When you’re part of a small consumer watchdog group fighting for the rights of 12 million Illinoisans, no job is too small. So when it appeared a consumer was getting bad information from AT&T, the boss himself stepped in to help.
James Wiersum of Lombard reached out to CUB recently, saying an AT&T representative told him that the Consumer’s Choice plans were no longer being offered to new customers. (James had just used CUB’s Local Phone Cost-cutter, which had recommended a Consumer’s Choice plan. CUB’s online service has shown consumers how to save nearly $10 million a year by recommending the best local calling plans for AT&T customers.)
The Consumer’s Choice plans, created by CUB under a legal settlement with AT&T, are the best landline deals in Illinois, having saved consumers millions of dollars over the last five years. In fact, CUB and other consumers advocates just defeated an attempt by the phone industry to abolish the plans. Thus, the General Assembly still requires that AT&T market these plans and has frozen the rates (starting at $3.05 per month) until at least June 2015.
So the information James received from AT&T was flat-out incorrect.
CUB Executive Director David Kolata quickly emailed James to correct AT&T’s error. He was so quick on the draw that James was still on the phone with AT&T, and was able to ask the representative to check again! After a five-minute delay, she came back on the phone and corrected her mistake. “I would have given up had it not been for the information CUB supplied,” wrote James, who signed up as a monthly CUB contributor.