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David D. Levine
11 September 2009 @ 10:39 am
So we got Kate's iPhone bill for the month including our trip to Canada. We knew that using the phone in Canada was expensive and she'd been sparing in her use of it, but I was wondering how much they'd charge us. (I carefully monitored my use of my Verizon Treo and kept it down to about $12 in additional charges, but the Treo's not as data-hungry as the iPhone.)

The bill included $114 in data roaming charges. (!!)

Fortunately, I'd seen a blog post in the last week or so, with the subject "Goodwill", talking about a similar situation -- the poster had made a weekend trip to Victoria BC and managed to rack up a $300 bill. When they called AT&T to complain, they managed to talk with a phone rep for like an hour before the rep happened to mention "oh, there's this thing I could do that would knock that charge down to $25." The poster was saying that treatment like this will cause AT&T to lose customers in droves when the iPhone is finally no longer exclusive to them, but thanks to that post, I knew to call AT&T and ask for that retroactive change.

It took quite a while -- the rep I got was ignorant but very helpful -- but I did eventually get that $114 charge reduced to $25. The magic incantation is "Data Global Plan" and you can find more information about it here: http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/international/roaming/iphone-travel-tips.jsp. You can be sure I will check back next month to make sure we don't get charged the same $25 every month going forward.

So the only remaining question is: who was that masked poster? I've Googled all over and can't find the original post.

ETA: An anonymous commenter tells me that the original post was here: http://zzzorg.blogspot.com/2009/08/how-to-lose-customers.html. Thanks to The Zorg for letting me know this option existed! If not for that I would have just sighed and paid the $114.