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AT&T Blames Computer Upgrade for Big Billing Snafu

We’ve all heard the horror stories, and some of us have experienced them firsthand. You open your phone bill and discover hundreds of dollars in long-distance charges for calls you never made. After checking with little Johnny to make sure he hasn’t let his fingers do the walking, you realize it’s the phone company’s mistake. That’s exactly what happened to 15,000 of AT&T’s long-distance customers in Tennessee.

The telco had to appear before the Tennessee Regulatory Authority to explain itself Monday, and explain itself, it did. AT&T says a failed computer upgrade was to blame, particularly in the southeastern part of the state, for customers ordering unlimited long distance for $25.

“Unfortunately, due to the system error, the customers were billed separately for each long-distance call made that month for a per-monthly rate,” said Guy Hicks of AT&T, as reported by WSMV-TV.

The problem began last fall for both new customers and those existing customers who were ordering a new package. AT&T says it has fixed the error and most people have been given credits on subsequent bills to compensate for the mistake.


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