Monday, February 2, 2009

iPhone Billing Problems

You should have seen my face on Christmas day when I unwrapped my new iPhone 3G. I spent the next couple weeks glued to the screen getting it set up just the way I wanted it. One such customization was to change the number that had been assigned to me to a new phone number. I made sure not to activate the default number and went to the At&t store on December 27th to get the new number set up.

After a month of blissful usage my problems began about a week ago. I got a bill from At&t for the number I had never used. When I called customer service the agent gave me a bit of a hard time until I pointed out there was no usage for the number so clearly it wasn't active. Then I got an SMS saying that I had racked up a big text bill. I called to straighten that out and the agent discovered that my request for the 200 text plan had never gone through. Today I logged in to my At&t account to find a bill for $1,269 which had auto charged to my credit card. Apparently, when they changed my number they didn't set it up on the iPhone data plan, which is odd because the agent didn't mention that when she added my text plan.

I think the interesting thing is that my iPhone bill was well over $1,000 for one month of data usage at $.01 per kb. When I was using the MediaNet plan for my old phone I didn't have a sense for how much heavy mobile internet usage would cost me so I just went with the unlimited plan. Of course, it is so much easier to use the iPhone data but I it just goes to show that At&t has decided to set up their pricing so that the unlimited plan (text and data) is really the only practical option.

After over 45 minutes of talking to customer service and a $1,200 credit card charge it would have been nice if they threw me a few extra minutes for free. All the agents were friendly enough but considering I'm accruing interest on my card it would have been nice to get a little compensation. A few years back when I was on T-Mobile they would always give some extra minutes if you had a major customer service issue.

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