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Does anybody else have Viber or Whatsapp charges on their AT&T phone bill?

31917 Views 50 Replies Latest reply: Mar 2, 2014 11:47 AM by theViberTeam RSS
  • pratana Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    @viber team: I think it's not right that viber switch over to regular call even though I placed the call over Viber app.

    The right thing to do is display a warning message  to the user or end the call. Switching over without letting the user know can cause user lots of money. How many users constantly look at the screen while talking to notice that it's grey or purple. That's just not user friendly, in this case you advertise that call international free and in this case if it happens to other users and they not looking at the screen which can go black over time, right?

     

    Based on your explanation, it could happen to anyone, I am not looking for you to reimburse me or anything, I just don't want this to happen to any users.

     

    I disagree that Viber team would say nothing you can do. At least you can improve your app to take care of this issue!!!!.

  • theViberTeam Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    @pratana

     

    We understand the inconvenience that was caused here, but in fact we most certainly do have a warning message that pops up when you try to place a regular cellular call.

    Moreover, in accordance to user demand, we have added a checkbox that allows users to control whether or not they would like to keep seeing that warning message, or make it stop appearing once they have learnt when the calls might be switched to being non-Viber calls.

     

    So to your question - yes, we do have a warning message.  You might have disabled it and forgotten about it.

  • pratana Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Where do you hae the config setting at? I do have all notification on for Viber, I never remember have any checkbox. If you don't mind let me know where do I get to what you described.

     

    Also, if wifi is weak, why it doesn't switch over to use 3G?

  • theViberTeam Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    Remove Viber, reinstall, and try placing a regular call via Viber.  The warning message will then pop up, and you'll see the checkbox there.

     

    Using WiFi or 3G is determined in your main iPhone settings.  If you know the local WiFi  you are using is weak, simply don't connect to it or disable it in your general iPhone settings.

  • geraldinefromenglewood cliffs Calculating status...

    Yes I have a charge of $160+ on my AT&T bill for calls made through Viber. I've been emailing Viber support about this because Viber does not have a customer service number for users to call. They take a long time to revert and then ask me to be understanding about the delay as they are a growing company. When they finally do respond, they say there is nothing they can do about those charges. Well as the other users have posted here, there is dam well something Viber can do about those charges. Improve the app so warning messages can be displayed and users don't get charged for something they believe was free! Anyway I dont trust Viber anymore and have removed it from my phone. I'm just going to stick to FaceTime and international calling cards.

  • theViberTeam Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    @geraldinefromenglewood cliffs

     

    Hi,

    We are sorry that you feel this way, but let me emphasize again what I wrote above: we *do* have a warning message notifying that the call is switching to a regular, cellular call.  You might have disabled it and forgotten about it.

     

    At any rate, they money you were charged goes to your cellular company, not Viber (nor do we benefit from the fact that you accidently made an international call).

  • suman.ganta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello Viber,

           I'm the latest victim of this useless feature that Viber provides. I'm charged a whopping $312 for making international calls on viber. Why the **** under the sun anyone would like to make phone call on regular cellular network when the call is initiated from viber app? The basic thinking of this so called feature is completely wrong, and viber should admit it. I did not get any warning message about this VoIP to Cellular switch while making calls. From now on, I'm going to be on one agenda - "making sure  none of my friends have viber on their smart phones". If you think there is no issue with Viber, do provide me with the CDRs that you maintain. I'll take up my issue with my cellular provider (AT&T).

     

    Based on my gut feel, I think Viber fails to show the warning message when both parties are registered to Viber and one of them are not connected to Internet (WiFi/3G) when the call is made.  What a shame Viber. A basic thing to catch, which you failed.

  • theViberTeam Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    Hi @suman.ganta -

    First, please relax.

     

    We have found that some users get confused and accidentally make GSM (regular) calls instead of the free Viber calls.  When you make a Viber call, make sure your screen stays purple (Viber) and does not turn grey (regular call).  Sometimes the call is switched to a normal cellular call because your internet connection is disrupted or the destination contact is temporarily not recognized as a Viber user.

     

    Viber prevents this confusion by popping up a message alerting the user that the call is switching to a regular, cellular call (thus costing money). The user has to accept it. The only way for the message not to pop next time, is if the user manually and intentionally checks the box that says: "do not show me this warning message next time"

     

    Regarding the question "why would anyone need this feature" - well, many users use Viber as their regular dialer. So it is easy for them to ring their non-Viber friends also through Viber. This feature is actually very popular among our users - and we have numbers to prove it.

  • suman.ganta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't think the decision of allowing vs not allowing a call over GSM can be made at the time of making call. Thats a configuration that one can make globally which would be applicable to all viber calls. You yourself is admitting that users are getting confused with it - which is evident enought to say that its not the right way to let user know about it. However you are still adamant in repeating about your *warning* message. We are on the receiving end of the end result.

     

    Personally I've never seen that warning message that you were talking about (in the scenarios I desccribed in my previous posts).

     

    On viber as the default dialer app - Whole purpose of viber as I understood is to reduce fat bills on phone calls whenever possible. If you are saying people are preferring *seamless* calls to both viber and non-viber users without actually bothering about which route the call is taking, that contradicts your objective. Your explanation obviously doesn't satisfy anyone who lands into this forum after being vitimized with this *feature*.

  • theViberTeam Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    What you are saying isn't accurate -

     

     

    We never claimed that Viber's sole purpose is to reduce people's fat phone bills. Viber was meant to be a "substitute" for your regular, cellular phone services, and by doing that it should also reduce the cost of calls at the end of the month, yes.

     

    Viber users worldwide love using Viber as their default dialer (and we know that through numbers) since they don't want to go through the hassle of switching the dialer each time. The warning message we added is more than enough, we believe. If you don't see it, it means you have manually disabled it at some point. We invite you to simply uninstall Viber, then reinstall, then you should have the warning message pop back up.

     

    Also, it is important to note that at least 95% of calls worldwide are made domestically (not abroad), and so even when people get "confused", the result is not harsh. In other words - according to our users, having this feature inside Viber as a convenient, easy-to-use option is worth the seldom confusion of dialing regularly to a contact, and as a company we have to go with that user preference.

  • suman.ganta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So, you are saying the warning message about which route the call is taking is ignorable ? And the only way to flip it is by reinstalling app? And that is how you want it to be? Well, I'll leave it upto to the readers of this thread to digest this info. I think I've given engough feedback already.

     

    Good luck!

  • theViberTeam Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    @suman.ganta -

    Just like 90% of apps in the world today (both for PC and cellular applications) - yes, certainly it's ignorable, after the user has personally and intentionally chosen to not show it again. This is very standard behaviour by applications worldwide today.

     

    Thank you for your feedback, make sure that it will be passed on to the developers here in the company, and we'll see what we can do to better notify the user of switching to GSM.

  • pratana Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Would it be possible to add it option to disable call using GSM in the setting. At least for some user who do not wish to use this option won't run into the huge bill?  that would be my feedback to the developers.

  • theViberTeam Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)

    @pratana -

    Thank you for the feedback.

    I will pass it on to our management and we'll see how this weighs against most of our users' will to use Viber as their default dialer.

     

    Thank you again.

  • bngui Calculating status...

    I too have been a victim of Viber swtiching to gsm whilst in a call, just receiving a 200+ bill. I was just looking at the description for Viber in the App Store and it said, I quote: Avoid mobile phone "bill shock". I sure don't think that worked. Could this be considered as false advertising as well as not stating the fact that Viber WILL switch to GSM mid call? I understand you keep explaining there's a pop up box or whatever and yes many people may have disabled it. But even if the box comes up, does it stop Viber from switching? I doubt so. Like someone said before, no one constantly looks at the phone while ON the phone. Don't get me wrong, Viber is a quality product. However, this flaw is way too big. I absolutely agree with "pratana" to add an option in settings to FORBID Viber from switching to GSM whilst in a call. I mean if I wanted to call a regular call, is it that hard to press that home button? This option could also be kept on, for your regular users who you claim use Viber to make all their calls (something along those lines). It's win-win for Viber and their users. This incident has put me off using Viber. I know you'll pass it on to your management etc, but I think it's time for Version 2.1.5 and actually do SOMETHING about it. Thanks.

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