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Fraudulant charges on my last bill

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Fraudulant charges on my last bill

My last bill included fraudulent charges for roaming while my children were on a cruise ship.  At no time were they warned of these roaming charges.  I spent over two hours on the phone with various co-conspirators with no success.  I was even threatened at one point that if I chose to  withhold payment through my credit card company, all my phones will be disconnected.   I've been a loyal customer with AT&T for over 15 years.  I am very disappointed that these reps could not find a way to return my loyalty and reverse these charges.  I'll be looking at switching to a competitor at my first opportunity.  What a shame. This is not how to retain customers.

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Message 1 of 17
ACE - Expert
Solution
Accepted by (Former Employee)
Accepted by beckyww
‎08-13-2018 12:06 PM

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

Sorry but your children not understanding how roaming works or roaming charges does not make those charges fraudulent. If they used their phones and/or left their cellular data on, those charges are valid. Withholding payment will result in all phones being disconnected and eventually your account cancelled. That was not a threat, that was just giving you the facts. There is a process for disputing charges, simply not paying is not the way. Those charges came from the cruise line, ATT has to pay them. ATT will usually work with you to reduce those charges if you catch them before they are billed. 

 

Everytime I’ve been on a cruise ship, I get a text warning me of the roaming charges the first time my phone connects to the ship’s cell tower. I’d be very surprised if your children didn’t get that same text.

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Message 2 of 17
ACE - Sage

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

If your kids are on a cruise ship and did not disable their phones, the charges are valid.  You might want to plan ahead in the future so this doesn’t happen.  

(BTW a third party billed ATT for your kids connecting to their network.  ATT passes it on.  ATT could not possibly know unless the phones DID CONNECT to a third party network)

   Others who have cruised say there are notices on the ship EVERYWHERE.  On the TV screens, as they board the ship.  

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
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Message 3 of 17
Tutor

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

Allow me to explain further.  My plan includes unlimited data/text in US and Canada.  Because those two countries are the only two they were visiting on their Alaskan cruise, they felt no need to turn off data roaming. 

 

Message 4 of 17
Tutor

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

continuing from last post.  Because they never felt a need to turn off data roaming, they did not think to preemptively turn it off during the cruise.  I too have been on many cruises and was never aware that wifi was even available on the cruise.  Neither were they.  If they did have wifi access, they probably assumed it was coming from either a US or Canada tower and therefore were covered by our plan.  Good for you that you were aware but we were not.  I was just asking for a bit of consideration for a loyal long time customer who spends almost 300$ per month.  What I got was an offer to provide a partial refund of charges but no offer to refund the entire amount which was over 100$.

Message 5 of 17
ACE - Expert

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

Once again, your kids not knowing is not an excuse. Their phones did not connect to the cruise ship’s WiFi, it connected to the cruise ship cell tower and their phones had “Cellular at Sea” on the display. ATT has nothing to do with the cruise ship’s WiFi. Besides, the cruise ship plan that includes data is $100 per phone. If they offered you a partial refund that puts your bill at less than $100, you are making out quite a bit better than had you bought a plan. I understand you being upset over the charges but they are valid. In my opinion, expecting ATT to refund all charges is not reasonable.

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Message 6 of 17
ACE - Sage

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

@billbros

$100?    Someone just posted they went to Europe and cruised and ran up $3000.   

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
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Message 7 of 17
Tutor

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

ok, so I guess my kids were caught up in a real gotcha moment.  My bad.  I wish they were as knowledgeable about the fine print as you are.  You are missing the point.  Wonder how much money AT&T makes on people who have an innocent lapse of judgement when it comes to the fine print.  As I said on my other post, they have unlimited data in US and Canada.  Since those are the only two countries they were visiting, they had no need to turn off their data.  Hard lesson to learn … I'll have them comb through the fine print on the AT&T agreement the next time they travel anywhere outside of a 10 mile radius of their homes.

Message 8 of 17
Tutor

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

Terrible.  Hope they have some success in getting some of that back.  I guess my point is that AT&T should be able to put in place a safeguard, perhaps a mechanism whereby the user hast to respond positively with a button push, stating that they are aware that roaming charges will be billed.  But then, that would be a revenue loss for them wouldn't I?

 

Message 9 of 17
ACE - Sage

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

@billbros

ATT can’t protect you from all third party billing.  That’s up to you.  Your phones have airplane mode when In doubt.  

Simple rule of thumb, if you aren’t standing on US soil, you are roaming.  Canada and Mexico are covered roaming on your plan.  Airplanes and ships have satellite cell service and it’s horribly expensive.  

  The person who racked up $3000 was probably sent multiple warnings and ignored them. Pity. 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
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Message 10 of 17
ACE - Expert

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

I just leave data roaming turned off on my phone and only turn it on when I need to use data. I never had to read any fine print and never have to worry about accidentally roaming. 

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Message 11 of 17
ACE - Master

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill


@billbros wrote:

Terrible.  Hope they have some success in getting some of that back.  I guess my point is that AT&T should be able to put in place a safeguard, perhaps a mechanism whereby the user hast to respond positively with a button push, stating that they are aware that roaming charges will be billed.  But then, that would be a revenue loss for them wouldn't I?

 


Not really. I'm sure AT&T receives a small payment for processing charges on behalf of the Cellular at Sea, but it's not a significant source of revenue. Honestly, I'd bet management would much rather skip the process altogether, especially since they have to deal with the customer service for the provider, too. That would be an inconvenience for the customer, though, which is the whole reason for AT&T to process these charges. 

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Message 12 of 17
ACE - Expert

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

Cruise ship data has always been terribly expensive and this is not just an ATT issue. They currently charge more than $6 per MB but just a few years ago it was $20 per MB. Maybe ATT should do what Verizon did. They no longer allow their users to use data on a cruise ship.

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Message 13 of 17
Contributor

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill

A related frustration is that I just purchased the $100.00 cruise plan for Talk, Text and Data.  My AT&T account includes my cell phone and my iPad.  However, only my cell phone is included on this international plan.  If I want the same plan on my iPad it will cost me another $100!  What is wrong with this picture?

Message 14 of 17
ACE - Sage

Re: Fraudulant charges on my last bill


@EsssBeee wrote:

A related frustration is that I just purchased the $100.00 cruise plan for Talk, Text and Data.  My AT&T account includes my cell phone and my iPad.  However, only my cell phone is included on this international plan.  If I want the same plan on my iPad it will cost me another $100!  What is wrong with this picture?


And if you want to use 2 phones or 5 phones you pay for each of them too.  

OR . . . 

You could unplug like people used to do a couple decades ago, before smartphones and tablets and enjoy your cruise.  (There is plenty to do). 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
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