08-26-2010 10:32:06 AM
Because AT&T's Smart Limits will not stop incoming calls unless a parent manually enters all of the numbers they want blocked, this feature is essentially worthless. You can restrict your child from making outgoing calls, but forget it when it comes to incoming calls. For example, let's say you schedule your child's phone to shut off at 10:00 p.m. Well, if a friend calls in to your child's phone at 10:05 p.m., your child will be able to talk for as long as they want. The only way to prevent that is to figure out what numbers need to be blocked. And good luck with that--it doesn't take the kids long to figure out all they need to do is call from a different number.
Every night at 11:00 p.m., I have to go on-line and manually enter numbers I want blocked for not one, but two teenagers. That's over 20 phone numbers. The following day when school lets out, I then have to remember to go on-line AGAIN and unblock the numbers. "Remember" being the operative word here.
To further complicate matters, AT&T's IT Dept. performs maintenance on their website starting at 10:30 p.m. each night. At times, I have had to log-in 4 and 5 times to access my account so I can add the blocked numbers. And there have been other times when I couldn't access my account at all.
I tried suspending their service before I signed up for this worthless feature, but if you want to suspend your kid's account when AT&T is performing maintenance on their site YOU CAN'T! Oh, and it gets better. Just wait until you're unable to reinstate their service during one of AT&T's scheduled site maintenance. You end up with screaming teenagers who cannot use their phone because of AT&T's IT Dept.
What a ludicrous set-up! AT&T needs to fine tune this feature and give parents the option to turn blocked numbers on and off. And they need to limit website maintenance to a couple of hours during the middle of the night.
And I probably need to shop around for another cell phone provider. $4.99 a month for this?
08-27-2010 02:47:12 PM - edited 08-27-2010 02:50:09 PM
The easy and free solution to this is to simply take away the phones each night. I did this when my kids were in high school. I actually only had to do this to one of them because she did not follow the rules of no phone use after 9pm. During one stretch, I took ALL of the phones in the house and kept them with me because this particular daughter kept trying to contact someone who was off limits. She could not use her cell phone because I could see the call log, so she used our home phone.
Just take your kids' phones and save yourself the time and effort of entering all those numbers, not to mention the aggravation of that task and their work-arounds.
You are right, though, about AT&T needing to improve the features on Smart Limits. My sister can block all incoming and outgoing calls and messages for her daughter with Verizon-except for mom's and dad's cell phones. No other numbers get through during school hours.
10-23-2010 10:49:39 PM
This is correct. This feature is completely useless and AT&T needs to do something about this. If you block texting they can still use BBM all hours of the night. Anyway to block BBM?