Call for Action: Woman overcharged thousands of dollars by AT&T

By  | 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE (6/8, 6:10 p.m.): AT&T provided 11 News with the following statement soon after the previous update to this article was posted:

We have been in touch with the customer to apologize again and our understanding from her is that this error has been reversed. If any customer has a question about their account they should contact us.

They stated if there are any other customers that have issues they should contact them. They provided the website:

Runyon told 11 News her bank, USAA, would keep track of the pending charges for her and she should have the money back in her account now. According to Runyon, the Executive Director of Complaints at USAA provided Runyon with his personal cell phone, just in case she was without funds this weekend.

Runyon said AT&T did not have a response to the issues caused by the overcharging such as late fees for bills and possible attorney fees for an eviction notice she received this week.

UPDATE (6/8, 5 p.m.): As of Friday evening, the issue was not fully resolved. Runyon had a few pending charges wiped from her account, but still had about $3,000 worth of charges pending.

Another 11 News viewer in Colorado Springs reached out with the same issue. She wanted to remain anonymous but provided information on her account that showed an overdraft from AT&T of about $400 after she was charged multiple times for one bill.

11 News tried reaching out to AT&T for an additional comment or explanation Friday afternoon and we had not heard back as of 5:30 p.m.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

If you had a similar overcharge issue from AT&T on June 4, 2018 please call 11 News at 719-578-0000.

ORIGINAL STORY (6/7): A local veteran had just $36 left in her bank account Thursday night. A cell phone company mistakenly charged her, by thousands.

AT&T apologized to 11 News for overcharging Rebecka Runyon, several times. Normally Rebecka's cell phone bill is about $400 as she handles the cost of phones for her whole family including four kids. This month, Rebecka said she had about $4,000 in payments pending to AT&T from her checking account. She showed 11 News the pending charges on her phone.

"I've been through enough, and it just made me angry enough, that I'm going to go to the news with this," Runyon said.

She first noticed the extra charges on Monday. She called AT&T and says she was transferred to different departments and spent about eight hours on the phone with different people She stated one representative told her it was an error that impacted more than 200,000 people. AT&T told 11 News they were aware of the error but it didn't impact that many people. AT&T said only a "small" number of customers experienced a similar issue but could not elaborate on the exact number.

It still isn't clear what that error was. Runyon first reached out to 11 News on Wednesday. She says her service was shut off and she was in the process of paying a bill to get it turned back on. When she tried to pay the bill online, she says an error message popped up prompting her to enter her payment information again. So she did several times. She believes that's why she got charged again and again. When 11 News contacted AT&T they stated they were aware of the error, asked for Runyon's phone number, and said the overcharge issue was expected to be fixed by Thursday morning. They also said Runyon would be contacted by someone as soon as possible.

Thursday afternoon Runyon reached back out to 11 News. She still had not heard from AT&T and she had a new pending charge, leaving her with only $36 in her bank account. She says she couldn't dispute the charges with her bank because they were "pending." She would have to file a fraudulent claim. Runyon was going through her own hardship, but told 11 News she was worried for other who may have been impacted by this issue.

"There's people that make less than me, how are they supposed to handle this," Runyon asked.

While at the 11 News studio, we reached out to AT&T again. While on the phone, the Lead Public Relations Manager for AT&T Rocky Mountain explained someone from AT&T should be calling Runyon that very moment to fix the issue. One hour went by and someone with Customer Care did call, but they argued with Runyon about the charges. The Customer Care representative stated she could only see a couple charges.

AT&T provided the following written statement to 11 News Thursday night: "We truly regret the error on this customer’s bill. We are working to fix this as quickly as possible."

The Lead Public Relations Manager for AT&T Rocky Mountain told 11 News over the phone Thursday night they spoke with Runyon's bank and the pending charges should be back in her account early Friday morning.

While Runyon plays the waiting game, she said this billing error has made life hard.

"When it rains it pours," Runyon said holding back tears.

She said the pending charges put her in a position where she couldn't pay several bills or rent. She said she was expecting an eviction notice on her door on Friday including a $270 charge for attorney fees.

Runyon served as a nurse in the United States Air Force most of her life. Currently she's in search of a job and lives on a tight budget.

If there are any updates, this article is expected to be updated.

If you had a similar overcharge issue from AT&T on June 4, 2018 please call 11 News at 719-578-0000.