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AT&T Breaks Aggreement. Keeps Deposit

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What is the name of your state? California

I am an AT&T Wireless customer. After promising to return my $200 deposit and even after they had already credited the deposit toward my account, AT&T decided they were going to keep my deposit then charged me with a $115 bill.

My account was under a year agreement. In May (or June) of '03, I had to make partial payments on the account because of unemployment and legal fight to eventual obtain my unemployment insurance. My service was stopped but quickly re-instated under the provision the yearly aggreement would continue and the deposit would be returned in Sept. '03. As Sept. '03 approached I made several calls to AT&T regarding the deposit. I wanted them to credit my account instead of sending me a check. I was told they would not be able to credit my account. They could only send me a check. I said "No problem. I'll just mail it back so it can go toward my balance." However, when the check did not show, I again called AT&T. The account manager said there was no need to wait for a check. They could credit my account over the phone. She then credited my account AND I received a letter from AT&T several days later thanking me for continuing with their service. This was about a month ago that I received the later.

Just yesterday I received a bill from AT&T for $115. I called to ask what happened to my deposit that was credit toward my balanced. AT&T said they decided to keep my deposit because my account was suspended earlier. This despite a letter crediting the account and thanking me for continuing service AND re-instating the account.

I believe AT&T's actions are blatantly deceptive and go beyond small claims court. Plus I rely heavily on my cellphone for job searching. I'm sure AT&T does this to many people and thinks that at worst they'll just credit the account and/or give a few gifts then the problem will go away. I would like to seek damages that cause them to change their ways. Then has been very stressful on me with the job search. I will start by filing a BBB complaint. I would prefer to go beyond small claims - maybe a civil action.

Your feedback and experiencing are appreciated. Only constructive comments please. Thanks.



I am personally not a fan of AT&T wireless, however, If AT&T sent you a re-instatement letter, that alone indicates in writing that your service was disconnected for failure to pay, which means that you breached the contract and they are entitled to keep your deposit. If they don't keep your deposit you're lucky. If they do penalize you, they're following the stipulations of their contract. You may have an argument if you upheld your end of the contract, but unfortunately you didn't.

Save whatever money you have. You won't win this one.


Read again

Okay, you're missing an important fact. AT&T gave me the deposit BACK. My continued service was based on that fact. The sent me a later saying they credit the account. Four months later they now take deposit back. There are two agreements here. Nothing was BREACH if AT&T says 'no problem. I'll re-instate it and give you your deposit back'. Something is breached is AT&T decides four months later to take back deposit after already agreeing to give it BACK and crediting the account.


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