I love my iPad 2 with AT&T 3G Service. It’s great, and I get more utility out of my iPad because of it. In fact, 3 months ago, when a colleague of mine was in town from out of the country and we had to collaborate, they bought iPad’s and I prepaid 1 month for 3G over AT&T. It worked wonderfully..
Fast forward to now.. When I realize that despite the 2 iPads 3G being disabled before leaving the country and never used again, my credit card was still being charged every month.
Now before I highlight multiple points of EPIC FAIL and possibly consumer deception, I’m going to admit there is a possibility that the 2 iPad’s were not properly canceled via the iPad settings. EVEN if this is the case, it should not be as impossible to cancel a AT&T Prepaid Data plan without access to the device.
FOR EXAMPLE: What if you lost your iPad/device? Or it got stolen?
Anyway, here’s what happened and how also the solution to canceling your iPad 3G plan in all but 1 circumstance:
- First thing I did, naturally, was check the email receipt you get on signup for a customer service number. Nope, no number at all. IN FACT, no contact information whatsoever.
- Next, logically, check the website on managing and iPad 3G Account. Nope, no mention of the iPad or related service anywhere on the homepage.
- Ok.. so then I called AT&T Wireless and spoke to a rep.. Who told me iPad’s did not have “real accounts” and therefore she had no way to look up the recurring charges. I was also told that as a prepaid, they have no way to track down the account records.. But apparently they can still charge and track usage..
- BUT WAIT! Don’t you create an account with an email and password on the iPad when you sign-up for service? YES! Surely you can look it up that way? Apparently not, as they aren’t “real accounts”
- So I asked her what I should do? ACCORDING TO THE AT&T REP, THERE IS NO WAY TO CANCEL A RECURRING iPAD 3G DATA SERVICE WITHOUT ACCESS TO THE DEVICE. Her solution was to for me to call my credit card company and dispute the charge. I asked if the dispute would cancel recurring charges or would I have to dispute in perpetuity? She couldn’t say. Not to mention, how was my credit card company going to know which AT&T charges to block, as I have an iPhone4 and my own iPad with 3G.. She did offer to give me Apple’s general Apple Care support number however, suggesting it was Apple’s issue, not AT&T’s. I politely said thank you and hung up.
- TO THE WEB! Surely some others must have had the same issue right? Yes, quite a few, as the 26,500,000~ results suggest. Go forums go! After a bit of searching, I found the following link in a AT&T Forums post directing me to a somewhat confusing sales page: http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/devices/ipad.jsp
- ON THE BOTTOM of this page which advertises buying an iPad, there is the following box offering the purchase of more data:
- Now if one was to click on the unintuitive “Shop Now” button, you would be prompted for the mythical user/pass login you created when you signed up for 3G on the iPad. If you happen to know it, you can log in, then “Edit/Upgrade” your plan, and once there, find the small cancel link to cancel and close the 3G Data account. SOLUTION AT LAST!
- BUT? What if you really did have your iPad stolen or just don’t remember the login for the account? Well your S.O.L. then, because to recover the login info, you need the IMEI and Device ID off the iPad itself, so in the end, you’ll likely have to call your credit card company and dispute the charge and hope for the best.
So one might say, “Mike, why are you pissed enough to write a post? You got it canceled.” To which I would reply, “I did get it canceled, after paying $150 for 3 months x 2 of unused data fees..” BUT MORE SO “I got it canceled despite the AT&T lack of solution and responsibility. Here are a few of the points of failure that annoy me:
- No contact information on the signup receipt/confirmation email
- No way to find on website a way to cancel
- No solution by customer service AND denying responsibility + ability to close my account, yet still be able to charge me
- That in the end, I had to find my own solution provided by other frustrated consumers as AT&T said the only way was to dispute the charge.
- FINAL FAIL is that the only way to cancel the account without access to the iPad was to (in a hidden, non-offered and non-apparent manner) go to the website, go to a shop page to buy the iPad plan, click on an Add Data link, login (assuming you have the access), then edit a plan, to FINALLY FIND A CANCELLATION LINK.
The only positive I can say is that when I tweeted about the issue, AT&T’s twitter rep for back to me, but this was AFTER I solved it on my own, and they may not have even had a solution.
Am I ranting for no reason? Or do you agree that this is ridiculous and misleading? Let me know in the comments.