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Posted Nov 9, 2008
6:31:45 AM
Getting Charged for using IM Feature?
Hey everyone, I just joined at&t and have a Samsung Propel phone.  I am under a family plan that has the "Messaging Unlimited for Families" feature added.

Two days ago I used the IM AIM program that is built into my phone.  The next day I looked online and saw I was charged data for using it, even thought I thought it was free under my feature ($3 worth!).  I stopped in a store yesterday and they said as long as you use the AIM built in the phone it should be free.  Thinking something else strange might have happened I used AIM again last night.  I did not send or received IMs just was available.  I would only recieve some notifications if someone came online.  I looked this morning and again I was charged, and the times fit when I was logged on.  On the Account Overview it shows this:

11/08 11:07 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 6KB 11/08 10:51 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 8KB 11/08 10:44 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 4KB 11/08 10:33 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 8KB 11/08 10:27 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 4KB 11/08 10:21 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 4KB


What is going on here?
Thanks for any help!!
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Nov 9, 2008 8:50:16 AM
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Edited by Zandora on Nov 9, 2008 at 8:56:28 AM


amunet wrote:
Hey everyone, I just joined at&t and have a Samsung Propel phone.  I am under a family plan that has the "Messaging Unlimited for Families" feature added.

Two days ago I used the IM AIM program that is built into my phone.  The next day I looked online and saw I was charged data for using it, even thought I thought it was free under my feature ($3 worth!).  I stopped in a store yesterday and they said as long as you use the AIM built in the phone it should be free.  Thinking something else strange might have happened I used AIM again last night.  I did not send or received IMs just was available.  I would only recieve some notifications if someone came online.  I looked this morning and again I was charged, and the times fit when I was logged on.  On the Account Overview it shows this:

11/08 11:07 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 6KB 11/08 10:51 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 8KB 11/08 10:44 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 4KB 11/08 10:33 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 8KB 11/08 10:27 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 4KB 11/08 10:21 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 4KB


What is going on here?
Thanks for any help!!


IM'ing uses data to logon and refresh buddy lists. But this data usage is included in your messaging plan.
 
Don't worry about what it shows on OLAM. Wait until you actually get the bill. When the bill gets generated they'll reconcile the data with your IM'ing and you won't be charged. This happens with MMS also. Data will show on the OLAM, but when the bill is processed the data gets reconciled with the MMS and you only get charged for the MMS, not MMS PLUS data (unless your MMS went over the kb limit per message).
 
As long as your data usage is aligned with your IM'ing times, you should be fine. If when you get your bill, you see data charges, then dispute. Until the bill is processed there is nothing to dispute (nor worry about).


Message Edited by Zandora on 11-09-2008 12:56:28 PM
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Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Nov 9, 2008 6:35:44 AM
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Do you have any contacts in your AIM address book?  It uses data to update this portion.  Also uses data to update your status.  I am surprised that cust care did not know this.

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Nov 9, 2008 8:50:16 AM
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Edited by Zandora on Nov 9, 2008 at 8:56:28 AM


amunet wrote:
Hey everyone, I just joined at&t and have a Samsung Propel phone.  I am under a family plan that has the "Messaging Unlimited for Families" feature added.

Two days ago I used the IM AIM program that is built into my phone.  The next day I looked online and saw I was charged data for using it, even thought I thought it was free under my feature ($3 worth!).  I stopped in a store yesterday and they said as long as you use the AIM built in the phone it should be free.  Thinking something else strange might have happened I used AIM again last night.  I did not send or received IMs just was available.  I would only recieve some notifications if someone came online.  I looked this morning and again I was charged, and the times fit when I was logged on.  On the Account Overview it shows this:

11/08 11:07 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 6KB 11/08 10:51 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 8KB 11/08 10:44 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 4KB 11/08 10:33 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 8KB 11/08 10:27 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 4KB 11/08 10:21 PM wap.cingular Internet/MEdia Net Sent 4KB


What is going on here?
Thanks for any help!!


IM'ing uses data to logon and refresh buddy lists. But this data usage is included in your messaging plan.
 
Don't worry about what it shows on OLAM. Wait until you actually get the bill. When the bill gets generated they'll reconcile the data with your IM'ing and you won't be charged. This happens with MMS also. Data will show on the OLAM, but when the bill is processed the data gets reconciled with the MMS and you only get charged for the MMS, not MMS PLUS data (unless your MMS went over the kb limit per message).
 
As long as your data usage is aligned with your IM'ing times, you should be fine. If when you get your bill, you see data charges, then dispute. Until the bill is processed there is nothing to dispute (nor worry about).


Message Edited by Zandora on 11-09-2008 12:56:28 PM

Re: Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Nov 9, 2008 8:54:14 AM
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Thank you both very much!  I guess I'll go a little easy this first month till I get my first bill.

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Nov 9, 2008 8:56:42 AM
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You're welcome.

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Dec 21, 2008 9:02:58 AM
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Just wanted to update that I DID get charged on my bill data for using IM.  I never went online or used the mobile email feature so know what I was charged was purely from IM.  I went to a store yesterday and the guy said you are charged for connecting and refreshing but not for the IM messages themselves.  He credited us the $20 of data I was charged and when we asked that even though we should get unlimited IM for free, it actually isn't because we have to pay, the salesperson shrugged.

 

I know someone who was on a plan with someone that used the IM feature and was never charged, is this issue specific to the Propel?

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Dec 21, 2008 9:06:46 AM
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Also wanted to add that the salesperson had to call someone to see if he could get the $20 off the bill and he said he had a hard time convincing the person, but did end up getting it.

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Dec 21, 2008 2:28:03 PM
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Edited by jii on Dec 21, 2008 at 2:29:33 PM
sadly enough, this is the norm. our cs people (in-store, online chat and call in) tend to be way too under-educated when it comes to ... well .... anything really. heck, i couldnt even begin to count how many times ive had to try to correct a rep at one of my local corp stores about an issue or feature.
Message Edited by jii on 12-21-2008 02:29:33 PM

Re: Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Dec 23, 2008 7:44:13 AM
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is there a time limit as to how long you can stay logged on either with IM or Windows Live?

 

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Dec 23, 2008 7:04:19 PM
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Professor
It shouldn't have charged you the data for IM. I just gave up my Propel for an iPhone, and I used AIM to keep in touch with my fiance while he was at work. It never charged me for data. I didn't have a data package at the time either.

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Dec 25, 2008 3:57:16 PM
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Edited by Liquifier on Dec 25, 2008 at 3:59:08 PM
I have the same problem with the Propel on my Family Talk plan. I tried to dispute the data charges but the CSR told me that the Propel was not under the list of phones with embedded IM messaging client (something about not being embedded, I'm guessing the list she had tells her which phones don't incur Data charges for signing onto AIM) so that it is subject to data charges every time you sign onto AIM. I think she was implying that the Propel uses MediaNet for the IMs and I'm being charged for the MediaNet usage. Maybe I'll try calling again tomorrow.
Message Edited by Liquifier on 12-25-2008 03:59:08 PM

Re: Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Feb 28, 2009 5:10:57 PM
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I am glad to see that someone else is having the same problem that I am. I've been in dispute with AT&T since November about data transfers on only my phone even though I have 4 phones on my account, all 4 Razors.  I am the only one that uses the IM feature on our phones, and I've been charged ridiculous amounts for "data transfers." I have called AT&T every month trying to figure out what the deal is and all they tell me is that there is too much date being transferred to be an accident. They never asked if I used the IM feature, nor did they even suggest this might be the problem. With the economy the way it is, it isn't right for them to be ripping off their customers in such a way.  I haven't used the IM feature on my phone in weeks and thus far, have seen the data lessen. I logged into here to see if anyone knew what wap.cingular was and if I was the only one with this problem. If this wap.cingular is my problem, I have 401 KB of data transferred this month. And all of it would be related to my aim usage on my razor.

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Mar 1, 2009 8:11:21 AM
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ACE - Master
Is your Razr at&t branded?  It has to be an at&t branded device, and you have to use IM from the pre-installed IM client - not by browsing to AIM via MediaNet or using it through a third-party client, for data usage to not be charged on IM activity.
                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Mar 1, 2009 10:13:39 AM
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It is an at&t branded razor and i accessed my AIM from the welcome screen. It's a flip phone, when I flip it open, it's the top right key.

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Mar 1, 2009 1:49:16 PM
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I have the UTStarcom Quickfire with the family texting plan. I use the pre-installed instant messengers on the phone and so far I have not been charged for data.

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Mar 2, 2009 4:43:58 AM
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ACE - Master

Youngmick wrote:
It is an at&t branded razor and i accessed my AIM from the welcome screen. It's a flip phone, when I flip it open, it's the top right key.

You definitely should not be being charged for data associated with your IM activity then. :smileysad:  You're certain you aren't using any other features that access data - the wap.cingular simply indicates that the data gateway was used from the phone - a number of other things also use data, such as downloading content, obtaining/sending e-mail, browsing via MediaNet (the most obvious), MMS (but you shouldn't be charged for the data associated with it either).

 

When you receive your billing statement - does is show that any of your IM activity is being billed as SMS instead of data?  If not - obviously request a billing credit for the erroneous data charges, but ask customer service to file a trouble ticket on your account; clearly if you use the IM client and there is no "correctly" charged IM usage (i.e. SMS) on your billing statement, IM is being charged incorrectly by at&t's billing system.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Mar 2, 2009 12:47:31 PM
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I got a response from at&t themselves. They told me that i can review the details on page blank to page blank.  and that I can add a data plan for $10 month...and they offered me a one time courtesy credit.  Responded with $10 is a far cry from what I was billed for, but my problem was that I hadn't directly connected to the internet from my phone, so I am sitting here waiting to see what they say now.

Re: Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Mar 4, 2009 9:48:41 AM
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I was told that any 3G capable phone will be charged data for using any feature other than just regular text.  Picture messaging, video, and IM are among the few that will be charged data, even though it's listed as being covered under the messaging package. 

 

There is another thread on here that lists some steps that you can change the actual yahoo, aol, and hotmail messaging setting to avovid the data charges.  I just did it today and will have to wait and see if it works for me, however I am among the victims charged for data for using the IM feature.  My bill was over 600.00 this month just for data.  I was told to either buy a non 3G capable phone, go back to using my old Nokia phone, or purchase the 10.00 data package.  

Re: Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Mar 4, 2009 10:33:14 AM
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ACE - Master
Edited by hme83 on Mar 4, 2009 at 10:42:16 AM

Unfortunately you were the victim of misinformation. :smileysad:

 

It makes no difference whether you have a 3G phone or not as to how MMS and IM data activity should be charged (assuming IM via the pre-installed IM client on an at&t branded device).  Take a look at this list of "compatible" phones for the current messaging plans - which clearly indicates it includes IM and MMS, as well as SMS.  There are many 3G phones among the listed devices.

 

Messaging 1500
Message any way, to anyone in the U.S. Send and receive 1500 text, picture, video, and Instant Messaging (IM) messages. Additional messages are 5 cents each.
You need a compatible plan and phone to get this feature.
See compatible: Phones and Plans


AT&T: Tilt
BlackBerry®: 7100g , 7130c , 7290 , 8110 , 8320 , 8700c , 8800 , 8800c , 8820 , Bold , Curve , Curve 8310 , Pearl , Pearl 8120
Cingular: 2125 , 3125 , 8125 , 8525
HITECH: Tilt 8900
HP: hw6515
HTC: FUZE
LG: CE110 , CF360 , CG225 , CG300 , CU320 , CU400 , CU500 , CU500v , CU515 , CU920 , Incite , Invision , Shine , Trax
Motorola: KRZR , L2 , L6 , L7 , Moto Q Global , Moto Z9 , Q , RAZRV3 , RAZRV3I , V365 , V3r , V3xx
Nokia: 2600 , 2610 , 6030 , 6061 , 6085 , 6102i , 6126 , 6650 , E62 , N75
Palm: Centro , TREO650 , TREO680 , TREO750
Pantech: C120 , C150 , C3 , C300 , C520 Breeze , C530 , C610 , C630 , Duo , Matrix , Matrix Pro
Samsung: A127 , a237 , A517 , a637 , A707 , A717 , A727 , A737 , A767 , a777 , Access , BlackJack , BlackJack II , C417 , D347 , D407 , D807 , Epix , Eternity , Rugby , SGH-ZX20 , SLM , X507 , ZX10
Sony Ericsson: W300i , W350 , W580i , W760a , W810i , Z310a , Z525a , Z750a
Monthly Price $15.00
from here .
The Samsung A767 (Propel) is among the listed compatible devices - you need to give customer service a return call and have them review the billing statement with you so you can request credit for any erroneous data usage charges related to your IM activity (again, presuming you accessed IM from the built-in IM client, not through MediaNet or a third party IM client). 
Message Edited by hme83 on 03-04-2009 12:42:16 PM
                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Mar 4, 2009 11:25:23 AM
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I'm aware that if you use the icon that comes with the device that you shouldn't be charged, HOWEVER, I was still being charged, using it correctly.  The charges did not start UNTIL I started using the samsung propel that I purchased in Jan.  I even had the reps at the store, AND customer service remove the internet completely and upon doing so, I was no longer able to use Instant messenger.  So either it is because of the type of phone that is being used causing the charges, a billing system error (which all reps say it's not) or a setting needs to be changed in the phone to stop this from happening (which I have recently changed some settings that I got from another post on this subject).

 

I completely agree that NOWHERE does it state that depending on your device will you be charged for data when using a messaging feature.  I argued with the manager this morning regarding that, and as of right now, not one person can show me some actual proof in writing that data charges will apply based on the type of handset you are using when accessing a messaging feature.  

Re: Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Mar 4, 2009 1:53:05 PM
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ACE - Master
Edited by hme83 on Mar 4, 2009 at 1:55:05 PM

christinaj2009 wrote:

 

.............. 

 

I completely agree that NOWHERE does it state that depending on your device will you be charged for data when using a messaging feature.  I argued with the manager this morning regarding that, and as of right now, not one person can show me some actual proof in writing that data charges will apply based on the type of handset you are using when accessing a messaging feature.  


In an indirect manner it actually does state this, but in your case as long as you are using IM via the embedded client on an at&t branded device, between the post above with the messaging plan documentation and this tutorial regarding using IM on the Propel, you are covered.  These documents clearly state that IM usage under these parameters will be charged as SMS, not as data usage.  (Access the information "How Much Does It Cost to IM on My Wireless Phone" from the link to the tutorial below.) 

 

Contact customer service directly (1-800-331-0500) if you aren't able to get any assistance through your local store representatives.  Whether it is an issue with the settings in the phone or with at&t's billing system, customer service needs to be made aware of the issue (again, again, and again) - and they need to issue credits for erroneously charged data usage.

 

Instant Messaging - Samsung Propel

Message Edited by hme83 on 03-04-2009 03:55:05 PM
                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Getting Charged for using IM Feature?

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Mar 4, 2009 5:11:43 PM
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<<scratching head>> Well the refunded my bill and even though they are going to charge me $10 I am over it. If they find anymore loopholes to charge me for I am finished with AT&T!  I originally signed a contract with Suncom, who got bought out by Cingular. Cingular I had no problems with my messaging at all. In Fact, I was very happy with them, until they got bought out by AT & T. Grrr... Ya'll are much too technical for me.

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