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Complaining to the FCC pays off handsomely

At least it does for one reader who shares his tale of good fortune

By Paul McNamara on Thu, 12/13/12 - 2:34pm.

Snail Mail

In this morning's post about THE BAN ON LOUD TV COMMERCIALS, I offered a word of caution - and links to a couple of old Buzzblog posts -- about the possible unintended consequences of filing a formal complaint with the FCC.

Longtime reader John G. emailed in response ... and offered a much more optimistic perspective:

I checked out the links from today's article concerning the CALM Act that referred to the fun you've had with the FCC.  I just thought I'd let you know that it doesn't always come out that way.

A while back, I cancelled my dial-up Internet service with AT&T (mostly because it didn't work).  Two months later I was still getting billed.  I called AT&T and got a runaround that left me unsatisfied (it was cancelled but I was still getting billed for an extra month) so I filed a complaint on the FCC site.  Now I had done that before concerning AT&T's unwillingness to bring DSL to my area, which ended up with polite replies all around but no DSL.

This time, I rather quickly got a call from AT&T apologizing all over the place and promising to issue credits.  Unbelievably, I got a call from the same rep an hour later.  She said that she had taken a look at my account and realized I was still on an old plan and she could shift me to one that would give me the same features.  And it would save me $60 a month.

I made her repeat all that twice before I believed it.  Strange as it seems, it was correct, and my bill is $60 cheaper than it was.

So, sometimes results are good.

Of course, given that such calls are recorded "to ensure quality service," who's to say the nice AT&T lady wasn't fired the next day for depriving the all-important bottom line of $60 a month?