On the other hand, up yours, AT&T

I know I recently praised the pricing of AT&T’s family plan, and I stand by that.

However, when I actually signed up for the plan, I received a long and somewhat complicated .pdf document detailing my new phone contract; after staring at this for a while I understood that it was indicating a a much higher price.  Twenty minutes of online customer support chat alter, I was able to figure out that, rather than renewing my plan as I’d asked for, AT&T had upped me to a plan with more minutes that cost $30 more a month.

I also use AT&T for my home phone and internet service.  (I used to use them for cable TV, too, before I dropped cable for Netflix like all right-thinking people!)  Same story when I signed up for that:  the promised bundle discount wasn’t on my first bill, but after a long conversation with customer support they fixed it.  Until the second bill, when the discount had disappeared again, requiring another long conversation with customer support.  That time it finally stuck.

It’s depressing that from a pure profit standpoint this is probably pretty good business practice: overcharge everyone, and count on the fact that lots of people don’t have the time or cultural capital to both recognize the overcharge and successfully reverse it.

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3 thoughts on “On the other hand, up yours, AT&T

  1. Might you mean cultural capital rather than social capital? I think social capital canonically means contacts, whereas cultural capital canonically means savvy.

  2. JSE says:

    My gosh, I looked up these terms, and not only are you right, but I’ve been using the phrase “social capital” incorrectly for years. I guess I should have read that copy of Cultural Capital that’s been sitting on my bookshelf for ten years. I’ll change it in the post.

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