U.S. Cellular officials respond to customers’ billing complaints

Customers report extra charges, phones being shut off

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:12:44 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 07 2013 10:14:48 AM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

A popular cellphone company is still drawing billing complaints a month after some viewers called WISC-TV for action.

Hundreds of viewers shared their complaints on our WISC-TV/Channel3000 Facebook page Wednesday when we asked if people were having continuing issues with U.S. Cellular and a billing change.

WISC-TV shared U.S. Cellular's response about a month ago that they were "aggressively working" to fix the matter, but find now they say problems may not be fixed until the end of the month.

Longtime customer Paul Dorow signed up for phone service with U.S. Cellular 12 years ago, and Wednesday the company turned his phone and four other family and business phones off.

The issue is the result of billing problems at U.S. Cellular. Dorow didn't get a bill for a few months, and when he did it was huge. But he submitted a payment for the months the company had missed.

"Monday I sent out an online bill pay from my bank account and today my phone was turned off at 9 o'clock," Dorow said.

Dorow spent an hour on the phone and went to a store to complain, but ultimately had to pay again to turn the phones back on.

"I said I'll pay whatever you need me to pay to get my phone back on today, and by the end of the month I'll be someone else's customer," Dorow said.

"Let me directly apologize to him," said David Kimball, executive vice president and chief marketing officer with U.S. Cellular, when we shared the story with him. "That is not the experience obviously that we hold ourselves to or that we are committed to."

U.S. Cellular officials said the company changed billing software a few months ago, which has caused delays and issues for customers. When WISC-TV asked viewers if they've been having problems, our email was deluged and hundreds of comments stacked up on our Facebook page.

"It will be fixed," said Kimball. "For many customers it is already fixed and for those remaining, certainly by the end of the month we will be on track and delivering the customer experience we're committed to doing."

It may be too late for Dorow, who said an apology is not enough.

"No, not the way they've treated me," said Dorow.

Kimball said they didn't anticipate problems with the new billing system and are working with "worldwide experts" to fix the problem, and apologized to customers multiple times in our phone interview.

For those of you who reached out to us, thank you for sharing your stories. We will stay on top of this to make sure that issues are ultimately resolved.