Jeff writes, "I learned this week that it's possible to run up a $750 international data roaming bill in one minute on AT&T. I managed to convince AT&T to forgive the charges after two days and 40 minutes of phone calls but the best guess at how this happened is kind of alarming. It seems that AT&T's billing system sometimes bundles US traffic with international traffic." Jeff was driving in the Pacific northwest, near the Canadian border.
When I called AT&T later, I was surprised to learn my phone had used 50 MB of data bandwidth during my one minute of roaming. At $15.36 per MB, they said I owed more than $750. I tried explaining to the agent that I was happy to pay for data that I used but that my phone was unable to successfully acquire any usable data. I spent 28 minutes on the phone with the agent and his supervisor but they adamantly refused to reactivate my U.S. data service unless I agreed to purchase a $30 international data roaming package to cover the usage. They also were unable to document the bandwidth usage to any detail but this is partly understandable for privacy reasons.