Updated: Man Gets Slapped With a $28,000 AT&T Wireless Bill

Could this be a sign of things to come with tethering and the iPhone? Will all of us who own iPhones be vulnerable to these overages if we choose to start using software like the upcoming SlingPlayer Mobile?

A Chicago man (Jamesus -- hoping it was not you, buddy!) decided to watch a Bears game via Slingbox on his laptop before leaving for a cruise... Harmless enough one would think, but his AT&T wireless data card decided to pick up a international signal while he was still in Miami... end result: A $28,067.31 bill for international data charges. It's safe to say the data card was picking up the wrong signal and with a few customer service calls he eventually did get the charges dropped down to $290.65.

So all of you travelers out there, take heed if you are traveling on a fringe area and take all precautions to avoid something like this happening to you...

*It seems that this story comes to us via the Chicago Sun-Times and their feature: The Fixer. The man who was charged could not get AT&T to remove the charges from customer service calls until the Sun-Times got involved and the story ended up in the paper. Knowing that, it makes AT&T look a lot worse then they already did... Ouch.

[Via EngadgetMobile]

Jeremy

Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

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There are 21 comments. Add yours.

llofte says:

Omg! I would have a heart attack if I got a $28k bill! Glad he got it all worked out with AT&T.

iAirmanshirk says:

WTF?!
If a bill can be that much then something is wrong with AT&T... seriously that ridiculous.

iphonemilk says:

i would not even pay the 290$ period.

Corey Molinelli says:

Yeah you are right Miami is a FRINGE area! haa haa

sting7k says:

I didn't know Cuba had 3G cell service, where was he picking up this signal from? And why would AT&T's own laptop card choose an international network over theirs? Something is fishy, if I was that guy I would complain all the way up until even that $290 charge is gone.

JustinHorn says:

Where in Miami was he? I think Miami has great 3G service, better than Chicago and NYC.

Bla1ze says:

The cell tower on the ship is based on the cruise ships registrar...ie: Cuban registration, Cuban roaming as it attached to that tower..
http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/international/roaming/international-ro...

Steve says:

Hope he enjoyed the game. :roll:

Ryan says:

As a packer fan all I can say is I'm sure he deserved it.

Wyatt says:

This is why I keep "Roaming" turned off.

Sonofa says:

Thought you actually had a date for slingbox on the Iphone. DAMNIT!

Mishy says:

My first AT&T bill from my iPhone was for $6800. They had my plan listed as unlimited data, but were billing me "per use". They reversed the charges, but it took several months and a lot of phone calls.

Alex says:

Damn.... LOL keep up the gaming dude

coolbell says:

maybe none of you care, but i found this rather funny..
http://www.zshare.net/audio/56146609c9169721/
around 1min35.. kid cudi freestyle.
"but im pissed at the moment, i got charged for some roaming,AT&T's on some bullsh*t.."

jamesus says:

Thankfully that wasn't me!!!!

jason says:

That's exactly why I have a prepaid iphone and only get charged for what is used!

Sam says:

Apple make AT&T a big things and now at&t put some rules for the iPhone 3g, we pay $89 for just the basic and they need more, I wish if t-mobile had a 3g that change a lot of things,

Rajan A says:

AT&T uses third-party for billing purpose so they are one degree away from any direct blame. Regarding the roaming charges ATT gets splits the charges by default so it is programmed in all their telco switches. It is lots of slush funds ATT makes from government agencies who do not check their bills all the time... more power to ATT.. it is above any local or state rulings..

GregC says:

My guess is that he was picking up the tower on the cruise ship.

iamcde says:

AT&T always blames someone or something else for over billing. They go in & "do sweeps on accounts to confirm the customer is being billed the maximum charges possible, if not, the 'computer' makes the adjustments(programmed by at&t staff) and the customer is obligated to pay the charges with or with or without the customers consent or notifications the changes have been put into place" that came from Matthew, the District Manager from the Ohio office on 07/08/2010. Brandon Haynes from level 4 intensive care called me, 2 weeks after a request, I was told he would call the same day of the request, & he was so rude, basically told me.."You signed a contract lady and you are stuck with it so suck it up and get used to it, we will do whatever we want and you will have to take it"...nice :)Hey Brandon...forget something???? Customers are why you are there!!!