Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Billing Issue: Restoral Fee

     Uverse customers have a lot of ways to pay their bills. And it is best if you are enrolled to autopay and make sure that your debit or credit card is updated. Nothing is cheap right now. You have to pay for the services that you are getting regardless of it's flaws and deficiency as technology is not perfect like the creator. 
Whenever, you have your bill paid late, you need to understand that there is a $5.00 late payment fee. Sometimes, it is hard to waive that amount. 

     What if your account gets suspended? That's the problem, for every service that you're subscribed to, you need to pay $30. Again, it's $30! So, if you have all three services, phone, tv, and internet, you will be charged $90. What do you need to do to prevent this? If you know that you will be short of budget or you won't be able to pay your bill on time, you need to call Uverse billing department, to make some sort of promissory, that you would be paying your bill on the date that you think you would be able to pay your bill. Once, you and billing rep agree, do NOT forget to get the trouble ticket number and ID of the rep so you will have reference and back up in case your account still gets suspended and you'd be paying for the restoral fee. Please don't call at night. Nobody can help you. Tech support is open 24/7. They can answer simple billing questions but don't expect them to give in to any of your request. Billing is open on weekday from 8AM to 7PM ET. If you have the direct number for the local billing department good for you. I am not sure if those numbers are still working. 

1 comment:

  1. It was unfair for U-verse to charge 'per service' fees for service restoral at the same time they were treating the services as a bundle for the purpose of locking customers into a contractually irreducible price level. In 2014, the U-verse restoral fee was changed to the amount of $49 per event, regardless of how many services (e.g. internet, TV, voice) are utilized. While this reduces the fee for customers who use 2 or 3 services, it increases the effective fee for customers who utilize only one service. Since the current trend in consumer behavior is to buy only internet service and 'cut the TV cord,' it is clear that AT&T is planning for the future, in terms of maintaining revenues from restoral fees.

    Telecommunication and internet service providers charge hefty fees for service reconnection not because they need to, but because they can. The calculation of costs of suspending and restoring service no longer needs to include the expense of sending a field technician to visit a residence. It still includes costs for printing and mailing notifications, and answering calls about the suspensions and fees. If there was a better way to guarantee that customers paid their bills on time, the company would not suspend services. In the rare situations when service is restored from suspension multiple times in a single month or even a single day, the fees quickly become exorbitant.

    Because getting timely payments on accounts is important to the company, there is also a punitive component added to the fee, which is intended to serve as a deterrent to delinquency, i.e. an incentive to pay on time. The companies choose to charge as much as their captive markets will bear. An account that costs the average customer $100 each month could be charged double or triple that amount if a few suspensions are deemed necessary. Clearly, when $90 proved too high a fee for triple-play customers to tolerate, AT&T could cut their fee effectively in half with little sacrifice. What the company lost in per-service fees, they get back in undisputed charges and customer retention.

    Autopay also has pitfalls, such as unexpected charges and fees exceeding your credit limit or over-drawing your bank account. You won't get any help from AT&T with the charges laid on by the banks. You also need to check every month on the due date to make sure the payment posted to your AT&T account. In addition to the two already mentioned, there are several other ways that the payments can go haywire, such as a card expiring, or the bank freezing your account. .

    Be aware that U-verse also charges a fee for late payment, but does *not* charge for checks in payment that are not honored and rejected by your bank. However, if more than one payment check bounces, AT&T will not accept another. Also, if more than one bank card payment is declined, AT&T will not accept another. If any payment made to restore service is declined, AT&T will require all future payments in cash or money order.