AT&T and Unfair Data Charge Practices Leave Me With Bad Taste in Mouth

Does anyone else w AT&T think it isn’t fair practice to charge for data we don’t request (background processes) & report actual data use up to 72 hrs after its used?

Personally, my wife and I are hoping to welcome a new baby into the world in February, and so I had to take a hard look at our budget and see where we can cut costs to ensure we can make it when we pay the birthing expenses and I hear diapers cost a ton.

One budget item that I can’t keep my finger on is the AT&T data billing. Two different months I have tried to use up all my data (4 GB) and not go over. Let me tell you – it has been a horrible experience. Both times I have gotten frequent reports from AT&T’s system and when I was about to go over I turned off all cellular data, I took snapshots of the timestamps stating that I still had a few mb left prior to flipping over to my new bill.

THEN, I receive my bill. I’ll have anywhere from 4 to 100 mb over and a $15 charge. That’s $15 that I don’t intend to spend, so I call up AT&T and ask what happened.

The first time this happened they refunded it without much question but told me that their systems do not monitor in real time. I told them that’s ridiculous. How am I supposed to use all my data (which I pay for), if I don’t have accurate reporting. I then told them that in the tech world people get sued for things like that. AT&T might get pulled into something in the future. The caller refunded me $30 more for the bad experience but I reiterated that the problem still existed.

The second time I tried to be even more careful. I even backed off on the data and left some wiggle room. Still! The bill comes in and I am 4 mb over. $15 please? I called up immediately and stated what I had done (same process as before). Only this time, the woman on the line immediately went on the defensive. She stated that I should not get close to my limit. I responded that I should be able to use the data I pay for without fear of being over charged.

She then told me something that infuriated me. Apparently, if I want to have my data turned off immediately when I hit my limit, there is a $4.99 service that I can add to my plan. So if I want to have any chance not to pay an extra $15 a month and use all the data that I pay for already, I have to pay $5 for an auto switch that should be at my disposal as a setting on my phone in the first place! We danced a bit and she was getting annoyed so I let her know I wasn’t trying to win the argument against her but that AT&T is wrong in this. It’s not right to inflate consumers bills without giving them the basic tools of responsibility.

Data is a commodity. You wouldn’t give someone a stream of gas at a gas pump and wait 72 hours to send a report to how much gas went onto the gas tank. You have to tell the consumer how much they have taken. It’s a basic weight and scale issue. And I believe that AT&T knows that its making higher revenue off of this imbalance of power. They have the scale and they’ll let you use theirs if you pay a few. It’s sketchy.

The last straw came for me when the lady said, “All major carriers operate this way.” If something is wrong and everyone is doing it, shame on the whole system. An appeal to the majority doesn’t win the day and certainly lost my confidence at least in this customer representative.

If I’m charged $15 for an extra 1 GB over 4 GB, I’d like to be able to know when I’m about to go over and be capable of deciding for myself whether to go over or not. And there are months where I intend to exceed my limit. Ill pay for those months. Until then I’m going to call everytime I graze the limit. I should be able to use the data I pay for and not a dime more.

If you agree or disagree, shoot me a comment and Spread this so that AT&T doesn’t get away with this forever.


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