.
That's quite the accusation, but according to an anonymous Consumerist reader , who we'll hereafter refer to as Walt Whislteblower, it's true. According to Walt, poor service on T-Mobile's network in the Northampton, Massachusetts area prompted him and his wife to switch providers to AT&T, who they heard from other people in the area had good coverage. Walt says an AT&T store employee offered to waive the activation fees, gave the couple free phones, and tossed in a month of free GPS service for good measure.
Not a bad score, except that none of it turned out to be true. Walt says he and his wife were billed for all the charges that were supposed to have been taken off. Walt's wife called AT&T's billing department, and what they heard was "shocking and unexpected honesty."
"The person in the billing department was honest and frank," Walk explains. "She said that the employees in AT&T's stores tend to tell people they waive the fees etc., but it's usually not true. Their commissions -- so she said -- are based on the amount of money made, and they have no interest in taking charges off. So the activation fee wasn't taken off, the phones weren't free, and that GPS service (that we never wanted, but were told would remove itself) also had to be de-activated by us. The lady at the billing department took off the charges, and then she complained to my wife how the employees we had talked to had literally lied to us."
Walk went on to explain that he was told this is a constant problem, but is it? Who really knows -- we're only hearing one side of the story here, and it would seem that reps who routinely did this would end up in hot water, or at the very least a few heated confrontations as customers come back to the store, bill in hand.
Has something like this ever happened to you, either with AT&T or another service carrier? Post your customer support horror stories in the comments section below.