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AT&T's Bad Math Strikes MythBusters' Savage

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the do-they-know-he-has-explosives dept.

Cellphones 305

etherlad writes "MythBusters' Adam Savage got a bill charging him $11,000 for 'a few hours' of Web surfing while in Canada, using his AT&T USB Mercury modem. AT&T gave him a quote on the data rate: '.015 cents, or a penny and a half, per kb.' Looks like AT&T didn't learn from Verizon's inability to do math. AT&T is also claiming Savage downloaded over 9 GB, which he calls 'frakking impossible.' Savage's huge following on twitter got him a speedy response by AT&T."

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Soz this mean we get a cellphone special now? (5, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490675)

Bust the all the myths that the companies quote about why they need to charge what they do, reliability, and especially that there is competition in the marketplace?

Re:Soz this mean we get a cellphone special now? (4, Funny)

randomnote1 (1273964) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490689)

lol...I don't think so. I think that everybody knows that myth is BUSTED!

Re:Soz this mean we get a cellphone special now? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490743)

A proper myth should have at least some people believing it's true, although the Mythbusters have been kinda loose with that rule.

You're fucking stupid (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490941)

Why do you want to do this?

-- Linux-expert

Re:You're fucking stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491143)

This must be the cheapest kind of anti-propaganda. Say something annoying anonymously and sign as someone from a group you want to deride.

Why do you want to do this?

Just to show you loser fags that, in the big picture, you don't matter at all. Also, your mom's fat.

-- Microsoft

CHANGE? LOL, it's all Obama's gonna leave you with (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491045)

It was only a few months ago that you all were stumbling all over each otehr to suck Obama's dick! And now he and the Democrats in Congress are going to slap you with the biggest tax in American history! LOL, remember when he said that your taxes wouldn't go up one cent if you made under $250k? Or was it $200k? No, then it was $150k... OMG ROTFLMAO OMFG!!!! Fuck you all!!! You wanted your change, now shut up and fucking deal with your decision you pussies! LOL!!!

maybe one about RT's with exploding batteries (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491253)

maybe one about RT's with exploding batteries.

frist post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490679)

know your plan before you rawk out on the pron. look before you leap and all that.

He should'a known... (5, Funny)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490687)

".015 cents, or a penny and a half"

Let me guess... whichever is larger?

Re:He should'a known... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490807)

Does that mean they "only" over-charged by 100X, so the bill should be $110 for a few hours? That's still outrageous, no?

Re:He should'a known... (2, Informative)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490885)

It was roaming outside of the country, so it's not that bad, considering how much voice minutes are, too.

Re:He should'a known... (3, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490855)

No, you divide the larger by the smaller.

Re:He should'a known... (1)

collinstocks (1295204) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491071)

No, no, no. You divide the larger by the difference.

Re:He should'a known... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490937)

Welcome to Canada, he almost got a better rate then we do here Rogers Wireless [rogers.com] which is the only provider of GSM unless he was with Bell [www.bell.ca] or Telus [telusmobility.com] for CDMA / TDMA. In Canada you have to deal with one of the three (there is Fido but they are really Rogers) for 1GB(yes o.n.e) it is $30/month with a 3 cent overage calculated per KB, this is from the Rogers and Telus is actually 5 cents per MB. If you can figure out what Bell is actually offering your likely a natural genius but all the plans start at $45.

You can tell I'm slightly bitter but paying this kinda dough just to have 'the right' to do what I want and have the same kind of access other places in the world have the opportunity to use it kind of makes me feel silly being Canadian.

Re:He should'a known... (2, Insightful)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491009)

".015 cents, or a penny and a half"
Let me guess... whichever is larger?

I can't believe no on Slashdot has pointed out that .015 cents != a penny and a half
.015 dollars = a penny and a half.

Re:He should'a known... (5, Funny)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491023)

Ok! Ok! I must have, I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place or something. Shit. I always do that. I always mess up some mundane detail.

Re:He should'a known... (4, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491049)

Its ok, you can take your agression out on the printer.

Re:He should'a known... (3, Funny)

dotgain (630123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491269)

What the fuck does that mean?

Re:He should'a known... (0, Redundant)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491333)

It means you need to watch more movies [wikipedia.org]

Re:He should'a known... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491361)

Umm... he was quoting the movie.

Granted, it wasn't a perfect setup, but a printer was mentioned at least.

Re:He should'a known... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491261)

Let me guess, you used to work for Verizon, and now work for AT&T?

I wonder what would happen if you started working for the Tax dept, then again maybe AIG or Citibank needs your skills more :).

Re:He should'a known... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491101)

I knew that... geez. Do I really have to explain the joke? Whenever there's two options, it's always whichever one is better for them... sort of like the 20,000 mile / 10 year warranty: whichever comes sooner.

Re:He should'a known... (0)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491155)

I knew that... geez. Do I really have to explain the joke?

No you don't have to explain the joke, I should have replied to the summary as that's where the mistake originated.

Re:He should'a known... (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491219)

that's the way it's written in the FTA. I'm guessing the Rep said it as it's written.. incorrectly once and correctly the second time, not realizing they were in fact different amounts

Karma's great, isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491223)

I can't believe no on Slashdot has pointed out that [...]

I can't believe you stooped so low as to point this out an hour after the discussion was opened in a thread near to the top, when several contributions before yours in fact did point it out.

Re:He should'a known... (1)

shma (863063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491259)

I can't believe no on Slashdot has pointed out that .015 cents != a penny and a half .015 dollars = a penny and a half.

No one pointed out the mistake because a) it is mentioned in the summary ("Looks like AT&T didn't learn from Verizon's inability to do math") and b) everyone here knows how to do elementary school arithmetic, so no one felt the need to point out the obvious.

Re:He should'a known... (0)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491427)

so no one felt the need to point out the obvious

What site am I on, I thought this was Slashdot. Though people are taking my comment very seriously, so I guess it is.

Re:He should'a known... (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491287)

That's sort of implicit in the summary. "Bad math" is kind of a clue that AT&T made a number error, and there's a link to Verizon making the identical mistake (a link which explains the error). I mean, thanks for spelling it out and all, but it's not like no one noticed it.

Re:He should'a known... (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491199)

...and packet sizes are rounded up to the next higher K...

.015 cents per kilobit (4, Informative)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491235)

Given the way the math works out I'm going to say it's .015 cents per kilobit. AT&T claims he used 9 gigabytes. That is 9,663,676,416 bytes = 9,437,184 kilobytes* = 77,309,411.328 kilobits. At .015 cents per kilobit it comes out to $11,596.41. The summary claims he was charged $11,000.

* down with the kibi prefix!

Re:.015 cents per kilobit (1)

tehtrex (1582049) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491271)

Except their legal mumbojumbo on all their pages clearly says kilobyte... so either their system is off by an order of ~12.87 in its data transfer measurements or as you posit here, they are charging in kilobits AND their published rates are wrong -- it should be $0.00015/Kb, not $0.015/KB.

Lucky for them (5, Funny)

Wuhao (471511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490691)

I'm not sure what a crowd of angry MythBusters fans would do, but I'm sure that it would involve large amounts of kinetic energy.

Re:Lucky for them (5, Insightful)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490755)

It's not the fans.

You don't mess with people that blow stuff up for a living.

Even if they're nerds.

Re:Lucky for them (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490919)

Even if they're nerds.

You don't even mess with pissed off nerds. [userfriendly.org]

Re:Lucky for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490783)

What? They're going to fling their remotes?

Re:Lucky for them (0, Offtopic)

subsonic (173806) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490793)

hey, i replied to his tweets in solidarity! What more is there? /this slashdot reply is for those who gave the last full measure of their internet devotion in settling a cell phone bill dispute. (pours out 40)

Re:Lucky for them (1)

dubbayu_d_40 (622643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490899)

For the rest of us, there's class action...

Re:Lucky for them (2, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491173)

Ah violent angry mobs. Is there anything they cant do.

The cause of, and answer to all lifes problems.

no way in hell! (3, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490695)

there is no way in hell AT&T would be getting that kind of money out of me! you hear that AT&T?!!

Re:no way in hell! (1)

Smooth and Shiny (1097089) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490933)

Dear FudRucker:

It has come to our attention that you used over 50GB of data while surfing the web on your new iPhone 3G S. At the current rate of , I am afraid that we need you to remit payment ASAP to avoid interruption in service. We accept cash, check, credit card, greenbacks, war bonds, children old enough to be sold into slavery and, of course, food stamps.

Thank you for using AT&T.

from the people who brought you this commercial... (5, Funny)

starblazer (49187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490701)

IDK MY BFF JILL DOZ MTH 4 ATT

Re:from the people who brought you this commercial (4, Funny)

PayPaI (733999) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490721)

Math? Myth? Meth?

Re:from the people who brought you this commercial (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490789)

Math busted.

Re:from the people who brought you this commercial (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490801)

All of the above.

Re:from the people who brought you this commercial (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491243)

Not to mention plans from 8th grade of marrying millionaire to avoid math.

Re:from the people who brought you this commercial (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490859)

and this [tinypic.com] is what I think of her math skillz

Celebrity status? (4, Funny)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490715)

I wish I could have a mass following behind me that I could use to blackmail evil corporations.... Instead, here I am just clicking away at every Microsoft ad I see hoping that it'll eventually rack up some respectable cost to them.

-bitterness, sad face-

Re:Celebrity status? (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490739)

Well, when I was young, man moons ago, we used to have these things called "consumer protection laws". You could walk over to your phone and call a government hotline for help. Of course, you'd get a massive shock when you picked up the phone because of the electrostatic action of your polyester leisure suit, so I'd have to conclude that on the whole things aren't any better or worse than they used to be.

Re:Celebrity status? (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490935)

Of course, you'd get a massive shock when you picked up the phone because of the electrostatic action of your polyester leisure suit, so I'd have to conclude that on the whole things aren't any better or worse than they used to be.

While I can't definitively say that fashion has improved much, I'm pretty sure it's not gotten worse that the "polyester leisure suit". The only shock you would receive now would be if you actually got to speak to a real person on the other end of the phone, because customer service was much better man [sic] moons ago than it is now.

Re:Celebrity status? (4, Funny)

Binestar (28861) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490785)

Actually, he's got 55,000 and growing followers on twitter. In the last 7 hours he's sent out a dozen or so tweets. To 55,000 people. 25 cents (.25 dollars) per text == AT&T making a lot of money off Adam's outrage.

He just got commision =)

Re:Celebrity status? (2, Informative)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490829)

Most people don't actually get their entire Twitter feed send to their phone.

Re:Celebrity status? (2, Funny)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490853)

And those that do, deserve whatever AT&T charges them.

Re:Celebrity status? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490865)

>> I'm a 30 year old Nude Photographer, Comics/Gaming Geek, and Tech Check out my Photography - http://ian-x.com/ [ian-x.com]

Pardon the OT, but... don't people get upset when you strip down and start photographing things?

Re:Celebrity status? (1)

Tyrion Moath (817397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491141)

Yeah. It's 20 cents a text anyway, and I'd bet most of them probably have unlimited texting anyway.

Re:Celebrity status? (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491031)

He also happens to have a TV show.

Re:Celebrity status? (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491119)

Given that his cell phone was turned off by AT&T (as a result of his alleged overage charge), I have a hard time believing AT&T got any money from Mr. Savage's tweets.

Besides, even if he had sent the tweets via cell phone, all 55,000 of his followers would have had to be 1) AT&T subscribers and 2) set up their Twitter accounts to receive Savage's updates via text messages and 3) paid for those text messages at the basic rate (not via some kind of unlimited usage plan). I don't know about you, but I find that to be a rather dubious scenario.

Let's not be cynical (5, Funny)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490727)

Savage's huge following on twitter got him a speedy response by AT&T."

I'm sure the response would have been just as fast if he wasn't famous and wasn't using Twitter. These large companies have professional Human Resource departments to make sure that the customer service experience is good.

Re:Let's not be cynical (3, Informative)

Nirac (1347363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490945)

Someone forgot to tell Verizon.

http://verizonmath.blogspot.com/ (blogspot.com)
It's long (27 minutes) and old, I know. Still worth a listen if you haven't heard it before. Also still funny if you have.

Re:Let's not be cynical (4, Funny)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490957)

You forgot the part about him having in depth knowledge of explosives.

Re:Let's not be cynical (2, Insightful)

etherlad (410990) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491085)

Yes. I agree, and so does Adam [twitter.com] .

"I agree with everyone: it shouldn't just work for me. The data carriers MUST stop thinking in kilobytes and start thinking in customers."

Re:Let's not be cynical (2, Funny)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491225)

"I agree with everyone: it shouldn't just work for me. The data carriers MUST stop thinking in kilobytes and start thinking in customers."

Why would they? What are you going to do if they screw you, anyway [youtube.com] ?

Re:Let's not be cynical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491351)

Haha. Funny. Too bad all of AT&T's wireless call centers are located in the United States.

Re:Let's not be cynical (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491135)

Hmmm, not the way it worked for us when AT&T charged us $1500 for calls on a stolen phone (sim stolen in another country where it was used at 1.99/min roaming for about 15 days before the theft was discovered). They eventually refunded part of the bill, still left us with a big chunk. So I think being famous helped him a bit.

Needless to say, their retention department is not going to be successful with me.

Oh, and they weren't responsive at all before they figured out I actually have the phone plan through a company discount, so it's handled by the business customer services. Normal consumer customer service couldn't have cared less.

Verizon? (3, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490729)

Well, *THERE'S* your problem.

Re:Verizon? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490819)

Not reading the article title much less the summary or article?

Well, *THERE'S* your problem.

Customer service? (4, Insightful)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490733)

FTA:

[AT&T] hasn't exactly been garnering positive reactions from its legions of Twitter-using members.

I'd say. If their customer service is anything like cell phone companies up here, it probably takes more than 140 characters to navigate their phone tree to talk to a human!

- RG>

Re:Customer service? (1)

officer2billion (1396607) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491319)

Hey buddy, this isn't a pleantforest, so don't waste my time with pleasantries!

gotta fix this

these insane usage charges (5, Insightful)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490765)

anyone else think those companies are crooks for charging per kilobyte like that is complete bull s(*@# ? just loading a damn web page like cnn.com is almost 1MB so that would be 1$

Re:these insane usage charges (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490779)

at time of that post, this page would cost ya 60+ cents

Re:these insane usage charges (1)

terraformer (617565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490901)

A $1???? Try $15.68 per MB. I just got back from Toronto and upon arrival, I got a text message stating that as the rate for data if I used it.

Re:these insane usage charges (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490925)

/me has been drinking ;/

Re:these insane usage charges (3, Interesting)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491095)

There's nothing wrong with charging per kilobyte. What they should do is *only* charge per kilobyte, and not differentiate between "voice", "local calls", "tethered data", "text messaging", etc. It's absurd that it's cheaper to acoustically-couple a 300-baud modem to your cell phone for 5 minutes than it is to transfer the equivalent amount of data over text messaging, despite the massive overhead of the audio traffic.

Re:these insane usage charges (1)

ksemlerK (610016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491281)

ATT no longer supports CSD. They haven't for quite a while now. Besides, where are you going to find an acoustic coupler for your phone?

Re:these insane usage charges (2, Interesting)

xeoron (639412) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491151)

I agree, at the same time, one can protect themselves by using Lynx or W3m to browse the web via a phone.... or just turn off images, flash, video, etc. Come to think of it, sometimes I wish Firefox had mode extension for rendering like w3m or lynx

Re:these insane usage charges (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491241)

It does. Install the Web Developer toolbar.
Then click Disable > Java, Disable > JavaScript, CSS > Disable Styles > All Styles, Images > Disable Images > All Images. Voila. You're now running Netscape 1.0 (sans images); an adjustment to font settings and you're using Lynx. :)

Re:these insane usage charges (2, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491435)

Opera is pretty good at it - it has toolbar buttons to disable images (or only show cached), CSS, and so on. I'm pretty sure I've seen similar Firefox plugins, too.

Famous power (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490775)

So all you need to do is be famous with lots of support and then you will get taken care of? What if this happened to a "normal" person?

Re:Famous power (2, Funny)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491067)

They don't offer any lube.

First response... (5, Funny)

Landshark17 (807664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490777)

Upon seeing the bill I'm sure his first response was, "I reject your reality and replace it with my own!"

Re:First response... (2, Informative)

Whillowhim (1408725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490895)

Turn in your Geek card. The corrected quote is:
"I reject your reality and substitute my own"

Also applicable to Ahmedinejad when the election results came in.

Re:First response... (4, Funny)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490915)

Or Michael Jackson when they told him he was black.

Or alive.

Re:First response... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490965)

After the autopsy, the doctors decided to melt down all the plastic in MJ and turn it into legos, so little boys could play with him for once, not the other way around.

Iran and AT&T vs. Twitter (4, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490951)

Two of the most powerful entities in the world are humbled by Twitter. Be afraid, be very, very afraid.

Re:Iran and AT&T vs. Twitter (4, Insightful)

taucross (1330311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28490987)

When you're trying to divide and conquer, any communication is scary.

Re:Iran and AT&T vs. Twitter (2, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491131)

Twitter is naught but the horn by which the crowd hears itself.

AT&T and Iran are being faced with that most awesome and powerful of forces: human beings. Acting in concert. Each of their own free will. :) Democracy rules.

Its 1.5 cents per KB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28490977)

AT&T clearly states on their website its $0.015 which translates to 1.5 cents per KB. /b

Re:Its 1.5 cents per KB (5, Interesting)

pushf popf (741049) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491047)

AT&T clearly states on their website its $0.015 which translates to 1.5 cents per KB.

I've been around since data was shoveled through modems that were so slow that you could actually type faster than the modem could transfer, and data was sent dial-up over expensive long distance phone lines.

And it was still cheaper than 1.5 cents/KB.

Does AT&T send a free jar of Vaseline with each new contract?

Re:Its 1.5 cents per KB (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491239)

The problem is if you *call* in, because, say you're travelling and have a phone but no good net connection, they say on the phone it is point zero one five cents per kilobyte. I know, because I've called and asked and spent the same 'stupid' time explaining to them I wanted to know if that point zero one five dollars per kilobyte or point zero one five cents, and had to explain that they're NOT THE SAME THING. So, yes, he was very likely quoted exactly the point zero one five cents rate.

Re:Its 1.5 cents per KB (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491359)

Essentially this is a way in which they hose anyone who fails to get a dedicated data package, and a separate data package when they travel overseas. In other words, they will ream you, it's only a matter of degree.

Re:Its 1.5 cents per KB (0)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491401)

I spotted an AT&T webpage that says "$0.005/KB (approximately $5/MB) coverage rate in the set of DataConnect Global countries (on select carriers)." [ http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/international/roaming/affordable-world-packages.jsp [att.com] ] ...as an example of their math.

$5 per mb = 1/10 of a cent per kb. (And $5k/gb)

$0.005/kb = 1/2 cent per kb.

AT&T has some serious backpedaling to do. None of this adds up...

Re:Its 1.5 cents per KB (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491129)

However, that isn't really relevant. If you had instead said, "AT&T clearly stated on Adam Savage's signed contract it's...." then there'd actually something to argue about.

Re:Its 1.5 cents per KB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491147)

You're the best!

Elementary School Math (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491025)

Verizon, AT&T, etc. need to have WEEKLY sessions with every single employee until they all learn how to read numbers like $0.015 properly out loud. The FCC should make random calls and fine the telecoms for several million dollars each time an operator reads a number like that incorrectly. That will encourage said weekly meetings.

What's even worse (1)

lcreech (1491) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491117)

A penney and a half is a bargin compared to the $.20 they charge for both incoming and outgoing text messages

If only... (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491121)

If only there was someone who investigated whether what people believe is true or not. Someone should look into these kinds of odd events and see if they're possible or not. Incidentally, how big are those Canadian dollars?

AT&T Date Card Charges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28491137)

Anyone who does not check on this issue before travelling to another country deserves shock treatment.

Is this really "only" a problem with a huge bill (4, Insightful)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491177)

This stuff always makes the headlines when the bill amounts to 1,000's of dollars. The real problem is that there are probably a constant stream of people being billed $5, $20, maybe $50 for the usage. When they pass it off and just pay it, then the company lines its pockets with easy money.

Re:Is this really "only" a problem with a huge bil (2, Informative)

ksemlerK (610016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491327)

Review each line of EVERY bill. Last month they attempted to charge me data twice. I called them and told them where to look on the bill. I got $50 credited to my account because I caught it. ($35 for double charge, $15 for who the hell knows why). ALWAYS do a line item inventory of your bill, EVERY month. ALWAYS contest suspicious charges. Usually they can be cleared up with nothing more then a 20 minute phone call.

Okay, I'll bite... (4, Interesting)

tehtrex (1582049) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491229)

9GB of data is 9,437,184 KB. The numbers don't add up.

".015 cents": 9,437,184 KB * $0.00015 = $1,415.5776
"a penny and a half": 9,437,184 KB * $0.015 = $141,557.76

Since the published data roaming rate in Canada is $0.015/KB, let's go with "a penny and a half".

$11,000 of usage at $0.015/KB equals 733,333.33333333...KB or 716.145833MB.

So not only do they not know the difference between a cent and a dollar, but their system for measuring data transfer is also off by a factor of ~12.87... unless they somehow billed him for .015 cents and then tacked on 10k in fees...

A Billing System Deficiency (5, Insightful)

carlzum (832868) | more than 5 years ago | (#28491373)

No one should be held liable for outrageous bills like this. AT&T failed to put reasonable controls in their billing system so customers are alerted when there's an obvious technical error, unauthorized use, or a simple mistake. American Express says my credit line is unlimited, but if I try to spend $100k they will decline the purchase and contact me. If I had a history of paying $100k bills they may allow it. But AT&T allows an account that's never exceeded a few hundred dollars reach $11,000. We all know why, unlike American Express, AT&T doesn't incur $11,000 in expenses so they don't bother doing anything about it.

It doesn't make any sense to me. Most people are unable to pay the bill, and anyone that can afford it has the resources to fight them. Either way, it generates a lot of bad PR and very little revenue. I'm surprised Apple hasn't put more pressure on them, these stories are frequently reported as "man receives $10,000 iPhone bill."
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