AT&T - Good customer service
Taking a brief break from my Japan trip to give some kudos to AT&T Mobility's customer service. I'm using an AT&T PDA (Blackjack II) as my phone and wireless data device on this trip. I did know that international roaming was expensive, and I have been trying to not use it too much to keep the costs down.
This morning I got both a text and an email from AT&T telling me that I could save money if I called them and changed my international calling plan. I called the number (a free international call from my phone) and learned that I could switch to an international calling and data plan which would save money over what I had already spent on international calls and data. So, they let me change and backdated the change to the start of my billing cycle, giving themselves a revenue cut over my ad hoc usage. And, they said I could call when I returned to the US and turn off the service (which has a fixed monthly cost).
I was impressed that they proactively contacted me as soon as I had spent enough money to justify adding the international plan. And, they backdated the plan change to minimize my costs. All while knowing that I plan to turn this off as soon as I return to the US when my international data and calling goes away. Very nice customer service.
Even nicer, my call to them dropped in the middle of the transaction (the vagaries of international roaming -- the call was dropped by the local Japanes carrier). They called me back a few minutes later to confirm that everything was all set.
The credit card companies could take a lesson from this. Rather than taking advantage of a customer's inadvertant misuse of their current plan, they proactively contacted me to get me onto a plan that they offered that minimized my costs. I'll be loyal to AT&T for this!