Writing ⋅ Podcast ⋅ Video

The AT&T third-party eBill verification process, in 50 easy steps

Ok, this is what it takes to sign up to get eBills from AT&T (for phone and Internet service — don’t ask) delivered to my bank.

First, you click “get bills online” on the bank site. When you do this with, say, Visa or Verizon, you get a pop-up asking you to verify, which you do, and the e-bills show up a couple of cycles later. Not so with AT&T. You get the same verification pop-up, and you click ok, and it seems like you’re off to the races.

Ha ha.

A few days later, you get a call with an 8-digit activation code. Personally, I had no idea what to do with this code other than write it down until I got an email, about a week later, reminding me to verify my third-party eBill service provider. Finally! A link!

Now, to verify the provider, you first have to create an Account Manager account (I’m not making this up) with AT&T. To do this, you enter your phone number, then you can verify with either the last 4 of your SSN, or a 3-digit code found on your bill.

But even after all that, in order to create the account, you have to get an online registration code. To request an online registration code, you click “request an online registration code,” (natch). But there’s nothing online about the online registration code. You have two options for receipt: AT&T will either MAIL IT TO YOU VIA U.S. POST (seriously!) or call you with it 10 minutes later.

Once you have THAT 8-digit code, you’re ready to create the account that will let you enter the other 8-digit code to verify that you do, in fact, want online billing. Right?

Oh, no. Once you have the code, you can, in fact, sign up for the account, and sign up for electronic billing from AT&T. But by this time, the site has completely forgotten that you want to verify a third-party eBill provider.

To do that, you have to go back to the email they sent, click the link in the email that takes you to the verify page, even though the link is labeled, “create an Account Manager account,” log in again with shiny new account credentials, and THEN verify that you want them to send third-party eBills.

That last step, by the way, did not involve the 8-digit code that they originally gave me, and insisted I would need.

Of course not. Why would it?

By the end of this process, the only thing I wanted to verify was my new Comcast service.

Read more →