Hidden iPhone 5 Upgrade Fees And Bad AT&T Math

This is a break from my normal postings about technology, but I just needed to rant on this a little. Because as a programmer I understand that bad math happens, but this seems deliberate on AT&T's part.

Let me start out by explaining, I like many other Americans updated to the iPhone 5 on launch day.  I found a lot of the expected fees, such as the "One Time Charge for Upgrade" fee of $36.00, which still baffles me because I have to essentially pay for the privileged to being locked in for another 2 years, but I digress.

The fee that I didn't expect to find, was one related to AT&T's bad math, which seems to work out in the favor or AT&T.

If you look closely at this plan change, they changed the old "DataPro 2GB for iPhone" data plan costing $25.00 a month for the new "DataPro 2GB for iPhone on 4G LTE with VVM" data plan costing $25.00 a month.  And some how this change worked out in favor of AT&T to the tune of $3.33 for essentially what should have been an even swap.

So when I noticed this, I called AT&T and they were quick to turn around and give me a good faith credit, no fighting, no haggling, and no bartering required.  So they must know something is going on with their billing system, to part with their money so easily.  Personally I think AT&T should retroactively credit all customers this bogus fee back, instead of forcing people to call them if they actually notice the charge on their bill.  And obviously fix their billing system, because something is obviously wrong.

By the way this isn't a rare incident.  This also happened to another account of mine that I also upgraded to an iPhone 5.

In this case the change worked out to a $6.00 fee that goes into AT&T's pockets.

I encourage all of you to look your own bill, and make sure you weren't hit by the AT&T bad math fee.

Nick Berardi

Entrepreneur, Microsoft MVP, ASPInsider, co-founder and CTO of @CaddioApp, Father, and @SeriouslyOpen host