Thread: MCI - Grrrr
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Old Jul 2, 99, 1:41 pm
  #1  
roti
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: USA
Programs: AAdvantage (Exec Plat), United, Delta
Posts: 261
MCI - Grrrr

Miles for phone calls are great, and I've been receiving them from MCI or AT&T for more than a decade. BUT, the disingenuous manner in which MCI handled a rate increase earlier this year has me steamed.

I signed up for my current MCI account more than a year ago, at a rate of .12/min. The rate I pay is important because my phone bill averages $200/month. Three weeks ago, I was copying phone bills to obtain reimbursement from a client and discovered that I was being charged .15/min for my calls. I didn't remember any notification that my rate had been increased. So, I went back through my bills and found that on the 1/28/99 statement (which I received around 2/10/99), the fine print stated my rate "will" increase to .15/min effective 1/1/99.

In other words, I was notified about the increase about six weeks after it took effect. Furthermore, they actually started the new rate at the beginning of that billing cycle -- 12/28/98, four days ahead of the day they said the rate would increase.

I just spent a half-hour on the phone with a customer service supervisor who stated that in most states (mine included), they are not required by law to notify customers when they increase rates, as long as the increase is within the limit set by the state. When I asked when the new rate was effective for, she said 1/1/99. I pointed out that I had been charged .15/min for about two dozen calls prior to that and she said she would issue a refund (amounting to about $3), but that she would not issue a refund for calls made after 1/1.

The Massachusetts Telecommunications Dept tells me that MCI is within the law to tell customers about the increase after the fact, but said I was the first to call about an overcharge for the last four days of the year. She said she doubted whether anything would be done about it, given that it happened six months ago and I was the only complaint, but it did get me to thinking. If all MCI customers were overcharged in this state for those four days, the bottom line profit to MCI could well have been in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If it happened nationwide, as is probably the case, we're probably talking about millions of dollars in revenue.

I'm switching back to AT&T. I don't care about the miles and I can't wait to tell MCI where to stick the "we want you back" check that will come after I discontinue service.
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