HAPPENINGS: I'm considering dumping AT&T services

Janice Lynn Crose | Special to the News Bulletin

I have a love/hate relationship with AT&T cellular service. In many ways their service is great, but their customer service has deteriorated over the years and is now lacking.

AT&T has become quite greedy with their late fees, service fees and many other extraneous fees in order to recoup their massive losses on their acquisitions of both Time-Warner and Direct TV. 

These losses are due to AT&T's greed, poor financial choices and have nothing to do with their customers. However, AT&T now views their customers as cash cows, extracting fees at every opportunity. I am not the only person who has noticed this phenomenon.

An article from Wolfstreet -- https://bit.ly/3iv1QYb -- explains what went so wrong with AT&T and how they are trying to make financial changes. This doesn't sound good and isn't the way to run a fiscally sound business.

"After a horrendously expensive acquisition spree of legacy companies that included DirecTV and Time Warner ... AT&T today disclosed that it wrote off $16.4 billion in assets in Q4, for a total $18.9 billion write-off in the year 2020."

The article goes on to say that AT&T ended the year 2020 with a loss of $5.2 billion. No wonder AT&T is continually nickel and diming their customers all the time. They are trying to increase revenues, even as they are losing customers.

For instance, if you pay your bill at an authorized AT&T location, you will be charged a "convenience" fee of $6. If available, and you pay using a kiosk with a credit card and require no help from an AT&T employee, there is no fee. 

People that have been long time customers, such as my husband and me, are getting tired of all the added fees and bogus "late" fees. If one shorts their bill by even a few cents, an automatic $7 late fee is now added.

It doesn't matter how long one has been a customer or how many services one has with AT&T, this is applied across the board. Customer service has gone away with COVID-19 and big companies no longer care if they offend their customers.

I am not the only one talking about problems with AT&T. On May 18, 2021, the Los Angeles Times ran a piece by Business Columnist David Lazarus regarding late fees and poor customer service (https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-05-18/att-late-fees).

We, as a family, are ready to try another cell phone company. We haven't settled on one yet and are looking at our options.

Be aware that many companies are adding convenience fees, late fees and all sorts of other money-making schemes to their bills in order to offset their losses or poor business practices.

Be aware, check your statements and watch out for those extra fees.

Janice Lynn Crose

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.