I was in Europe with my wife in the Winter of 2009. We both had our AT&T BlackBerry "smartphones". We had the "family plan" and the so-called International calling plan....
My wife is from the country we were in, and used her phone to contact former friends and relatives. The day of departure, my wife was in the airport, and the flight had been cancelled due to blizzard conditions, and she needed to contact me FAST!
Low and behold, she realized that her Blackberry service was suspended without warning to her or me (I had the primary phone). She was stuck in the weather outside, I was at a total lost why I could not contact her and why I had not heard from her!!
Long story short, it turned out that AT&T had unilaterally decided that my wife's phone had reached a threshold for "roaming charges", and the terminated service to her phone, but, not mine!!!
I later discovered that the AT&T "roaming" charge was over $2,200!!!!! This, on their "plan"!!! We cold have easily purchased a throw-away cell in that country for $50 that would have achieved exactly the same calls, but, with our "plan", we fully believed it was unnecessary!!!!
AT&T charges for their "plans" are high.., far higher than the competition, including much higher than T-Mobile, which is a company that AT&T now plans to buy out (WHICH IS A BAD THING FOR COMPETITION).
When my primary phone contract with AT&T expired, I left them for T-Mobile. When I heard AT&T was planning to buy T-Mobile, I left them 2 weeks ago, and am now with Metro-PCS (and saving over $70/month over T-Mobile service, which itself was over $100/month less expensive than At&T's "service".
I have since "scheduled" the cancellation of my wife's contract, and will face a $75 dollar "penalty" for the 3 month early termination fee. We will go with another Metro-PCS phone and save about $200/month that way, and the penalty is worth it.
ADVICE? If you have an AT&T phone or contract, dump it and do yourself a big favor and GET BIG SAVINGS. Hopefully the Feds regulatory folks will NOT approve of the T-Mobile deal. I will never again do any kind of business with AT&T or any of its companies. The same goes for Verizon.