Yesterday we reported on a claim that AT&T sales reps were fraudulently signing up customers for DirecTV NOW. The claim was first reported on Reddit and the poster was verified by subreddit mods. Immediately after our story ran, we were contacted by AT&T who issued this statement addressing the situation:
Last fall, we detected some simultaneous customer orders and cancellations of a free product trial. We determined some employees had violated our policies and based on our findings we took appropriate action. We reversed any unauthorized activity in the very few cases where customers incurred charges.
We asked the company if the appropriate action taken involved only sales reps or both sales reps and management. AT&T replied by telling us that the “actions we took involved both management and non-management employees.”
It wasn’t but a few minutes later that we began to receive emails from individuals claiming to be AT&T sales reps or former sales reps. These reps all claimed they worked in the California market and most indicated they had been fired over the DirecTV NOW situation. One rep included a link to a report out of Hawaii where HNN (Hawaii News Now) had been working on an identical story. You can watch their news report at the source link below.
“The managers basically encouraged us and informed us of how to manipulate sales,” said Abraham Buonya, who was fired in early June from the AT&T store at the Ala Moana Center for violating the company’s code of business conduct and falsifying records.
“My manager picked up my iPad, which was signed in under me, made a fake email and then activated a Direct TV Now subscription on that email and then said if I can do it, here you go, you can do the next one,” a fired AT&T employee said, preferring to remain anonymous.
“They just keep pressuring us to do it,” Buonya said.
The original Reddit post, on which we reported, has many more comments that seem to back up all of the claims the sales reps are making. Here’s one example:
A majority of the reps are great employees and will be good to the consumer when it comes to cell phones but when it comes to the sleazy stuff, it is in most cases dependent on the manager. Managers will threaten you with termination all the time and unfortunately, our union is impotent so when you get threatened with termination it’s get in line or get out. I’ve had a manager straight up tell me to severely under-quote customers so that they will sign up for TV service because our numbers were low that month. And then he stood there and made sure I did so.
This story is a lot to wrap your head around, and, at this point, it’s the sales reps claiming they were only doing what they were directed to do. Several of the emails we received claimed to have text message proof that management orchestrated the entire thing. At this point, we have no reason to believe that AT&T corporate was involved. This seems to have been a low-level situation but we also don’t know how widespread it was. Currently, the reports are from Hawaii and California only.Source: HNN