Turn on your data for one minute, AT&T sticks you with a $750 international roaming charge

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.

Yes, You Can Spend $750 in International Data Roaming in One Minute on AT&T (Thanks, Jeff!)