Wired’s editor-in-chief ignorantly racks up big phone bill

“Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired, the US technology magazine, has revealed he was hit with $2,100 in charges for using his iPhone on a recent foreign trip, thanks to a glitch that led him to be charged each time the mobile handset automatically refreshed his e-mail inbox,” Kevin Allison “reports” for The Financial Times.

MacDailyNews Take: It was not a glitch. Read on.

Allison continues, “Mr Anderson said he was travelling in China when he received a message from AT&T, Apple’s US mobile partner, informing him that he should phone customer support to ‘prevent a costly bill.’ It later emerged that he had already run up more than $2,000 in charges even though his iPhone had remained in his pocket for most of the trip, according to Mr Anderson.”

“He said the bulk of the charges were due to the fact that his iPhone was set to check his e-mail account for new messages every 10 minutes. The Wired editor said that he receives ‘hundreds’ of e-mails every day. ‘This is a phone that I wasn’t using,’ Mr Anderson said. ‘I was simply walking around with the phone in my pocket,'” Allison “reports.”

MacDailyNews Take: What part of “Yes, you were using it” doesn’t Anderson understand? Automatic vs. manual does not denote disuse. This guy is editor-in-chief of Wired? On second thought, that actually explains a lot. And, as MacDailyNews reader “schininis” points out below, there isn’t even a Auto-Check Every 10 minutes” setting on the iPhone: “15 minutes” is the shortest option available.

Allison continues, “Mr Anderson said AT&T had offered to put him on a rate plan that would cut his bill to $300, but that the change had yet to go through.”

MacDailyNews Take: So far, AT&T sounds remarkably responsive by proactively contacting the editor-in-chief of a major technology publication who doesn’t understand simple iPhone settings and/or international roaming rates and also quite flexible in offering to drastically cut the phone bill of the editor-in-chief of a major technology publication who, again, doesn’t understand simple iPhone settings and/or international roaming rates.

Allison continues, “AT&T said it was not familiar with the details of Mr Anderson’s case but added: ‘We have international plans for the iPhone so that people don’t rack up costs like that.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, of course they do. Along with many others, we reported it and — drumroll, please — so did Wired. Did we already ask why an editor-in-chief of a major technology publication doesn’t understand simple iPhone settings and/or international roaming rates? Here, we’ll help: Settings>Mail>Auto-Check>Manual. Here’s another one: Settings>General>Network>Data Roaming>Off. As Apple clearly explains below that setting, “When abroad, turning off Data Roaming may avoid roaming charges when using email, web browsing and other data services.”

Allison continues, “[AT&T] said the company required customers to phone in before their iPhones can be activated for use abroad. It said that it frequently negotiates with foreign carriers to lower roaming costs.”

MacDailyNews Take: So, Anderson’s doesn’t even have unexplainable, unbelievable, farfetched ignorance as an excuse? Pity.

Allison continues, “Apple could not be reached for comment.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple probably has a policy against commenting on crazy-ass bullshit FUD.

Full article, Think Before You Click™, here.


  1. Umm, perhaps instead of blaming this on AT&T;, people who are going to travel internationally should call their mobile phone carrier before leaving the country. Seems like common sense that you would want to make sure your phone would even work in another country before traveling.

  2. So my daughter keeps calling her friend on the other side of the world every 10 minutes to ask what she is wearing to the dance.

    Why is my phone bill so high?

    I can’t believe this guy actually admitted this. Dumb Ass.

  3. He didn’t understand the Un-Wired iPhone, or how to read a contract
    …… F-tard. Perhaps we will be paying this morons mortgage for the Jumbo, interest only ARM on his house too, because he didn’t read that either.
    Who goes overs sees without informing your cell phone company and credit card companies. Another coddled idiot.

  4. MDN’s take is right on the money.

    I’d say that he’s got the money to pay for the bill anyway, so what’s the big deal?

    With him pitching a bitch about it makes him look like a baby.

    He like a lot of others did not read and understand the manual.

    Probably hasn’t got a clue about the warranty either.

    Then someone like him always shits kittens when something like this happens.

  5. @ Steve516
    Watch out Rogers or Bell here in Canada. Seriously, watch out. They’re brutal specially when it comes to data. We live here in stone ages when it comes to cell phones and the government doesn’t do anything only more laws to give their corporate friends more money and more monopoly.

  6. Ok, right from the start I knew that guy was smoking something . . . you can set an iPhone to check email every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or every hour, that’s it, there is no every 10 minute setting like he said he had it set on. The trouble with lying is eventually you forget something and slip up, it’s too hard to remember all the details.

  7. Huh. I seem to recall that there was a story published a couple of months ago about some pud experiencing the same thing. As I recall the fix was far simpler than some “rate plan.” Oh yeah, turn off automatic email updates. That was it.

    No sympathy coming from this neighborhood.

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