GRAFTON/RACINE (WITI) — How closely are you looking at your phone, internet and cable bill? The numbers can really add up — and so can the frustrations if you're hit with unexpected charges.
Now-a-days, the majority of people are constantly connected and, to be connected, it often means signing a contract.
Earney Yocum signed a two-year deal with AT&T for cable, internet and phone.
"Those three bundled together was suppose to come to $142," Yocum said.
When Yocum's bill came in the mail, it wasn't what he expected.
"It came in at $223, which is a considerable difference," said Yocum.
Yocum called AT&T and they fixed the issue. However, the fix didn't last long and the bill kept changing.
"No explanation. This is the amount I owed and this went on for six months," Yocum said.
Thomas Knudsen, also, spent a lot of time trying to work out his billing issues with Verizon Wireless.
"I spent about 15 hours on the phone trying to resolve this," Knudsen said.
Knudsen upgraded his family's cellphones. To get credit, he shipped back their old ones. Instead of credit, Knudsen was smacked with a huge fee.
"About $800 plus," Knudsen revealed.
After getting nowhere with calls to Verizon, Knudsen was at a loss.
"I didn't know what to do. I did everything I could myself to try and get it fixed," Knudsen said.
Yocum and Knudsen are not alone.
In a new report from the Federal Trade Commission, telephone and mobile services ranked 4th for consumer complaints nationwide.
In Wisconsin, they ranked 3rd and made up 8% of complaints filed in 2014.
Fed up, Yocum and Knudsen turned to FOX6's Contact 6.
"It turned out to be the best move I could have made," Knudsen said.
"I filed with you guys online and, I would say, within 3 or 4 days I got a phone call," Yocum said.
AT&T says it tries it's best to make things easy for customers. AT&T spokesperson, Jim Kimberly, sent this statement to Contact 6:
“It’s important for customers to resolve service or billing issues without hassles and we've developed a number of easy ways to help them manage their accounts and get information about their bills. For example, the 'My AT&T' App comes preloaded on many smartphones that we sell and offers consumers an easy and convenient way to view charges and usage history or contact customer service. Customers can also talk to a service representative just by dialing '611' from any AT&T mobile device or they can contact us via live chat at www.att.com.”
Verizon Wireless told Contact 6 it has similar options. Andrea Meyer, a public relations manager, sent a statement that read, in part:
"When a customer of Verizon Wireless has a question or concern, we try to make it very easy and convenient for them to get our assistance. There are various ways that a Verizon Wireless customer can reach out to us to get an answer to a question or otherwise get help in resolving an issue."
"The Twitter option is probably best for a quick tip. More detailed inquiries are likely better handled directly with Customer Service or with a Retail Store representative."
With the help of Contact 6, AT&T reimbursed Yocum $446.33
"Since you got involved, I got the next bill and that was at the proper amount of $144," Yocum said.
Verizon Wireless credited Knudsen $649.00 after he reached out to Contact 6.
"Contacting FOX6, it helped me in that, I felt there was someone that was willing to fight for my needs," Knudsen said.
Before signing up with any communications company, make sure you know what you're signing up for. It's important to read your contract and if you have any questions — just ask.
Also, check your bill every month to make sure you aren't dealing with unexpected charges or changes.
If you have a consumer issue or complaint for Contact 6, click HERE.