Have you looked at your cell phone bill lately? If you haven’t, you should.
According to the majority of consumers questioned, cell phone and television services repeatedly make billing “mistakes.” Or as one individual commented, “they lie to you.” After having to call the company, he asked the representative, “do they train you to lie?” The response was a long hesitation.
And the negative comments were not focused on one company. Although it seems that this billion dollar practice is reported the most by customers of AT&T and T-Mobile, it does not stop there. According to consumers, dishonesty is becoming endemic in the corporate world; it just seems more blatant when you get the bill directly.
One lady said that anyone who does not check their phone bill every month is probably paying hundreds of dollars extra every year. This same individual complained that it should not be necessary to phone the company on a monthly basis.
When it was brought up that one company is currently under a class action suit, one man shrugged that off. “The problem,” he said, “is that their so called errors net them more than the settlement will every cost. Further, they will keep gouging.” Although against big government, he felt that, in this case, government should break these companies up.
Then, there are the tv services. One lady said she made the mistake of allowing a direct withdrawal to pay her monthly bill. Talk about a fox in the hen house–she was being charged for movies she hadn’t rented and services for which she had not contracted. She terminated that agreement.
Nor are these problems affecting consumers only. An employee quit his phone-service job noting he could not feel good about the deceptive practices he was supposed to use.
Although these “billing errors” and “miscalculations” will be corrected if you call and know what is wrong, those who don’t make the effort will pay. Sadly, the most susceptible–the elderly and poorly educated–will be the most constant victims.
What does all of this mean? Two things. First, the obvious: check your billings and require the companies to adjust where needed. Second, moral individuals in these companies need to do all they can to simplify systems to help minimize inappropriate charges. They need to review training procedures and information. Questionable practices or processes should be changed.
We often refer to these operations as services; it would be nice if they really were.