Friday, June 26, 2009

Couple of consumer guides

A must read for information on how to use your credit card (fine print translated into human-readable form)...

... and on how to use your iPhone...

"A friend of mine used to work for AT&T customer service. He had a call one day from a guy working for a very small company. A company size of five people, in fact. All of them decided to get iPhones and get a shared plan. Then they all decided to go out of the country...apparently for over a month.

Well, they spent a little less than a month over seas when one of them called my friend to ask some innocuous support question. They had not yet seen their bill of over $300,000. My friend did not say a word to him, but hung up and laughed his ass off.

Originally I thought this story was unbelievable, and I doubted it. I found it was possible after some rough calculations, but still it was kind of an extreme case.

Now, I see more and more of these stories popping up. Five people on the same plan, out of country, and all using their iPhones extensively...I'm starting to believe."


DzembuGaijin said...

I do not thing it is about iPhone. International "roaming" voice and data are very expensive.
I hate it. :-)

AT&T send you e-mails when you get iPhone. They have a lot of tips and here is a link about international roaming:

While there is specific ways how you can "disable" data roaming on iPhone ( that is OFF by default, btw) I do not think iPhone is special in this respects : when it talks about rates they point you to a generic page:

I assume that other providers may have a different rates, but I doubt they are much different and there is no replacement for local cell phone or local SIM ( in this case you have to hack your iPhone with some thing like redsn0w or ultrasn0w I suppose)

The only thing special about iPhone is that it is just the best smartphone on the market and only offered by AT&T in USA, but as for rate and international roaming ... it is not special at all :-)

Why some people take it out and think it will be free, this is beyond me. Also, is international roaming enabled by default in AT&T or you have to ask?

DzembuGaijin said...

There are some interesting threads so:

Guy claim they charged him 11K$ for "few hours of web browsing in Canada" and it was 9 gigs of data!

I do not know, but my new iPhone 3GS shows: 4.6Mb sent and 67.6Mb received: it is about 10 days I guess of my typical use. ( I got it on the first day 3GS been released)

My old iPhone that I used from the first day it was released: looooooongtime ago. Show use: Sent 302Mb and Received 2.2Gb

So, 9Gb would be very hard to achieve for me: I think my original iPhone will probably die from old age before that.

So you can do the math: I probably consume about 1GB of bandwidth with iPhone per year. iPhone make it also super easy to see statistic and enable/ disable features and roaming and with no applications running in background ( like Android or WinCE) it is very dependable: it is your Mail client that will use traffic, unless you switch the push off. There is also central Push Off button exist.

So, some of this stories look like BS to me, but if some one used International roaming without thinking it may indeed be expensive. But 300$K ? Hm ... 9Gb in few houres ? That sounds like BS or big mistake in accountant department.