I allege the following;
After the date of the State of emergency imposed on Florida for the Hurricane IRMA and during the outage of AT&T internet service, as a result of the ravage of IRMA, which lasted about 30 days or more, and until the State of Emergency was officially lifted, AT&T failed to credit consumers in whole or part for the outage of its services and the company continued to charge late fees, reconnection fees and persisted to disconnect service restored after the storm and during the pendency of the State of Emergency. Concerning the downtime experienced by consumers.
The company imposed late fees, of some 9 dollars and $35.00 reconnection fees, which did not take into account the downtime where consumers did not enjoy the service they paid for or the service they were billed in advance for.
Did the company commit actions in its normal coarse of business with a disregard to the tenets of the State of Emergency?
The manner in which the company bills, it bills in advance, when the IRMA took landfall, many consumers had already paid their in advance bill, or let the bill collide with the next bill based on the fact that there was a state of Emergency in place.
In Florida the storm battle hardened residents normally would use available funds to sure up personal safety and the securing of their prized personal and other properties, leaving critical bills to be paid at a later date.
The Governor instructed the citizens to sure up their lives and property for safety, the question becomes;
Why should AT&T be allowed to charge a late fee for non-payment or late payment, reconnection fees and all together disconnect service during the pendency of a State of Emergency?
The fact that it was deadly clear that, Florida residents needed all of their money to secure their homes and save their lives and since a State of Emergency was in effect, which I believe acts as an arrest on late fees, disconnection fees and disconnection of services, the company sidestepped the ethical requirement in accordance with operating standards of a utility in the given circumstance.
I allege that the Company charged late fees and reconnection fees and failed to make consumers whole with the proper exact credits to stave off the fact that consumers did not have the service as agreed to by the consumer and the company.
I generalised this description based on my own personal bill and because of my personal experience, and I allege that the company plundered any amount of the millions of customers the company has in the State of Florida.
I am urging the FCC to audit the records of the Company concerning the run-up of IRMA, to make certain that AT&T delivered the credits to make whole the losses incurred by consumers concerning the downtime experienced by affected consumers, not only in Florida but in Puerto Rico, California and in Texas.
I allege the company and based on my own personal bill, may have made a large sum of money from hapless consumers.
“Price gouging is a pejorative term referring to when a seller spikes the prices of goods, services or commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair and is considered exploitative, potentially to an unethical extent.”
above quote taken from WIKI
Based on the above definition I can with certainty state that the company gouged my bill, for the late fee, reinstatement fees and disconnected my service not withstanding the fact that I did not owe the company the money billed to me for in advance of the storm, subsequently the storm knocked out their service and I was left without internet service for a period just shy of 30 days.
The Company disconnected my service, charged a late fee and a reconnection fee then and when I protested, they quickly reconnected the service, knowing and acknowledging their error, but I was damaged by the wanton abuse of the company, the company failed to consider the needed motions to disallow its automated system to charge a late fee and a reconnection fee based on the State of Emergency, and based on the simple fact that I did not enjoy service I was billed in advance for.
The company imposed the YANG before the YING, it also blamed the technical inabilities which are not on par communication, with its billing department, it separated the billing from the technical facts on the ground, this is a classic bait and switch trick, where the left wing does not know what the right wing is doing, on the same bird.
The customer service who noted my account for eventual credits were based in the Czech Republic. I mention this to make a point that the company is spread thin to the extent that in a case of emergency as was seen after IRMA, the company had to elevate my complaint about restoration of service to a service desk in a very far away land, I spoke to people who had no actual knowledge as to the extent of the damage we suffered on the local landfall area, though, the staffers there were very kind, gentle and humane, they generally did not have actual knowledge, this audacious plea by me to get the needed attention to resolve my issue or to get the proper attention with sufficient accuracy was indeed difficult, tedious and painful.
I also allege the company took advantage of the ravages of the storm when it pillaged the circumstance where millions of Florida’s residents were in pain to come back to a normalcy of daily life.
I spoke to many of the “service professionals” in America, most were rude, unhelpful and broke under the bagger of a desperate client whose sole reason for complaint was to regain control of life and internet service.
Putting the Yang before the Ying is reminiscent of what Bank of America was chastised for by the OCC back in the day of the housing crash, the bank would apply the debits before the credits, cause an over draw, charge a fee and then use the credits of the clients to dissolve the overdraft fees, all in order to garner more profit in a means which were not in keeping with the ethical standards of banking, this is the pattern which AT&T used to beef up its underline of pillage for profit, where it makes more money per capita, on fees not justly earned. I allege the foregoing.
I hope the FCC does the right thing for consumers and works hard to control a company which has a clear monopoly on a market it has captured.
On a second thought I can only assume that Comcast may have done the same dirty deed and for sure I will be looking into making a similar complaint if I do uncover a similarity.