AT&T's Phone Bill Scam

Now, I am not bad mouthing AT&T per se, as I bet all other wireless carriers do this same crap. 3rd party stuff added to your AT&T bill.

Before I get into details let me explain that I don’t download ring-tones, or any other crap from the internet into my phone. If I want a unique ring-tone – I use the composer feature of the phone. I don’t use my phone to hook up to the internet, heck half the time, I don’t answer my cell phone.

So … I am looking at my phone bill, and there are 4 3rd party charges on my phone bill. So I request to find out what these charges are and when were they done. Funny, AT&T can’t tell me. They tell me it is likely to be downloaded ring-tones or other internet related nonsense. They (AT&T) say I need to contact the company. What is funny, there is no way to know from the 3rd party company how I got billed. I have to “log in” first to do this. But I cannot log in, because I don’t have an account. So how can I find out how or why I was billed for “possibly downloaded ring-ones” or other internet related stuff.

Before you jump on the hate AT&T bandwagon, AT&T quickly refunded me of these charges (which by the way, showed I had a “subscription”). OK, there is one bad thing. I had this stuff turned off of my account (for a one time small charge) so that it cannot happen again. Now why in the heck do I need to pay to NOT have some 3rd party be able to basically almost anonymously charge me through my AT&T bill? That part makes no sense, except that AT&T is in cahoots with these 3rd party billers – meaning that AT&T gets a cut too.

Also, the state of Florida has sued and won a case against AT&T for such 3rd party charges. It seems the attorney General of Florida did not like the idea of you not being able to track down the original “contract” or purchase from a third party to be just plain wrong too. The other thing is apparently a lot of these companies have promised some sort of “free service” that included an unknown monthly subscription. See the news story here. also had a post about it.

My point: pay attention to your phone bill. Check it all the time, or these clowns will charge you for absolutely nothing.


  1. Well good for Florida. We dont have at+t anymore. We were always being charged extra, for god knows what. I dropped them, and they keep begging us to come back. I just tell them nope, you stink.

  2. Thanks for the wake-up call, Barry. I've got AT & T too. Guess I'd better pay closer attention to my bills.

  3. Thank you for this useful bit of information.

  4. Melissa - good for you. Like I said AT&T refunded me right away - I was - and am just concerned how these "3rd party" billings can take place .

    Jack - Yeah - check those bills close.

    Mekhismom - You are welcome

  5. Very cool site. Now I know why my bills with AT&T are always high. I found u through blog catalog and subscribed to your feed. If u love t shirts, check me out at

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