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Saturday, January 10th, 2015 7:53 PM

Parents: Smart Limits is a Ripoff

If you are considering the Smart Limits feature to manage your children's phones, moreover their data? Don't bother. AT&T charges customers a monthly fee for each line that you request this feature to be applied, however, this feature continues to be changed on behalf of the company, not the customer and doesn't provide the service you might expect.


Case in point: previously, this feature allowed parents to place a maximum amount of data for each line to ensure their child would not exceed the overall data thereby incrurring an additional $10 per gig per billing cycle. While this option was certainly beneficial, the parent was still required to access their account every month to activate the data cap.


The Smart Limits feature has been revised several times (and without providing notice to customers), whereby currently there are no options to place a cap for data on a line. The newest revision limits parents to one of two options: 1) stop & start data throughout the billing cycle, or 2) turn it off until the end of the billing cycle. In either case the parent is required to manage these parameters every month. Forgetting to do so ensures that you're likely to incur additional charges on your account.


If you're paying for Smart Limits you may be better served to cancel the service (like I did), save your money, and utilize this link to learn how you can manage your child's line for free. You will still be required to manage each line every month but you won't be charged for doing so. Here's the link I was given by AT&T customer care when I called to cancel Smart Limits:


And AT&T, if you're viewing this forum, moreover this message, please share this feedback with the powers that be please.


If you offer a service that alledges to assist parents in managing the data on their children's phones then at least provide a service that is as convenient as it is promoted. When paying for such a service parents should be able to set a specific maximum amount of data per billing cycle that remains permanently set until otherwise revised by the parent.


Additionally, parents should not have to worry about counting down to the end of every billing cycle to access their account to reset these parameters for every succeeding month. The feature merely appears to be a great service to parents but is so constructed to easily allow for data overages which provides an easy avenue for additional revenue.


AT&T competitors do offer a service for parents to more easily manage their child's data. While I prefer to remain with AT&T, I'll be visiting with one of them next July when my last two contracts expire. It will indeed be a pain to have to change service and phones but it is simply more cost effective for us.


Hope this helps other parents.



ACE - Sage


117.7K Messages

9 years ago

Nice of you to pass on the tip.

I will add one of my own.

I have data alert on the account set to alert me at 65% If I get the alert early in the month, I can see which kid is the data hog.
I then warn offending data hog to lighten up cellular useage.
This is strike one.

I check data use in a couple of days, if the kid has not cut back, I issue a second warning, including the threat of suspending cellular data.
Strike two

If I check the third time and don't see a drop in his use I turn off the cellular data to his phone. It can be turned back on with a call to customer service.
Strike 3 and OUT.
I have only had to do this once. It tends to be taken very seriously .



10 Messages

9 years ago

I have the same exact problem as you, I'm beyond upset with the way they do business. In my case I call customer care and was told I had to pay for this feature so in order do it I didn't care if I had to pay but to only earn its a obvious lie, it does nothing but a manual on/off switch in which I can do that from the AT&T account manager/ or myat&tapp. I have 10 lines and under no contract for any and will have to move them to T-Mobile for this reason. I can't be checking everyday and turn off when they reach there limit.. AT&T is all about how to scam you for more money, no wonder why everyone tells me to go to t-mobile and I been ingnoring them..
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