We're hearing a lot of stunning stories about iPhone billing. One of them is about Jay Levy who got a $4,800 bill from AT&T Wireless. Now the weird thing is that they were on a Mediterranean cruise and never used their phones.
It turns out that even when the iPhone is turned off the phone still regularly connects to update e-mails. This feature can be turned off but most users are unaware of this and rake up sky-high roaming bills.
The problem was that their three Iphones were racking up a bill for data charges using foreign phone charges. The Iphone regularly updates e-mail, even while it's off, so that all the messages will be available when the user turns it on.
Levy is fuming, claiming that Apple and AT&T were acting like a bank which has automatic access to your ATM machine and is siphoning money out during all times of the day and night.
Normally it does not cost US users for domestic data transfers, but the Iphone's international plan in 29 countries, mostly in Europe, costs $24.99 for 20 megabytes.
In fact, for the 14 days he was there, he used it only a handful of times and had expected to see just a small increase in his next bill for roaming charges.
Instead, he was charged $852.31.
As it turned out, the cell phone carried by Dingman, a mortgage consultant in Minneapolis, made calls on a European data network several times each hour to check for e-mail messages. Because he didn't deactivate the feature that automatically checks for new e-mail messages, during Dingman's trip through Italy, Croatia and Malta, the phone went to retrieve e-mail more than 500 times.
No wonder that Apple was able to reduce the price of their iPhone by $200 so quickly