Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?

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Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?

Hi community,

 

I might be getting a new smartphone this December. But what I heard from a lot of people said that you need cellular data to get a smartphone. I personally don't want to buy a phone online, since their too expensive. Is it really true that you need a cellular data plan?

Message 1 of 27 (28,238 Views)
Expert

Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?


dh4645 wrote:

yeah, i dont see why or how they can force you to...especially if you get a hand-me-down smartphone and didnt actually renew your 2 yr contract

 

i think it's just att ripping people off.  some people....like my mom that just want a smartphone to do things on wifi and text with a better keyboard/screen, than the crappy few options they have for non-smartphones.

 

all you have to do is uncheck the mobile data checkbox and there would be zero chance of her getting onto the data network


If by "uncheck the mobile data check box" you mention you mean on the activation that won;t work, the order cannot be completed without all requirements being fulfilled, even if it did the minute the system determines it is a smartphone the plan will be added to bring it into compliance with the terms you agreed to - that is perfectly within their rights as the service provider. Uncheck everything you want, turn on airplane mode, doesn;t matter the data plan will be added per the terms

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Professor

Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?


wingrider01 wrote:

dh4645 wrote:

yeah, i dont see why or how they can force you to...especially if you get a hand-me-down smartphone and didnt actually renew your 2 yr contract

 

i think it's just att ripping people off.  some people....like my mom that just want a smartphone to do things on wifi and text with a better keyboard/screen, than the crappy few options they have for non-smartphones.

 

all you have to do is uncheck the mobile data checkbox and there would be zero chance of her getting onto the data network


If by "uncheck the mobile data check box" you mention you mean on the activation that won;t work, the order cannot be completed without all requirements being fulfilled, even if it did the minute the system determines it is a smartphone the plan will be added to bring it into compliance with the terms you agreed to - that is perfectly within their rights as the service provider. Uncheck everything you want, turn on airplane mode, doesn;t matter the data plan will be added per the terms


dh4645 was referring to the option in a phone's settings menu that allows the user to turn mobile data off.

 

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Professor

Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?


georged98 wrote:

Other than making money, why do carriers force customers to purchase a data plan for their smartphones if customer have no need for a data plan. 

I use Wi-Fi for accessing the Internet. If I can't get Wi-Fi then I don't use the Internet. Why pay for something I dont' need or want.

What problem is a smartphone causing without a data plan?

If I don't have a data plan and I'm out of Wi-Fi range, my smartphone doesn't get onto the Internet. So be it.

If I need to have Internet access outside of Wi-Fi range, then I'll purchase a data plan.

Again, why force customer into something they don't want or need?

 


The choices that the consumer has is to either a) not get a smartphone or b) go to a carrier that doesn't require a data plan.  Even though some people don't like certain policies that some carriers have, the lack of the consumer looking out for his own interest (voting with your money) allows carriers to have any policy that they want.  If enough people left and went to other carriers that allow this, the ones that do have the data requirement would have to notice.  Would they change their policies?  Maybe, maybe not.  Either way, you have to look out for yourself.  The carrier isn't going to do it for you.

 

Message 18 of 27 (25,602 Views)
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Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?


georged98 wrote:

Other than making money, why do carriers force customers to purchase a data plan for their smartphones if customer have no need for a data plan. 

I use Wi-Fi for accessing the Internet. If I can't get Wi-Fi then I don't use the Internet. Why pay for something I dont' need or want.

What problem is a smartphone causing without a data plan?

If I don't have a data plan and I'm out of Wi-Fi range, my smartphone doesn't get onto the Internet. So be it.

If I need to have Internet access outside of Wi-Fi range, then I'll purchase a data plan.

Again, why force customer into something they don't want or need?

 


I just found myself saddled with an arbitrary data plan because of a smartphone. The phone was a hand me down and is out of contract. My wife and I have been using various smartphones (mostly iPhones) for YEARS on AT&T with no data plans. When this data plan was added I called customer support a few times trying to get it removed and to find out why it was a requirement. I got the normal canned answers of it's required "to be able to use all the features of your smart phone" and "smartphones use more data so it makes the monthly bill more stable."

 

I pressed on and eventually the customer service rep told me exactly what I expected, the data plan is required and has no option for removal because AT&T wants to "Get more money and get in line with the other companies."

 

Needless to say, I'm leaving AT&T and likely moving to a prepaid plan elsewhere. I with more people would do the same, though AT&T would just find some other way to soak their customers. 

Message 19 of 27 (21,220 Views)
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Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?

I bought my smartphone online through Ebay as an unlocked  phone usable at various carriers. I have AT&T service and have had for 9 + years. I was told by the salesman that I had to have a data plan to activate the smart phone. The salesman made a statement to the effect that I had to buy a data plan as AT&T was in the business to make money. First the saleman decided that the problems of activating the phone was I had a bad phone. Then it was the sim card activation system problem. So I agreed to the $30 plan. My phone is an windows phone. I went to the company store to get activated. When I left the store it was not activated as well as my previous phone did not work any longer. I was told by the salesman to check every hour to see if it had been activated yet. So after 5 hours I returned and insisted that I not leave without the phone working. I then got a good salesman who took about 2 minutes to make the phone work.It was a matter of uninstalling both the battery and sim card. i believe with the first salesman that I was being punished for )1 not buying the phone from At&T and 2) not signing another two year contract which I did not have to do because the phone was an unlocked phone. So there way to get more money out of your back pocket into there account is require a data plan. So I would say eventually all they will have is smart phones so they can get your money.

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Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?

[ Edited ]

jonus1897 wrote:

I bought my smartphone online through Ebay as an unlocked  phone usable at various carriers. I have AT&T service and have had for 9 + years. I was told by the salesman that I had to have a data plan to activate the smart phone. The salesman made a statement to the effect that I had to buy a data plan as AT&T was in the business to make money. First the saleman decided that the problems of activating the phone was I had a bad phone. Then it was the sim card activation system problem. So I agreed to the $30 plan. My phone is an windows phone. I went to the company store to get activated. When I left the store it was not activated as well as my previous phone did not work any longer. I was told by the salesman to check every hour to see if it had been activated yet. So after 5 hours I returned and insisted that I not leave without the phone working. I then got a good salesman who took about 2 minutes to make the phone work.It was a matter of uninstalling both the battery and sim card. i believe with the first salesman that I was being punished for )1 not buying the phone from At&T and 2) not signing another two year contract which I did not have to do because the phone was an unlocked phone. So there way to get more money out of your back pocket into there account is require a data plan. So I would say eventually all they will have is smart phones so they can get your money.


EVERY smartphone used on ATT or any other major carrier is required to have a data plan.I doubt you were being punished from buying your phone elsewhere...it sounds to me that you just needed a different sales rep. As a matter of fact, my unlocked phone that I currently use, was purchased at BestBuy. A lot of people purchase their phones from various places.

 

If it comes down to wanting to use a smartphone on ATT's network, then you'll have to also have to pay for a data plan...if you don't want to pay for it, there are other non smartphone devices to choose from.

 

Whether you think ATT is out to make money or not is besides the point...you want to use the network, they make the rules that we all agree to when we accept the terms of service. 

 




 REGRET NOTHING~


     we live & learn~

Message 21 of 27 (18,980 Views)
Professor

Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?

I dunno about every. It used to be that if you were going strictly month-to-month with AT&T once a contract has ended that you could kill your data on a smartphone. Not quite sure if that practice is still in effect as I am again locked in a contract, but it was a few years ago =P Also, you can use GoPhone just fine w/o a data plan...although I wouldn't recommend their service.

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Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?


jii wrote:

I dunno about every. It used to be that if you were going strictly month-to-month with AT&T once a contract has ended that you could kill your data on a smartphone. Not quite sure if that practice is still in effect as I am again locked in a contract, but it was a few years ago =P Also, you can use GoPhone just fine w/o a data plan...although I wouldn't recommend their service.


4 years ago you could put a data block on a smartphone, the feature was discontinued. The grandfather of the feature was tied to the device it was on, change device the feature was removed. ATT, Sprint, Verizon will not allow you to place a smartphone on a normal contract without a data plan.

Message 23 of 27 (18,960 Views)
Expert

Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?


jii wrote:

I dunno about every. It used to be that if you were going strictly month-to-month with AT&T once a contract has ended that you could kill your data on a smartphone. Not quite sure if that practice is still in effect as I am again locked in a contract, but it was a few years ago =P Also, you can use GoPhone just fine w/o a data plan...although I wouldn't recommend their service.


Yes, I'm aware of that. Thanks, jii! Smiley Happy

 




 REGRET NOTHING~


     we live & learn~

Message 24 of 27 (18,935 Views)
Professor

Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?


wingrider01 wrote:
4 years ago you could put a data block on a smartphone, the feature was discontinued. The grandfather of the feature was tied to the device it was on, change device the feature was removed. ATT, Sprint, Verizon will not allow you to place a smartphone on a normal contract without a data plan.

We are all well aware that a data plan is needed when one is bound by a contract. If you read my post however, you'll note that I was talking about post-contract life with AT&T.

Message 25 of 27 (18,906 Views)
Professor

Re: Is cellular data plan required for ALL smartphones?


jii wrote:

wingrider01 wrote:
4 years ago you could put a data block on a smartphone, the feature was discontinued. The grandfather of the feature was tied to the device it was on, change device the feature was removed. ATT, Sprint, Verizon will not allow you to place a smartphone on a normal contract without a data plan.

We are all well aware that a data plan is needed when one is bound by a contract. If you read my post however, you'll note that I was talking about post-contract life with AT&T.


The same holds true for post-contract. If you use a smartphone, contract or no contract, locked or unlocked, you are required to have a data plan. If the system detects that you're using a smartphone without a data plan, one will be added automatically. It's all in the terms of service, which is in effect as long as you use AT&T's service.

 

The only exceptions are the GoPhone and some phones that aren't detected as smartphones. And I wouldn't expect the latter to be a guaranteed out.

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