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Posted Nov 16, 2012
7:39:26 AM
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Billing Cycle Question

Hi all. Just signed up for ATT last Friday and have a question for you all. I logged onto my account and saw that I already have a bill due 12/7 for my first month. I signed up for service on 11/9. Every cell phone plan I have ever had always charges you after you use your phone for the billing cycle. So if my cycle started 11/9 and runs through 12/9 (for example) then my bill should come out after 12/9 and be due after that. I called ATT and they claim they charge in advance. So basiclly you pay for the month you are about to use. This seems wrong to me and sketchy at best. I had an insurance company pull this on me before saying I was always paying in advance of my monthly service then when I left them they tried to charge me for my last month, saying that you pay after you use the service for a month. This just seems like ATT is trying to get an extra month out of me and assuming at the end of my contract I will have forgotten I was paying in advance. Anyone else think this is odd?

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Nov 17, 2012 10:44:08 AM
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All carriers use to bill in arrears, thus what your billing was, but all carriers switched to advanced billing about 10 years ago, so as long as no change was made to the account number you had then you stayed in the arrears billing but all new accounts were billed in advance.

Knight Rider Rules.gif


AT&T's return policy has changed effective 10/07/12.  You have 14 days to return the device & cxl without a ETF.  Policy info HERE.



Where is Justin Timberlake when you need him?. I need him to billed me a bridge to get a cross all these tears from complainers.This post is protected under the laws of the United States & other Countries. Unauthorized duplication, Distribution may result in civil liability & criminal prosecution.The OP gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of: The mods, Fellow forumites, Canada, The United States Of America, Mexico, USVI & Europe. As well as James Bond.

When the going gets rough, hide in a pillow fort and pretend you don't exist.
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Billing Cycle Question

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Nov 16, 2012 8:04:53 AM
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ritojr wrote:

Hi all. Just signed up for ATT last Friday and have a question for you all. I logged onto my account and saw that I already have a bill due 12/7 for my first month. I signed up for service on 11/9. Every cell phone plan I have ever had always charges you after you use your phone for the billing cycle. So if my cycle started 11/9 and runs through 12/9 (for example) then my bill should come out after 12/9 and be due after that. I called ATT and they claim they charge in advance. So basiclly you pay for the month you are about to use. This seems wrong to me and sketchy at best. I had an insurance company pull this on me before saying I was always paying in advance of my monthly service then when I left them they tried to charge me for my last month, saying that you pay after you use the service for a month. This just seems like ATT is trying to get an extra month out of me and assuming at the end of my contract I will have forgotten I was paying in advance. Anyone else think this is odd?


all carriers bill in advance for contract based phone contracts, been like this since the first cell phone was sold. No it is not odd, it is industry standard - not to mention call phone carriers are not the only ones that bill this way

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Nov 16, 2012 8:24:10 AM
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Edited by ritojr on Nov 16, 2012 at 8:25:05 AM

I just came from T-mobile and they never did this. My cycle would run for 30 days, my bill would come out covering those days, then it would be due around 20 days later. Even the ATT rep on the phone told me billing in advance was a new practice for them because they were cutting down on people cancelling their service and not paying the last month they owed. How has it been this way then since the first cell was sold? Ill take your word on it, but if thats the case then the rep just lied to me that this is a new practice

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Nov 16, 2012 9:21:18 AM
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ritojr wrote:

I just came from T-mobile and they never did this. My cycle would run for 30 days, my bill would come out covering those days, then it would be due around 20 days later. Even the ATT rep on the phone told me billing in advance was a new practice for them because they were cutting down on people cancelling their service and not paying the last month they owed. How has it been this way then since the first cell was sold? Ill take your word on it, but if thats the case then the rep just lied to me that this is a new practice


Converted my single line over to a family plans close to 7 years ago and the first bill was pro-rated. When I put in the first mobile phone that was permatently mounted in my car there was a 1000.00 deposit and I had to pay full price for the phone.. Plus if they did not "pay the last month they owed" it would be over to a collection agency so fast the paperwork would be smoking. Att, Verizon and Sprint are not ones to let unpaid balances langish on closed accounts ot deliquent accounts

I asked one of my people that I know use t-mobile and she said her fist bill was pro-rated and according to the billing support section at t-mobile they do prorate the first bill

 

http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-2483

 

Bill Current Billing

 

  • Your first bill includes the prorated monthly charges for the first few days of service plus the charges for next month, any usage charges, downloads, premium content from the prorated bill cycle, all applicable taxes, and an activation fee

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Nov 17, 2012 10:38:23 AM
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I understand prorating. I get that. I appreciate you looking into it. Maybe with you expertise you can help me here.

 

If it is indeed true that all carriers bill in advance (and always have), then why is it that I just received a bill from T-Mobile (my old carrier) for my last month of service? My billing period with tmobile ran 10/10-11/9. I cancelled my service 11/9 and they now want my payment for my last months. If all carriers bill in advance as you state then how can they be charging me? Wouldnt I have already paid it? I knew I was always paying after the month with tmobile, not in advance. So who is screwing me here, tmobile trying to get the last month or att saying I have to pay in advance (and then probably try to screw me with last month when I leave them). I feel like either way somebody is getting me for an extra payment.

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Nov 17, 2012 10:44:08 AM
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All carriers use to bill in arrears, thus what your billing was, but all carriers switched to advanced billing about 10 years ago, so as long as no change was made to the account number you had then you stayed in the arrears billing but all new accounts were billed in advance.

Knight Rider Rules.gif


AT&T's return policy has changed effective 10/07/12.  You have 14 days to return the device & cxl without a ETF.  Policy info HERE.



Where is Justin Timberlake when you need him?. I need him to billed me a bridge to get a cross all these tears from complainers.This post is protected under the laws of the United States & other Countries. Unauthorized duplication, Distribution may result in civil liability & criminal prosecution.The OP gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of: The mods, Fellow forumites, Canada, The United States Of America, Mexico, USVI & Europe. As well as James Bond.

When the going gets rough, hide in a pillow fort and pretend you don't exist.

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Nov 17, 2012 10:45:15 AM
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I think I found what I need. Carriers have in fact just started charging in advance (know an bill current below) as this is a practice tmobiel just adopted in may fo this year (so obviously they have not always done in advance). And the att rep seemed to be telling me the right thing that it is indeed a new practice. Seems like I was on what is called bill arrears with tombile and know I am on bill current with att......

 

T-Mobile has introduced a new billing method known as Bill Current for all new activations starting May 20, 2012. There are now two billing methods for postpaid customers – Bill Arrears and Bill Current.

 

Note: New T-Mobile Monthly4G, In Reach (a Lifeline Program by T-Mobile), or business account (with a Federal Tax ID) activations remain on Bill Arrears billing.

 

Bill Arrears vs. Bill Current

 

  • Bill Arrears: Your monthly recurring charges (e.g., rate plan, features, and discounts) are billed and due after your bill cycle closes. Example: Your bill cycle starts on the 5th of the month and ends on the 4th. You receive a bill in May for charges from April 5 – May 4.
  • Bill Current: Your monthly recurring charges (e.g., rate plan, features, and discounts) are billed in advance at the start of your bill cycle and due within that bill cycle. Example: Your bill cycle starts on the 5th of the month and ends on the 4th. You receive a bill in May for expected charges for May 5 – June 4 plus any fees or overages from April 5 – May 4.

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Nov 17, 2012 10:47:45 AM
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Edited by ritojr on Nov 17, 2012 at 10:48:49 AM

Thank you wilcre, that is what I was looking for. The other responder had me thinking I was always paying bill current and not bill arrears. Now it makes sense. I was worried I was getting screwed from one carrier or the other but you explained it perfectly

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