Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!

Contributor

Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!

I have an iPhone, which I like.  I travel internationally for business, and use the phone for e-mail.  AT&T has an international desk, but you can't call them directly.  I have to call the main number, go through phone tree purgatory (actually lower than purgatory, but they won't let me use that word), then get put on hold while I'm transferred to someone else.  At least they could put international on the phone tree.

 

So, having wasted time on hold, I want an explanation of the international data plans.  But it's impossible to know how many megabytes to buy, because there's no way to figure out -- or control -- how many you'll use.  And if you want the unlimited plan, it's a full year contract with a $175 cancellation fee.  

 

The whole thing is an outrageous scam!  It's all set up to get you to go over your limit and face a huge bill, or to pay for international service when you're not traveling.

 

I came to AT&T for the iPhone.  I may well leave the iPhone over AT&T. 

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Message 1 of 11
Master

Re: Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!

Don't use the iPhone internationally. It is way too much of a data hog.

 

Turn off all roaming. Just use WiFi.

 

Else you will be in for a LARGE bill.

Message 2 of 11
Scholar

Re: Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!

Leave if you feel you must, but the grass is definitely not greener in this case.   Wireless International Roaming is a rip-off, no matter what carrier you choose.   For any carrier to try and justify costs of $1.29/min and $20/mb is a joke.   The problem is they all do it and it's such a huge money maker that none of them will make the leap to step out of line and lower prices!   They have us by the (you know whats).  

 

Your best bet is to buy an unlocked phone for use when traveling and use local SIM cards to the countries you are visiting.   Inconvenient, for sure, but much more cost effective.

Message 3 of 11
Guru

Re: Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!

You can dial International's number directly -- 1-916-843-4685.  The number is free from your mobile anywhere on the globe.  You can also call them and ask them to call you back on a foreign number (e.g. hotel room) if you have roaming problems.  ATT's international roaming rates are competitive.  If you travel frequently to the EU, getting an EU SIM will give you better rates within the EU.  There are also roaming SIMs like eKit, but they don't help on data.  

 

If you travel internationally on any regular basis, the unlimited pays for itself in a NY minute.  I sometimes think about cancelling since I don't go abroad as much as I used to, but the freedom not have to worry about it is worth something and one $700 roaming bill easily puts the package ahead.  If you are on an iPhone, you can now VOIP over 3g.  ATT just approved Rebtel's VOIP App yesterday and Skype is or should be approved.  If you are in a 3g country, you can effectively call home for free.  While the call quality is not perfect, it is acceptable.

Message Edited by stufried on 10-20-2009 10:50:19 AM
Message 4 of 11
Professor

Re: Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!


stufried wrote:

You can dial International's number directly -- 1-916-843-4685.  The number is free from your mobile anywhere on the globe.  You can also call them and ask them to call you back on a foreign number (e.g. hotel room) if you have roaming problems.  ATT's international roaming rates are competitive.  If you travel frequently to the EU, getting an EU SIM will give you better rates within the EU. 

 


Yeah, I've always used the 916 number for International Support.  Keep that number with you when you travel.  A person will answer fairly quickly, and are very willing to call you back on the hotel phone, etc.  if you can't use your cell for connectivity reasons, etc. I've found them to be extremely helpful.

 

I shopped around once I started travelling internationally for work.  AT&T has the only international service that was remotely acceptable. International service at Verizon was a joke, the last I checked.  They pretended that the country I travel to doesn't even exist (Japan). And as the above stated, their rates are competitive.  Licensing roaming service from other countries is expensive, no way around it.

Message 5 of 11
Guru

Re: Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!

My wife used to have TMobile and I dealt with a roaming issue for her (over week with no Blackberry service).  TMobile didn't have a special division.  It was handled by the regular CSRs.
Message 6 of 11
Teacher

Re: Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!

Welcome to America, we have everything controlled by rich people and big companies

Called Monopoly from satellites to phones 

 

In any country around the world, you buy phone and SIM card

Very cheap and no contract with open phone, but NOT in USA

All about how you control the market with scammed contract

 

Message 7 of 11
Scholar

Re: Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!

You should check your facts.......   If you compare wireless costs around the world, you'll be very hard pressed to find better deals in total cost, than right here in the USA.   

nash5804 wrote:

In any country around the world, you buy phone and SIM card

Very cheap and no contract with open phone, but NOT in USA

All about how you control the market with scammed contract

 


 

Message 8 of 11
Professor

Re: Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!

Agreed.  I travel frequently to Japan, and phone rental and temporary SIMs are not cheap (phone rental since Japan uses UMTS 2100 MHz exclusively, which until fairly recent, not too many US phones supported).   Between the local SIM rate not being much cheaper, and the hassle of not having the same phone number, I found it preferable to use the ATT roaming service.  Its extremely helpful (for both work and personal use) for people to be able to call my normal cell number whether I'm travelling or not.
Message 9 of 11
Scholar

Re: Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!

One idea I have found to help a little.........

 

Buy a prepaid SIM for the country you are traveling to.....

 

If your office phone system supports it, set up a DID number to forward to the prepaid cell number.   That way, you can give out a local number where people can reach you anywhere.   Since landline calls around the world are now dirt cheap, it makes reaching you a lot less painful for all sides.

Message 10 of 11
Master

Re: Outrageous Theft, and inaccessible customer service to boot!


glorf24 wrote:

 

  And if you want the unlimited plan, it's a full year contract with a $175 cancellation fee.  

 


The unlimited international plan is actually a VERY good deal for anyone who travels overseas more than twice per year and wants to use data for business.  While the early termination fees seem steep,  if you do the math and figure out that you can be very productive and use your data overseas without any worry the total annual cost of the plan comes in quite resonably compared to buying bolt on buckets of data or pay per use roaming rates.   It's easy to run up a roaming bill in excess of the total annual cost of the unlimited international plan compated to pay per use or bolt on plans + overages in just one trip alone.

Message 11 of 11
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