Help! My two-year locked rate with AT&T doubled after one year

By | April 7th, 2017

Ebony Lusk was happy with her AT&T/DirecTV locked rate plan until something went awry. That rate became “unlocked” after just one year. Her bill doubled and, to add insult to injury, her available services decreased. Can we help get this billing debacle straightened out?

Question: When I switched from AT&T/U-Verse to AT&T/DirecTV in December 2015, I was told my price was good for two years. However my price doubled after a year! They also doubled my price for Internet and moved me from elite to basic. I just want the price lock that was promised. Even a supervisor that I spoke to said I should have had the price for two years, but they will not honor it. I called customer service and said I would like to cancel and then I was told I had to pay the remainder of the contract. I just want what the representative on the phone promised me: a two-year price lock. That is it! Can you help me? — Ebony Lusk, The Colony, Texas

Answer: It certainly is a reasonable expectation that your two-year locked rate plan should stay locked for two years. Not only that, your services should remain at the same level as you originally agreed upon.

When we looked into your case, it was clear that something had gone wrong with your contract and you deserved an explanation from AT&T. Unfortunately, you experienced further frustration when the customer service representatives did not agree that you were ever locked into a two-year plan.

You made many attempts to allow AT&T to correct this billing and service mistake. When none of your attempts moved the company to help you, you decided to cancel your contract with them and change service providers.

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We don’t blame you. When a company does not honor its promises, a rational solution is to look for an alternative option.

But this is when AT&T hit you with another virtual punch. Now it told you that you could cancel your two-year contract, but you would be charged a cancellation fee.

So, let’s get this straight. AT&T wanted you to adhere to a two-year contract that it was not willing to abide by? This policy seems quite consumer unfriendly.

It was at that point that you turned to us for help.

I contacted AT&T on your behalf and pointed out that the company had not honored your two-year contract, that your services had decreased, and that your monthly bill had doubled. I requested that they fulfill your contract at the price that you had agreed upon.

AT&T agreed, and we are pleased to report that your bill has now reverted back to the rate that you are happy with and your services have returned to normal.

We do receive a fair share of complaints such as Lusk’s in which a company has promised a consumer a certain rate or certain services verbally, but never puts the “contract” in writing. These verbal contracts pose a serious problem for a consumer. If the company does not uphold its end of the bargain, the consumer is left with no proof of the agreement.

In order to avoid such problems, we recommend that when a company offers a great deal to retain you as a customer, insist that it put all of the terms in writing. If it won’t put its offer in writing, then it’s likely that you don’t have a deal that the company will honor.

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Many consumer problems that we see each day could be avoided by following this simple rule: Get everything in writing!

  • Kerr
  • Bill___A

    I am surprised by this. Every company I deal with gives a copy of the contract. Are there any AT&T customers who did actually get a printed contract? When this was resolved, did AT&T say anything about copies of the two year contract given to the customer? This issue, although apparently frequent, seems very odd. what kind of system would they have on the back end that would even allow this to happen?

  • Rebecca

    Most people sign up over the phone or online. As a general rule, the online deals are better. I think what happens in these cases is the people sign up over the phone, then never actually login and look at the contract. It’s readily available on their website and app. I have AT&T – it’s part of the installation to download their app. You have to do it. I pay my bill on It, but it also displays your contract. It’s very easy to find, it’s not hidden anywhere. They also have a condensed version – you don’t have to read a bunch of fine print. I even got an alert when my promotional rate ended.

    In other words, people sign up over the phone and then never look to verify what they signed up for. Again, doing it online solves this problem. They make you read it.

  • PsyGuy

    It’s a great idea, but the business that do these agreements, are the ones with the worst customer service and are in very restricted markets where there isn’t a lot of competition, and the service while not survival based is effectively essential. These companies are typically communications companies like comcast and AT&T, why because almost all of us modern humanoids need at least internet and a phone (landline or mobile), or they are an industry that while not essential you are effectively locked out of without a contract (such as health club). The difference between a monthly membership or a yearly membership are such a vast disparity it doesn’t make financial sense if you want the service.

  • PsyGuy

    Most consumers agree to the contract either on the phone, or online and even when you go into a retail store, you’re often just given a brochure, and you agree to the contract on a digital signature screen. If you want the actual contract you have to agree to it first and can then maybe download it from a link online.

  • PsyGuy

    Even if they verify it immediately after, they have already agreed to it, including any ECF.

  • The Original Joe S

    Interesting. Radio silence.

    Call them and wait an hour? Send certified letter, and, if they won’t honor the contract, send notice of cancellation. Send draft of small claims court action. Fill in the names of the offenders, and include the HMFIC himself. Play hard ball; NEVER whine, bleat and show weakness. Go for the throat. It is satisfying…..

  • The Original Joe S

    I won’t ever pay anything on my cellphone.

  • The Original Joe S

    I go in person to the office. Let’s see the paperwork. Gimme a copy. Verbal promises? Video record. Contract says verbal not operative? Notation on contract to see attached video. Subpoena everybody – cheap entertainment!
    Being retarded….. errrrr….. reTIRED permits pursuit of fun!

  • The Original Joe S

    I won’ t agree to jack squats w/o a copy in hand. If they won’t provide it, then AMF!

  • The Original Joe S

    The difference between a monthly membership or a yearly membership are
    such a vast disparity it doesn’t make financial sense if you want the

    The differenceS between a monthly membership or a yearly membership are
    such vast disparitIES it doesn’t make financial sense if you want the
    service. OR

    The difference between a monthly membership or a yearly membership IS
    such a vast disparity it doesn’t make financial sense if you want the

    Learn too rite Ænglish gooder! I realize that you are in Japan-land, and are turned all around from driving on the left, but, you gotta try!

    Japanese friend came over to Virginia. I was gonna take her for ice cream. She got in the car on the left hand side. I said, “So, you are gonna drive?” She looked down and laughed! Me too!

    One time, I came back from Thailand, and started riding my motorcycle down the street on the LEFT! WRONG! I hastened to pull my head out of rectal defilade, for the benefit of myself and others on the road.

  • PsyGuy

    They do that a lot though.

  • cscasi

    Whenever I deal with AT&T Uverse folks and get a different deal on my package; i.e., a better rate when they raise my rate after the contract is completed, I make sure they send me some sort of record of what I agreed to. And, as is stated here by Rebecca, I can always look at my contract on line and see just when it is expiring, what levels of TV and Internet I have under the contract and the pricing. So far, and I have been with AT&T Uverse for over seven years, I have never had an issue with what I contracted with them. And, I have even had them reach out to me a time or two, telling me that they have an offer I can avail myself of that will save me money over what I am paying at that time. The last time I redid my contract last September, AT&T even gave me a $200 reward card as part of the bundle. That was a nice and unexpected surprise.

  • Bill___A

    Where I live, you get a personalized copy, paper or electronic. It isn’t that hard to do.

  • PsyGuy

    That’s great for you, I’ve just seen the opposite many times where you basically get nothing.

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