AT&T — Wireless
On the 15th of DEC 2021 I arrived in Kuwait on a military deployment. I knew phone data was going to be a problem but with COVID restrictions limiting my ability to do anything once getting here, it was several days before I was able to acquire a wifi hotspot or a "Puck" I was able to pair with my phone for communication over the Internet, and I tried to navigate my phone to turn off my data usage. Before then, I chose not to use my phone except for a few text messages to let my family know I arrived safely. When I say a "few" I mean a small number, less than 10 but more than 3.
Because I had a wifi source, I used my email and communicated with Internet messaging services such as WhatsApp and Signal and Messenger. My Data usage wasn't completely turned off and my wifi puck, without my knowledge must have been fighting with my phone to use cellular data rather than relying on the wifi exclusively because after approximately two weeks after I arrived there I received threatening text messages saying I was going to be charged a very large bill because of cellular data usage.
I called AT&T as soon as I could, and spoke with someone about this. That someone said that I shouldn't worry about the bill but if I get a large bill that I should call them back to have it corrected. The following bill a couple weeks later was larger than normal by about $50 but not hundreds, so I paid the bill and suggested to my wife things were good.
The next bill arrived and I was getting charged $1511.79. I called AT&T again and spoke with Gabby for about an hour. I relayed all these details the best I could and she assured me her notes were going to the management team who makes decisions on billing adjustments and I would get an email on their decision. I never got that email. I was later told it was sent to me on the 29th of DEC so I'll research it but I was specifically looking for that email and am telling you it never made it to me.
On the 11th of FEB, just a couple weeks after that conversation, I called AT&T again and this time spoke to someone who calls herself Sheila. She was a very pleasant person and she listened to my story and reviewed the notes in the system from my past calls. I wanted to know if an adjustment had been made and what my bill was so I could pay it. She then said she will file for an adjustment in the amount of $1442.53 and the adjustment will take effect within 48 hours and not to worry. She asked me about my weekend and said I had a nice voice. I appreciated her attempts but in the absence of her email confirming these claims, I called AT&T again on 17 FEB and discovered my bill was not changed from $1511.79.
When I spoke to a person whose name I couldn't hear very clearly but was one syllable, I learned that every one of my attempts to have this bill adjusted had been denied. She apologized and said if she were in my position she too would be considering leaving AT&T for another company. She said she could escalate my complaint for others to review but she couldn't guarantee the result would be different. I agreed that it would be a waste of my time. I asked to be sent to a place where I could pay my bill.
I understand that a certain amount of my used data was mine, such as text messages informing my family I arrived safely. I think the majority of my data used while out of the country should be forgiven considering the difficulty in navigating the phone's many system settings and the language in which data vs. data roaming and how when clicking data roaming there is nothing that says the phone is allowing roaming charges or not. The words "data roaming" just gets highlighted or something to that effect.
I'm not happy with AT&T and as soon as I return back to the states and confirm my number is once again mine, I plan to leave AT&T. I will reconsider if someone reads this and refunds me or credits me the exorbitant amount charged for such a negligible data use.