Arbitrating With AT&T
What It Is & How It Works

 

When customer service doesn’t help, consumer Arbitration allows you to make your case in front of a neutral third party (the Arbitrator), but through a less formal process than going to court.

Your AT&T contract includes an "Arbitration Clause" that prevents you from suing them in most courts and forces you to bring any large or complex claims through the consumer arbitration process. When small claims court is too limited or time consuming, then arbitration can be a good option for you.

Arbitration usually takes a few months, from beginning to end, and can be simple and flexible. It can usually be done through emails or over the phone (rather than in-person hearings). You can either go through the process yourself, or use a claim processor like Radvocate to simplify the process for you. If you decide to go it alone, here's how to start your arbitration:

 

Step 1: collect information and describe your claim.

Before you start the process, make sure that you have a clear and concise description of the issue and what you're asking for as relief. You'll need to provide this information when you file your claim.

AT&T's contract requires you to send them a description of your claim before you file your arbitration. According to the contract, they have 30 days to resolve the claim before you are allowed to file. You can find a form to report your claim, including delivery instructions, here.
 

step 2: Download and fill out the "Demand for Arbitration".

Your AT&T contract requires you to initiate the arbitration through the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") - an organization that will administer the arbitration and appoint the arbitrator to decide your dispute. You can download the filing form for a AAA Consumer Arbitration here.

Enter the description of your dispute and the relief you're requesting in the space provided at the top of the form. Then enter your contact information and the following contact information for AT&T:

Office for Dispute Resolution, AT&T,
1025 Lenox Park Blvd.,
Atlanta, GA 30319

 

step 3: calculate your filing fee.

Next, you'll need to calculate the amount you'll have to pay to start the arbitration. NOTE: Your AT&T contract says that AT&T will reimburse you for this filing fee under certain circumstances, but you will likely need to pay it up front to start the arbitration.

The AAA provides a document that lists all of its current filing fees here. Your fee will vary based on the size of your claim, so you'll already need the amount you're asking for (see Step 1) before you can figure out the proper fee.

 

STEP 4: Download your AT&T contract.

In order to file an arbitration, you'll need to provide the AAA with a copy of AT&T's arbitration clause. You can find this in your AT&T contract, which is available at:

www.att.com/legal/legal-policy-center.html

When you've located the contract for your services on this page, download a copy and title it "AT&T Customer Agreement With Arbitration Clause".

 

STEP 5: Upload your filing documents to the AAA website.

Now that you have all of the necessary documents and information, you're ready to file your claim with the AAA. To do so, go to the AAA's "Fast File" option available at:

www.adr.org/FileOnline

Enter your contact information in the boxes provided, and specify that you are requesting arbitration. Then use the box at the bottom of the page to upload the Demand For Arbitration that you prepared in Step 2 and the AT&T contract that you downloaded in Step 4.

Finally, enter the filing fee that you calculated in Step 3 at the bottom of the page.

 

STep 6: Send AT&T a copy of the filed demand.

After you've finished submitting your documents, the AAA will send you a confirmation that will include all of the information that you submitted (NOTE: this may take a few days). Print out this email and send a hard copy to:

Office for Dispute Resolution, AT&T,
1025 Lenox Park Blvd.,
Atlanta, GA 30319

 

STEP 7: Wait for further instructions from the AAA.

Usually within a few weeks after you submit your demand for arbitration, a case administrator from the AAA will contact you and AT&T by email to arrange for the arbitration. The case administrator will make sure that all of the documents have been submitted properly, manage the appointment of the arbitrator and help you and AT&T schedule any necessary phone calls or meetings.

From beginning to end, expect the arbitration process to take several months.