Is AT&T up to Its Tricks Again?

I'm one of those people in New York City who make few or no out-of-town calls from my landline phone. I currently have AT&T as my long distance carrier, and I'm on the "One Rate Simple" plan. It has a higher per-minute rate, but NO monthly charge and NO monthly minimum. That means that if I make no out-of-town calls, I get charged absolutely nothing.

This past week, I got surprised by an invoice in the mail from them, charging me for $5 plus other surcharges and taxes, plus what they claim to be an unpaid balance of the same from last month, total bill of over $12!

When I visit their website, it says that the plan I'm on (the "One Rate Simple" plan) now has a monthly minimum charge of $5 as of July

1st !

First of all, they had never notified me that they would start charging a monthly minimum charge, and they also never sent me any bill for the previous month either!

Has anyone else had this happen?

Although some people conceivably may have been sent notification, I strongly suspect that AT&T had intentionally neglected to send notification to many others so as to cause charges to incur before the customer has a chance to cancel out.

AT&T has a history of abusive practices, including a legal action two years ago where AT&T had to pay refunds to New Yorkers who were improperly billed.

Has anyone else had this happen to them recently where they were on the "One Rate Simple" plan and they recently got a bill for a minimum usage fee without prior warning?

Are we required to pay these charges if we got no prior notice? Are we required to prove that we never received prior notice? What can be done?

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