Woman overpays AT&T by over $5K and still awaits the return of her money

Back on November 6th, Carol Doty of Ridgefield, Washington, was paying her monthly AT&T bill which came to $57.84. But she accidentally paid the carrier $5,784 or 100 times the amount that she meant to pay. Doty immediately knew that this was not her best moment. "I was like, 'Oh my god.' I thought I was going to throw up at that moment. It was not $57.84. It was $5,784.00 that I overpaid because I accidentally moved the decimal point," she said.

Doty called AT&T the very next day and was first told that she couldn't get her money back because the amount paid was too large. AT&T said that she would have to leave the overpayment on the account as a credit. It should be pointed out that while her name is listed on the account, Carol is not the primary account holder. Besides calling AT&T, she has emailed the company, faxed them, and even visited a local AT&T store, all to no avail. So she contacted the NBC affiliate in Portland, KGW, to get publicity for her story.

The television station contacted AT&T and said that it cut a check on December 5th. However, it also told the station that it is working with a third-party vendor to process the refund as soon as possible. Still, the company said that it has no idea when the money will be returned.

As you can imagine, Doty is fuming. She says, "It is frustrating beyond explanation when you are talking to someone reading from a script who cannot help you. They are not helping you to resolve the issue." She has filed a complaint with the Washington Attorney General's Office and has a message for the nation's second-largest carrier. "I paid you too much money and I just want that money back."

The problem when an accidental overpayment is made is that it ties up money that might have been earmarked for other bills that are important such as health insurance, the mortgage, the cable bill and more. It's amazing how something as small as a decimal point can create such a big problem.


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