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September 10, 2009

Gotcha, fool! Your friends at AT&T

The other day we tested a rugged handheld in the RuggedPCReview.com lab. The device so happened to have a SIM slot because it also worked as a phone and a WWLAN data communicator. I so happen to have an unused phone with a SIM in it, and so I decided to use that SIM for testing the rugged handheld. Why do I have an unused phone? Because it's on one of the AT&T's 2-year service contracts. It's just a crappy throw-away phone, but thanks to AT&T I am now paying for it for another year whether I am using it or not.

So I stick that SIM into the review handheld, make three local calls and load a couple of pages of the RuggedPCReview.com website. Works fine. Take the card out and return it into the unused AT&T phone.

So then I get the bill. That'll be $14.83 for 1,483kb, i.e. loading one or two large webpages. Thank you very much, AT&T. This kind of highway robbery is precisely why I have completely stopped making any call that I am not certain is covered in my "plan." I am not even calling my mom anymore because I have no clue what outrageous amount AT&T may charge me for a call to Europe.

But wait, there's more.

I was on vacation in the Caribbeans for a week. I took my iPhone with me, not because I was going to make a call (heavens no, not with AT&T in an unknown situation!!!), but because the iPhone is a little computer/camera/vidcam/PDA that I take everywhere. Well, apparently six people called my phone while it was in the Caribbeans. I never answered. "That'll be a buck 99 for each call, fool. Haha. Gotcha again. - Your friends at AT&T."

And there AT&T and the other telcos wonder why we loathe them so much.

With voice/data increasingly integrated into rugged handhelds and notebooks, be very careful. That SIM in your machine has "Sucker!!!" written all over it.

Posted by conradb212 at September 10, 2009 09:30 PM

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