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Village Getting the Runaround from AT&T After Six Months of Overbilling

The village continues to battle with phone company over more than $4,000 in unusual charges.

Sussex village officials say AT&T has been overbilling them by an average of $700 a month, and after six months of bill mistakes, the village has seen no helpful response from the company’s customer service.

To date, the village has been overcharged more than $4,000 through unusual fees AT&T is charging, and the village is refusing to pay the extra amount. Problems began when the village renewed its contract with the phone company six months ago.

Between wasting money on overcharges, Village Administrator Jeremy Smith said staff is wasting valuable time continually contacting an unhelpful customer service team.

“We have done everything to try and work with them,” he said.

Smith said many phone calls were either dismissed or sent to out-of-state representatives who didn't know how to fix the problem.

After spending half a year on trying to iron out the situation, the village hasn’t received any sort of response from AT&T. “That is not acceptable," Smith said.

“That is not acceptable.”

Jim Greer, AT&T's Wisconsin spokesman, told Patch that the company is addressing the problem.

"We strive to provide every customer, whether it is an individual or a local government, with an exceptional experience and service," he said in an e-mail. "In this case with the Village of Sussex, complications related to their billing contract have caused a delay in crediting their account for the overbilling. We apologize for that. We are working diligently to correct the issue as soon as possible and get the credits applied to the village’s account."

If things do not get rectified, the village hopes to seek help from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, which regulates public utilities, including natural gas, electric, telecommunications and water and sewage.

But Brian Rybarik, administrator for the agency's Telecommunications Division, doesn’t believe the PSC will be able to offer much help.

He said if the problem is a pure billing dispute between the village and AT&T that would need to be handled between the two. The division does not regulate all issues related to telecommunications.

This month, AT&T, the largest corporate communications company in the U.S., announced they ranked number one in customer service...

Smith said he believes AT&T’s overbilling is a trend that is happening throughout the state.

This month, AT&T, the largest corporate communications company in the U.S., announced it ranked number one in customer service for the second consecutive quarter according to the National Customer Service Survey. The survey said 69 percent of consumers were “very satisfied” with the company’s overall costumer service.

Smith said the amount won’t significantly affect the village’s budget, but more than anything, officials want to see AT&T abide by its contract set.

“Clearly we have a contract and they are not following it,” Smith said.

Victor Drover February 22, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Sometimes AT&T can be just awful, though I was pleasantly surprised last year when they quadrupled their global bandwidth without changing the rates.
Andy Ambrosius (Editor) February 22, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I didn't hear about that?
Victor Drover February 22, 2012 at 07:32 PM
It's just for International data: http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/international/roaming/affordable-world-packages.jsp#data I didn't see any announcement either, but from one business trio to the next, i noticed as i usually buy a block once or twice a years as required.

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