dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


view:
topics flat nest 
Comments on news posted 2007-09-10 09:02:10: Back in July, a man was shocked to see that he'd received a $3,000 iPhone bill after heading overseas and getting nailed by the AT&T Wireless "pay-per-byte" data plan. ..


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

Surprised?

People who are dumb enough to pay $600 for a piece of inferior technology (multiple times over in this case) are also dumb enough to understand the terms of service to which they agreed when they bought such a device.
--
Only SHATNER is Kirk.
ace1974

join:2007-06-09
Goldsboro, NC

Re: Surprised?

said by pnh102:

People who are dumb enough to pay $600 for a piece of inferior technology (multiple times over in this case) are also dumb enough to understand the terms of service to which they agreed when they bought such a device.
You got that right,,I just cant understand why anyone would pay that kind of money for such a device. It's clearly a ripoff in my opinion

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: Surprised?

They should be glad that they weren't using a 3G connection... they'd probably suck up a lot more data.
--
Canada = Hollywood North

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

Re: Surprised?

don't worry, they'll probably get a gov't bailout just like all of these "less than stellar" homeowners that are barking because they actually have an Adjustment in that Adjustable rate mortgage!
--
Burn a tire, but make sure you buy that carbon offset!

Townsend Harris

@verizon.net
Agreed. Everyone knows it's all about hardware and the price of hardware. Everyone knows it's *never* about design and ease-of-use for us do-it-yourselfers.

Why, just last year I took five weeks off from my job, learned helium-arc welding, and rebuilt that iron balcony railing on my back terrace. I taught a good lesson to that darn welder who wanted to charge me $717 to do the same job that I just did for free, free I tell you!

Sheesh, these crazy iPhone users who pay for stuff that's worthless to rugged guys like me. Don't they know the real value of anything?

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK
no actually they aren't. They just blindly buy with their ill gotten dollars and then bitch and whine when the price drops or the bill isn't what they expected.
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"
Expand your moderator at work
Warez_Zealot

join:2006-04-19
Vancouver
said by pnh102:

People who are dumb enough to pay $600 for a piece of inferior technology (multiple times over in this case) are also dumb enough to understand the terms of service to which they agreed when they bought such a device.
I see your point about the stupid suckers who waited in line to buy an iPhone, but those charges are ridiculous. Have you ever read a TOS? It's like 20 pages of useless crap to hide the 2 paragraphs of the important stuff (i.e the international roaming info).. I'm sure all that $5 - $20 per MB was buried in the fine print.. Something tells me it wasn't advertised in the pamphlet or in the bullet points.
--
"You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it." - Malcolm X
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Surprised?

20 pages or not.. read read read! The length of the contract is not only no excuse to not held accountable, to the dolts that use their service, it should serve as a warning to stay away.

Much of what needs to be said can be said in about the average 16 section/paragraph TOS agreement. Much of it is standard, acceptable use, billing, and general terms should always be paid close attention to.

But, as for the topic at hand.. the person holding the phone should have either took out a home equity loan (which I'm assuming this iPhone user doesn't own one) or grab that credit card and pay their bill. If they have the money to travel international, they should have the money to pay their bill. And, it doesn't matter what handset you use, it was the actions of the user that rang up that bill.
--
"Complaining is the least path of resistance for the self-serving, the lazy, and I’m told it’s a woman’s prerogative..."
Ahrenl

join:2004-10-26
North Andover, MA

Re: Surprised?

After AT&T cancelled that other guy's bill? Are you nuts? Definitely fight it, then you won't have to pay! Woohoo!
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Surprised?

To be honest, what shocks me most is that AT&T didn't have some kind of credit management system in place to thwart off this kind of bill in the first place.
--
"Complaining is the least path of resistance for the self-serving, the lazy, and I’m told it’s a woman’s prerogative..."

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

Have you ever read a TOS?
Actually, yes, I have. I read everything I sign at least 5 times before I sign it. If I remember correctly, the last landlord I rented from hated my guts because I took the time to actually read the lease.
--
Only SHATNER is Kirk.

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Surprised?

No matter where I am they always look stupid when I lean back, cross my legs, and start reading the contract line by line. They always want to assure me its nothing special. "Oh that page just says you get xyz..."

They really get impatient. And of course I tell them to shorten the contract. They don't mind you signing 15-20 places per sheet, but they get annoyed if you want to take your time and read it. Not to mention the person asking you to sign never has any clue WTH the contract really says and if you ask a question they must call someone else...
--
dnoyeB
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes 9:16
Gogo1

join:2004-05-27
Brooklyn, NY
Wow. 20 page TOS or not, and whether they bothered to read it or not, youd think these people would find out the costs of using the phone overseas before they went on holiday. How do people this foolish even make enough money to buy an iPhone?
Windogg

join:2002-07-24
Cambridge, MA

1 edit

2 recommendations

Those are the same people that complain about being "forced" into a no income verification, no money down, 40 year, adjustable rate mortgage for beachfront property in North Dakota. When I signed for my mortgage, I read every word despite knowing I had a 15 year fixed.

While I do feel a little bad but I feel no sympathy. I like my unlocked Windows Mobile device which I paid $100. When I travel internationally, I just pop in a prepaid SIM and pay cheap, local rates for voice and data.

People need to take personal responsibility and be an informed buyer. Too many idiots out there letting others think for them and then cry when they get ripped off.
dlr_graph

join:2002-02-03
Elizabeth, NJ
That is the purpose of contracts, to get you confused with garbage you don't need. Paying so much money for that phone tells me that they have no common sense. I don't read the TOS but do ask what is covered when I travel. One thing I still don't understand is why would someone spend money in a test message (e-mail in this case) instead of just waiting or making a ohone call? If this people went on a cruise and had time to e-mail "friens" probably means that the trip was boring and were ripped-off anyway. They should be responsible for all the charges.

user3657

join:2000-04-27
Trenton, NJ
said by Warez_Zealot:

said by pnh102:

People who are dumb enough to pay $600 for a piece of inferior technology (multiple times over in this case) are also dumb enough to understand the terms of service to which they agreed when they bought such a device.
I see your point about the stupid suckers who waited in line to buy an iPhone, but those charges are ridiculous. Have you ever read a TOS? It's like 20 pages of useless crap to hide the 2 paragraphs of the important stuff (i.e the international roaming info).. I'm sure all that $5 - $20 per MB was buried in the fine print.. Something tells me it wasn't advertised in the pamphlet or in the bullet points.
i dunno about you, but when looking at tos for something, i can useally find what im looking for in under 5mins. they dont randomly put things anywhere.
GawdHelpMe

join:2007-09-11
Welland, ON
doesn't matter. people are STUPID. they assume they can just use a cell phone ANYWHERE they go, and its all-inclusive. i used to do customer care for a large US provider. you wouldn't believe how ignorant people are, and a lot of the important information isn't buried in the contract, its presented to them, in a simple, comprehensive, three color summary page, they just don't READ anything. basically, all wireless provider contracts state that they don't guarantee ANYTHING.
CSU

join:2002-10-21
Lagrange, GA

Re: Suprised!

There's not anything wrong with the iPhone. I think it's a great stylish phone. The problem is the cell company. It seems that all cell companies can take a great phone and screw it up. AT&T was lucky enough to have apple bring their product to them and no other company. I can't even imagine how T-Mobile would have screwed things up.
ender7074

join:2006-11-21
Saint Louis, MO

Re: Suprised!

Actually AT&T was what was left after others turned down the iPhone. There was no luck involved here. Other than that you are absolutely right. I think the damn cell phone companies need to stop screwing around with the phones and let them work as intended.

Pirate515
Premium
join:2001-01-22
Brooklyn, NY

Re: Suprised!

said by ender7074:

Actually AT&T was what was left after others turned down the iPhone. There was no luck involved here. Other than that you are absolutely right. I think the damn cell phone companies need to stop screwing around with the phones and let them work as intended.
Why are you saying that every other cell phone company turned down the iPhone? AFAIK, the only other company that Apple approached when developing iPhone was Verizon, and they were actually trying to work out a deal, but it ultimately fell through. So then Apple went with AT&T instead.

IMO, Apple should have simply sold them unlocked. That would have allowed them to sell them to both AT&T and T-Mobile customers. Plus they could have made a CDMA version of it for Verizon and Sprint customers as well. Of course, CDMA phones are not as easy to activate as GSM ones, but it's still only a matter of trip to the carrier's store or a phone call to have them program the phone's ESN with customer's account.
--
Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies...
A MESSAGE to the RIAA and the MPAA: You shouldn't wound what you can't kill...

Jim Gurd
Premium
join:2000-07-08
Livonia, MI

Re: Suprised!

said by Pirate515:

Apple should have simply sold them unlocked. That would have allowed them to sell them to both AT&T and T-Mobile customers.
I can't figure out why they didn't. That would have given them far more potential sales. Since it supports Edge only they could have made a quad band, unlocked version that could have been sold worldwide. Very shortsighted of them not to do so.
--
We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company.

-- Ernestine

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: Suprised!

It was kind of a 'double' lock. Phones had to be registered through Apple (iTunes?) if I'm not mistaken.
Sounds like there was a bit of a power struggle on this one.

AT&T wants the cool phone (sans 3G thanks to Apple), and locks the WiFi to require AT&T subscription.
Apple wants revenue from both iTunes and hardware sales, and requires registration through iTunes.

While I don't agree with this not being a 3G phone, I do like that it is GSM, and usable worldwide. A CDMA variant would be good in the US/Canada/South Korea/Mexico and a few other places. Face it.. GSM globally has 2.5billion subscribers, CDMA 387 million. More than a 6:1 advantage by population.
--
Canada = Hollywood North

CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County
AT&T was the only one who would give up their ability to decide what would be on the phone and instead give that power to Apple. They were the only ones willing to give that up so there is less luck to do with it.
ShadezeRO

join:2006-04-24
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Re: Suprised!

said by CylonRed:

AT&T was the only one who would give up their ability to decide what would be on the phone and instead give that power to Apple. They were the only ones willing to give that up so there is less luck to do with it.
I think apple is the only company they would do that for. I read about ATT's endeavors with the RAZR2. Apparently they cannot add online media functions, and with a ton more restrictions on it.

Lemme find the link !

»www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2170266,00.asp

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA
Well, lets do the general 'why'

1. Verizon wouldn't give up control (Verizon likes their restricted UI). Apple would probably do well with their locking down of the device though. Apple in the long run wouldn't do as well, as iPhone CDMA restricts sales/usability to US vs. globally (GSM).

2. T-Mobile would probably do well, as they are GSM/EDGE, however have only 1/2 the subs of AT&T or Verizon. Apple wants lots of sales (obviously).

3. Sprint - CDMA - would be good for data, however, Sprint doesn't have a large native network. Sprint /EVDO would do very well, however Sprint is in too much state of flux, and high churn in general. (CDMA, iDEN, WiMAX, etc) Apple would want more subs, and more 'global' presence. Won't happen with Sprint.
--
Canada = Hollywood North

CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Re: Suprised!

As far as I know - #1 applies to every cell carrier in the US (other than AT&T now but just for the iPhone). AT&T had the pockets and agreed not to lock up the phone while none of the others had the pockets or wanted to give up the control.

In the US it is SOP to have the phone company decide what the phone can do and in Europe - it is usually the other way around...
Ahrenl

join:2004-10-26
North Andover, MA
Sprint locks down their phone's more than ANYONE. You can't even buy a 3rd party phone to use in their network if it doesn't explicitly say SPRINT on it.

Bumpin1ohm
Bumpin1ohm
Premium
join:2002-07-15
Aurora, CO

Re: Suprised!

same with verizon, qwest, helio, alltel, and all major nationwide cdma carriers. u have the exception of companies like cricket that dont care, but they are the exception not the rule.

plus it keeps down customer service calls. "why wont my picture messaging/internet/email/other enhanced services work?" answer: BECAUSE YOUR TRYING TO BE CHEAP. sure you can take a samsung u740 and make it function on cricket, but not with picture messaging and wap (yet...)

when you restrict your own devices to access the network it keeps more meaningless customer service calls off the line, open for real problems.
--
Loud and Clear
Ahrenl

join:2004-10-26
North Andover, MA

Re: Suprised!

Actually Verizon lets you use non-Verizon unlocked phones on their network. They just have to be CDMA phones. Sprint keeps a list of (lets call them serial numbers) of all phones sold with sprint logo's, and only those will work on their network.

They don't care about customer service. They want to be able to overcharge you for obsolete phones in their inventories. There is little difference in customer service satisfaction between GSM and CDMA carriers.

MadMoneyFan

@cox.net
said by CSU:

There's not anything wrong with the iPhone. I think it's a great stylish phone.
Shhh, be careful. The Apple haters on this site (and the rest of the internet) are so blinded by their irrational and illogical hatred of Apple and its products any sort of logical argument, like personal preference, is pointless.

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Comcast

Interesting..

quote:
....he user brought attention to the fact that AT&T Blackberry users are able to sign up for a $70 unlimited international plan, but iPhone users are not.
And I wonder why this is?
--
YourIP.US - It's Your IP .. and more!
rr.cx - Personal Site.. coming soon.

•••
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

rate reform, NOW!

Data does NOT cost that much to route internationally, even if it's through 3rd party carriers, even if it were by SATELLITE PHONE, $5-20 per megabyte?

What a ripoff! Time for AT&T to reform these international data rates.

••••••••••
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Future Nine Corp..
·T-Mobile US
·Optimum Online

Dumb

Dumb people getting dumber. Do people ever look at their phones? It says "DIGITAL ROAM" for a reason, some phones even warn you about this before placing a data or voice call.

I do blame the sales marketing machine for this though. They're great about highlighting what's included, not too forthcoming about the fine print.

They'll get off though. Last thing AT&T wants is a mass exodus due to alleged draconian business practices.

wifi4milez
Big Russ, 1918 to 2008. Rest in Peace

join:2004-08-07
New York, NY

Re: Dumb

The customer needed to activate international roaming before they left, on all three accounts. This alone should have given them some idea that additional charges would be incurred, especially since they no doubt discussed the places they would be traveling to with the ATT rep. If these people had the foresight to know that they needed to specially enable their cell phones to work in a foreign country, then they should have to pay the charges associated with doing so!
--
!

N10Cities
Premium
join:2002-05-07
Fort Smith, AR
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

4 edits

Background processes running up bill....

It looks like in the instance of the family hit with $4800, the emails were being downloaded to the phones even while they were off! (prefetching them to save time)

Slashdot article on same issue claims they didn't even use the phones while on the cruise: »hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl···/1216224

Would have been hard to catch this one unless the phone warned that it was going to International Roaming and would you like to continue downloading emails..assuming you had them on to start with...

••••••

NoelC
D S L R Bliss
Premium,MVM
join:2003-09-03
Florida
kudos:1

1 edit

Am I missing something?

How does a user with a relatively low bandwitch iPhone chew through enough data to result in an $1900 bill at $24.95 for 20 megabytes? That's 1.5 gigabytes of data.

quote:
AT&T iPhone users users who travel Outside the U.S. pay $24.99 for 20 megabytes. In some countries, users can pay between $5 to $20 per megabyte for data.
Even at the extreme of $20 a megabyte they would have had to pull 95 megabytes through their iPhones. What did they do - play YouTube videos constantly?

Something seems rather fishy here.

-Noel

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

Re: Am I missing something?

The article doesn't specify how long the cruise was, but I think a week is a good estimate. This means that we're talking about 13.5MB per day.

The article mentions that the father and daughter each had 2 e-mail accounts set up. (The mother had 1, but the $1900 was just for the father and the daughter.) That's 6 e-mail accounts for the three iPhones to check each day, or 2.26MB per e-mail account per day. This is still quite a bit, but it can be within reason if spam filtering is done at the phone's end. (Not sure how it works with an iPhone.) One virus/trojan attachment and you could easily hit that. (Talk about spam costing the user money!!!)

packetscan
Premium
join:2004-10-19
Bridgeport, CT

Network Restrictions

You should be told on the phone you are entering a roaming zone and to accept the out of network charges with the rates disclosed. Similar to authorizing the charge for say a ring tone/game.

These Folks should have done some research, no doubt about that. However I can't help but feel they are knowingly and willing allowing the customer to Vastly exceed normal usage with out warning prior to the ACT (not in fine print of a contract).
--
Reach out and Tap someone!

proefain
Premium
join:2000-05-08
Crofton, MD

1 edit

It was 3 phones

Come on people read the article. It was 3 iphones, a husband, wife and their daughter each had their own.

The way I see it this family is not the type to read the fine print because what’s a few hundred dollars in roaming fees when you’re traveling Europe and all have matching iphones with a month bill of ~ $300 for the trio. The shock came when instead of a few hundred dollar bill it was a few thousand dollar bill.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000

2 edits

3 iPhones = too rich to care, right?

who has 3 iPhones? that means they dropped almost $2k for the phones plus have a monthly bill of $200+ just for cell phone service.

you'd think they wouldn't notice the bill for $4800.

•••••••

Bellunder

@teksavvy.com

The writing is on the wall so to speak

Apple will go down with stocks like Bre-x and Nortel. A big league short more like a major league short. Give it a few years and Apple will be back in the penny stock category. Their ipod will be defunct in less than two years put out of business by the patent holder's Sandisk memory chips. With the Dow set to drop at least 50 percent this stock is earmarked as one the best short sales ever (of all time). Trust me on this one.

MadMoneyFan

@cox.net

Re: The writing is on the wall so to speak

Amazing... Not a single FACT or bit of data from their fundamentals to back up your "forecast".

Keep your day job because you definitely aren't channeling Jim Cramer.
Pictor Guy

join:2004-06-21
Sammamish, WA

Not much in that story other than stupid

Can't really find blame in ATT or Apple for user error. The phone doesn't default to check mail, they have to set that up themselves. The phone, if it really was off, wouldn't fetch mail so they must have had the phone sleeping (not off) for it to fetch mail. I've used the iPhone overseas, it's NOT going to drive your bill up unless you use it. So to get a $1000+ bill per phone you have to use the thing A LOT and if the phone was off why would it need a charge? I doubt that the phone was able to use EDGE to download that much data without a charge.

RedWyvern
PHA

join:2002-03-19
Yonkers, NY

1 recommendation

Re: Not much in that story other than stupid

These comments are a sad commentary of our mindsets. Everybody talking about what AT&T as a company should have done. They did it. It's in the TOS. Bring it before a Judge, and see where the decision goes. If I get a license, and don't read the part about passing a stopped school bus with flashing lights, should the cop let me go, because it was buried in the drivers manual? When is ignorance ever an excuse legally? I feel for them, a little, but that makes no difference. I just got back from a cruise, and I kept my phone on for calendar and reminders, BUT I put it in Airplane Mode to turn off ALL radio. How did I know to do that? I called Helio BEFORE I left, and asked questions.
--
Vigilance is to be on guard for the unguarded moment.
Diligence is to know that it's coming.
Paranoia is to think it's already came.
PaddyReagan
Premium
join:2007-04-26
Naples, FL

Enough with the Caveat Emptor!

We're so accustomed to being ripped off that our shields should be permanently in place. Examples: $7 per gallon gasoline if you don't have time to fill up the rental car; $10 for a wad of cotton candy at the circus; $5 for 20 cents worth of popcorn at the movies.

But, the cellular companies seem to be masters at finding ways to get past those shields. Example: We bought our son a phone so we could maintain contact during his busy schedule (he's 13.) AT&T was instructed to put every block in place so that only local calls could be made. Two months later a bill for $384 arrived for ring tones and text messages. We showed them the contract with instructions to block and the charge went away.

Two months later, we received a bill for $1,294. This time, our son, during a Boy Scout camping trip, discovered that he could access YouTube and, over a three hour period, used several megs of download. (The one cent per KB seemed so innocent and the total combined access time was less than two hours. How's that for an hourly rate?!!) Again, the charge was removed.

My point here is this: As customers, the cellular providers shouldn't be putting all these snares in the path of quality service. I want my mobile experience to be on a clear field, not a mine field. If the companies you and I own or work for treated clients like AT&T el al, we would quickly be out of business. I don't want to wade through 20 pages of lawyered up fine print before I make a call. If the cellular providers could understand this simple principal, most of the thousands of customer service operators could be removed and the communications world would be a much happier place.

supergirl

join:2007-03-20
Pensacola, FL

Re: Enough with the Caveat Emptor!

said by PaddyReagan:

We're so accustomed to being ripped off that our shields should be permanently in place. Examples: $7 per gallon gasoline if you don't have time to fill up the rental car; $10 for a wad of cotton candy at the circus; $5 for 20 cents worth of popcorn at the movies.

But, the cellular companies seem to be masters at finding ways to get past those shields. Example: We bought our son a phone so we could maintain contact during his busy schedule (he's 13.) AT&T was instructed to put every block in place so that only local calls could be made. Two months later a bill for $384 arrived for ring tones and text messages. We showed them the contract with instructions to block and the charge went away.

Two months later, we received a bill for $1,294. This time, our son, during a Boy Scout camping trip, discovered that he could access YouTube and, over a three hour period, used several megs of download. (The one cent per KB seemed so innocent and the total combined access time was less than two hours. How's that for an hourly rate?!!) Again, the charge was removed.

My point here is this: As customers, the cellular providers shouldn't be putting all these snares in the path of quality service. I want my mobile experience to be on a clear field, not a mine field. If the companies you and I own or work for treated clients like AT&T el al, we would quickly be out of business. I don't want to wade through 20 pages of lawyered up fine print before I make a call. If the cellular providers could understand this simple principal, most of the thousands of customer service operators could be removed and the communications world would be a much happier place.
I agree with all that. A 2-page TOS could easily spell out all the possible charges. My cell contract was actually two pages. Of course, I did read the phone's manual, which apparently the idiots on the cruise didn't.

I will tell you that cell phone "authorized" dealers are crooked as they come.
--
Saving the world keeps me busy. However, I find Earth very primitive from my home planet of Krypton.
-Supergirl

burgerwars

join:2004-09-11
Northridge, CA

No sympathy from me.

Pa-leeze. It's widely known that calling from your cellphone internationally costs more. For a cruise, rates are about $2.49 per minute. Why should they be surprised when they use it for the internet, that things should be cheaper?

Vamp9190
Premium
join:2002-02-11
Chantilly, VA
kudos:1

how much data?

OK so $25 for 20MB of data....how much are these people getting in their e-mail? Even huge e-mail attachments are 1-5MB but only from people you know....spammers send tiny text messages that are a few KB

How are they racking up such high charges....so $1,000 would be like 800MB worth of data....a cruise is at max 2 weeks....not possible as far as I can see.