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Posted Aug 13, 2009
10:08:03 AM
Charging $70 for a $60 plan

I just signed up for the $60/month 5GB DataConnect plan.  But, when I looked at the bill details after I left the store, I found they were charging me $9.99 for the wireless number in addition to the $60 for the LaptopConnect service.  The wireless number is an additional number they added to the account for the data SIM.  I did not actually add any new phone, just the SIM in the laptop.  So, it seems like there really is no $60 plan, because I also have to pay $10 extra for an extra line I don't really get.

 

Was this a mistake?  Is there some way to actually get the $60 plan for $60? 

 

Of course, there are also another $16 in taxes and government fees in addition to the $70, so it ends up actually adding $86 to my monthly bill, but the taxes and fees are another story, not what I'm talking about here.

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Aug 14, 2009 1:58:52 PM
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Thanks so much to all of you who commented.  With your excellent advice, I again called the AT&T store, spoke to someone else, argued that I should actually be able to get the $60 plan for $60.  This person agreed, and said it should not be on the Family Talk plan and that I could either come into the store, or call 611 to get it corrected.

 

I called 611 and explained the whole situation.  They agreed that I should not have been charged the $9.99 and they corrected it.  Actually, they not only took off the $9.99, they also reversed the $26 activation fee I had been charged and reduced the taxes as well.  They were extremely apologetic about it, apologizing repeatedly for the mistake at the AT&T store and for the trouble it had cause me.  It did take me close to 40 minutes on the phone and talking to three different people to accomplish the correction, but they did it very nicely.  They even arranged to have someone call me at the end of the billling period to make sure that no improper charges ended up appearing on the bill.

 

Problem solved.  Thanks

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Charging $70 for a $60 plan

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Aug 13, 2009 10:12:53 AM
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Professor
Did they accidentally make your new device part of your family plan?

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.

Re: Charging $70 for a $60 plan

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Aug 13, 2009 10:21:36 AM
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Well, it didn't seem accidental, but yes they did make it a part of my family plan.  What's the alternative?  Is there a way to make it a separate plan where there is no $9.99 for the "Rate Plan Charge."

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Aug 13, 2009 11:35:05 AM
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Edited by IKM5Tekboy on Aug 13, 2009 at 11:35:49 AM

If you are using just a data card on that line, then it should not be apart of a family plan. It needs to be on an individual line for just $60 a month.

 

You would need to call customer care to change it.

Message Edited by IKM5Tekboy on 08-13-2009 02:35:49 PM

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.

Re: Charging $70 for a $60 plan

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Aug 13, 2009 12:12:59 PM
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Professor

Yeah, if you didn't want them to make it part of your family plan, just call in and have them put it by itself, like IKM5Tekboy said.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.

Re: Charging $70 for a $60 plan

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Aug 13, 2009 2:15:42 PM
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I'd also reccomend returning to the store and giving the store manager a piece of you mind. Whoever set that up should have known better.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.

Re: Charging $70 for a $60 plan

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Aug 13, 2009 2:22:07 PM
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Well, I just now talked to the guy at the ATT store again, and he insisted that there was no way to avoid the extra $9.99.  He said that if it were on a separate plan there would be even more extra charges.  Guess I may have to try the manager and see if I get the same story.

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Aug 13, 2009 3:12:56 PM
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Holy Crap, not that hard. Corp. AT&T stores sometimes have the WORST trained reps I've ever seen! Go back and demand that it added as it's own individual plan on your same account.

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Aug 14, 2009 9:56:12 AM
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totalimmortal363 wrote:
Holy Crap, not that hard. Corp. AT&T stores sometimes have the WORST trained reps I've ever seen! Go back and demand that it added as it's own individual plan on your same account.

 

Come on, lets be fair.  You never do hear about the good ones after all.  Sadly though, this salesman appears to be one of the bad apples.  I suggest dropping the store location here and then showing the store manager how their store is being regarded in a public forum. 

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.

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Aug 14, 2009 12:19:21 PM
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Edited by pamelaz on Aug 14, 2009 at 3:11:31 PM

Hmmm…  The FCC is taking a look at how these three entities are all trying to make big bucks at the expense of the consumer by limiting competition and bundling in services that you cannot really dispute or easily get out of and switch to another provider (be it service, hardware or software).  This bundling is very lucrative for the big companies. 

 

For example, the iPhone is only provided by Apple with an AT&T contract.  Yet, technically, it can be run on a T-mobile network (in the States).  Also, AT&T and Apple (because of the sweetheart contract they have signed) will not allow Skype to run in both WiFi and cellphone modes on the (highly popular) iPhone.  Not because it cannot, but because they don't want to lose market share (and dollars) to Google. 

 

So the idea of charging you extra (ten bucks) for an additional phone number for your data usage is just that.  To hoodwink the average customer into paying more.  There is a technical reason for it, though, as I explain below.

 

1.  The data line used in your modem (or data card, or whatever it is called) that plugs into the laptop (or another computer or even a smartphone/PDA) uses a 1-to-1 connexion to the cellphone tower identifying your data card as a unique cellphone number to "talk" to (in downloading and uploading digital info).  So one needs a unique phone number. 

 

2.  Your original phone number (and SIM card) can have GPRS activated on it so that it not only "talks" voice data but also "internet" data (both of which now are all digital, i.e. zeroes & ones).  So you need to have GPRS activated on a unique phone number to get internet data. 

 

Given the two, you can theoretically use your original number and have that activated for data use by a telco adding/activating the GPRS service. 

 

However, then, one would have to take that SIM card out and put it in the data card/modem everytime you wanted to use the internet through the cellphone tower connexions.  Clearly, this would not only be a pain, but it would limit your use of that number for cellphone purposes  …unless, of course, you had it put into a smartphone/PDA like the iPhone or a Palm Treo or a Blackberry, etc. 

 

But that brings us to the original subject matter of this post:  Given that the unique phone number that is associated with a GPRS in a dedicated data card (or 3G data modem), won't be used as a voice cellphone, then I believe that the telcos (including AT&T) should not charge any extra for the cellphone number, but market it as $60 service for $60.  If they want to make it such that they are giving you $70 service then the telcos should call it a $70 service, and not mislead the majority of the public (who cannot know all these minute technical details). 

 

Finally, the telcos are making a bundle of money by charging more fees for data connection (besides the "hidden" $10 fee for the unique, new phone #), for more advanced PDAs/smartphones than low-end models that "happen to" be able to browse the internet (albeit cumbersomely).  In other words, they are asking customers who have more expensive phones to pay more for the same service!!! 

 

In short, this is nothing but the proverbial squeezing of the goose that lays golden eggs…

 

PS: On another note…  I found this forum offer advice on how to get the microphone to work on my Palm Treo 680 quad-band (unlocked) worldphone (from Palm store directly, and without a bundled telco plan).  I did not use that advice, but as a "thank you" I joined this forum, and would like to offer my 2 ¢ as to what I did to fix the problem.  [Unfortunately, the particular post did not allow me to add another comment, as it was "closed."  Hopefully, then, anyone looking to fix this problem can land here and read what worked for me.  (Btw, mine stopped recording after I had dropped the unit.)] 

 

HOW TO FIX "NO RECORD FUNCTION" (MICROPHONE STOPS WORKING) on Palm TREO 680.

 

1. Use a proper (uncluttered) work surface with adequate lighting so that you can work freely without dropping or losing small parts before you start.

 

2. Use a Torx T5 screwdriver (hobby store, Home Depot, etc.) and open the unit by removing the 4 screws holding the back cover (after removing the slide-off battery & SIM compartment cover).  [Note, you need to remove the stylus, battery and pry out with a utility knife the black rubber cover on the top right side to expose the 4th (hidden) screw.  This has a little "Palm" sticker that you just force the screwdriver tip through to undo the screw.]

 

2. Using the tip of the utility knife blade (use care not to hurt yourself, or better still, wear kevlar gloves) pry out the back.  Make sure you do not drop any small part like the volume up/down buttons, etc.  [The microphone is attached to the back cover and is encased in a small black rubber enclosure that faces the bottom of the unit (right next to the power and hotsync connector.] 

 

3. The back of the microphone has a very small (white-beige colored) conductive rubber zebra-strip that might have gotten dirty or may have lost contact with the 2 concentric (round) gold (mating) connectors on the Treo's PC board.  Gently (and very lightly!) clean the surface of the very small zebra strip connector on the back of the microphone, and the two concentric gold-plated connectors on the PC board, by using a non-residue-leaving degreasing/cleaning solvent (such as pure alcohol).  [Actually, I used a proprietary product, but alcohol should work.  (No, I do NOT recommend WD-40 for this cleaning!). {Personal content removed for your saftey}.]

 

4. Carefully re-assemble the unit and test it out with the native Voice Memo application by recording your voice and hearing it play back correctly.  Also, you can check out the playback function by playing the free pTunes song that comes with the Palm device.  Then again enjoy your phone as before! 

Message Edited by pamelaz on 08-14-2009 06:11:31 PM

Re: Charging $70 for a $60 plan

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Aug 14, 2009 1:58:52 PM
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Thanks so much to all of you who commented.  With your excellent advice, I again called the AT&T store, spoke to someone else, argued that I should actually be able to get the $60 plan for $60.  This person agreed, and said it should not be on the Family Talk plan and that I could either come into the store, or call 611 to get it corrected.

 

I called 611 and explained the whole situation.  They agreed that I should not have been charged the $9.99 and they corrected it.  Actually, they not only took off the $9.99, they also reversed the $26 activation fee I had been charged and reduced the taxes as well.  They were extremely apologetic about it, apologizing repeatedly for the mistake at the AT&T store and for the trouble it had cause me.  It did take me close to 40 minutes on the phone and talking to three different people to accomplish the correction, but they did it very nicely.  They even arranged to have someone call me at the end of the billling period to make sure that no improper charges ended up appearing on the bill.

 

Problem solved.  Thanks

Re: Charging $70 for a $60 plan

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Aug 16, 2009 10:47:14 AM
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Professor
Wow! I'm glad to hear they were able to fix that for you! :smileyhappy:

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.

Re: Charging $70 for a $60 plan

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Aug 17, 2009 7:29:35 AM
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I have on my phone the $39.99 450 minute plan which I have never gone over, $15 for unlimited data, $20 for unlimited texts. 

 

40+15+20= $75 

 

My bill has NEVER been under $100.00. Nickle and diming you is not the word for it.  

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