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November 15, 2007 – Comments (4) still charging me for a service that I cancelled almost three months ago.

My first mistake was signing up for Cingular cell phone service. They had the best coverage in my area, so that was it.

My second mistake was signing up to have my credit card automatically charged. I was young, I was naive, what can I say?

Then, AT&T buys Cingular, my two-year contract expires, and I sign up for a prepaid plan (with another carrier) and cancel my Cingular service, since I was not using enough minutes every month to justify a monthly contract. Then AT&T sends me a dead fish. (Okay, so they didn't send me an actual dead fish, but my credit rating does sleep with the fishes, thanks to their shenanigans.)

They kept charging my card. Hello? I cancelled the service three months ago. I'm still getting new charges to my card, including late fees and interest penalties as I dispute the charges and send chargebacks.

Any thoughts on how to fight this?

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 15, 2007 at 12:23 PM, CraigCa (< 20) wrote:

You should notify your credit card company, (if you haven't already), that these charges should not be appearing on your card.  They might block AT&T from making any further charges to your card and might help you work with AT&T to refund the incorrect charges already made to your account.  After all, it is your card, so the card company should be on your side in this dispute.

Just a suggestion.  Good luck with your dispute.


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#2) On November 15, 2007 at 4:24 PM, Formula1fan (31.19) wrote:

1) AT&T did not buy Cingular, Cingular bought AT&T.

2) As a former emploee (land lines) I can confirm that AT&T sucks. Their customer service is probably the worst in the world (somewhere close to Comcast and AOL). They are also masters of messing up bills (always in their favor), I have personaly seen a $200 charge for a 1 minute call from NJ to NY. They never return money, they give you credit towards future bills...

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#3) On November 15, 2007 at 6:52 PM, kristm (99.60) wrote:

For decades all phone service was provided by Bell. Bell had local service plus long distance through AT&T. In the late 70's AT&T/Bell were broken up and you ended up with AT&T long distance plus local "baby bells" like  Pacific Bell, Bellsouth (nee Southern Bell), and Southwestern Bell (SBC).

In 2001 SBC and Bellsouth created Cingular, which contained their former wireless units plus territories previously controlled by Pacific Bell and some other minor players. AT&T had its own cellular division, AT&T Wireless. AT&T Wireless was spun off as a separate company by AT&T, shortly before Cingular won a bidding war and merged with it. AT&T Wireless ceased to exist and became Cingular, which was owned primarily by SBC and Bellsouth. 

Then SBC bought AT&T (The New AT&T) and The New AT&T bought Bellsouth, making Cingular a wholly owned subsidiary of The New AT&T. So they renamed it all back to AT&T Mobile.

It accomplished nothing except making a bunch of people dizzy and fowling up phone bills from coast to coast.

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#4) On November 15, 2007 at 10:17 PM, FleaBagger (27.52) wrote:

Thank you, Craig, for the advice, and thank you, kristm, for that dizzyingly detailed history of American phone companies.

I already got Mastercard in on this, and they seem to be on my side, sending chargebacks to AT&T (actually still "Cingular" on my credit card bill), but they keep allowing the charges in the first place, probably because I authorized them to automatically charge my card when I was still under contract. They probably have some sort of obligation to pay entities that have such authorization.

Lesson learned: never trust any company ever. 

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