I originally posted this in early 2012 and as of Fall 2014, the information still appears to be accurate but please check the comments for additional updates and information.

AT&T Rewards Card with incorrect activation info

Here’s the card and sticker with activation instructions. Notice it’s only good for 3 months.

We (my husband and I) switched from Comcast to AT&T U-verse in December. There wasn’t a lot of thought put into it, just that Comcast had caused one too many problems that they refused to fix and/or give us answers to. AT&T’s service has actually been great so far and the installer was awesome.

About 2-3 weeks ago, I got a letter in the mail from AT&T saying that we were eligible for a $100 Visa gift card for purchasing the equipment that we got. I went to the website listed, entered the ID number on the letter and was given a confirmation that said I would have my card in 4-6 weeks. I got it in less than 3 weeks and couldn’t have been happier, until we tried to activate it.

The sticker on the card says to either call or go to their rewards center and enter the last 4 digits of the billing phone number on your account as the PIN to complete the activation. This is where we ran into all of the trouble. We went to the website first and tried the last 4 digits of my cell number, which is the billing phone number on our account. It was incorrect. Next we tried his number. Still incorrect. Finally, we tried our U-verse phone number. Nope, now we’re locked out. By now, we’re both annoyed since there is nothing helpful on the website or in the envelope that the card came in to direct us where to go next, so we call the 800 number. There are 2 options: report your card lost or stolen and activate your card. No option to speak to anyone. We tried activating it over the phone and after the third wrong entry it finally gave us an option to speak to someone. The phone rang a couple times and then another recording picked up saying that they are only open from 7am to 7pm CST. It was 5:30pm PST here. Quite honestly, I was mad at this point, more out of frustration that such a simple task was proving to be so difficult than I was at AT&T or their rewards center.

This morning, I called the 800 number again and was able to get through to a customer service rep by pressing the # key a few times whenever it asked for the card number. The first thing the rep said after I explained the situation was “Oh, your card is marked wrong. It’s supposed to be the last 4 digits of your account number.” She went on to say that there are cards for U-verse customers and cards for basic telephone customers. The U-verse cards are supposed to say to use your account number rather than your phone number and apparently mine had been mislabeled. Judging by her tone of voice and how quickly she was able to tell me what was wrong, this seems to be a fairly widespread issue. The rep was then able to activate the card in less time than it took me to get through the menu to speak to her and all is well now. I am, however, going to say this again:

If you got a rewards card for signing up with U-verse, try the last 4 digits of your ACCOUNT number instead of your phone number to activate your card. You only get 3 tries to do this before you are locked out of both the phone and website activation systems and have to have a representative activate it for you. Also, remember that the customer service center hours are 7am – 7pm CST, so that’s 5am – 5pm PST and the card is only good for 3 months after you receive it, so don’t wait until the last minute to activate in case you run in to trouble with the process.

I’m really not mad/annoyed/frustrated with AT&T or anyone else for that matter. I was able to get the issue resolved, it just would have been nice to be able to find some additional help on their website or be able to talk to someone a little later in the evening.


xo, shelby

This article has 17 comments

  1. Paul Reply

    Thanks for this advice. I was stuck and was about to start calling when I ran across your advice here. Much appreciated, you’ll surely save a lot of people some trouble and frustration. Thanks!

  2. joyce Reply

    Thanks so much for the information – after going crazy, like you, because the PIN instructions on the sticker were wrong, I used the last four of my account number and managed to activate my card. You’ve been a big help!

  3. David Reply

    Thank you for posting this. I was going crazy putting the same pin number in over and over!

  4. Patty cakes Reply

    Wow! I tried using my card last night and it was declined. It seems that in the excitement at finally getting the card, I had removed the sticker and thrown the information away without reading it. Dumb move, I know, but I mistakenly assumed it would be activated. After trying several times to activate it last night, and this morning, I came across your info and VOILA! I couldn’t be more thankful. You definitely have saved me some headaches! Thank you!

  5. sarah Reply

    This was extremely helpful! Our card was marked wrong also and we were getting so frustrated. Now we can go to the grocery store instead of sitting here being ‘hangry’ – Thanks so much!

  6. Sandi Reply

    The PIN also has to be used when you swipe your card to make a purchase. Also, do you have a picture of yourself smiling? You would be much more ‘epically’ pretty if your picture showed you smiling, instead of that challenging almost frown. (No, I’m not some stalker – I’m an old grandmother who believes smiling helps everything.)

    • Shelby Reply

      Thanks for the tip about using the pin to make a purchase.. I only ever ran mine as credit so I wasn’t aware.

      As far as the picture goes.. not really. I can only smile with half of my mouth when I’m trying to smile and it looks REALLY strange.. like I’m about to sneeze. When I’m not trying and am super excited about something or laughing I can smile alright but it’s fairly rare that anyone has a camera out at those moments, lol. The picture is going to get updated soon to one that looks a bit less frowny though. :)

  7. Pam Reply

    I have been trying as well today to activate 2 cards that I received when I signed up with U-Verse. I have tried numerous times and am getting nowhere.. I tried both the pin on the back and also the last 4 digits of my phone number… nothing.. Of course the customer service number is closed today, so I will try again on Monday.

  8. Pam Reply

    Hi again Shelby! Well, I just tried it again and I got it! Boy, ATT really needs to clarify this. I tried to pin on the back, tried the phone number last 4 digits and tried the account number a few times. Nothing.. I did it again very slowly and somehow it went through.. I am gong to contact ATT next week to tell them that this needs to be clarified better when they mail out the cards. Maybe it was, but I didn’t see it on my correspondence. Thank you! :)

  9. Terrele Reply

    I am so glad to come across your information. I have three At&t rewards cards. I have spent almost an hour trying to activate them on line. What a pain- it is like ATT doesn’t want you
    to use the cards.

  10. Jo Reply

    Happy to find I’m not the only person that had trouble with an AT&T reward card. Took 3 hrs at Best Buy to use it and finally got it done but with much chagrin. Not happy with AT&T’s computer service as they’ve rendered apart of my old Windows XP useless … they evidently have Outlook Express blocked for sending email so I have to meander over to the AT&T website to send email…frustrating !

  11. Martin Reply

    I have 3 cards. Mine clearly state Debit Visa. In the instruction / agreement it says starting after March 31, 2013 that you can call the number on the back of the card to obtain a pin number for using where a keypad / pin is required. I called because I knew the store I wanted to use it at requires a pin and CS told me, “we don’t have pins!” I don’t know why it says to call in the agreement she told me. Then she told me, “it is not a debit card it is a Visa Credit Card!” I said it states on the front Debit. She said it is not, and don’t try using it for a debit. Run it as a credit card when making purchases.

    I love U-Verse, but AT&T is screwed up. All they do it lie. I have been overcharged huge amounts each month. I call and then I am told we will credit next month. Credits don’t appear and they make more promises.

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