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Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

Back in December I activated an LG Expo on prepaid and since I was porting a tracfone number, had assistance at the ATT store nearby with new prepaid sim card and setup. At that time I had them block data which was NO PROBLEM.  Yesterday I bought a gophone LG Prime at Radio Shack for my son. Again I wanted data blocked since my son would end up burning all the money/minutes on accidentally connecting to wap browser. Radio Shack activated it for me and said no problem blocking data. We got home and I set up the online account info and checked the transactions summary, there were about 7 GPRS charges, small but charges. I also saw that DATA was listed in phone features on the profile, which differs from my account with my Expo. 3 calls to the ATT tollfree number and they refunded the gprs charges, but told me they COULD NOT block the data on a prepaid go phone account. I asked them if this was a new policy because I have a gophone with NO DATA. They said no, not a new policy...if they block data it will be put back on at midnight automatically, blah blah. I said NO, not true, data has never been added back to my prepaid acct. They asked for my info on my EXPO acct and saw that there was NO data on that acct. They were nice and said that this ONE TIME they would go in and make the change to the new account and block data, although they were NOT supposed to do that. Is this the only way they can make money on prepaid accounts, so therefore they refuse to shut down data. I told them unfortunately they are making me purchase Tmobile prepaids in the future. They have NO problem blocking data. Anyone else out there have any experience recently with blocking data on prepaid? Wondering if this is something new or if I just got lucky with my Expo.

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Message 1 of 16
Master

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

I certainly don't know for certain as I've never tried to do it myself on my prepaid account, but I've always seen out here that at&t would not block the data or messaging services for a prepaid account holder.  I don't know how accurate that is, but it's what I've consistently seen said.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 2 of 16

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

Perhaps you can disable the ability to use data on your phone? I am using an unlocked Samsung Star and I have never configured data on the phone so it isn't used. My phone has WiFi so I just use that instead.

Message 3 of 16
Teacher

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

Does your phone settings have anything about data settings on it? It may talk about an "APN", username, or password. If you can edit those (be sure to write down the current values first), you can effectively disable data that way, I would think.

Message 4 of 16
Master

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

 


nospamboz wrote:

Does your phone settings have anything about data settings on it? It may talk about an "APN", username, or password. If you can edit those (be sure to write down the current values first), you can effectively disable data that way, I would think.


It's certainly worth taking a look at - in many of at&t's newer branded devices they've disabled the ability to change the default access point; however, I purchased an at&t branded SE W518a in late December, and much to my surprise I was able to set up an access point with fake (i.e. no) settings and define it as being the default.  Many pre-installed applications still use the real access point with no way to redefine the default within those applications.  However, it does eliminate the issue of accidental data usage from hitting the MediaNet button or the MediaNet menu icon.

 

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 5 of 16

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

I tried to set up false APN info for connecting, somehow still got charged one cent each time it tried to connect. Even though it would say connection failed, still charged a penny for trying. I would probably live with that if I had to, but you all are right probably best bet is to use a phone that data can be disabled one way or another. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Message 6 of 16
Master

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

 


drpeppergirl815 wrote:

I tried to set up false APN info for connecting, somehow still got charged one cent each time it tried to connect. Even though it would say connection failed, still charged a penny for trying. I would probably live with that if I had to, but you all are right probably best bet is to use a phone that data can be disabled one way or another. Thanks for all the suggestions.


I guess now that they've introduced the smartphone voice plans for prepaid - you could try choosing one of those plans (they are virtually no different than the voice plans for "feature" phones - they just don't have the $60/month plan but they do have the $2/day Talk and Text).  Don't add a data feature to the smartphone voice plan, and then theoretically data should be "blocked" since at&t states that if you are using one of these plans and don't add the data plan, you will not have access to cellular data.  It might eliminate the 1 cent charge for a connection attempt.

 

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 7 of 16
Mentor

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

Do you have the ability to edit the APN on that phone? You could put false information in there and it would never be able to connect to get data. The phone and SMS should still work.
Message 8 of 16
Scholar

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

I don't know what the APN is or how to change it. I've tried to look into settings on my phone and every single category causes the browser to activate (with no warning). I would use up all the credit in the account searching for a way to stop it. The instruction manual that came with my pre-paid phone says that in order to enable parental controls, I must call customer service, and the number was conveniently given. However, when I did speak to them, I was told "The browser is embedded in the phone and cannot be turned off." So either the printed material or the AT&T agent was wrong. Either way, I cannot disable internet on my pre-paid phone. Further calls to other AT&T offices got the admission that AT&T seems to need all those pennies it gets from accidental activations of Mobile Web services. "We generally don't set parental controls on pre-paids." As I recall, Verizon was forced to pay millions in refunds for the same thing a year or two ago. Many customers had small extra charges on their bills they rarely noticed. If they called to complain, they got a credit. Otherwise, the carrier got a windfall. A dollar or two per month each month on a few million accounts adds up to a nice sum. Yes, I'm very annoyed.
Message 9 of 16
Contributor

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

For my ATT ZTE F160 I found an answer to the seemingly periodic GPRS charges ranging from .01-.05 on my GoPhone.

 

1) In the address book, look for AT&T phone numbers that are there so you can check billing balances, etc.

 

2) Make sure that (or any other contact) number is highlighted and select Options

 

3) Scroll down to Advanced and select it.

 

4) Select the AT&T Address Book and In there should be a choice for Auto Sync Settings: select it.

 

5) I set my Auto Sync Settings to Off and haven't had any more charges.

 

Note: In the same area as the Auto Sync Stettings choice you can select View Syc Log it will tell you about the failed attemts.

Message 10 of 16
Scholar

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

 


wardswift wrote:

For my ATT ZTE F160 I found an answer to the seemingly periodic GPRS charges ranging from .01-.05 on my GoPhone.

 

1) In the address book, look for AT&T phone numbers that are there so you can check billing balances, etc.

 

2) Make sure that (or any other contact) number is highlighted and select Options

 

3) Scroll down to Advanced and select it.

 

4) Select the AT&T Address Book and In there should be a choice for Auto Sync Settings: select it.

 

5) I set my Auto Sync Settings to Off and haven't had any more charges.

 

Note: In the same area as the Auto Sync Stettings choice you can select View Syc Log it will tell you about the failed attemts.


I have the R225. When I get to step 3, I don't find Advanced. Any other ideas?

 

Message 11 of 16
Contributor

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

I called customer service about blocking data on my senior citizen mother's prepaid and was told "We don't offer that option." It really made me angry because it's just a blatant way to siphon off money. Then they tried to sell me a data plan even after I just explained to them that WE DON'T WANT DATA. Every other prepaid service lets you block data.  I set up a fake profile and everything, and she still gets those .01 GPRS charges from time to time, granted it's .10 or so total but why should she have to pay anything? They are the WORST, absolutely horrible!!!! Apparently the only way to get rid of the data capability is physically removing the button...?!?!?

Message 12 of 16
Master

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?


momo1tx wrote:

I called customer service about blocking data on my senior citizen mother's prepaid and was told "We don't offer that option." It really made me angry because it's just a blatant way to siphon off money. Then they tried to sell me a data plan even after I just explained to them that WE DON'T WANT DATA. Every other prepaid service lets you block data.  I set up a fake profile and everything, and she still gets those .01 GPRS charges from time to time, granted it's .10 or so total but why should she have to pay anything? They are the WORST, absolutely horrible!!!! Apparently the only way to get rid of the data capability is physically removing the button...?!?!?



Or a different (non-at&t branded) device can give more flexibility in terms of being able to re-assign the data connection point for WAP access (and various applications that use data) so that they won't work from just an accidental button press.  Also using an at&t designated smartphone but not purchasing a data package should prevent the charges as there is now no PPU data access for smartphones with at&t's prepaid service.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 13 of 16
Contributor

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

phones bought at a third party retailler for prepaid, have to be used for 3-6months depending on phone and services required for phone, before you can change anything. THIS PAYS FOR THE PHONE ..But you can buy a starter SIM card and put in that phone and change plan and features

Message 14 of 16
Contributor

Re: Almost impossible to block data on prepaid?

I have a very bad experience with AT&T Gophone plan with regards to data too. I have the 25 dollars for 500mb/month data plan on top of the normal pay per minute plan. My data plan is due to expire on 13 Sep, and since I am on auto renew, I topped up 25 dollars to my account on the 11 Sep in anticipation of the expiry. However, the data ran out in the middle of 12 Sep, and there was NO warning message or alert about this and AT&T continued charging my minutes for the data I used until my 31 dollars worth of prepaid minutes ran dry (gone within half day)!

 

This appears to be contrary to AT&T's claim on the Gophone brochure  that smart phones would not be able to use the pay per minute data plan and must buy the data plan (I am using a Samsung Galaxy S2 aka Epic 4G in the usa)! I asked my friends who use the same plan and they did say that they would not be able to access data on their smart phone (iphone 3GS and 4) once their data plan runs dry. Seems like AT&T's system is not able to recognise that I am using a smart phone running on Android.

 

I called up the service help line, but the customer service officer would only agree to refund me 25 dollars instead of the 31 dollars, saying that it is AT&T's policy. The explanation provided by the officer on why i was switched to a pay-per-minute data usage despite being on a smart phone was also unwhelmingly poor and unprofessional. The explanation i got was that the system is setup so that I would not be inconvenienced by the disruption in internet service despite the data plan being exhausted. Thanks AT&T, but i am definitely more inconvenienced by my Gophone account running dry!

 

I am rather upset about this as it is AT&T's system limitation that caused me to waste that 31 dollars on pay-per-minute data instead of blocking the data usage or auto-renewing the 500 mb/month package for 25 dollars. The customer service officer's unwillingness to recognise the problem and provide only a partial refund is also underwhelmingly poor customer service. I tried to leave a feedback through email on this issue for the past couple of days, but there's always a "temporary system error that prevents us from retrieving your account information" from the contact page on AT&T's website. 

 

I guess i will spend my 400 dollars a year on other service providers once my AT&T credit runs out.

 

PS: Apologies for the long message! Just had to rant out my frustration!

 

 

Message 15 of 16
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