Wayne has an AT&T wireless card that he uses in combination with his Slingbox to watch TV while he travels. It’s normally a good system, but he recently got a shockingly huge bill after watching about 2 1/2 hours of a Bears game while waiting for his cruise to depart Miami.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
So there I was at the Port of Miami. It was 1 p.m. Florida time. The Bears game was starting. The ship was not leaving Miami until 4 p.m., so I slid in my wireless card and brought up my Slingbox and watched the game on my computer.
I watched for about 2½ hours. Then I shut down my computer and cell phone, because it’s expensive to use your Internet or phone when you sail out of the country.
Anyway, I got home from our cruise, and about two weeks later I got my cell phone/wireless card bill, which is usually about $220, and it said I owe $28,067.31.
I called AT&T and told them there was either a mistake or fraud and to please take this off the bill. That’s where the fun starts. They told me that the bill was correct and somehow I was charged international rates for Internet use, and the cost is 2 cents per kb. That came out to $27,788.93.
I explained that I was not at sea but in port and my cell phone was still working without roaming, and that I should have still been on my unlimited wireless card. I have since been in contact with five or six different people at AT&T, and the best they could do, even though I am not at fault, is to bring the bill down to $6,000.
I have confirmation from the cruise line that we were still in port and I provided that information to AT&T.
The Sun-Times’ Stephanie Zimmermann (AKA The Fixer) called and retold Wayne’s story to AT&T and, oh my gosh, suddenly they were able to fix the bill. Isn’t it amazing how that works?
Apparently, Wayne’s card was picking up a signal that it shouldn’t have and the mistake was entirely AT&T’s fault.