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What does whatsapp charge for international calls?

Tutor

What does whatsapp charge for international calls?

(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

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Message 1 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

Call the FCC complaint line. They will fight on your behalf it worked for me.
Message 31 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

We are having the exact same problem! To top it, we even have International Call Restrict on the line to exactly avoid this kind of situation.

 

When I talked to a supervisor she says there is no guarantee by AT&T that International call block will actually work (!) which is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. So AT&T is offering a feature that *may* sometimes work and when it doesn’t you are liable for charges as a customer. That’s just laughable!!!

Message 32 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

And I forgot to mention that while the AT&T feature did not work like it is supposed to, she was talking to me as if it was doing me a favor by working on reducing the charges. 

Message 33 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

On my most recent bill I have a charge for $273.00 for a 91 minute call to Brazil that wasn’t made. My wife talks to her family and friends back in Brazil but only uses WhatsApp and another app she pays for every month to make international calls. She only uses the WhatsApp app and the other app when she is at home so it’s always on our WiFi. I know if she uses it when we are not at home it will use our data. My wife has been doing this since we joined AT&T and there has never been a charge. But all of the sudden on this bill we have this extremely high charge. Altogether my bill is $527.00 it has never reached this amount in the 4 going on 5 years with AT&T. My wife recognizes the number that was supposedly called for 91 minutes. She talked to her friend to check her phone bill and there is no record of a 91 minute phone call between them. They checked WhatsApp and her other app. There is no record of a 91 minute call. My wife used the apps on the day they said the call was made but not for 91 minutes. I called AT&T they told me they verified it was a call made on there network and offered me $50.00 off. The call was never made and my wife never makes calls to Brazil on their network. I asked to talk to someone else like corporate or anyone higher up. They said they couldn’t give me a phone number but instead gave me an address to send them a letter. I’m going to send a letter since no one can resolve this at AT&T customer support. I’m going to switch carriers as soon as possible to because I see this is a reoccurring problem for people.

Message 34 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

Did you have WiFi calling turned on. It appears the problem can occur if we have WiFi calling turned ? Based on some other responses I realized that could have been the problem since I had turned on WiFi calling in settings recently. Never got a straight response from customer service.
Still not acceptable though!
Message 35 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

File a complaint with the federal trade commission
Message 36 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

WiFi calling is off and my wife makes her calls through the WhatsApp app she’s been doing this for some time. She was at home on our WiFi so it shouldn’t have any affect. I’ll try filing a complaint with the federal trade commission and writing a letter to corporate 

Message 37 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

I was charged $50 for a 10 min call using Viber (wifi) even though my Viber record shows that I used it for just 1 min32 sec. They gave me $50 credit after I agreed to sign up for ATT Direct TV Now. I haven't called using Viber since then and will be changing my service.

Message 38 of 83
Tutor

Re: Charges for international

This very same thing is what I am having an issue with.... They are the experts and they are misinforming people and they just want the customer to eat the cost of the mistake. The only reason I even went through all this is so I can talk to my daughter during the holidays while she is deployed....

Message 39 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

The best I did was cancel my att subscription move all 5 lines to T-Mobile, cheaper good quality and no “weird fees”
Message 40 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

I was looking at T-mobile this morning I’m most likely going to switch to them after I fix this problem because I’m not trying to pay this fee. My brother has T-mobile he said he has no problem with it and they have a flat rate. The AT&T support is terrible it use to be good at one time 

Message 41 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

Have you talked to a supervisor? I was able to speak with one and after much haggling and arguing she applied their global connect plan that is $15 per month but waived off most of my international charges. I am still not happy about how a WhatsApp call could have used AT&T minutes. Their explanation does not make sense. 
Message 42 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

We had the same situation. I don’t think ATT can do it without some sort of warning or disclosure [Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

Message 43 of 83
ACE - Master

Re: Charges for international

The one to sue is WhatsApp, not AT&T. A few minutes of searching on Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile's forums will show this is happening with every carrier. WhatsApp is sending carriers the international call and getting you billed for it, not AT&T.

**Disclaimer: I don't work for AT&T, have never worked for AT&T, and have never been compensated by them in any way, shape, or form**
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 44 of 83
Contributor

Re: Charges for international

The exact same thing happened to me. AT&T is billing for what'sapp calls for international number. Now thinking of disconnecting the AT&T service after 8 years with them as this is insane billing for international calls even though I have international calling blocked on the phone.

 

Message 45 of 83
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