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Comments on news posted 2009-02-24 14:32:54: The past few years have seen a ridiculous flood of stories about customers who didn't read the fine print on their wireless 3G broadband contracts, and were hammered by wireless data bills that almost require second mortgages. ..

page: 1 · 2 · next

Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

Wow....

Un-f'ing-believable!

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

Re: Wow....

We need more details...

What time did the cruise boat leave port? What time was he using the service.

These boats have been known to block signals and makes you use theirs. Thats the only explanation to the $28k. I'm on a 3G card right now and I know better to be streaming video...

Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

Re: Wow....

said by ninjatutle:

We need more details...

What time did the cruise boat leave port? What time was he using the service.

These boats have been known to block signals and makes you use theirs. Thats the only explanation to the $28k. I'm on a 3G card right now and I know better to be streaming video...
They were on the US Mainland, they should not have been charged, but you are right, we do not have the full story, only the consumer side of it.

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

2 recommendations

Re: Wow....

I went on a cruise ship for an event (still in dock), and 'inside' the ship the signal was very weak on AT&T (San Pedro, CA). I'm sure that if I went to a lower deck, or closer to the center of the ship, I'd have no service... or 'roaming' on the ships service, with extortion fees (sort of like PetroComm in the Gulf of Mexico).

I think that for the most part, unless requested AT&T (and others with international roaming or national roaming with fees) should do the following:

- Block these high cost roaming carriers (assuming US cruise ship or PetroComm) on DATA unless they call into AT&T and explicitly request it. Without knowledge of roaming (this is AT&T's own issue here!) you could be hit with fees.
- Enable the roaming indicator

AT&T does list roaming on ship rates
»www.wireless.att.com/learn/inter···toaction
-

Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

Re: Wow....

said by en102:

I went on a cruise ship for an event (still in dock), and 'inside' the ship the signal was very weak on AT&T (San Pedro, CA). I'm sure that if I went to a lower deck, or closer to the center of the ship, I'd have no service... or 'roaming' on the ships service, with extortion fees (sort of like PetroComm in the Gulf of Mexico).

I think that for the most part, unless requested AT&T (and others with international roaming or national roaming with fees) should do the following:

- Block these high cost roaming carriers (assuming US cruise ship or PetroComm) on DATA unless they call into AT&T and explicitly request it. Without knowledge of roaming (this is AT&T's own issue here!) you could be hit with fees.
- Enable the roaming indicator

AT&T does list roaming on ship rates
»www.wireless.att.com/learn/inter···toaction
-
Excellent post and agreed 100 percent.

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by ninjatutle:

We need more details...

What time did the cruise boat leave port? What time was he using the service.

These boats have been known to block signals and makes you use theirs. Thats the only explanation to the $28k. I'm on a 3G card right now and I know better to be streaming video...
Phone Call Voice Access from the boat is about $7/min. But if you want data access from the boat, this is the way to go:

»Most cruise ships provide WiFi access for a fee

Way, way cheaper than cell data access.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

SrsBsns

join:2001-08-30
Oklahoma City, OK

2 edits
said by ninjatutle:

We need more details...

What time did the cruise boat leave port? What time was he using the service.

These boats have been known to block signals and makes you use theirs. Thats the only explanation to the $28k. I'm on a 3G card right now and I know better to be streaming video...
Actually a Sim card has a drill down list where it picks all domestic carriers first. If it cant find any it will then connect to something else. The ship was most likely registured out of the Netherlands and therefor your usage aboard is considered international. It does not matter where you are. The device was on an international carrier. Its made very clear the rates when you board the ship. They even have big signs saying "warning you will be billed international rates if you use your mobile device". It doesn't matter if the ship was in port or not because you are billed per the terms by the location of the cell tower receiving your call. For example there is no way to tell if somebody has their foot on one side of a country border of not. With a ship it is not a piece of land and can not adjust rates based off its current location.

xpkranger
Premium
join:2000-10-27
Atlanta, GA

Re: Wow....

said by SrsBsns:

said by ninjatutle:

We need more details...

What time did the cruise boat leave port? What time was he using the service.

These boats have been known to block signals and makes you use theirs. Thats the only explanation to the $28k. I'm on a 3G card right now and I know better to be streaming video...
For example there is no way to tell if somebody has their foot on one side of a country border of not. With a ship it is not a piece of land and can not adjust rates based off its current location.
Seems to me that easiest solution since there are no physical other countries bordering Miami (A boat is a logical extension of another country, not a physical piece of land or ocean) is to simply turn off the boat's cell tower especially in places with adequate coverage from a local carrier, while in port to allow people to use what they should logically be able to use. I don't doubt that you are right, but that seems ridiculous. What if I work on the dock? What if I'm in my own boat passing near that cell tower? What if I'm a cop or a paramedic who has to go onboard while the boat is dockside? It seems like the cruise lines are splitting hairs and using loopholes to intentionally exclude users from being able to use their devices in geographical locations where it would be reasonable and customary for customers to expect the standard billing. Seems like it makes for bad mojo with their passengers. Just my .02
--
My pics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xpkranger/

Anon Y Mouse

@cox.net

Is it a he or a she?

Fo God's sake, make up your mind. It's him or her, don't use both! Of course, no one can be sure these days.

Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

Re: Is it a he or a she?

said by Anon Y Mouse :

Fo God's sake, make up your mind. It's him or her, don't use both! Of course, no one can be sure these days.
Um....perhaps you should re-read, I never said he or she

raw
War Eagle
Premium
join:2001-01-17
Madison, AL

Re: Is it a he or a she?

Not you... Karl.

Cheese
Premium
join:2003-10-26
Naples, FL
kudos:1

Re: Is it a he or a she?

said by raw:

Not you... Karl.
I was thinking that after I refreshed the page, my mistake

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Darwin was right

At some point you can't protect people from themselves, but AT&T and the rest of the wireless industry should just cut people off at the cap and require affirmative confirmation to continue beyond it. That would end these sorts of things.

But of course they, like the credit card companies before them, have learned that it is much more lucrative to let your customers scream past limits than contain them within.

As an aside, the Bears weren't even that good this year...

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Darwin was right

said by RadioDoc:

At some point you can't protect people from themselves, but AT&T and the rest of the wireless industry should just cut people off at the cap and require affirmative confirmation to continue beyond it. That would end these sorts of things.
but then they couldn't collect on their outrageous and potentially illegal overage fees.

jadebangle
Premium
join:2007-05-22
00000
kudos:1

Re: Darwin was right

said by 88615298:

said by RadioDoc:

At some point you can't protect people from themselves, but AT&T and the rest of the wireless industry should just cut people off at the cap and require affirmative confirmation to continue beyond it. That would end these sorts of things.
but then they couldn't collect on their outrageous and potentially illegal overage fees.
They need money badly and someone has to pay
kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL
I dunno Doc. In this case it doesn't feel right, she wasn't roaming. Does anyone know if cruise ships use branded femtocells, or simple repeaters for in-port cell coverage?

I do agree they (everyone actually) should have a fail safe method to warn users they're about to cross the line.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: Darwin was right

If you do the math, and considering that a Slingbox-ed stream is around 384 kbps (~47 kilobytes/second) a three hour game would clock in at just over 500 megabytes.

In this case, especially considering AT&T's response to the Trib's consumer editor, it sounds like the data card was connected to an on-ship repeater. AT&T also has terms which kick in if the majority of your data use is outside your "home" market but there is no evidence of that here. We'll probably never know exactly what happened in this case but at least they credited the bill and are not holding him to the charge.

Cellphones and wireless cards are used by millions of people who don't understand how they work, and I'll bet that here, the cruise ship's owners would never expect someone to be watching a football game on their computer while still in port. It's just a freak thing all around.

DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
kudos:1

1 recommendation

I bet her phone said "ATT" , Att never shows when you are roaming, and locks out carrier select. ATT could have sent her a text saying she is over her limit, and will be charged. But that would be the reasonable thing to do. Hence ATT didnt do it.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Darwin was right

said by DaveDude:

ATT could have sent her a text saying she is over her limit, and will be charged. But that would be the reasonable thing to do. Hence ATT didnt do it.
They did do it actually--- they sent an SMS to the data card that was doing the slingboxing--- not the phone.

So, since she wasn't home, she never got the message.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Darwin was right

Data cards can get SMSes if you have the correct software installed. However the much easier thing to do is to send a "network message" (like the GoPhone balance alerts). This isn't failsafe (on Macs it doesn't work) but it's slightly better...

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA
This is what SMS messages looks like on the 3G connection..
Its built into the connection manager so you will see an icon flash.
Shark_615

join:2006-01-17
Pickering, ON

Re: Darwin was right

According to the article that functionality didn't work wasn't enabled...

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

Re: Darwin was right

"My wife and I are exhausted over this. By the way, AT&T said they sent a text message about the high use and roaming; however, they sent the message to the wireless card phone number, which cannot be called or texted to. "



The guy is an idiot. I just posted a screen capture of the ATT 3G SMS app. It comes bundled with ATT's connection software and MFR's connection software. I am using Option's connection client with my AT&T USBConnect Quicksilver.... He does not know what he is talking about or he is playing stupid....

I can send and receive text messages..
Cogdis

join:2007-03-26
Floral Park, NY

Re: Darwin was right

It's possible he had a different model card which does not support SMS. I haven't used a wireless data card in a while but when I had one a while back with Sprint it did not support any SMS (though I still got charges for spam texts once in a while which would be refunded by Sprint).

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

Re: Darwin was right

I had Sprint before I dumped them for ATT. They did not have SMS. But ATT does. I had 2 different types of cards with ATT. First one was a PC card, now I'm using a USB card with my netbook.

The guy or girl in the article does have ATT so they should of had SMS.

SrsBsns

join:2001-08-30
Oklahoma City, OK

1 edit
said by Cogdis:

It's possible he had a different model card which does not support SMS. I haven't used a wireless data card in a while but when I had one a while back with Sprint it did not support any SMS (though I still got charges for spam texts once in a while which would be refunded by Sprint).
All ATT device suppport SMS as they can not function without it.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
said by ninjatutle:

The guy is an idiot. I just posted a screen capture of the ATT 3G SMS app...
He may be incorrect in that a wireless card can send and receive messages, but I wouldn't call him an idiot. How many times have you seen posts here in these forums that recommend NOT installing the CD that an ISP sends you that has all their crap- and bloat-ware on it as it's very rarely actually needed to operate the connection? Regardless if it was a separate download or just a installer on a supplied media, it still likely required an install that wasn't necessary to operate the wireless card. I would bet a majority of customers don't have the SMS software installed for their wireless card and if indeed that is the case, it would be a poor presumption on AT&Ts part that the SMS would be noticed.

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

Re: Darwin was right

Yeah but its included with the connection software. You need it to connect.

tigers

join:2001-01-14
Irmo, SC

1 edit
said by DaveDude:

I bet her phone said "ATT" , Att never shows when you are roaming, and locks out carrier select. ATT could have sent her a text saying she is over her limit, and will be charged. But that would be the reasonable thing to do. Hence ATT didnt do it.
ORLY. My ATT phone showed O2 and E-Plus when I was in Germany. I also got a text from ATT as soon as I turned on my phone telling me that I was international roaming.

Edit to add: Same thing in Bermuda, but I don't remember the provider there.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Darwin was right

That's international roaming on a different carrier. National roaming and, apparently, cruise ship roaming doesn't show a different carrier.

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: Darwin was right

Actually - the issue isn't that it doesn't know that its a different carrier.
The issue is that its listed as the same 'country'.
This is the same issue that you will hit if you go into the Gulf of Mexico - roaming that isn't free.
Once you go outside of the US network id (310-xxxx), the carrier display will show (eg. in Canada, it will show 'Rogers'. While in the U.S., all roamers (Alltel GSM, Centennial, T-Mobile, Cell One of SLO, etc) show up as 'AT&T'
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Darwin was right

Makes sense. Though on T-Mobile you can tell between the carriers (stupid AT&T). Personally, I think AT&T is rather evil anyhow.

tangojoker
Peace

join:2004-01-25
Beaverton, OR
I had a Vodaphone UK phone which I took to India for a trip. As soon as I switched on the phone, i received 20-30 SMS mostly junk inviting me to use their network for roaming and providing me service.
Later, I received a call from the Vodaphone CSR explaining that I was in International roaming and should be careful.

Good thing was that Vodaphone does not charge incoming SMS, had it been any other US provider i would have been host.

Cheers

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
And as an aside, there is no way that using say 10 GB should EVER, EVER cost $6000 in overage charges.

••••••••
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Int' Roaming in the USA?!?

How in the hell did ATT bill for int'l roaming and she was docked at an US PORT! WTF!

But then again its ATT and people only hate the customers for this.

ATT should be fined to no end of this... another reason to BREAK THEM UP AGAIN! And they should be sued for using the word "unlimited" and then having a cap.

•••••••••

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

1 recommendation

stupid is as stupid does

"I explained that I was not at sea but in port and my cell phone was still working without roaming, and that I should have still been on my unlimited wireless card. I have since been in contact with five or six different people at AT&T, and the best they could do, even though I am not at fault, is to bring the bill down to $6,000."

yes you are at fault. The TOS says 5 GB per month.

what so hard to get? This is even before you sign up.

»www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-···lans.jsp

the only part I don't like is the fact is that at&t puts the overage rates in KB instead of GB which makes it seems cheap because most people don't know there is over 1 billion KB in a GB So even the domestic overage comes to $503 per GB. Verizon is almost as bad stating their overage is 25¢ per MB which is $256 per GB.

5 GB is NOTHING and going over by a GB is VERY easy to do. These overage fees should be illegal they are easily 1000X more than what they actually cost these companies. The lady streaming that game didn't cost at&t even the $6000 they were willing to "settle" for.

•••••

Bit00
Premium
join:2009-02-19
00000

2 edits

I'd let them take me to municipal court

No way I'm going to pay international roaming fees when in Miami and depending on when she signed up, it doesn't matter what the contract says, it is what a "reasonable" person would have done in that situation which means unlimited means unlimited. Just because something is buried in a contract at 4pt font doesn't mean it's automatically enforceable.

We've seen cases here at DSLR (I think it was "Verizon's Fuzzy Math") where these company's own agents don't know what the fees are.

I'm curious as to what AT&T's true costs to deliver that game to the subscriber was...$20, $50, $500? Certainly it couldn't be anywhere CLOSE to $6000.

•••••••••
sharksfan3
Premium
join:2004-02-16
North Hollywood, CA

Streaming media

I believe it's also against AT&T's TOS to stream media over their data network.

I don't feel bad at all for this person. $6,000 is better than $27,788.93.

•••
jsloan

join:2005-05-11
Kearny, NJ
kudos:1

easy fix

companies could easily stop this. they could call you, email you, ect when you reach p% over your normal monthly, dialy, weekly, ect usage. they don't because they actually make money on people who make mistakes like the above.

••••••••

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

Phone vs Data Card?

Why did she have her phone tethered if she had a wireless data card? I'm confused.
me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO

1 recommendation

I smell a lawasuit.

If it says unlimited it should be unlimited not 5g+ overages. I hope they ether have to give REAL unlimited OR say on their main page "we have a 5g cap+ overages, and if you use it in a US ship port your bill could be over $20,000!" well it would be with in the realm of not being false advertising.

•••••

fcisler
Premium
join:2004-06-14
Riverhead, NY

Crazy

There is no, 0, zip, zilch, nada reason as to WHY ANY CONSUMER cell phone account should be able to accrue more than lets say $5,000 in charges.

Got a business plan and spend $20k a month on 30+ cellphones? Yes. I do know someone who does.

Why in the hell should AT&T let this woman rack up that bill? I can understand why when you buy a 500 minute plan you can go to 750 minutes. They make a very hefty sum off of overages.

Is it me that finds that - for once - cell phone companies should opt-in a $5,000 cap and then give you the option to opt-out of that? In this case...when you rack up the $5,000 they can tell you "well you didn't opt out". Or when you opt-out and they try and charge you $28k they can go "well you opted out"

•••

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

Waived

If you RTA, the charges were completely waived. They didn't have to pay a dime.

funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6

Re: Waived

said by Matt3:

If you RTA, the charges were completely waived. They didn't have to pay a dime.
Sorry, but it doesn't count when a company does the right thing under pressure of a consumer reporter.

The charges should have been waived before the Chicago Tribune got involved. When a company does the right thing on its own, that's one thing. When it takes a consumer reporter to straighten out the mess on behalf of the customer, then the company deserves to get its face slapped.

For every one of these we find out about, I'd bet that there are 10 who either pay the original bill or some large fraction of it.
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Hillsboro, Oregon -- KJ7RL
... Do something! ...

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

Re: Waived

said by funchords:

said by Matt3:

If you RTA, the charges were completely waived. They didn't have to pay a dime.
Sorry, but it doesn't count when a company does the right thing under pressure of a consumer reporter.
I completely agree. I just saw a lot of posts about how they should sue and the DSLR article states she had to pay $6,000, so I just wanted to point out that she doesn't have to pay anything.

I absolutely, 100% agree that the only reason AT&T waived it was because the Chicago Tribune got involved.

devrandom
I got a pot, full of random stuff here
Premium
join:2003-06-28

Eh..

Every so often when these stories come up, they remind me of how much wireless voice/data is akin to a credit card/line of credit.

Most people don't know/don't care about the interest rates on their credit cards until they're hit with the bill, and they also don't care/don't know about data usage. Out of sight for the immediate moment, out of mind.

IMO carriers will not probably care much about implementing proper warnings and whistles. I suppose there are mechanisms now like what Karl mentions, but that barely cuts it (it didn't in this situation). I don't think we'll get anymore than that -- we don't have much in the way of voice controls now, so I doubt we'll see anything in the realm of data.

Traditional mobile voice/sms users are already educated on overages (since wireless sms/voice has been popular for so long, as well as the usual terms, minutes, etc). It is only a matter of time until everybody gets the clue about data (I hope).

funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6

$135.00 a minute? Apply the Reasonableness Test !

There is no way that ANY data service ought to cost $135.00 a minute (based on the $28K amount) or even $30 a minute (based on the $6K amount).

Figuring 200 minutes or so of football, how can someone justify any non-International bill of over $200?
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Hillsboro, Oregon -- KJ7RL
... Do something! ...

••••

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

This will go well in court.

Unlimited meaning 5 gig, $135 a minute, she could easily be a millionaire soon.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: This will go well in court.

said by Metatron2008:

Unlimited meaning 5 gig, $135 a minute, she could easily be a millionaire soon.
from the website

"DataConnect is not an unlimited plan."

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS

Roaming???

No one has mentioned it yet, but dont Cruise Ships have on board equipment that act as cell sites for when out at sea? I have yet to be on a cruise but Sprint talks of this on there website. Is it possible she was connected to this system while sitting in port? Maybe she was deep into the ship in her cabin and the standard non-roaming signal couldnt penetrate the ship enough so the ships system took precedence? Not really sure.

Either way...to those that say they should have cut her off when she reached her cap...it takes a fair amount of time before usage is calculated and accounted for to the customers account. It is in no way calculated in real time. The damage most likely would have been done before the data session was billed...even longer of a time if she was indeed roaming as it can take several hours - to several days before roaming partners update each other.
--
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N10Cities
Premium
join:2002-05-07
Fort Smith, AR
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

4 edits

Re: Roaming???

said by swintec:

No one has mentioned it yet, but dont Cruise Ships have on board equipment that act as cell sites for when out at sea? I have yet to be on a cruise but Sprint talks of this on there website. Is it possible she was connected to this system while sitting in port? Maybe she was deep into the ship in her cabin and the standard non-roaming signal couldnt penetrate the ship enough so the ships system took precedence? Not really sure.

Either way...to those that say they should have cut her off when she reached her cap...it takes a fair amount of time before usage is calculated and accounted for to the customers account. It is in no way calculated in real time. The damage most likely would have been done before the data session was billed...even longer of a time if she was indeed roaming as it can take several hours - to several days before roaming partners update each other.
This issue has been discussed over on Slashdot and that is EXACTLY what happened. The person was connecting thru the ship's cell connection (which counts as overseas roaming) that should not have been turned on while they were in a U.S. port. That should have only been turned on when they were out to sea, in which case a cell call goes up via satellite which is at that point overseas roaming. The article BBR is referencing talks about a woman, while the Register refers to a man, so I am presuming both are talking about the same issue.

This call should have been connected thru the regular land-based network and not thru the ship's network.

The Register article: »www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/23···on_ship/

Slashdot discussion: »idle.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid···/1428259

Apparently, her cell provider had been trying to send her SMS alerts, but they don't come thru on the ship's network.

Quote: "Unfortunately for Burdick he was actually connected to the ship's onboard network, which accounts for the international roaming, and his datacard was unable to display the repeated warnings that AT&T kept sending him over SMS."

DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

wasnt there a $100 dollar limit

I remember reading a while back , that ATT was charging a maximum of $100, regardless of overage. Again this is ATT's fault, the service should have just turned off, when she hit $100 worth.. It completely unreasonable to expect someone to pay this..

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

2 edits

Re: wasnt there a $100 dollar limit

said by DaveDude:

I remember reading a while back , that ATT was charging a maximum of $100, regardless of overage. Again this is ATT's fault, the service should have just turned off, when she hit $100 worth.. It completely unreasonable to expect someone to pay this..
Ultimately he paid about $300 (about $80 more than their regular bill of $220).

»www.suntimes.com/news/zimmermann···.article
my cell phone/wireless card bill, which is usually about $220, and it said I owe $28,067.31.

Team Fixer pleaded your case with AT&T, and the good news is they've agreed to credit your bill for $27,776.66.

--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page
expert007

join:2006-01-10
Buffalo, NY

$3000 is nowhere near $28,000......but its still alot...

We got my son a new AT&T cell phone for Xmas, and recently we got his first bill in the amount of $3012.50, most of which was of course, pay as you go data charges.

Problem is, we never told him specifically NOT to use the internet. Why would I even know that internet was enabled by default when on ALL of my previous AT&T phones and Blackberries, internet wasn't available unless you had previously signed up for a data plan?

About an hour on the phone with two different AT&T reps, one in customer service and one in billing, and a two week special review of the circumstances led them to waive ALL of the data charges. They disabled the data service to the phone, which took all of five seconds, but of course, my son had been informed that he wasn't to use ANY data services already. I wasn't a dick about getting it resolved, but I made it clear that I wouldn't accept their usual proposed solution, which apparently was "If you sign up for a data plan, we'll waive the charges". For a kids phone, there was never any intent to have a data plan on there anyway.

I have to give them kudos for taking care of this right away.
bemis

join:2008-07-18
Reading, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: $3000 is nowhere near $28,000......but its still alot...

said by expert007:

We got my son a new AT&T cell phone for Xmas, and recently we got his first bill in the amount of $3012.50, most of which was of course, pay as you go data charges.

Problem is, we never told him specifically NOT to use the internet. Why would I even know that internet was enabled by default when on ALL of my previous AT&T phones and Blackberries, internet wasn't available unless you had previously signed up for a data plan?

About an hour on the phone with two different AT&T reps, one in customer service and one in billing, and a two week special review of the circumstances led them to waive ALL of the data charges. They disabled the data service to the phone, which took all of five seconds, but of course, my son had been informed that he wasn't to use ANY data services already. I wasn't a dick about getting it resolved, but I made it clear that I wouldn't accept their usual proposed solution, which apparently was "If you sign up for a data plan, we'll waive the charges". For a kids phone, there was never any intent to have a data plan on there anyway.

I have to give them kudos for taking care of this right away.
This reminds me of a story of a guy at work... he got his 10 year old son a Verizon cell phone... kid proceeds to call his "girlfriend" for about 4 hours every afternoon for a month... at the end of the month the Dad gets a ~$1000 bill and I overhear him arguing on the phone w/ Verizon that when they say that "Verizon to Verizon" calls are unlimited he assumed that they were including Verizon land lines (which is what the girlfriend had I guess).

I don't mean to rude, but read the contracts people

I have a friend who had a deer-in-headlights look the other month when he hit the limit on his credit card and was hit with over-limit fees... "I had no idea the fees were so high!" ... that's because you never bothered to read the contract you signed.

I also think that kids should get prepaid phones like AT&T's goPhone that are NOT auto-refilled with a credit card or bank account... you put in $30, you get to use $30... they can add more if they buy a refill card, otherwise you can still use it to call 911.
expert007

join:2006-01-10
Buffalo, NY

Re: $3000 is nowhere near $28,000......but its still alot...

I'm looking through the contract, and I don't see where it says that pay as you go data service is enabled by default. Its certainly not that way on other phones.

SteveLV702
Premium
join:2004-04-22
Las Vegas, NV

haha could have watched game in person for that amount.

$20,000 holly crap for that amount she could have flown First class and gotten seats right on the 50 yard line and watched the game in person for that amount.
blacksurfer

join:2002-07-14
Sherman Oaks, CA

Re: haha could have watched game in person for that amount.

I want to be notified if my bill ever gets close to $200. This is rediculous!!

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Lame

If cell phone providers are going to waive contract provisions for a select group of idiots who choose not to read them, does that mean those contracts should not apply to the rest of us who do read them as well?
--
Blagojevich / Madoff 2012!

••••

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

It wasn't a woman watching Bears; it was her husband

»Yet Another Ridiculous 3G Bill
The Chicago Tribune has the latest tale of a woman who decided to watch a "Slingboxed" Chicago Bears game
It wasn't a woman. It was the husband. The woman in the picture was the reporter on the story.

»www.suntimes.com/news/zimmermann···.article
My wife and I are exhausted over this.

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My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

jadebangle
Premium
join:2007-05-22
00000
kudos:1

Re: It wasn't a woman watching Bears; it was her husband

said by FFH5:

»Yet Another Ridiculous 3G Bill
The Chicago Tribune has the latest tale of a woman who decided to watch a "Slingboxed" Chicago Bears game
It wasn't a woman. It was the husband. The woman in the picture was the reporter on the story.

»www.suntimes.com/news/zimmermann···.article
My wife and I are exhausted over this.
so it is a man after all! I thought it was a women or was it a girl?