Now, I'm sure I've no idea idea why Alaska's phone exploded in minutes, but between her Very Large Number of minutes, and my normally talkative self, we managed to blow through all the rollover minutes, then pile up usage charge of $648. Which of course translates into higher taxes, as well. First I called her, to see how much she could pull together to help pay the overage. Then I called AT&T.
Now, I've been a customer since it was still BellSouth Mobile. I switched from Cellular One when my phone was stolen and CO offered no help to a customer with an outdated phone. BSM could offer me a reconditioned phone that would work with my carkit, for free. They treated me like a treasured potential customer, not an inconvenience. I switched; I bought a new digital phone, and for years, anytime I brought a buggy phone into their office, I walked out with a new replacement. For years, anytime I called with questions about how to use a feature, I got off the phone with a cheaper plan.
Now, I've heard horror stories about Cingular customer service from other people, but I've always had good service.
AT&T is continuing the tradition. The service rep "re-rated" my plan, essentially changing it to one that had enough minutes to cover the usage, and backdating the change to cover the huge bill. $648 in usage charges became an increase of $80 in plan rate. Um, thank you, I'll take it! In the same call, I found out that unlimited family texting trumps the number of text messages included in the iPhone data plan, so I dropped from $30/mo to $20/mo plan for the iPhone. Then, to help prevent whatever explosion in minutes usage might be going on, I added $16.95 early nights and weekends - changing unlimited talktime from 9pm-6am plus weekends to 7pm-7am plus weekends.
I'll call back in a few months to see what rate plan we need to keep, based on a four months of usage.
Oh, and all the changes went through in time to change the automatic payment from our checking account. Whew.
Yep, I still like AT&T.