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Dilemma with AT&T over Viva Mexico plan


Dilemma with AT&T over Viva Mexico plan

A member of my family had to return to Mexico for an extended time,and wanted to keep their AT&T phone,so we switched to the Viva Mexico plan rather than keeping the Nation Unlimited plan and being charged 59 cents per minute used in Mexico.Our bill was never high with the Viva Mexico plan.

Then two days ago,after having the plan for eight months and no one at AT&T saying anything,I went to call my loved one and heard the message "the person you are trying to call is not accepting calls at this time".I had no idea what was going on so I called AT&T,and was nochalantly informed that our phone had been "temporarily suspended" because of "excessive usage outside the U.S.A.".Now,I thought the purpose of an international plan was because the phone was to be used outside the U.S.A,and there was no overage,in fact there were over 3,000 rollover minutes as of two days ago.I was frantic because that phone is the only way we have to stay in touch,and AT&T told me the only way the phone could be turned back on was to switch back to the Nation plan with the $4.99 monthly/59 cents per minute feature.I had forgot about the 59 cent per minute charge and wanted the phone back on so I told them to add the Nation Unlimited,not thinking that we we would lose all the rollover minutes,I was in a state of panic.

The phone was turned back on,but I was still confused,so customer service transferred me to the "specialty team" that made the decision to turn off the phone,and this is what they said:That with an international plan,"at least 48 per cent of the phone use must be done on U.S. soil"  --now,I was never told this before,and I went to the AT&T Viva Mexico page and read the entire Terms & Conditions,and nowhere does it state that at least 48% of calls must be made on U.S. soil.I couldn't find that clause anywhere.When I emailed the CEO's office,I was told the same thing,and also that we could not use the Mexico plan again,plus they kept suggesting that I cancel the line,which is not an option.Right now,my loved one is unable to get a phone with Telcel in Mexico and we were doing fine with the AT&T Viva Mexico plan.Now we'll be paying 59 cents per minute which is going to add up,I have a screen shot I made of the Terms & Conditions and have emailed it to the COE's office but haven't got a reply.I don't understand why someone just up and decided to do this out of the blue on Aug. 10,and I feel what they did is wrong.

The International Terma & Conditions can be viewed here:

Message 1 of 7

Re: Dilemma with AT&T over Viva Mexico plan

I know that the terms and conditions link you provided comes from the bottom of the Viva Mexico page because I repeated the process and wound up on the same page, but it doesn't fit.  I don't work for ATT and don't have a stick in this fight, but if I were trying to ding you I would probably use Section 4.5 of the contract which states:


"If your use of minutes (including unlimited Services) on other carrier networks ("off-net voice usage") during any two consecutive months exceed your off-net voice usage allowance, AT&T may, at its option, terminate your Services, deny your continued use of other carriers' coverage or change your plan to one imposing usage charges for off-net voice usage. Your off-net voice usage allowance is equal to the lesser of 750 minutes or 40% of the Anytime Minutes included with your plan."


You can find the full terms and conditions for wireless plans here:


You probably want to read the entire thing top to bottom carefully to prepare for your fight.  Brew a big cup of Joe. 


One weirdness worth mentioning is that ATT GoPhones (prepaid) work in Mexico for $0.25 a minute. Rebetel is a third party long distance service which offers connections to Telcel for $0.09 a minute.  They give you a personal US number mapped to the person's Mexican phone.  When you dial it, you get that person.  It uses your caller-id to approve the call.  Other phones can't make the connection.  Vonage has a deal which includes unlimited calling to Mexican mobile phones for about $40 a month.



Message 2 of 7

Re: Dilemma with AT&T over Viva Mexico plan

the 1 thing i will mention is that atts normal first step is to not allow off network usage thus making the phone a paper weight for everything except for wifi if supported by the phone, but they could also make that the second step and charge for every off network minute used and then have it all billed to the açount then you get a bill in the 1000`s of dollars, bén through that situation and its not pretty for either possibility.
Message 3 of 7

Re: Dilemma with AT&T over Viva Mexico plan

But isn't blocking Telcel and Movistar precisely that? I am surprised that there was no warning before they did it.
Message 4 of 7

Re: Dilemma with AT&T over Viva Mexico plan

there would be notifacationeither by a phone call or sms or maybe a email or a call to the main line on the account if your not the main line. 1 call to customer care once your line stops working and they can confirm if you have been restricted from off network feature by looking for 1 feature added to your line of service.
Message 5 of 7

Re: Dilemma with AT&T over Viva Mexico plan

AT&T didn't inform me of ANY of those terms when they first offered me that plan.Had I known that,I could have mede sure the minutes(750)weren't exceeded two months in a row.They should have told me of that instead of turning the phone off and making me almost have a heart attack when I couldn't reach my loved one.If I hadn't been so upset I would have taken the nation 450 and been allowed to keep the rollover minutes,but I lost them when they switched me to Nation Unlimited.Now we really have to make sure not too many minutes are used because even 59 cents per minute is a lot.


Another thing is that since going to Mexico,the caller ID on their phone has not worked,and ALL incoming calls show up as their own number,which was confusing before we figured out that the caller ID isn't working,and it looks like everyone is calling from their own number,and recently AT&T started deducting minutes every time I call them from my landline and the call goes to voicemail.I tried explaining this to customer service,and their typically poor response was "minutes are always deducted when you call your own voice mail",I know that,but I don't have the phone,and the person who has it doesn't call voice mail,because of yet ANOTHER screw-up on AT&T's behalf,when they disabled voice mail then had the nerve to tell me that we'd never activated it in the first place,which was a lie.So when an incoming call isn't answered and goes to voice mail,all numbers show up as his own number,which almost looks like he was calling voice mail,but a call to voice mail wouldn't say "INCOMING",duh.Now that we will be charged for each minute,this is a problem,and I still don't see why an *incoming* call TO their phone FROM another phone should deduct minutes.


They could have at least INFORMED me ahead of time about that clause instead of just leaving me uninformed and then just shutting the phone down without warning,then more or less forcing me to switch to a plan I didn't want,and acting all nochalant about it and even snarking at me "well,you can always cancel the line".No,that's not an option right now,the only thing we can do now is make sure as few as possible minutes are used and the end of this cycle switch to the Nation 450.Cell phone companies are the biggest racket ever.They know we have to keep in touch with others and found a way to wring every dime they can out of us.Thanks a lot for making al already bad situation even worse,AT&T.




Message 6 of 7

Re: Dilemma with AT&T over Viva Mexico plan

This is likely to be a hopeless fight.  AT&T has historically fired customers who use their inclusive minutes or data in way they deem to be excessively off network.  They would rather close the whole account than continue to pay another network for what becomes ordinary and not occasional use.  In particular phones that rarely register on the at&t network get targeted.  A phone which has been operating full time in Mexico for 8 months seems rather suspect for targeting.


When I signed up for my international data plan two years ago I was verbally informed that it was for occasional and not full time use outside of the US. 

Message 7 of 7
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