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Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

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Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

Hi, I saw my bill online today and I found that I got charged minutes by calling Toll Free Number which is more than 350 out of my family plan. I called 611 to talk to a representative about this situation whose name is Michael (I got the reference number if you need). He told me that I should be charged for the Toll Free number, and it should be charged for the air time, not long distant fees. I asked him that what I should be charged, Toll Free means that the receiver should be response for any charges for the call. He replies that I'm not be charged for that if my family minutes not go over limits at the end of billing cycle!~ What a meaningless sentence! I'm paying for the family share minutes, if I go charged for the minutes means that I'm being charged for money!! He said ATNT policy is this and they have to charge this. (He also said Toll Free number is not really called Toll Free number by AT&T, if the owners wants to call it, that fine, but they don't!)

 

 I'm really wondering that whether we should be charged for calling Toll Free numbers. In my mind the definition of Toll Free number is that they should pay for the money to call them. Is that correct? I've seen some of the thread somebody else replied to the same issue said that Toll Free means No long distance free. Air time minutes should be charged as the same as local phone calls. I cannot agree with this. According to the information shows on the FCC.GOV. Which clearly shows that "The charge for using a toll-free number is paid by the called party (the toll-free subscriber) instead of the calling party" (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/tollfree.html) 

 

Can someone give me a reasonable answer? I don't want to pay for 200 bucks which the money I should not pay for.

 

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Message 1 of 14
ACE - Expert

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

You are charged for AIR TIME, not long distance fees. It makes no difference the number that you call, you are still charged air time. Toll free numbers are NOT air time free numbers, they are numbers to which you are not charged long distance fee. You still pay for air time.
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Message 2 of 14
Scholar

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

Yes Kdfederer is correct.  All "Toll Free" means is that there are no toll charges associated with calling that number. Normal airtime charges still apply
Message 3 of 14
Contributor

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

Base on the link I provided above, it does not show that I shall be charged for air time called either. Toll Free is designe for free call for the caller, receiver should be charged. Like the example it shows: "parents can obtain toll-free numbers to give to a young adult who is away at college, allowing that young adult to call home anytime without having to make a collect call or pay for the call." http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/tollfree.html If you take a look of this website, you will know what I meant.

 

If you say so, please show me any proper document that shows that Toll Free should be charged for air time. And that clearly would make fcc.gov wrong.

 

Thanks you guys.

Message 4 of 14
Master

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number


@perfect710 wrote:

Base on the link I provided above, it does not show that I shall be charged for air time called either. Toll Free is designe for free call for the caller, receiver should be charged. Like the example it shows: "parents can obtain toll-free numbers to give to a young adult who is away at college, allowing that young adult to call home anytime without having to make a collect call or pay for the call." http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/tollfree.html If you take a look of this website, you will know what I meant.

 

If you say so, please show me any proper document that shows that Toll Free should be charged for air time. And that clearly would make fcc.gov wrong.

 

Thanks you guys.


The problem is you don't uderstand the difference been a "Toll" call and "Airtime".

 

A Toll call is a long-distance telephone call at charges above a local rate.  You are not being charges anything "extra" for using your cell phone so there is no toll assessed.  If you look at your wireless bill you will not see any toll charges on it. The owner of the toll free number is paying for the additional rate that is above the local rate.  All your being billed is your local rate which essentialy on your wireless plan is Airtime.

 

Your Airtime is billed for all calls (except when you call 611 for customer service).  It doesn't matter if its local or long distance as long as its a call made domestically (international calls are different).

 

The other thing that confuses people is that cell phone carriers removed the local and long distance barrier by making all domestic calls a local one.  So now there is only airtime.  Basically they are giving you free long distance service.  So if you call a companys toll free number its not different for you than if you called their local number.  The only difference is how the company that you called is billed for the call on their end.  If you call their local number they just pay the local fee, but if you call their toll free number they pay the toll fees for that call. Its the price they have to pay to have a centralized single number to make it easy for those that call them, mainly people that have a landline phone who are would have been charged long distance and would have had to pay the long distance toll otherwise.

 

Think of this.  If you have a local landline phone and you call a toll free number your local carrier still charges you for your local service.  You still pay your portion of the local phone usage.  You just didn't have to pay the extra fees for the call.  Its the same with a cell phone.  You still pay your local usage (which is your airtime to connect to the cellular network).  Your just not charged any extra fees.

 

http://www.wireless.att.com/answer-center/main.jsp?t=solutionTab&ft=searchTab&ps=solutionPanels&loca...


Question:
Will I be billed airtime for toll-free calls?
Answer:
Yes, toll-free calls made to (800), (877) or (888) numbers are billed at regular airtime rates.

 

 http://www.wireless.att.com/answer-center/main.jsp?t=solutionTab&ft=searchTab&ps=solutionPanels&loca...


Question:
How do I use Long Distance?
How do I use International Long Distance?
Answer:
Long distance applies to calls within the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Using Long Distance

To make a long distance call, simply dial the 10-digit phone number for the person you're calling. Long distance calls to the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands count toward your monthly minutes but do not incur additional fees.

International Long Distance rates vary based on the country you're calling. For additional information, visit the topic: How can I make international calls?

 

 

 

Message Edited by Planet-Ed on 2009-12-01 02:02:42 AM
Message 5 of 14
Master

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

What Planet-Ed said ...

 

If you want to save your airtime minutes, call during your NW time.

 

Toll free numbers use NW minutes if you call them during NW.

 

Just make sure that your call starts AFTER NW time starts. For example if you start a call at 9:01PM and continue for an hour, then entire call is charged to NW minutes.

 

HOWEVER, if you start the call at 8:59PM and continue for an hour, the ENTIRE HOUR is counted as ANYTIME/AIRTIME minutes, NOT 1 minute anytime, 59 minutes NW.

 

The system starts counting the minutes (and type of minutes) from when the call STARTS.

Message 6 of 14
Tutor

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

I've got my phone recently and right away the problems started. I called the 611 (which is also toll free number). After about a week of inconvinience and about half an hour of conversation with the customer service represenratives the problem was solved.. But guess what! This time is included in my billable minutes. I.

 

If it is not a  rip-off!, I don't know what is.

Message 7 of 14
Professor

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

yea and cell phones are designed that when you make a call it uses your airtime, whether the call is sent or recieved...so in essence the call is toll free (you don't get charged money wise, unless you are over you minutes)...if you want your minutes back or be compensated for it call the company you had called and used your minutes on....but beware it will use your minutes again.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 8 of 14
Master

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number


@LyuVas wrote:

I've got my phone recently and right away the problems started. I called the 611 (which is also toll free number). After about a week of inconvinience and about half an hour of conversation with the customer service represenratives the problem was solved.. But guess what! This time is included in my billable minutes. I.

 

If it is not a  rip-off!, I don't know what is.


 

If you were calling 611 (and not the 1-800-331-0500) then you should not have been charge any airtime.  If you were you need to let ATT know so they can correct it and look into your account totry finding out why it happened.  611 and 911 are not supposed to use any airtime against your plans included minutes.

 


Question:
What types of calls are free?
Am I charged for calls to 611?
Am I charged for calls to 911?
Answer:
You are not charged for the following types of calls:
 
  • 611 calls to AT&T Customer Service for wireless customers
  • 911 emergency calls

Please note that you will be charged airtime on "800" or other "toll-free" type calls

 

Message Edited by Planet-Ed on 2009-12-01 07:43:28 PM
Message 9 of 14
Tutor

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

I was calling 611,

After the problem was not solved I asked for a manager or supervisor. They called me - In my bill is an incoming call from 1-800 -331-0500 number. So far i'm still within my limit, but I need to budget my minutes since time was stolen from me by lousy customer service.

 

Anyway, I have a contract and for the next two years I have to deal with it, Would it not ibe better if they sign a contract and you cancell it if the service is not provided to your full satisfaction, and they pay penalty? Otherwise they just take customers for a ride with all these fees.

 

The cell phone industry does not look like a free market enterprise. Something should be done about it.

Message 10 of 14
Scholar

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number


@LyuVas wrote:

I was calling 611,

After the problem was not solved I asked for a manager or supervisor. They called me - In my bill is an incoming call from 1-800 -331-0500 number. So far i'm still within my limit, but I need to budget my minutes since time was stolen from me by lousy customer service.

 

Anyway, I have a contract and for the next two years I have to deal with it, Would it not ibe better if they sign a contract and you cancell it if the service is not provided to your full satisfaction, and they pay penalty? Otherwise they just take customers for a ride with all these fees.

 

The cell phone industry does not look like a free market enterprise. Something should be done about it.


you just said yourself that you were charged INCOMING minutes for them calling you. they cant call you from 611, just like if you dial 911 and hang up and they call you back, its not from 911... its from a local number from the 911 dispatch office.
 
fair or not, its clearly their policy. 

 

Message 11 of 14
Tutor

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

Hi Andy

I'm from NY too.

 

I know it is their policy.

And I know it is wrong.

And I know we can do NOTHING about it.

At least I can voice my opinion.

Message 12 of 14

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number

It's not wrong, in fact I doubt it could be more correct. that is the decison they have made and it is their choice to make it, you can probably call and complain to a service rep to get it adjusted though if you feel that it is such and injustice to humanity. Smiley Wink

 


@LyuVas wrote:

Hi Andy

I'm from NY too.

 

I know it is their policy.

And I know it is wrong.

And I know we can do NOTHING about it.

At least I can voice my opinion.


 

 


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.
Message 13 of 14
Master

Re: Billed and charged for Toll Free Number


@LyuVas wrote:

I've got my phone recently and right away the problems started. I called the 611 (which is also toll free number). After about a week of inconvinience and about half an hour of conversation with the customer service represenratives the problem was solved.. But guess what! This time is included in my billable minutes. I.

 

If it is not a  rip-off!, I don't know what is.


 

If you called the 611 number the minutes may be listed in your OLAM, but are you SURE that they are billable minutes?

 

Can you scan your bill (redact your personal info) and show where you were BILLED for the 611 call?

 

If that is truly the case, I think you can call up customer service and they should easily credit the minutes back.

Message 14 of 14
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