Friday, April 2

AT&T has some shady billingness going on.

At my company we use a service named "Webex" to do remote presentations and conferencing.  So here you are, you join a Webex session on your iPhone.   See Cisco (the makers of Webex) made an iPhone app where you can view presentations and participate in an online presentation right on the Phone!  It's great!    You sign into a webex, and the webex app says "Hey, you want me to dial the conf number for you", Why sure!  You can dial the number, and then I can pop back over to the webex app!? Phenomenal.  Great technology, great to see it.
So it kicks you over to the Call screen where it proceeds to dial 8664693239 ,,<confcode>,,<attendee id>#  (commas are pauses in the Phone world)

The way that Cisco sends the number to the call app, inserts that space after the actual phone number, which makes the phone app format the aforementioned number as an international number.
So, the iPhone appears to dial the number as +8664693239.  You know what +86 is as a country code?  China.
So, that's not the problem, not the problem at all.  The iPhone dials the number correctly (even though it shows up incorrectly), you connect to the 866 toll free call and everything!
The problem is on AT&T's billing side, somewhere, where it receives the number under a different format, and the number on your bill shows up as 866-469-3239.
Know what it's billed as?  A call to +86.  Yup. China.

So, my most recent bill from AT&T showed a 200+ dollar call to China.
My question is, how common is this?  Is AT&T charging people like this for calls that aren't processed in the billing system correctly?  AT&T is just expecting people to pay the bill?  My bill was almost 500 dollars this month because of 4 or 5 calls like this.  (I do a lot of presentations.)
AT&T, fix your billing system.  Something is screwed up.

3 comments:

Joel said...

I sent this article out to a couple co-workers, and I received about 5 responses of people that have had the same exact thing happen to you. My 200 bill was on the extreme low side as well.

Joel Esler said...

I sent this article out to a couple co-workers, and I received about 5 responses of people that have had the same exact thing happen to you. My 200 bill was on the extreme low side as well.

Joel Esler said...

I sent this article out to a couple co-workers, and I received about 5 responses of people that have had the same exact thing happen to you. My 200 bill was on the extreme low side as well.