AT&T Agrees to Compensate Customers: The Profeco Collective Action Explained
AT&T to Reimburse Customers Following Deferred Equipment Charge Dispute
In a significant development for AT&T customers, the telecommunications giant has agreed to compensate its customers nearly five years after the contentious inception of the deferred equipment charge. This has transpired despite the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco), continuing its collective action against the operator.
Up until October 4, customers who are interested in joining the collective action to claim its benefits have the opportunity to do so. This is a major step in a prolonged saga that has seen consumers and the operator lock horns over the controversial annual charge.
Understanding the Terms of the Compensation
As per Profeco, customers who choose to join the collective action and are still AT&T customers will receive a data package of 3GB for each charge made. Customers who are no longer with AT&T will instead receive a payment order, which they can conveniently cash at BBVA.
The compensation comes as a result of a contentious annual charge of 225 pesos for the operation of mobile phones acquired in payment systems. Initiated by AT&T in October 2019, this charge was deemed “undue” by Profeco following a series of customer complaints. Profeco then initiated collective action in November 2020, and by May 2022, AT&T agreed to provide benefits to everyone who received the charge.
How the Compensation will be Issued
According to a joint statement, customers will receive 3GB as AT&T is refunding the amounts charged plus an additional 20% as compensation in the form of a data package.
To claim the AT&T bonus, existing AT&T customers must report to the Customer Service Center and express their interest in joining the collective action. They will need to identify themselves as an AT&T customer, provide the phone number to which the equipment charge was applied, show some identification, and sign the membership document provided by AT&T staff. This document should list the charges made, the dates they were made, and the number of GB the user will receive. Claims for benefits cannot be made after October 4.
Former AT&T customers should also report to the Customer Service Center and express their interest in joining the collective action. They will need to identify themselves as former AT&T customers, provide the phone number to which the equipment charge was applied or a bank statement, show some identification, and sign the membership document provided by AT&T staff. Staff will then provide a payment order issued in the consumer’s name. If the consumer has any outstanding debt, this will be deducted from the bonus amount. Again, the deadline for claims is October 4.
Support Channels for Further Information
For any further questions or doubts, Profeco has made contact channels available to customers. All necessary information is available on Profeco’s collective claims site, making it easy for customers to get the help they need as they navigate this process.
This development underlines the power of collective action in holding corporations accountable, and the crucial role of regulatory bodies like Profeco in protecting consumer rights. It also serves as a reminder for consumers to stay informed and take appropriate action when they feel their rights are being infringed upon.
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