Explore & discover

Helpful Links

Charges for international calls using whatsapp or facetime and how to escalate a matter with AT&T

Tutor

Charges for international calls using whatsapp or facetime and how to escalate a matter with AT&T

(mobile post-paid, USA)

Just had a chat with AT&T representative and it left more questions than clarifications. Worst of all, it also left a hole in my pocket since we're been charged to international calls we never did.
Issue: we found charges for international calls in our latest bill. We recognize the number called, but we never call international, we always use whatsapp and/or facetime.
Here's what 1st AT&T agent told us (copied/pasted from the actual chat):

Ken: Using whatsapp with cellular data will count against your cellular data
Ken: That is why you've been charged for INternational Long Distance
Ken: I was able to verify that the International Long Distance charges on your bill is valid due to
using cellular data while calling even using 3rd party app
Ken: The time it will not be counted against your data plan is when you're using Wi-Fi
Ken: I would love to clarify this for you. If you're using cellular data using communication
applications, it will count against your data plan unless you're using a Wifi.

So, using whatsapp to call international will co$t money. And, the agent VERIFIED that the charge is for using a 3rd party app. That would explain the charges... even though... we've always complained that whatsapp doesn't connect when we're not on wifi... it just doesn't work... we thought its a lock in the app or something alike but it just doesn't work without wifi. Now they say it does and they VERIFIED IT.

Now, here's what minutes later ANOTHER AT&T representative wrote:

Rosendo - Supervisor: If applications such as Whatsapp were used, there will be no Long
Distance Charge as it will be taken as Cellular Data usage
Rosendo - Supervisor: Which means those calls went through regular calling
Rosendo - Supervisor: As that kind if error does not occur in our service
Rosendo - Supervisor: Only calls made through the pre-installed calling application of the
phone will be charged for Long Distance Calling
Rosendo - Supervisor: If third-party applications that use only data or Wifi to call, these
charges will not appear on your bill

So... basically it confirms everything that the previous agent said only completely the opposite, I got a sensation of walking on a mobius tape... the same conversation leads to one conclusion and then exactly to its opposite.

This is really confusing, and worst of all, expensive since they charge for the calls. Each agent has a justification for the charges even though both agents use opposite arguments.
Did I mentioned the fact that the phone user doesn't even know how to dial internationally?

To turn a confusion into a mystery is very easy, all I did was to ask the supervisor to confirm if the calls were made using an app or the regular phone system... and voila:

Rosendo - Supervisor: I apologize but as much as I would like to verify that, for security
purposes, we are unable to see what applications were used for your privacy as well

Well, that's what you got for talking to a supervisor!! At AT&T the supervisor has LESS power than a regular agent.... since Ken was able to VERIFY that the call was made using a 3rd party app, while the supervisor can't even check.

I wish they had the same system for the charges... charge you xx at the begining of the bill and then charge you the opposite (-xx) at the end.

Finally I asked for a phone or address I can contact to escalate the matter and... of course:

Rosendo - Supervisor: We do not have a mailing address for any specific department

In the end they got me a weird PO box.

 

So, in the end, we're been charged for calls we didn't make or maybe we made with whatsapp, which nobody can verify (for our safety) but that have been accurately verified as made using an app. We just have to pay, that's for sure.


Does anybody at the forum has a better alternative for contacting AT&T management or so? I found some TV stations (univisa, telemundo) have departments that like to investigate these matters but I would like to exhaust direct communication first.

Thanks

55,585 Views
Message 1 of 83
Administrator

Re: Charges for international

Hi @Enavilli,


I am sorry you were billed internationally while using an app. I am more than happy to check into this for you!


I definitely understand how important it is to know if you will be charged for using an app or not. I did some research into this for you and I was able to find that Whatsapp requires you to verify your phone number unlike some instant messengers. The issue would be with the app itself and to this end I would suggest contacting Whatsapp directly to find out why you were billed for using the voice feature.


As for your current charges, please send me a private message @ATTCares containing your full name and account number and I am glad to check into this for you.


Have a great rest of your day!


Geovanni, AT&T Community Specialist


Need help?
Ask a question to get help from the AT&T Community or support from AT&T specialists. If this reply helped you please use Accept solution to mark it as an Accepted Solution.
*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 2 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

I have experienced the exact same thing.  

This is completely ridiculous.  We've been using whatsapp applictaion on Iphone forever, and only for the last 2 months we were charged with international calls.  This completely not the consumer's fault.  and my international call charges should be dropped from my bill for October and November.

 

thanks,

An angry AT&T user for over 10 years Smiley Happy

Message 3 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

Thanks for posting, just wanted to mention that following @ATTCares request I sent a private message on nov/6 with all the requested data.

As of today haven't heard anything from them.

This is really frustrating, not only an excessive and unfair overcharge but also a lack of care for customer claims. 

Message 4 of 83
ACE - Expert

Re: Charges for international

@Enavili@lyne_97124 This is not an ATT issue, this is a Whatsapp issue. Try doing a google search for “WhatsApp billed for international calls” and you will see this has been happening for years with every carrier. I don’t know if it’s a bug with the app or something they just don’t disclose but the simple fact is those calls are being placed over the carrier’s voice network, that is why there are charges.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*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.
Message 5 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

Hi

The exact incident of "International Call Charge" mentioned above happened with me as well. I was charged for $109 for an international call stating that one of my phone lines were used to call an international number. I got a text message on Oct 16th 2017 from AT&T showing the charge. I called AT&T and spoke to a Rep (either on the same day or the next - don't remember), he initially told me that the call was valid and then after some time told me that this was an administration error. He told me that the charge will be taken off my account and I will receive an email confirmation. And when the payment was due in December, I realized that the charge was not taken off the account. I called back AT&T and this time spoke to a lady who told me that the international call was made using one of my lines and she cannot do anything about the charge. I was completely lost as the first rep. told me that it was an administration error and it was taken care, and I mentioned the new rep. about the conversation I had previously with AT&T and after a long hold she comes back and tells me, "how people call them always thinking they did not make an international call but they make it using third party apps without realizing etc.. " and worst of all tells me that she cannot find any conversation notes for my previous conversation with AT&T almost indicating that I never made the call.

 

To give you all a context, I am an AT&T member for last 10+ years and probably called AT&T 2-3 times for any questions let alone a billing question. And now I finally paid the bill after seeing this post that they are charging for Whatsapp. Even my current Bill shows $ 31 charge for international call. Is this a new thing that AT&T is doing starting Oct 2017? We (me and my wife) always used Whatsapp and Vonage app for calling internationally and  strange that we find international charges in the back to back months.

 

I personally feel I have to move away from the network as the last call to AT&T made me realize that it is not worth sticking to something for too long as you will be taken for granted.

Message 6 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

I have been an att customer since 2007 and have been experiencing the same run around from ATT regarding WiFi calls.  And am filing complaints with multiple agency’s in letter form as soon as I return back to the USA from business. Before going overseas I called multiple times as not to incur charges and spoke to multiple representatives who have all provided conflicting Information.  It’s enough to drive you absolutely crazy. My phone is on airplane mode and cellular data is turned off which was what was suggested to me by an Att agent as not to incur charges while overseas . They have been charging me again and again. I had one agent tell me she notated my account so I can call in every month and have my account credited for these calls. Total  lie. There was no notation on the account I even spoke to her supervisor to commend her for crediting me back 153 dollars for all the WiFi calls I was billed for. ATT commuting fraudulent business practices and there time will come. Truly sad. They used to have the best customer service. 

Message 7 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

 I truly feel for you!

Message 8 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

Still don't understand what sort of "Customer Service" does AT&T carries on.

- All your agents contradict themselves, as I detailed in my first post.

- I confirmed with Whatsapp that they don't charge long distance or any type of voice call. Whatsapp is a VoIp service, they don't use voice networks. Blaming Whatsapp is the same as saying that you can write an email to a friend, click 'send' and 'somehow' hotmail decided to print the email on paper, put it in an envelope, address it and send it via USPS so your friend receives it in their physical mailbox. And then you got a bill from USPS for the shipping service.

- Almost two months ago I got a personal msg from AT&T asking me for my contact information and details so they can call me and resolve the matter. Not a single call since then, I've responded multiple times to their message with the information requested.

- And now they are just closing the post with an irrelevant "accepted solution".

AT&T is this the best you can do ? or the 'only' you're willing to attempt to do?

Thanks

 

Message 9 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

I've never had any issues out of at&t until I got an iPhone put on my plan for my niece. Her data didn't work after one month and I had to call at&t constantly trying to resolve it. Next thing I know I got a phone bill for over $500. I have two phones and one device and my bill runs $240 which I already think is way too much. But they told me there was a phone call made internationally and charge me $172. The rest is in fees and so forth but frankly I don't care. IPhone confirmed it was an issue with the phone, technically and physically and do not see any instances of the phone call made from her phone. So after spending 2 hours on the phone with AT&T they said they would reduce the cost of the call but couldn't give the full amount. What about the credits for the data I've been paying for months? I had to physically take the email from Apple to an AT&t store to be credited that. 2 weeks pass after I've done this and no credit was ever made. I was told I could either get the credit for the phone call or the data. I was told lies from many people promising or telling me that I would be credited.  I have recordings of every phone call thanks to another nifty app. So I told them to handle this or it would get handled another way because this is ridiculous. You can give credits to people who don't have any issue with their phones but I have proof of the phone being defective. Crazy all day long and this customer of 7 years is about to switch.

Message 10 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

Same thing happened to me three months in a row, At&t says is WhatsApp fault they don't take charges off from bill.

Solution:

I took my 5 lines to Tmobile, now I'm paying $160 Tax included all unlimited, before I was paying an average of $400 a month with at&T

Message 11 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

It keeps happening with me to. I think it is time for a consumer complaint. I wonder how many people keep paying the extra charges as they do not realize the errors.

Message 12 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

Finally I wrote and send a letter to the CEO's office and after some days got a call with some apologies and the promise to refund me for those charges. The refund appeared in my new bill. Thanks

Message 13 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

Contact the FCC !
Message 14 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

Wvry other month AT&T charges me for using Whatsapp! And no matter if I call they always has an excuse. I did request a block for international calls other than usin 3rd party apps and also I uave my “wi-fi calling” off to prevent any incident, but still AT&T continue to charge high! 

Message 15 of 83
Share this topic
Share this topic
Announcements

Do you need to fix, replace or track a device? We Can Help With That!

Additional Support