In 2011, a miscreant abused AT&T’s Wireless Access Protocol payment system and add unauthorized charges to my account. When I noticed the charges, I called AT&T. After getting the initial “we can only refund 3 months” runaround, I escalated the matter until I got a full refund. I also had AT&T add Purchase Blocker to all 4 of my lines.
Today I logged in to my AT&T account and noticed that, quite helpfully, AT&T now highlights these “billed mobile purchases.” Unfortunately, two new recurring charges were added to my account in January. Jesta, one of the companies behind the crammed charges are self-professed scammers that were fined $1.2M by the FTC in August. As part of the judgement, they are required to refund all charges when customers request it.
AT&T knowingly allows these scammers to bill AT&T customers, which greatly peeves me. I tallied up the charges, called AT&T, and requested a full refund. After getting the same “we can only refund 60 days” runaround, I again escalated the matter and have a full refund being processed. AT&T has no idea why Purchase Blocker got dropped from two of my lines but it has been re-added.
The most interesting part is the email excerpts from Jesta cited in the FTC complaint. Beyond admitting their business is a scam, they discuss ways to keep their return rate below 17%, the rate at which T-Mobile takes away Jesta’s ability to charge customers. AT&T cares even less for their customers and is willing to let scammers reach a 18.5% return rate. Is there any legitimate business with return rates above 10%?