Cellular Phones/AT&T

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Question
AT&T is saying that I owe them for a full month.  Their billing cycle is a rip off.  I paid 175.00 a month on the 21st of each month thinking that I paid my bill one month ahead each month. I cancelled my service on the 17th not expecting to be billed again, but they say I still owe for last months bill of 175.00 cause they don't bill one month in advance.  How is this correct??  cause when I added phones or first signed up I know they billed me for two months in advance, cause they said they bill one month ahead, until you cancel your service I guess.

Answer
Hi Melanie -

So it works like this: If you have had AT&T service for many years, you are billed in arrears. However, if you are a more recent subscriber, AT&T bills in advance. If you pay your bill on the 21st of the month and you cancelled on the 17th, if was already too late for the bill cycle because you would have had to have cancelled before the bill cut (which is typically about a week before you receive your invoice). Its likely that the issue was that you were already being billed for the next month. If it helps, AT&T never bills two months in advance when you start service, no matter what. When you first started service, your first invoice was a pro-rated first invoice and then a full months bill. It may have seemed like two months, but it actually wasn't. In any event, I can tell you that whatever they billed you for at the end, was correct, even though I know you don't feel that way. Telecommunications billing is very specific and it's not very often that a company like AT&T or Verizon or Sprint or T-Mobile makes billing mistakes. The only type of mistakes may be where a a wrong rate plan was chosen or other type of thing, but you can be assured that the billing is much more often right than wrong. I hope this helps. Thanks.  

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DebiN

Expertise

I can answer questions on cellular phones, the physical device, the network, contracts, billing, ordering, porting and what to look for when purchasing cell phones. I am located in the United States. I am an expert on BlackBerrys, Treos, HTC devices and iPhones as well as cellphones and aircards. I have over 15 years of experience in both the wireless and wireline world with the carriers. I have a lot of knowledge regarding the wireless providers - their services, prices and policies, both GSM AT&T and T-Mobile) and CDMA (Verizon, Sprint/Nextel). I am very familiar with the individual devices and their specifications. I can also answer questions regarding BlackBerrys, iPhones and other PDAs, both Palm-based and Windows-based. I can troubleshoot most any problem someone is having with their cellular device or with the provider.

Experience

Over 20 years in the Telecom industry working for the carriers with individuals, small business, medium business and large corporations(Fortune 500). Also worked as a professor in Maryland for 10 years teaching telecommunications.

Organizations
I belong to several organizations

Education/Credentials
Master's in Telecommunications

Awards and Honors
Received several awards for papers that I have published over the years

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