ANTIOCH, Calif. - Would you like fries with that burger? It's a question most of us likely have heard and it's just one example of how businesses get you to buy more than you originally may have intended.
It's called upselling, a technique businesses use to increase sales. 7 On Your Side helped a woman who says she didn't order all the add-ons included on her bill.
Antioch resident Sharon Silliven-Reiley enjoys watching TV. One day, while on the phone with AT&T, she says her rep made a suggestion.
"Well, you know, you have really old wires and we're updating the wires, and we can save you $15 on your bill each month. So I said, well, that sounds pretty good," Silliven-Reiley said.
The conversation quickly shifted to add-ons such as AT&T U-verse for TV and internet service. But she says she was happy with what she had and made it clear she didn't want to switch.
AT&T went ahead and updated her wiring, but the following month, she received separate bills for phone and U-verse.
"It wasn't OK. It's not what we wanted," Silliven-Reiley said.
She called AT&T. "Anyway, I called in September and said we didn't want it," she explained. She said the customer service agent promised to reverse the charges.
"Then I got the next bill in October, same thing. Next month, same thing," she said. The pattern repeated itself for several months.
"My blood pressure probably went up sky high every month when that bill came and I had to look at it," Silliven-Reiley said.
In January, she received a notice of delinquency from a collection agency. She received a second notice the following month.
"I'm totally frustrated at that point and time," she said. That's when she contacted 7 On Your Side and we reached out to AT&T.
The charges were promptly reversed. AT&T said, "We worked with the customer to resolve her concerns and apologized for the inconvenience."
"We really appreciate it. It's like we got our lives back," Silliven-Reiley said. We're glad she reached out to us for help.