Cape Coral man stuck with unwanted cellphone bill

Reporter: Lindsey Sablan
Published: Updated:

CAPE CORAL, Fla. Patrick Wood thought he got a good deal when he switched cellphone providers.

But when he got stuck with a big bill, he called WINK News Call for Action.

“I got a pile of paperwork in there, just off and on I would deal with it, but because you get so frustrated you just have to walk away,” he said.

Wood switched from Sprint to AT&T in July 2016 because he wanted better reception at his home, plus AT&T was running a buy one, get one special that also paid up to $350 per line.

Wood has four lines.

Wood counted on getting back $687.40, the amount needed to pay off his Sprint contract.

But Wood described getting his money back as “just a nightmare from day one.”

After waiting weeks for the money from AT&T, Wood said he was threatened with collections from Sprint, so he paid the bill out of his own pocket.

A letter from AT&T stated his rebate request was denied because, “We do not have a trade in record for your old phone.”

“All the paperwork I have and everything, all the contact I had with AT&T never once in six months did it mention that I was supposed to return the phones to them up until about six weeks ago,” Wood said.

He added that Sprint took his phones and sent him paperwork and prepaid envelopes.

“We go over the whole scenario with [the volunteer] and an hour and half later I get a call, it’s from AT&T,” he said. “They’re giving me $687.40 back…she [the volunteer] got it back for me. I was just flabbergasted. I could not believe it.”

In a statement, AT&T described the incident as a “miscommunication.”

“We are glad the case was resolved and that the customer was satisfied. We apologize that a miscommunication led to this inconvenience,” the statement said.

Call for Action has retrieved more than $75,200 for consumers.

If you have a consumer problem, contact a Call for Action volunteer at 800-795-9465 or submit your complaint here.

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