Space Ramblings

The AT&T Bill that Ate Milwaukee

The AT&T bill that ate Milwaukee aka the 300 page bill from AT&T for iPhone use has been getting a lot of attention. Now it’s obviously odd that AT&T would waste the time and money to send out a 300 page of 52 page bill, already the size of a small novel.

On the one hand why would AT&T spend the extra money to itemize a bill in such detail. Especially since this sort of bill is easy enough to itemize in an online account instead. After all iPhone customers who have spent all this money on a phone that is essentially built around the internet are presumabely web savvy enough to access their accounts.

On the other hand why are customers are complaining when a company actually tells you in detail why you’re being billed and what exactly you’re being billed for?

Rob Enderle, an independent analyst at the Enderle Group, calls the finely detailed bills “stupid.”

“Not only does it cost AT&T more to do this, it just upsets customers. It’s bad business,” he says.

Ah but why does it upset customers? Perhaps because they’re realizing just how much money they’re throwing away. Case in point

The iPhone, which launched in June, costs $499 or $599, and service plans range from $59.99 to $99.99 monthly. Ezarik — a heavy user of text-messaging — says her first bill was for $275.

“A lot of that was taxes, activation fees and pro-rated charges,” she says. “I was shocked at how high it was.”

Welcome to the overcharge superhighway. Have a nice day. You’re thinking different now.

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