Deforestation courtesy of iPhone

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Editorial, Random Thoughts

AT&T has begun sending out bills and to iPhone customers and it is not pretty. To manipulate a quote from Star Wars, “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of trees suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced”.

Checkout the video below from iJustine ( It shows her opening her 300-page AT&T bill. It had to come in a box rather than an envelope?! Come on.

The issue is, even though the iPhone data plan is unlimited, AT&T itemizes every bit (and byte) of data along with it’s associated charge. That means when you load a page in Safari, every graphic, image, video, sound, etc. is listed line by line in your bill. Now luckily, iPhone owners can opt-in to receive their bills electronically. If you have an iPhone you should set this up immediately. Do it now, don’t wait.

My big problem with this is that AT&T (and Apple) should know better. With an unlimited data plan it makes no sense at all to itemize charges like this. Let’s hope they hear the complaints coming from their customers and change this practice soon.

There are 16 comments on Deforestation courtesy of iPhone:

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  1. Julio | Aug 13 2007 - 11:36

    I love all that is Apple, but this has had to be one of the funniest ads ever! I have to keep this in my pocket for those times when I’m miserable to get myself smiling again. This is what those Apple-semetics expect to see though and I hope Apple takes car of the problem fast.

  2. maccastjoe | Aug 13 2007 - 11:50

    I just received my 2nd AT&T bill and they have both been the standard 4 or so pages. It tells me how many MB I have downloaded and uploaded, buts thats all. maybe they have a billing option where you can get a detailed bill or not and if so maybe the people who are saying they are getting these 300 page phone bills can check the standard bill option and start getting bills like the rest of us.

    So far my AT&T experience has been a lot better then I thought it would be, I kept my verizon phone there is still a year to go on the contract. But I have had equal if not better service and bars in my travels for the past 2 months.

  3. Adam Christianson | Aug 13 2007 - 12:52

    Both David Pogue (NY Times) and John Gruber (Daring Fireball) reported getting similarly lengthy bills so if they do offer an option like you describe it is not well publicized.

  4. oneminutetip | Aug 13 2007 - 01:00

    I wonder what I did differently as a new ATT customer. I never received a paper statement. I payed my bill via, John

  5. Dan F. | Aug 13 2007 - 01:38

    Adam, please fix the link to Justine’s page:

    The one you have listed is owned by a squatter.

  6. grogall | Aug 13 2007 - 01:27

    Well this just shows how too automated the phone companies have becomme.
    My Last Telephone bill from Deutsche Telekom was €0,02 and it kost them €1,10 to mail it.
    and this is another company that will sell the iPhone :(

  7. Doug | Aug 13 2007 - 02:15

    I think you’re all missing the bigger question here…..

    Who is that gorgeous girl!!???!! WOW!

    ….still, I get it. Online bills, here I come. ;O)

  8. Rene | Aug 13 2007 - 02:25


    AT&T is environment friendly and offers you to get your bills electronically via eBill.

    Furthermore, paper doesn’t necessarily lead to deforestation, because paper is recycled. Furthermore, deforestation of tropical wood is what we mean when we talk about deforestation. Forests used for paper production are replanted and aren’t located in tropical regions.

    So IMHO the title “Deforestation courtesy of IPhone” isn’t according to the facts. Paper isn’t made from tropical wood, and AT&T users who care about the environment can opt for electronic billing.

  9. Adam Christianson | Aug 13 2007 - 02:34

    Ahh… but the title “Recycled Paper Supply Dwindles courtesy of iPhone”, while accurate, would have been too long and boring. ;)

  10. Adam Christianson | Aug 13 2007 - 03:33

    Good catch. The link should be fixed now.

  11. Jon | Aug 13 2007 - 07:24

    Just another reason I hate ATT! I used to have a credit card with automatic payment. I ended the service and they just kept charging me anyway-every month!
    I called and called and called…… and called…… and; you get the idea. One call, I could here the lady laughing; probably got a lot of calls like mine and new the company was a joke.
    I finally went online and found the stock sticker and went on the stock message board and aired my complaint. After two days of trashing ATT, got a reply that someone wanted to help me. After contacting someone; probably some higher up in the company, they fixed the problem.
    I thought I was going to have to cancel my credit card; never will I let any automatic payment go on my card again.
    So this new mess is just more incompetence by ATT. And you wonder why I don’t want an iphone. Jon

  12. Rene | Aug 14 2007 - 03:14

    Well, Jon, I always wondered why one of the most loved companies in the US (Apple) partnered with one of the most despised companies (AT&T). The difference in corporate cultures must be mind-boggling.

    @Adam: off course, I understand why you picked that title, but there may be people who take the title too literal. I just wanted to make clear that AT&T seems to be a responsible company, and not some kind of eco-villain. I’m sure AT&T is very concerned with their overall public image, however, from what I read, they just seem to fail when it comes to those finer details of customer care.

  13. Jimmy CraicHead | Aug 17 2007 - 02:26

    Love that opening quote from Star Wars Adam. Scary but I saw it 5 times in the theater 30 years ago. No VHS, Bit Torrent, just had to go back to the theater.
    Bummer you you didn’t win Podcast Awards for tech, but Steve Gibson is a class act! Keep up the great work! Besides, Todd C. has the PC fix in, like the NBA.

  14. Agis | Aug 19 2007 - 11:20

    I guess all this proves is that Justine gets more booty calls than a public toilet seat.

  15. Body Building Tips | Peter | Jan 26 2009 - 11:33

    Although I am not familiar how AT&T and iPhone works altogather since I am living in asia but to me, iPhone is the gadget of the century like having a good nice looking body build body. iPhone came to asia so much slower than in the US. Some bad points of about iPhone is that it cannot take videos with it’s camera, I hope they can improve on that part.

  16. Star Wars Price Guide | Jan 26 2009 - 11:34

    Star Wars is one of the legendary movie ever made! I love it! I had been collecting Star Wars action figures since small. I had a huge collection of action figures until now. I also have the whole series of Star Collections of movie series which I will watch and watch and not get bored out of it and I always learn something new from the movies! Great Creation I can say!