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AT&T Charges $750 For One Minute of International Data Roaming

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the canadian-dollars-count dept.

AT&T 321

reifman (786887) writes 'Last week, AT&T shut down my data service after I turned roaming on in Canada for one minute to check Google maps. I wasn't able to connect successfully but they reported my phone burned through 50 MB and that I owed more than $750. Google maps generally require 1.3 MB per cell. They adamantly refused to reactivate my U.S. data service unless I 'agreed' to purchase an international data roaming package to cover the usage. They eventually reversed the charges but it seems that the company's billing system had bundled my U.S. data usage prior to the border crossing with the one minute of international data roaming.'

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Even better bundle (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 8 months ago | (#47173913)

They now bundle "location services" for your AT&T credit card so that instead of somebody robbing you for your wallet, they now have to rob both your cell phone and your wallet, meaning you'll lose even more when you get robbed.

It's a feature, not a bug.

Re:Even better bundle (2)

koan (80826) | about 8 months ago | (#47173949)

Yeah I like how ATT sells it as a favour to the customer when it's really about being able to charge more for your information when they sell it to 3rd parties.

50MB = 750$ (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 8 months ago | (#47173925)

WTF? Not that a 50GB warrants a bill like that either.. this reminds me of the bad old days where you never knew if you went over your allocated time/minutes/etc until you got a bill, highly inflated for what it is.

This practice should be outlawed.

Re:50MB = 750$ (5, Informative)

Derekloffin (741455) | about 8 months ago | (#47173951)

Canada had the same thing going on with some absolutely absurd roaming charges. They recently changed the laws to limit how much you can be billed (can't comment to how effective that change was as I've had no cause to find out).

Re:50MB = 750$ (5, Insightful)

WarJolt (990309) | about 8 months ago | (#47174083)

Reminds me of running instances on AWS. AT&T has no financial incentive to reduce these surprise charges. Seriously there should be a hard cap that we can set. Sure we are responsible for these charge, but most of the times naive consumers are not aware. Amazon clearly posts the prices of their instances, but it's not uncommon to get a $30,000 bill accidentally due to some developer testing out their application by spinning off instances. You get charged for the whole hour when an instance starts on AWS and things can show up on their accounting system weeks later.

A real time system for monitoring usage should be mandated by law and sufficient warning should be available. A data roaming plan should automatically be applied if it will save you money. Most importantly we should have the ability to set a cap.

Re:50MB = 750$ (2)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 8 months ago | (#47174255)

I use AWS and I find the usage reports are pretty much up to the minute at any given time. So I think saying 'wow we didn't notice for weeks' is a bit of a stretch.

$15 a meg (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 8 months ago | (#47173969)

$15 a meg at least it's not $20 a meg as that is $1000 for 50MB.

Re:$15 a meg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174133)

$15 a meg at least it's not $40 a meg as that is $2000 for 50MB.

Re:$15 a meg (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174161)

$15 a meg at least it's not $20000000 a meg as that is $1000000000 for 50MB.

Still, it's cheaper than the Iraq war, so I don't see the big deal.

Re:50MB = 750$ (5, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#47174039)

This is why I like T-Mobile. While coverage is (and likely will always be) quite limited for 4G, I've never seen them cross the line from "typical big company evil" to the black depths of "phone company evil". Plus, they have decent pre-paid plans, which lets you strictly limit surprises.

Re: 50MB = 750$ (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 8 months ago | (#47174149)

Also, free data roaming (internationally ) at 2g speeds.

It was enough for me to use the maps and even yelp in a pinch.

Plus, all my email would sync in the background.

They also give 2.5 GB of tethering with the unlimited data plan ( which I frequently break into the 5-10 GB range in a month ).

Re: 50MB = 750$ (0)

cb88 (1410145) | about 8 months ago | (#47174245)

The free data roaming only applies to contract plans... the month to month pre payed plans do not count!

I learned this the hardware on a trip to Brazil... I think texts were 25 cent each and like $2 a min calling or something like that. That said T-mobile is the one of the best value plans around... and I have noticed the HSPA coverage is improving in my area (Charlotte/Gastonia,NC).

Re: 50MB = 750$ (5, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#47174319)

God ... the courier font ... it burns

Re: 50MB = 750$ (2)

Striikerr (798526) | about 8 months ago | (#47174351)

Yep.. T-Mobile is awesome in the USA. The tethering works great. No ridiculous prices to add SMS. Free international roaming (slower speeds but I'll take it! Also can buy data at a faster speed). I was on AT&T's plan for years. I had a grandfathered unlimited data pan with them. Once they sent me a notice for exceeding normal use (wasn't that much to be honest, I think the phone hit 3 Gigs of data due to our son watching some Netflix videos) and slowed my connection down (actually it was my wife's phone) we decided to leave AT&T for T-Mobile and are so glad we did. I tell everyone I know that they should leave AT&T and use T-Mobile..

Re:50MB = 750$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174223)

I use to travel between the US and Canada often as a t-mobile customer. I actually liked them as i had a "post pay" account and knew exactly what i was going to pay every month.

Re:50MB = 750$ (4, Informative)

KiloByte (825081) | about 8 months ago | (#47174295)

T-Mobile "not evil"??? They gouged me $150 for 1.5MB data roaming from Bosnia (I'm from Poland), and would take more had I used a contract rather than a prepaid plan. And unlike the guy in TFA, I did not get them to reverse the charges.

Re:50MB = 750$ (2)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#47174329)

But were the charges legitimate (not in error)?

The bar for "normal big company evil" is pretty low - one might argue it's resting on the ground. But phone companies own lots of trenching equipment and can still fail to clear a bar resting on the ground. And disrupt access to the bar for 6 weeks, while accidentally charging you $700 for it. I have no proof that the CEO of AT&T can't have an orgasm unless he strangles a puppy.

Re:50MB = 750$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174391)

Anecdotes mean nothing (obviously) but I've had horrible experiences with T-Mobile; like being charged a $1k contract cancellation fee after finding out the day I got the SIM (mailed, so it arrived a few weeks after the initial order went in) that there was no coverage in my area.

Re:50MB = 750$ (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 8 months ago | (#47174455)

I think this is because US T-mobile and Deusche Telekom T Mobile aren't really the same company anymore aside from the matching Logos and GSM frequencies.

Re:50MB = 750$ (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#47174087)

Adam Savage ran into this before [computerworld.com] .

Either AT&T is incompetent, or (quite possibly) the Canadian carriers are gouging.

This is hardly the first time we've heard of this happening. And I doubt it will be the last.

Re: 50MB = 750$ (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 8 months ago | (#47174165)

I'm not convinced the phone didn't sync 50MB in one minute if data had been off for a while.

Re: 50MB = 750$ (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#47174243)

Even still ... there is no sensible way that 50MB of data is worth $11K.

That's simply obscene.

Re: 50MB = 750$ (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#47174297)

LOL, or $750 ... something like that ... need more coffee apparently.

Re:50MB = 750$ (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 8 months ago | (#47174135)

Seems like he used the "No plan" rate for that first session as we discussed earlier [slashdot.org] you're supposed to tell AT&T somehow you're in another zone!

Re:50MB = 750$ (1)

alen (225700) | about 8 months ago | (#47174179)

on the website or via a smartphone app you can add international data to your account. it's like $30 for 100MB
you can pro rate it, start it from the date you change, and cancel the next month if you want. point is just add it before you go and no surprises

Re:50MB = 750$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174171)

My ISP actually had a flat limit based on sets of 40GB each. That is the fairest method in my opinion. The price was around £5 for that. So about $8-9. I think it got lower recently.
If it was lower, it would be great, but considering this ISP in question operated on low profits for years in order to get huge marketshare, they need to make some money.

But that sort of method by having bandwidth chunks like that is more reasonable. The problem arises when, say, someone uses 41GB, they need to pay for a whole 40GB extra when they only used 1.

Of course, I went with the "unlimited" plan now since we got fiber in a month ago.

Re:50MB = 750$ (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 8 months ago | (#47174407)

It is to be outlawed, as long as you live in the EU. In the US, no such luck. Instead, you have a "stupid tax", for people too fucking stupid to install a foreign sim card in their AT&T sim card friendly phones.

This isn't that complicated and AT&T is shit, but it's not that hard (and a whole lot cheaper and more convenient) to get a sim in a foreign country and basically treat it the same as your home wireless service - just with substantially better reception.

Having to "turn on" data temporarily in a foreign country is the first sign of a mistake.

Re:50MB = 750$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174423)

Am I missing something, att charges $30 for 120 meg package???

Use Osmand and download the world into your pocket (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47173927)

osmand [osmand.net]

This (5, Informative)

koan (80826) | about 8 months ago | (#47173937)

Is what monopolies get you, but aside from that why would *anyone* use their US phone for such a thing?
Buy a sim or get a cheap Canadian burner phone or.... how about just asking directions.

Data roaming is a scam just like text messages.

Re:This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174027)

I'll admit I don't know where he was in Canada (and I didn't really read the article), but I'm pretty sure one of our carriers (not a great one though they are cheap) has some reciprocal deal with AT&T anyway as long as you are in a major centre in Canada. Or at least if I were on that carrier (Wind Mobile) I can get unlimited talk,text and data provided by AT&T 15/month paid to Wind. I assume AT&T asked for the same in return (though whether they pass that on to their customers or just pocket the extra profit I guess I don't know).

Re:This (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 8 months ago | (#47174071)

^and turn off automatic updates if you do go roaming.

Re:This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174105)

Last time I checked, you couldn't easily get a Canadian SIM while in the US so you need to wait until you were there to get it, which might be a pain. And would a burner give you access to google maps?
This is yet another reason I like my pre-paid, unlocked T-Mobile phone - in Canada or elsewhere I can decide to buy a SIM, or not and just use Wifi if needed. That's what I did last time I was there. And no worries about roaming charges, because there aren't any!

Re:This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174175)

Not everyone is a poor child. I have a competitive plan from AT&T and data roam globally. Bills are never higher than ~$250 and I use data heavily in asia, canada, and europe when traveling a week or two a month.

Re:This (1)

Albanach (527650) | about 8 months ago | (#47174301)

That's still astronomical. There was a time, about twenty years ago when UK GSM providers simply charged you the local rate for service when roaming plus a 15% markup. Local calls were cheap when roaming. Other calls more expensive, but affordable. In the meantime, the cost of calls has plummeted in just about every nation, yet the cost of roaming has soared.

Re:This (2)

gmack (197796) | about 8 months ago | (#47174239)

Better yet you can use an app like Sygic that downloads the maps in advance. At least this way, you don't care if you are roaming or even if you have a signal at all.

Re:This (3, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#47174365)

LOL ... my TomTom hasn't incurred roaming charges even once.

So far it's been compatible with every rental car I've had.

And no extra fees besides my map updates.

Re:This (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 8 months ago | (#47174437)

Same with my TomTom iPhone app. And it's map updates are free.

Re:This (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 8 months ago | (#47174309)

I would because I have T-Mobile, and they don't rape me when I travel internationally.

You can roam internationally without leaving USA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47173941)

Try going to Point Loma in San Diego. Your phone will switch from US to Mexican cells and back.
Then you get to argue with the provider about the bill....

You can roam internationally without leaving USA (3, Informative)

MyNicknameSucks (1952390) | about 8 months ago | (#47173991)

In parts of Niagara Falls, Canada, it's also possible to bounce between US and Canadian carriers.

I just turn off data roaming for my phone and pick up a SIM for wherever I'm staying.

AT&T (3, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | about 8 months ago | (#47173945)

You learned not to touch hot things when you were a toddler. AT&T is one of those things that burn you. Pathetic you learned this now - I blame your parents.

t-mobile (4, Informative)

FunkyELF (609131) | about 8 months ago | (#47173957)

... just sayin
Every one of their new plans they have unlimited data including international.

Re:t-mobile (1, Insightful)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about 8 months ago | (#47174041)

... just sayin
Every one of their new plans they have unlimited data including international.

It's among the reasons I too am a customer of theirs. It's also what worries me about the Sprint merger. I have a gut feeling that we'll end up with a Sprint-like T-Mobile (not super-evil, but still a huge corp), rather than a T-Mobile like Sprint (a company that seems to go out of its way to make life miserable for Ma Bell and VZW).

Re:t-mobile (2)

PRMan (959735) | about 8 months ago | (#47174125)

Don't worry. Sprint doesn't act like a bunch of jerks like AT&T and Verizon.

Re:t-mobile (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174183)

Top-shelf sarcasm, good sir.

Re:t-mobile (1)

JazzLad (935151) | about 8 months ago | (#47174211)

ha ha ha

Re:t-mobile (2)

machineghost (622031) | about 8 months ago | (#47174063)

This! My wife went to Mexico recently so I called them to find out what terrible charges she would incur. It turns out text messages are completely free, phone calls are like 20 cents a minute, and data usage ... was either free or similarly cheap, can't remember which.

F**k AT&T.

Re:t-mobile (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 8 months ago | (#47174413)

Unlimited data is not unlimited data, and their international coverage caps out at 1GB.

Just get a foreign sim card and people can stop dealing with this weird crap where they pay excessive amounts for standard service.

Re:t-mobile (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 8 months ago | (#47174469)

* unlimited means analog modem speeds past the first 2.5 gigabyte.

happened to me too (1)

alen (225700) | about 8 months ago | (#47173981)

in laws used 20MB and it cost like $700

i called AT&T and they took off most of it

and i explained to my family that next time you go to mexico turn off roaming or pay for an unlocked phone and use a local SIM or buy the international package. i was going to add it on, but i didn't know my inlaws were taking their phones

Newsflash: AT&T Screws Its Customers (2)

machineghost (622031) | about 8 months ago | (#47174007)

I'm not saying this isn't ridiculous, but is it really Slashdot-worthy news? AT&T has been screwing its customers over on roaming charges since cell phones were invented, and even extreme cases like this one are a dime a dozen.

Sucks for the OP but it doesn't seem news-worthy to me.

Re:Newsflash: AT&T Screws Its Customers (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 8 months ago | (#47174035)

no, it's not newsworthy

but it feels good giving them as much bad PR as we can handle

post a story like this every other month

"consumers screwed by oligopolies" category should be a thing

background activity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174025)

while you were using google maps, your phone did lot's of background data transmission

the Canadian / US border (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174031)

If you were driving across the border and not flying, you have to be extremely careful about turning off your phone when nearing the border. While you may think you are innocently checking your farcebook account waiting in line for customs, your cell may have already switched over to canadian signal. Even sometimes driving on some of the US roads close to the border cell signals can easily switch to the north. Example: northern VT, NH, ME.

I feel your pain though, I've had similar experience in both Mexico and Canada. I turned on my phone in mexico to send one text to let someone know I had arrived and my phone received a 5 meg picture. A single picture of someone else's dinner cost me 135 dollars.

Would have been fine paying $20? (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | about 8 months ago | (#47174037)

($750/50MB)*1.3MB ~= $20. Ouch!

Point Roberts (5, Interesting)

onkelonkel (560274) | about 8 months ago | (#47174069)

There is a tiny "Island" of America called Point Roberts at the extreme NW corner of Washington State. The Canadians who live right along that border are forever fighting with their cell providers to take off roaming charges because the phone will often pick up the AT&T cell tower on the US side instead of the Telus (or whatever) tower on the Canadian side. The carriers seem quite helpless to fix the problem; some people I know there have to get roaming charges taken off every month.

Re:Point Roberts (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about 8 months ago | (#47174241)

Its actually a simple fix if their carier actually cared. A custom PRL for those customers could keep them off AT&T towers in that area.

A PRL is a prefered roaming list and the phone uses it to have your phone connect to the cheapest signal for them when their tower is not availible or full. You can find tools that may allow you to edit one and instal it yourself. I've done it when a storm made the closest tower to my home unreliable so i made it connect to the next closest one. But i was using an outdated rooted boost mobile phone so i don't know if you need root to do it yourself or not or if any phone will work.

Re:Point Roberts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174339)

Certain parts of the English coast have geographical quirks which mean that residents see French cellphone networks more easily than British ones.

Re:Point Roberts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174399)

That's nothing. I dropped AT&T for tmobile about 10 years ago. On multiple bills they had charged me some per-minute fees for calls that were supposed to be free (we had a family plan and I was calling a phone included on that plan). The first 2 times I called they just fixed the bill after spending about 10 minutes. The 3rd time it happened, I really argued with them and demanded to know why this was happening. After spending about 45 minutes on the phone and checking with various technicians, they finally figure out the cause. Their cell tower had reached capacity and so I was connecting to another company's tower, so they were charging me roaming. Mind you I was in the middle of a huge suburban area of a major US city, nowhere near the border, and along a major interstate. That was the final straw.

Dump ATT (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174073)

When I finally dumped ATT (after twice shutting off my service while having paid them in full) my life took a turn for the better. A week or so after dumping them I got a call from ATT customer retention trying to get me back. When I told them that their billing is messed up and I would rather cut off the end of my finger and write letters in blood using the post office than go back to ATT the rep said "Many people have told me the same thing.". After hanging up I'm not sure she referred to the billing mess or the writing in blood part.

RAZR fro the win! (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 8 months ago | (#47174075)

My unlocked, prepaid, 6 year old RAZR works perfectly well as a cell phone all over the world (with local SIM). And I don't have to worry about roaming charges or data plans.

Re:RAZR fro the win! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#47174127)

Wont any SIM based phone work with a local SIM? Isn't that the point?

Re:RAZR fro the win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174251)

Welcome to Canada, where our cell phones are locked to the carriers.

Re:RAZR fro the win! (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#47174291)

Funny, my HTC Desire C isn't locked to the Carrier. My last two Motorola Krazr phones weren't either.

I didn't think you could carrier lock a SIM based phone ... but I could be completely mistaken.

Re:RAZR fro the win! (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 8 months ago | (#47174315)

Mine isn't. Apple sells unlocked phones from their stores or web page. Lots of stores and webpages sell unlocked Android or dumb phones (I have an unlocked RAZR too). If you buy the locked phone from the carrier, well, you get what you pay for.

Re:RAZR fro the win! (1)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 8 months ago | (#47174145)

So you pay your "roaming charge" by changing the SIM... that's one way to say "Uh, AT&T, I'm not in my home zone!" by taking their SIM offline.

Re:RAZR fro the win! (1)

koreanbabykilla (305807) | about 8 months ago | (#47174193)

I too was once a RAZR fan. You should try an LG VU. None of the smartphone bullshit, but has a touchscreen and full keyboard. has a data modem just like the RAZR. Have to charge it every couple days. Prices vary on eBay, but i've paid anywhere from 5 to 45 dollars for them (Im REALLY hard on phones).

A movie that may explain their behaviour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174081)

The Corporation : The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power


Time to switch to TMobile (3, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | about 8 months ago | (#47174097)

I switched from Verizon when they screwed me like this (in that case, they refused to reverse a $300 overage charge). I switched to AT&T where I got "rollover minutes" so going over my minutes wouldn't result in that kind of overage. I still ended up paying for random data roaming (which I learned to have turned off before international trips), and when my wife accidentally used my line to call her family overseas. Plus AT&T started finding ways to charge us an extra allotment of data for my wife's cell that would suspiciously jump over the 250MB data line at around the 27th day of billing.

Now I'm on TMobile, where I don't pay overage for minutes (unlimited!), I have unlimited data (if I use my 2GB high speed, I go to EDGE unless I authorize more data - no overage). I pay no overage for roaming data, or texts. My wife pays $10/mo for being able to call her mom in europe on her cell, again unlimited.

All in all, we get 5 lines on our TMO account for what we were paying for 2 lines on either AT&T or Verizon. And the quality and coverage is better in almost every way (yes, smaller towns and inside museums/warehouses will result in bad/no coverage for TMO - I don't land in those situations very often at all).

I just had the opposite problem on Verizon (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 8 months ago | (#47174099)

Before leaving on my five-week visit to Europe, I enabled Verizon's buck-a-minute Global Voice Roaming on my iPhone, after having the website verify that a 4S could be used overseas. It qualified, but when I got over there I encountered five solid weeks of No Service, and so Verizon got no revenue whatever out of my overseas experience. I, on the other hand, was able to make do by using the Skype app over WiFi.

Re:I just had the opposite problem on Verizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174247)

Maybe if you checked to see if Europe had CDMA coverage, you would have seen this in advance. But that's ok, I'm sure your iPhone was a pretty brick over there.

This is why I straight talk on AT&T (1)

Formorian (1111751) | about 8 months ago | (#47174123)

Yes when you cross the border you don't get service (I live in NY near border).

However, a cheap prepaid sim up in Canada is easy to get at a convenience store or mall.

So I pay $42.50/month (ebay for wife, discount for auto refill on mine) for unlimited calls/texts/data (LTE speeds for 3gb, 2g/3g speeds after 3gb), and no surprise bills. With my unlocked Nexus 4, just get a cheap sim when you cross a border, go international.

I tried talking a few people into pre pay, but they don't like it. They like monthly bills and not having to remember to fill every month. I don't get it. Why pay a premium?

Yes customer service sucks, but I personally haven't had issues with ST. And I can always switch to net10 or another AT&T provider at end of period with no penalties if I want.

(I use AT&T because the coverage is better then Tmobile and it's sim based. I'd go verizon for their coverage if they did Sim Cards).

Re:This is why I straight talk on AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174199)

When I was in Vancouver in 2011 I tried six places and could not find prepaid cards or phones. I assumed Canada was just weird.

Re:This is why I straight talk on AT&T (1)

hawaiian717 (559933) | about 8 months ago | (#47174321)

Note that Net10 and StraightTalk are both actually part of the same company (TracFone).

Re:This is why I straight talk on AT&T (1)

Formorian (1111751) | about 8 months ago | (#47174479)

I know they are. But on net10 my wife had issues with data. My sim card in her phone, data, her sim card in my phone no data. And yeah the CS with tracfone is outsourced, it sux. I can't understand them.

Why I switched to ST. MMS/SMS/Data/etc all work. Have had no issues.

In fact using their website to get the APN, her APN is different from mine. I think because mine is an old cut down Sim, and here's is the one made for micro newer.

Re:This is why I straight talk on AT&T (1)

Michael Casavant (2876793) | about 8 months ago | (#47174427)

Switch to Cricket (formerly AIO), best of both worlds. Auto-pay gives discount, same price as Straight Talk, uses AT&T network (like ST).

Re:This is why I straight talk on AT&T (1)

Formorian (1111751) | about 8 months ago | (#47174463)

Not same price, my discount for auto pay is $42.50, cricket is $45, and I get 500mb more in data, however that $10 off per line. Tempting. But so far past almost 2 years been happy with ST. Gonna stick with it for now. But thanks for heads up. Always looking for other MNVO's for ATT.

Next time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174137)

Don't use Google Map, use an actual App that let you download all the maps you need, to be accessed while Offline.

Re:Next time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174439)

Don't use Google Map, use an actual App that let you download all the maps you need, to be accessed while Offline.

Which map lets you access live traffic data offline?

original iPhone couldn't turn off roaming (2)

bugnuts (94678) | about 8 months ago | (#47174153)

I ran into this issue when my iPhone was downloading email and roaming.

ATT billed me $500 and I wouldn't pay it. They tried to blame Apple and I informed them that the iPhone was their issue, too, as they were the only carrier for it. As it turns out, customer service is really collections, and we had a fine yelling match. Finally the lady agreed to send it up the line, and I had her read me exactly what she was going to send, since she did not have my interests at heart.

They did reverse the charges, and apple added the disable roaming option.

They can make an offering for $750/min wireless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174163)

...but they can't make an offering for gigabit fiber to the home, because of "lack of consumer demand"?

I used to live there (4, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about 8 months ago | (#47174185)

And heard lots of stories of people running into this issue. The #1 cause is user error - assuming the phone knows if it's in the U.S. or Canada. Your phone does not know which side of the border it's on; or if it does know via GPS, that info is not tied in with the phone's radio. Consequently, if you're on the U.S. side of the border but the Canadian tower has a stronger signal and your phone is set to allow roaming, your phone may roam on the Canadian tower incurring international roaming charges. Lots of people who live on the U.S. side of the border and never crossed into Canada reported this problem. In all likelihood, the 50 MB of international roaming data probably wasn't during the 1 min he saw the phone connected to a Canadian tower - it was in spurts as he drove near the border and the phone hopped between U.S. and Canadian towers.

You have to manually turn off roaming (most phones still have that setting - the carriers have only eliminated the force-roam setting). That guarantees the phone will not hop onto a Canadian tower. Only after you've crossed into Canada and the phone (still not roaming) loses signal do you turn roaming back on. That guarantees you'll be using the U.S. towers for as long as possible.

Generally anybody who regularly crosses into Canada or plans to spend some time there gets a Canadian roaming option. On my carrier 8 years ago (Sprint) it was $5 extra a month, and knocked calls down to $0.25/min and no charge for Canadian roaming data as long as I stayed within my normal roaming limit (less than 20% or so of my total monthly data usage). That actually turned out to be cheaper than getting a second Canadian cell phone (as hard as it is to believe, their carriers are worse than the U.S. carriers). People who live on the U.S. side and never crossed into Canada during the roaming periods used to be able to get the charges removed with a simple call to customer service complaining they were charged for Canadian roaming when they never went to Canada. But a few months before I moved away, I got a letter saying they would be discontinuing this courtesy and I would just have to disable roaming on my phone if I did not want to be charged international roaming, or buy the Canada roaming option (which I already had).

That's what you get (3, Insightful)

xednieht (1117791) | about 8 months ago | (#47174189)

That's what you get for using AT&T - they suck. T-Mobile is the best for people who travel internationally especially Europe and Canada.

Friends don't let friends use AT&T (2)

mcrbids (148650) | about 8 months ago | (#47174205)

AT&T is the company that tried to bill me for $thousands of dollars for a few hours of international calls while on their "no worries" international calling plan, that should have cost about $25.

MetroPCS has a $5/month flat rate international call plan.

AT&T is the company that tried to get my son to pay $600 for a contract on a phone he never purchased. (He started to buy, then I declined to co-sign because of the $thousands of dollars AT&T had just tried to get me to pay)

AT&T is pretty much the definition of evil in my book.

thats why i abandoned ATT a long time ago (2)

FudRucker (866063) | about 8 months ago | (#47174227)

i did some unusual long distance data and phone calls (all within the USA) and they charged be an insanely exorbitant amount of money and i said "NO!" i am not paying that and canceled their service, they occasionally send me snailmail spam to sign up but NO! dont want some outdated dinosaur company run by greedy old men, fuck ATT they can go to hell, i will never use them again

Re:thats why i abandoned ATT a long time ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174349)

Now tell us how you REALLY feel....

spend the $30 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174231)

My buddy went to Canada, used data roaming for google maps knowing it would cost a bunch when he found his car's GPS was missing a lot of the local streets. After AT&T turned off his access due to excessive data charges, he called and said "what is the damage", the guy on the other end said "You don't even want to know" It was around $600. They offered to add a $30 international data plan and wipe out the roaming charges. He happily took the deal. He knew up front it was going to cost a lot when he decided to use data in Canada, and he was glad they offered to add the international data after the fact -- they could have been jerks about it.

International data and voice roaming fees are a SC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174265)

International data and voice roaming fees are a SCAM !!!

Death Star (1)

duke_cheetah2003 (862933) | about 8 months ago | (#47174287)

You know AT&T's logo looks like the Death Star for a reason!

That's got to be the best article combination ever (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 8 months ago | (#47174345)

On the same page at the same time, "AT&T To Use Phone Geolocation To Prevent Credit Card Fraud" (the example for which was credit card transactions in Russia) and "AT&T Charges $750 For One Minute of International Data Roaming". That's brilliant.

for a more informative data point (1)

sribe (304414) | about 8 months ago | (#47174369)

I turned on data in France long enough to check my location on google maps once. $44 for that, no "misplaced" charges from before I entered that country, just the actual roaming charge for that data.

Detroit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174375)

living in Detroit i know several people with horror stories from at&t and sprint with roaming overages. just over the last weekend i was on Belle Isle in Detroit and my phone auto connected to Canadian towers. same thing happens in Port Huron MI., i love Tmobile for that fact. phone said roaming i could care less.

Frist st0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174377)

Extremely wasteful data use, telco sucker punches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174405)

Telcos make poor ISPs, and mobile telcos make even poorer mobile ISPs. We know they overcharge, tend to count like drunks, and are extremely difficult to get to admit even the possibility of fscking up. You know the drill: "We don't care, we don't have to care... we're the PHONE company."

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. But is that the case here? Let's see.

When you're "just" checking google maps that pile of fancy ajax is downloading quite a bit more than just the tile you're looking at. Scroll around even a little, and you've looked at ten tiles, and downloaded maybe thirty more. You know, "just in case", "for the user experience", and all that. At 1.3MB a piece, that's easily 50MB of very spendy data you've burned through.

So the data figure given is actually ballpark, think of that next time you bring up google maps. The price is nicely steep, but $15/MB is still considered "normal" for mobile data, though sneakily papered over by dint of "unlimited" (ha ha) bundles that sneakily don't apply when roaming (sucker!).

I don't know what data costs the telco, though probably quite a lot when roaming since they're having to buy it at telco (wholesale) prices from other telcos. I do know that telcos like to charge "perceived value" like how SMSes cost you $0.09 a piece but cost the telco on the order of $0.009 per 10000(!), making the service quite the little money spinner. And don't think they see "data service" any different. They certainly won't.

I'm not saying you shouldn't put pressure on telcos to drop their prices, you should. But acting like it's somehow unfair to have to pay quite a lot when doing things that your contract says you'll pay a lot for... you did sign that contract, didn't you?

Because data use naturally swells in hidden ways, and because telco data prices naturally stick to the ludicrous, and because data service might well be unavailable where I'm going, I dislike "online" services and would much prefer to just have the entire map of where I'm going with me; all of (Western) Europe's roads fit on just a few GB and you can have twice that on a SD card for a tenner, shouldn't be different for North America. That data is also much more compressed as it's vectors, not (compressed) bitmaps. It's a simple precaution made surprisingly hard by poor mapping software. That for casual use. For less casual use, a map-enabled GPS device, not a phone, with paper maps and even a simple compass for backup. How much does a paper map cost at the nearest gas station, exactly? I think you'll find you can buy a lot of maps for even just a little data roaming.

It's 2014. (1)

ponraul (1233704) | about 8 months ago | (#47174421)

Why is this still happening like it's 2005.

AT&T billing is crap. (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 8 months ago | (#47174459)

I have an attorney friend with two AT&T cell phone lines.

A client was disputing billed hours (despite my friend charging a flat rate...); the client was the one continually calling him, asking questions he had already answered over and over...

anyway, on the AT&T website the link to download detailed call records next to each phone line summary only downloads data from the first line, even though it appears to be separate files; there was no way to download detailed usage data for secondary lines.

This was causing a HUGE amount of anxiety for my friend, because he couldn't find official call records to match his personal logs, until I figured out that AT&T online billing was providing data for the wrong phone!

A severe bitch session with AT&T on the phone followed shortly, and after a few escalations and transfers, he got a technician to e-mail a copy of the data he needed.

Canadian carriers do gouge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174465)

I'm strongly inclined to doubt AT&T are innocent here, but there have veen many incidents involving ridiculous charges from Canadian carriers. Here's one:

There was an incident a few years back where a Canadian company tried to impose some silly charges and the customer's American provider straightened them out, basically told them to stop the nonsense or they would stop accepting their roamers and ask all the other American providers to do the same. The Canadian firm backed down. Unfortunately, I don't have a reference.

hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174475)

dickhead american turns on data roaming in another country
gets burned by the mobile phone company they are with (and yes you should have been charged)
gets a refund on said cost
still whinges and complains, even tho they are the fucking idiot causing the cost in the first place

yep.... sounds about right

Congratulations, Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#47174477)

You're now apparently the Better Business Bureau.

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