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AT&T offered him an iPhone 11 for $36, but now he's paying $500

When Loc Nguyen ports three phones to AT&T, the wireless carrier offers him the fourth line for just $1 a month. But it never follows through and now he has to pay a total of $500. How can he fix that?

While I was porting three of my cell phones to AT&T, a company representative told me that adding an iPhone11 and a fourth line would cost $1 per month over 36 months. It seemed like a good deal.

The representative told me to wait for three billing cycles for the credit to show up. But after three months, I didn't get the credit. Instead of paying $36 for the iPhone11 ($1 a month for 36 months), I'm paying $500 ($13.89 per month). I spent many hours contacting AT&T through phone calls and store visits, and they would not honor their sales quote.

I would like AT&T to credit me what we already paid and only charge us $1 per month for 36 months for the iPhone11, as agreed. Can you help me? -

Loc Nguyen, Sunnyvale, Calif.

If AT&T offered you an iPhone for $1 a month -- which seems like a great deal -- it should honor its offer.

You sent a transcript of the online chat between your wife and an AT&T representative. It certainly looks as if you had a promise in writing.

I tried to find your offer online to see what went wrong, but I couldn't. Instead, I found a dizzying array of iPhone offers on the AT&T site. And I know if I'm confused, chances are, so are a lot of other people. Some of these bewildered readers may work for AT&T.

So what went wrong? It's difficult to know for sure. Sometimes, companies just make mistakes when they handle your paperwork. And yours was a somewhat complicated transaction because it involved porting three numbers and adding a fourth. Chances are, someone just pushed the wrong button.

If this ever happens to you again, feel free to reach out to one of AT&T's executives. I publish their names, numbers, and emails on my consumer-advocacy site,

I reached out to AT&T on your behalf. A representative responded directly to you, apologizing for your billing problem.

AT&T applied the credit for $500, as promised, which left you a positive balance of $82. "Please allow one to two cycles for the bill to reflect changes," it added. Where have I heard that before?

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at [email protected] or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at

© 2022 Christopher Elliott


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