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$2100 in overage charges on my cellphone bill
February 27, 2009 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Outrageous cellphone bill, my fault entirely. Any recourse?

I have $2100 in overage charges on my cellphone bill, accumulated over the course of four months, while I was working on an unusually communication-intense project. I never noticed it because I’ve had Auto Pay for two years, and usually have about 2000 rollover minutes to spare.

I work remotely and we didn’t have a landline at home until recently, so I use my cellphone for work.

My usual bill is in the range of $117-$127. Last month I discovered that since I started this project the phone bills were $677, $907, $590, $410 (I was on vacation much of December). All this added up to $2100 in overage charges.

My husband and I never noticed the deductions because we were doing construction on our new place at the time and money was continuously going out of our bank account, in the hundreds and thousands, to pay for the work.

When we finally found out, I immediately switched over to a higher minute plan. AT&T credited me back $680 for the last two months, but wouldn’t go beyond that, after several phone calls. They said they usually never go beyond one month, so they went out of their way by crediting me two months’ overage.

I can’t bill this to the customer because they never signed up for it, and my manager has said as much. I choose to work from home, and whether I use a cellphone or landline my company is not responsible for it.

It’s entirely my fault.

I’m wondering if the Auto Pay/trust angle gives me some options legally. AT&T’s line is “Stop worrying about paying bills and sign up for Auto Pay!”. They’re telling me I don’t need to worry if I have Auto Pay.

I also learned that they do notify customers of high usage but only for international calls.

Can anything be done? Is it true that AT&T can’t credit me overage beyond the past two months?
posted by Dragonness to Work & Money (47 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'd say that you're out of luck, and that their marketing isn't any indication of a guarantee. That said, if you -really- want to play hardball, get a lawyer.
posted by ellF at 9:46 AM on February 27, 2009


I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that AT&T can credit you whatever they want. Whether they want to, though, is a different story.

You can certainly try to keep going up the ladder of customer-service representatives, or contact a lawyer or publicize your story to Consumerist, but you've already gotten them to credit you almost a third of the charges (and, apparently, to go beyond their usual crediting policies).

It sounds like they've already cut you a pretty big break. How much more can you reasonably expect?
posted by box at 9:52 AM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't get it. You admit it was your fault, yet you want to not pay it?

Your best bet is to talk to AT&T about spreading the payments out so it's less of a hit. Adding say $200 to your bill every month will be less painful than having to pay $1500 all at once.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:53 AM on February 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, this is why autopay, and the "out of sight out of mind" mentality it encourages with regard to resource usage, can be dangerous. Sorry you got bit with this, but you did run up the charges.
posted by deadmessenger at 9:58 AM on February 27, 2009


It's not really reasonable, honestly, that you should have to pay for work calls. Is that something you specifically agreed to in order to work from home? Because really, the company should be covering expenses incurred while working for them, especially as you're saving them a desk space worth of site expenses every month.

Anyway, I had a severe overage one month because of untracked international calls, but it was partly the phone company's fault (they applied a discount to the wrong phone on my account, and my wife made lots of calls home on the undiscounted phone), but it sounds to me like they've already gone above and beyond for you in waiving two months worth.

I'd say either push your company management to cover this now, or eat the cost now but push for covered calls from your company in future.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:00 AM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I’m wondering if the Auto Pay/trust angle gives me some options legally. AT&T’s line is “Stop worrying about paying bills and sign up for Auto Pay!”. They’re telling me I don’t need to worry if I have Auto Pay.

The legal term for this is, I believe, puffery. For more information, you can read The Best Puffery Article Ever.
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:07 AM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


You've turned off Auto-Pay on all your bills, right?
posted by incessant at 10:07 AM on February 27, 2009


Screw that. No one notified you that your account was showing unusual activity?

How? Why? My bank does that, and this is a whole lot simpler.

Challenge AT&T. This is a class-action suit waiting to happen.

Imagine if this was your hosti g company, and they pulled that without notifying you you had gone over your bandwidth.

Bullshit AT&T. Welcome to the future, get with the program or lose customers.
posted by humannaire at 10:13 AM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I’m wondering if the Auto Pay/trust angle gives me some options legally. AT&T’s line is “Stop worrying about paying bills and sign up for Auto Pay!”. They’re telling me I don’t need to worry if I have Auto Pay.

You are still responsible for checking your AT&T and bank statements every month. If you had done either of those you would have caught it immediately, AT&T would have made an adjustment for the overages, and everything would have been fine. Two months of credit seems generous for a company that generally sucks in the customer service department.

So if you want to continue to try negotiate this down it should probably be from an "I'm a good, long-term customer and I'll be monitoring my statements so this won't happen again," approach instead of a "you tricked me" sort of thing.
posted by stefanie at 10:13 AM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


It’s entirely my fault.

I’m wondering if the Auto Pay/trust angle gives me some options legally. AT&T’s line is “Stop worrying about paying bills and sign up for Auto Pay!”. They’re telling me I don’t need to worry if I have Auto Pay.

This is a little...well, you're trying to talk yourself into some righteous indignation, I get it, and yes, cell phone charges are outrageous by nature, but you clearly understand that this is your responsibility. I can't imagine you reaaaally think that AT&T's marketing ploys should be taken so literally as absolve you of paying the bill. (If you're that literal-minded, wouldn't you be sticking to the literal letter of that contract you signed and cheerfully paying for all minutes used?)

When we finally found out, I immediately switched over to a higher minute plan. AT&T credited me back $680 for the last two months, but wouldn’t go beyond that, after several phone calls. They said they usually never go beyond one month, so they went out of their way by crediting me two months’ overage.

So, you already got them to cut you some slack. Doubtful that you'll get more out of them, then. A payment plan seems to be the remaining reasonable request.
posted by desuetude at 10:23 AM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


They gave you credit for two months' worth of overage and you want *more?* When you admit it was your fault? And, furthermore, you've already paid the bills?

I think you have already got what you're going to get, and more than you were owed.

That said, if I ran a cell phone company and wanted to compete, I'd offer an "auto-step-up" plan that automatically puts you into whatever plan is the best deal for your usage each month, so you would never pay more than for the "unlimited talk" plan. I don't know why at least one company isn't doing this yet.
posted by kindall at 10:30 AM on February 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Not giving you a warning of high charges is unconscionable, just like mandatory arbitration clauses in cell phone contracts (recently ruled "unconscionable" by a court.) It's crappy treatment of consumers, just like when AT&T Long Distance conveniently forgot to tell me that my 1 cent/minute long distance package wouldn't protect me from a $200 charge for calling London, when I obviously would have paid the $14.99 for an international calling plan had I known it was the alternative.

Cancel service, tell them you'll cut them a deal but won't pay $2100. If they try to stick it on your credit report, sue them. People often make the mistake of believing that telecom giants and utilities ought to be obeyed like the police instead of dealt with as equals in a bargain.
posted by Kirklander at 10:31 AM on February 27, 2009


If you can get to a place where indignation and blame are separate from what you want, you will be happier and possibly better able to negotiate with AT&T. AT&T as a company can do what it wants to retain customers. Different customer service reps may give you different answers, depending on: how secure they feel in their job, which call center they work in, the phase of the moon, their mood, what the computer tells them, etc.

So if you try with different reps, in different departments (specifically, regular customer service and retentions), you may see further progress.

I'd recommend describing your situation on the AT&T board at Howard Forums and asking what the best strategy is. For instance, if you're a high value customer (and at $100+/mo, it sounds like you are), there may be specific things you can try that will get you further then someone on a deep discount plan.
posted by zippy at 10:35 AM on February 27, 2009


tell them you'll cut them a deal but won't pay $2100

As the OP states, the bills have already been paid. (i.e., "My husband and I never noticed the deductions because we were doing construction on our new place at the time and money was continuously going out of our bank account, in the hundreds and thousands, to pay for the work.")

Personally, I think your next recourse is to see if your employer will reimburse you for the work-related calls. Though be prepared for them to say -- not entirely unreasonably -- "it's not our fault that you weren't looking at your bills, so that you could have switched to a more appropriate plan in the first place."
posted by scody at 10:43 AM on February 27, 2009


Not trying to start an argument/be snarky here, but where did personal responsibility go? I can't believe how many people are suggesting "lawyering up" or going to the Consumerist as a possible solution. OP admitted it was her fault, and AT&T has already worked with her on it. End of story. Pay your bill and move on.

It's not really reasonable, honestly, that you should have to pay for work calls.

OP said that it was her choice to work from home and there was never an agreement in place between her and her employer. Again, end of story. Ask to spread the payments out to take the sting out of it, and pay closer attention in the future. Lesson learned, and I feel badly for you, but there has to be some personal accountability for these things.
posted by nomad73 at 10:44 AM on February 27, 2009 [10 favorites]


They agreed to a 33% discount off the excess charges you incurred. That's fairly generous for Big Nasty Corporations. There's also an extremely high probability that you signed a legal binding agreement when signing up for AutoPay, even if it was just by checking a checkbox marked "I agree to these terms of service" and hitting the Submit button. And, I don't mean to be mean, but the "don't worry" thing is silly. I think you're stuck with the bill for the services they provided you. See if you can pay it off in installments.
posted by WCityMike at 10:58 AM on February 27, 2009


"Outrageous cellphone bill, my fault entirely. Any recourse?"

Yup. Learn to be responsible. You'll save money in the future. As for the past: chalk it up to an expensive lesson you've hopefully learned.
posted by 2oh1 at 11:10 AM on February 27, 2009


The worry in "don't worry" is that you'll miss a payment.* You didn't miss the payment, so the marketing was actually correct.
*At least, that's how I always read it.

For the future, any chance they have an option where they email you notices when you've racked up some amount of charges, or at least your monthly statements? I have some accounts that do that, which lets me be a little less wary about using autopay.
posted by trig at 11:24 AM on February 27, 2009


I have to agree with the bulk of people saying this is a tough lesson but as you said you did it to yourself. It is a bit of a "you made your bed" situation. I agree that they already did way more than I would have expected, offering to back credit you that much. You chose to set up the auto pay, you chose not to be mindful of your usage, you chose not to be mindful of your bills. It sucks, no question, but this is on you.

You may want to take this lesson even further and become very aware of all your bills and your credit card usage in a very complete way. Set up a budget, remove any other auto pay services you have, and watch carefully where your money comes and goes. That alone may help a huge amount when it comes to finding the money to saving that money you just lost back up. I recently managed to charge up a significant amount of credit card debt, simply because I was like you and not mindful of it, and I took that situation as a perfect time to become very financially aware and educated myself. The skills I have learned from it will serve me very very well for the rest of my life. Maybe you can do the same.
posted by gwenlister at 11:26 AM on February 27, 2009


Thank you all for your answers.

Here's the thing: if my bill goes up from $127 to $677 to $907, shouldn't some major red flags be raised somewhere at AT&T? They can't know the reasons for the overage, only that it's highly uncharacteristic of a customer they've had in the $120-range for two years. Can't I hope for some protection in return for the trust I placed in AT&T by allowing them automatic deductions? How high would the bills need to be before this no longer made sense? Thousands?

So yeah, my thoughts are aligned with humannaire's on this.

Yes, I was irresponsible, but I feel I am excused by a zero-overage history over the whole period of my subscription plus a hefty and continuously growing rollover buffer.

And to clarify, the bills have been paid - AT&T helped themselves to my bank account, so obviously I can't get the money back.

Clearly, they do recognize the need for overage notification since they do it for international calls - so how are local calls different? Our irresponsibility can be kept in check as long as it's international - once local, we're on our own? I don't get it.
posted by Dragonness at 11:31 AM on February 27, 2009


Here's the thing: if my bill goes up from $127 to $677 to $907, shouldn't some major red flags be raised somewhere at AT&T?

Shouldn't it raise some major red flags to you?
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 11:37 AM on February 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


Exactly. The thing with autopayment is that it's still incumbent upon you to double check your bills. Personally, I'd definitely notice an extra $500 coming out of my bank account, three months running.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:46 AM on February 27, 2009


Gwenlister, I think you are absolutely right this is a perfect time to start taking my finances seriously, thank you for sharing your experience. It's been too easy in this culture of impulse spending to just ride along.
posted by Dragonness at 11:48 AM on February 27, 2009


no problem! if you want I can point you in the direction of some awesome finance blogs that have helped me tremendously, as well as the budget I use or whatever. Just message me if you want. :)
posted by gwenlister at 11:55 AM on February 27, 2009


Of course you like the answer that rests the blame on someone else. I'm not trying to be mean here, but come on... that's so typical of what's wrong with our society these days. It's always someone else's fault, even when it clearly isn't. If you don't like the way AT&T is treating you, find another provider. That's why I dumped Qwest. (although AT&T already credited you $680! And you've made it clear that you realize this mistake was your own).

Personal accountability.
posted by 2oh1 at 11:56 AM on February 27, 2009


Shouldn't it raise some major red flags to you?

Of course it should, and I recognize that I was irresponsible. But shouldn't the fact that it hasn't raised red flags to me raise red flags at AT&T? Shouldn't they realize something is seriously wrong with this particular account? Why isn't the customer responding? What is going on?

Personally, I'd definitely notice an extra $500 coming out of my bank account, three months running.

For what it's worth, we had over 100K in the bank after selling our old place and had those kinds of amounts flying out of the account for months as we were doing construction on our new house. Not to mention juggling a hectic situation with two toddlers and moving boxes and construction, plus work on this crazy project. The phone bill was the last thing on my mind at that point, what with knowing I had so many rollover minutes.

But, you're absolutely right, it's not AT&T's problem. Except it would be nice if they recognized they could have done something, and should offer a local overage notification option to their customers in future (they don't right now).
posted by Dragonness at 12:00 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


But shouldn't the fact that it hasn't raised red flags to me raise red flags at AT&T? Shouldn't they realize something is seriously wrong with this particular account? Why isn't the customer responding?

As long as you don't complain, it's in their best interest not to. Why should they complain if a customer doesn't mind paying overages?

So, lesson learned, and you've already gotten a concession from AT&T.

Two more things to try:
  • If this was work-related will they reimburse you?
  • Can you at least claim it as a business expense at tax time (not a tax expert, but I did freelance for five years)?

posted by bonehead at 12:22 PM on February 27, 2009


But shouldn't the fact that it hasn't raised red flags to me raise red flags at AT&T? Shouldn't they realize something is seriously wrong with this particular account? Why isn't the customer responding? What is going on?

Why would something that did not raise red flags to you raise red flags with them? You were fully paying on time (using auto-pay, but still) every month for 4 months running. Not complaining during that time or refusing to pay. Why would they say "Hey, this person's bill is high and they are paying on time every month, we should really see if everything is ok here." You WERE responding---you paid every month just like you should have. AT&T has many, many consumers all over the world and may people have monthly overage charges every month even in excess of yours. Why would they think something is particularly wrong with your one account when you paid without complaint, especially continuously.

I really don't mean to sound snarky but it seems like you still are trying to put the blame on them by saying that they should have taken extreme personal care of you. They aren't your babysitter and they definitely are not your friend. No large, for-profit corporation is your friend. Even with large sums of your money coming and going from your bank account, your statements should still clearly show who that money is going to. You did not pay attention to who your money is going to and that is a recipe for disaster. In fact, I think the next thing to do now would be to go back meticulously though your bank statements for the last 4 months and make sure all your charges are on the up & up. If you let this amount of money slide by for this long without really paying attention to who it was going to, what other smaller things could you have possibly missed?
posted by ejazen at 12:24 PM on February 27, 2009


Why would something that did not raise red flags to you raise red flags with them?

For the same reason that unusual credit card charges raise red flags with banks.

If Auto Pay wasn't set up on the account, then yes, getting my payment tells AT&T that I am aware of the overage and I have no issues with it. But my problem is with Auto Pay: how high should the payments get above an account's customary levels before AT&T reacts? Imagine the bills went up to 10K or 100K... wouldn't you expect something to get triggered at some level of abnormal activity?

I am exploring the problem of trust and Auto Pay here, not questioning the fact that I was irresponsible.

bonehead, I am talking to work about this, but they are pushing back. As for taxes, it doesn't make a dent, we've looked into it.
posted by Dragonness at 12:37 PM on February 27, 2009


What is going on?

You're learning how to be responsible. I sincerely hope.

Alarmingly you were rewarded for being irresponsible (Two free months? Really? I pay my bill every month and they don't give me shit for free.)

Take your two free months and your lessons learned and go on with life because just you're going to make people mad by acting indignant.
posted by Ookseer at 12:37 PM on February 27, 2009


What ejazen said, totally. Why would they be alarmed to have a good customer who pays on time without complaining?
posted by desuetude at 12:37 PM on February 27, 2009


I am talking to work about this, but they are pushing back.

And again, fair enough -- I think it was worth a shot to ask your employer, but I'm not surprised that they're pushing back. After all, this is a problem -- as you recognize -- that derived entirely from your lack of oversight of your own bills, not from any change in your status, work demands, etc. from your employer.

Look, I'm absolutely no defender of big corporations in general, or AT&T in particular, but you seem to be operating under the assumption that it's AT&T's job to save you from yourself. It's not. Yes, it would be nice if their "potential fraud alert" red flags went up with a spike in domestic usage as well as international usage. Perhaps they'll decide to implement that feature if you, and enough other customers, take your business elsewhere. But seriously, at this point, you're not OWED anything because AT&T didn't babysit you as well as you would have preferred. I'm honestly not clear why you believe you are entitled to special treatment, just because you've owned up to your (expensive) mistake.

Chalk it up to a pricey lesson learned: keep better track of your own finances and don't expect corporations to be your mom. And consider being grateful that it only took $1400 to learn it, and not $14,000 or $140,000.
posted by scody at 1:09 PM on February 27, 2009


Corporations exist to make a profit. So you shouldn't be surprised they wouldn't raise any red flags due to high use, particularly when the bill is getting automatically paid.

But you might have an ace in the hole. If you have a reasonable alternative for cell service in your area call ATT up, ask as nicely as possible that they credit you back some more of the charges you rang up, and when they say no say you appreciate their assistance but you'll be canceling your plan as of today. Be prepared to follow through. Of course you should check to see if Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon have good coverage in your area first. Because threatening to switch to a service that doesn't exist isn't much of a threat.

This might just work because ATT may decide that retaining you as a customer will likely be more profitable in the long run than those high usage charges would be. It may help if you volunteer to sign a new two year contract or extend your old one.
posted by 6550 at 1:19 PM on February 27, 2009


I don't want to pile on as you seem to get the point, but I presume that you noticed you were, uh, talking on the phone a lot, so it's reasonable to assume you had some idea this was going to affect your bill. Maybe you didn't realize how bad your plan was. But you knew you had some kind of plan and you were making some kind of usage, so it's not like a bandwidth spike when you might wake up in the morning to find that your site is, say, all over every blog in China.

I would second the approach of using this as a business expense. You're remodeling, so you own a home and probably file Schedule A already. You'll want to create some sort of itemization for your records (count up the minutes talking to clients, for example), and then use that to calculate an amount to put on Form 2106-EZ. (Line 4, attach worksheet. If you don't enter anything else -- and if you do make sure you check the rules for mileage or meals/entertainment -- just use Schedule A by itself -- Line 21.) That is specifically for ... unreimbursed business expenses. Note that you need to exceed 2% of your AGI and may only deduct the overage.
posted by dhartung at 1:40 PM on February 27, 2009


Honestly, I know it it your fault and your responsibility so I am not trying to undercut what people are saying. BUT. Have you tried talking to AT & T? It's a lot of money, and yes, they already have it, but they probably want to continue charging you more for many years to come. If this were me, I would clear several hours out of my day and get on the phone. Call AT&T. If the first guy won't help you, asked to be switched up to someone else. Continue to talk to them reasonably but insistently until they can offer you some credit for all those charges. They CAN do this, they have the power to do so, you just have to convince them. It might take up the better part of day but it would be worth it to have some of that money credited back to you.
posted by typewriter at 1:54 PM on February 27, 2009


I am exploring the problem of trust and Auto Pay here, not questioning the fact that I was irresponsible.

This sucks, and I've been hit by similar problems with phone bills.

Having said that, I'm pretty certain you probably 'read' and 'agreed to' something about exactly these scenarios when you signed up for their easy Auto Pay.
posted by kingbenny at 2:00 PM on February 27, 2009


For the same reason that unusual credit card charges raise red flags with banks.

The premise of your logic here is faulty. Yes unusual CC charges will raise red flags with the banks, but the bank has some self interest here: these charges are going to be disputed and not paid. If a card is stolen and unusual charges start popping up everywhere, this will raise flags with them because the owner of the card will probably not have to pay and thus, the CC company will not want to pay the stores, business, etc where the stolen cards were used.

Your phone wasn't stolen. It did not show up with thousands of minutes of outgoing calls from Mexico or South America, etc. If it had, ATT *might* have contacted you. But, your overage charges were normal (meaning that your location did not change and they were consistent over 4 months without complaint) and more to the point, already paid by the automatic bill pay. Unusual credit card charges are not yet paid---they are simply charges.
posted by ejazen at 2:17 PM on February 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


Jeez, people, enough with the 'learn to be responsible stuff,' OK? That point has been made.

Could AT+T track unusual activity and notify the customer?' The answer is yes -- they do this for international calls and then notify the user, so certainly they could do something similar for normal calls.

And it seems like it would be a reasonable feature to offer. In many automated systems, we put safeguards in place so that unexpected things don't happen. Of course, the customer is responsible, but a company can also draw a customer's attention to unusual situations.
posted by zippy at 2:41 PM on February 27, 2009


And it seems like it would be a reasonable feature to offer.

Oh, sure, I don't think anyone thinks it wouldn't be a reasonable feature to offer, and maybe the OP can go some way to getting AT&T to change its policy.

However, that's not the same as arguing that it's reasonable to be retroactively offered the benefit of a feature that doesn't presently exist (no matter how reasonable said feature might actually be), which is what the OP seems to be doing in her follow-up comments.
posted by scody at 2:53 PM on February 27, 2009


And it seems like it would be a reasonable feature to offer. In many automated systems, we put safeguards in place so that unexpected things don't happen. Of course, the customer is responsible, but a company can also draw a customer's attention to unusual situations.

Well, sure they could. But it seems to me that they mostly already do.

I've got auto-pay turned on on all my bills, and every month from every biller I get an email or paper bill that says, "Hey, Chaz, on March 15th we're going to take $123.45 from your account."

Presumably, the OP received four such notices or bills and didn't look at them. I'd argue that they did let her know about the charges, even before they took the money, by sending her a bill.

I suppose they could come up with some system where there's a threshold; if a customer's usage changes by X% they send a "hey, are you OK?", but really? What does that say about the customer? "We sent you a bill, but just in case you're ignoring those, we wanted to send you this other thing."
posted by chazlarson at 5:53 PM on February 27, 2009


I dumped AT&T under a similar circumstance. Even though they did me a favor by crediting back a few months worth of the difference, I was still out a fair amount of cash, and looked to dump them at the earliest opportunity.

Now here's the thing... I knew what my phone plan was. I knew that I was talking to an out of network number every day for a minmum of 30 minutes, and usually an hour. I knew that ther was routinely an early morning call under similar circumstances. My phone bill only went up double of what I was paying, and I was aware of not only the change in my behavior, but also when and how much my bill had gone up.

To AT&T's credit, they did give you some amount of a break; however, I'll be honest, if you are an end of contract coming soon, I'd consider taking my business elsewhere.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:59 PM on February 27, 2009


It's not uncommon for a wireless provider to retroactively switch a customer over to a higher-usage plan if that helps cover overage costs, and indeed AT&T did that in my case, but only for two months back, while I was hoping they'd extend it to all five months.

I am now paying sixty dollars more per month for the new plan.

My contract with them has expired, and I plan to look for an alternative provider.

Thanks again for your replies and suggestions. My mother will feel vindicated to hear her lifelong opinion on my lack of responsibility fully aligns with yours.
posted by Dragonness at 8:16 PM on February 27, 2009


Really? AT&T sent you bills, gave you hundreds of dollars of free service, and you are pissed at them?

You increased your cell phone usage by THOUSANDS of minutes (16 hours a week, by my math), you didn't think to read your bill or call them and knock your plan up a couple of notches. You are being unreasonable. I can't believe you had the nerve to post this here.
posted by gjc at 9:26 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


gjc, they did not give me free service, they merely charged me for that service what they would have done had I had a higher-usage plan. I paid $60 a month extra for each of those two months.
posted by Dragonness at 6:09 AM on February 28, 2009


I paid $60 a month extra for each of those two months.

...in order to get the $680 credit, no?
posted by scody at 8:16 AM on February 28, 2009


I don't really want to dog you on any kind of irresponsibility, since honestly, this kind of oversight can happen to (almost) anyone. I would like to point out, however, that acknowledging that it was your fault does not mean that you get a pass for the consequences of your mistake. Saying that you recognize that you made a mistake but continuing to be angry that a company did not prevent that mistake is not really consistent with taking responsibility for your actions. Particularly when you are essentially asking a company to stop you from legitimately paying more money to them.

Also, AT&T did not "help themselves" to your bank account. You set up a feature for your convenience, and they legitimately billed you for services that you legitimately used.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 8:46 AM on February 28, 2009


How did you want them to warn you? That first bill for $677 should have alerted you to the fact that you were over your minutes.

If you you aren't reading your bills and aren't monitoring your bank account, what type of warning would work for you?
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