Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't

Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't

AT&T Wireless wants me to pay for an additional service by allowing me to turn on WiFi HotSpot on my iPhone 4 with operating system iOS 4.3. The WiFi hotspot functionality is built into the operating system provided by Apple Corporation not AT&T. If I wanted to modify my iPhone 4 operating system known as "Jail Breaking" and recently ruled as legal, I could enable the Wifi HotSpot service and it would work without any service or functionality provided by AT&T yet they AT&T thinks they should be able to charge me for a service they are not providing.

 

When I called them on this issue they said they are charging me because they are allowing me to connect up to 5 devices onto my iphone. I asked what are they doing specifically that they are charging me for and the customer service agent could not answer. Similar service like cable TV and wired home phone service are perfect examples.
I pay for a monthly cable TV service and regardless of the number of TV's or VCR's I connect to my service, the cable TV company does not charge me for the additional equipment that I connected to my existing service. Same for home phone service provided by AT&T, I can connect any number of phone's wired or wireless even ones with Voice Mail to my my existing phone service I'm not not charged for additional equipment. Both the cable TV and AT&T home phone service do not to charge for additional equipment.
I believe it was outlawed to do so or I think they would still be charging like they did in past years. For some reason the wireless telephone companies are still able to get away with this type of practice. Why?

 

Message 1 of 13 (22,371 Views)
Master

Re: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't

[ Edited ]

Yes it's perfectly legal.  

 

There is a Wireless Service Agreement that you accepted that specifically states tethering is against the Terms of Service unless you have a plan that specifically allows tethering.  Your paying a per device connection.  Cellular data is a premium due to limited bandwidth and is regulated differently.  So if your jailbreaking your phone and using the feature without paying for it, your violating ATTs terms and basically stealing the service.

 

Your TV service is not always as you describe.  A lot of places the cable channels are scrambled and you have to pay for each box for each TV to get all the channels.  Also with your home phone the service is limited.  While you can hook up multiple handsets they cannot each use different services on the same line.  You cannot call different numbers/people from each phone if you only have one line (thats an extra premium for each additional line of access).

 

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Mentor

Re: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't

I am no fan of cellular providers, but there is a big difference in the services you are comparing. 

 

Your cable TV has all the channels being broadcast out on the cable all the time, you could have 20 TV connected all watching a different channel, and the bandwidth used from the cable company would be the same as a single TV set.

 

Your home phone service also, you may have a dozen extensions, but even combined, they can only connect to one outside number at a time. 

 

A better comparison would be PayPerView, when you order up a movie it actually uses bandwidth that the cable company would not need otherwise. 

 

When you connect two or three devices to your iPhone as a hotspot, you are going to use more bandwidth than when you are just using it standalone. 

 

 

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Contributor

Re: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't

Your comparisons are flawed as well.  How's this?  I have a cable modem at home that gives me "unlimited data" per month.   I pay a fixed per month fee for this service.   I access the internet via that cable modem and data plan from 2 PCs, 3 laptops, two DVRs and 3 mobile devices, oftentimes simulaneously on up to 5 different devices...all under that single per month cable internet service and "unlimited data" plan.

 

What would prevent AT&T from deciding to impose new automatic monthly fees, separately each for: browsing the web & reading e-mail & streaming music & streaming video.

 

Aren't the words:  "unlimited" in the agreement for those that have "unlimited data" plans?

 

 

 

Message 4 of 13 (21,758 Views)
Guru

oRe: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't

I do not have an iPhone or any real interest in this discussion, however I did happen across an interesting link from Apple where they offer the download to enable the WiFi feature on an iPhone.

 

iOS 4.3 Software Update

 

However notice also the "fine print" in the footnotes.

Apple wrote: "4. Personal Hotspot requires a supporting hotspot tethering plan from your carrier and works with up to three devices over Wi-Fi, three devices over Bluetooth, and one device over USB."

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Guru

Re: oRe: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't

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Mentor

Re: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't


openthreads wrote:

Your comparisons are flawed as well.  How's this?  I have a cable modem at home that gives me "unlimited data" per month.   I pay a fixed per month fee for this service.   I access the internet via that cable modem and data plan from 2 PCs, 3 laptops, two DVRs and 3 mobile devices, oftentimes simulaneously on up to 5 different devices...all under that single per month cable internet service and "unlimited data" plan.

 

What would prevent AT&T from deciding to impose new automatic monthly fees, separately each for: browsing the web & reading e-mail & streaming music & streaming video.

 

Aren't the words:  "unlimited" in the agreement for those that have "unlimited data" plans?

 

 

 


Not so.    Your home service allows you to connect a router and utilize all those services simultaneously. 

 

However if you have to contact your cable company to "enable" some feature that you don't automatically have, they certainly have the right to charge you for it.  

 

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Tutor

Re: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't

 


DHarabs wrote:

 


Not so.    Your home service allows you to connect a router and utilize all those services simultaneously. 

 

However if you have to contact your cable company to "enable" some feature that you don't automatically have, they certainly have the right to charge you for it.  

 


 

But in this case you have to have them enable something they maliciously disabled.  The fact is that we all pay for our data.  If you have a 2GB plan or a 4GB plan or are grandfathered in with an unlimited plan you are paying for that allotment of data.  Why does it matter whether you are using that data on your phone, a laptop, an iPod, or another phone?  If you use too much data you will get overage charges and AT&T will get their money.  Forcing consumers to pay more money for a service that is not requiring any additional work on AT&T's part (it's the phone that makes the hotspot not the carrier) is simply punishing those who do use all of their data.

Message 8 of 13 (21,174 Views)
Professor

Re: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't


carneyja43 wrote:
When I called them on this issue they said they are charging me because they are allowing me to connect up to 5 devices onto my iphone. I asked what are they doing specifically that they are charging me for and the customer service agent could not answer. Similar service like cable TV and wired home phone service are perfect examples.
...what id like to know is... if they charge us to allow us to connect, then "why cant we charge att because when we use wifi at home , we are allowing ATT to bounce off of our services just to help ATT network 'become the nations fastest'...  should go both ways.

 

Message 9 of 13 (21,139 Views)
Mentor

Re: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't


cpbreton wrote:

 

But in this case you have to have them enable something they maliciously disabled.


So it was enabled when you first bought your phone?   

 

I didn't think so, I rest my case :-)

 

Message 10 of 13 (21,086 Views)

Re: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't

[ Edited ]

it amazes me of the corporate slave mentality that either AT&T employees have in answering peoples complaints or perhaps it's even the other customers.. Customers who are getting{ Inappropriate comment removed } bandwidth caps, should demand an end to the caps or the corporations responsible { Inappropriate comment removed }

 

We just learned that AT&T bought out T-Mobile with an extra $29 billion that had laying around.. Once it becomes official and AT&T becomes the #1 wireless provider, they better remove all data caps, else I suggest the people who came up with such ridiculous data caps grow eyes in the back of their heads.....

Message 11 of 13 (17,304 Views)
Professor

Re: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot? Is this legal is shouldn't

[ Edited ]

Glad i caught your response before it gets removed but i sure hear what you are saying breaux!  I just calleld  ATT yesterday when i noticed that three phones on my plan (thre DIFFERENT phones) were not accessing or downloading data while they were in the 3G full bar setting.  What  i mean is:  The phones displayed that i was picking up 3g and there were enough bars to assrue no problems.  What i did was

 

1.  Turned off Wi-Fi so ATT wont get a free ride while testing :  brought up the site with the least graphics like google.com... all three "with 3g displaying" crawwwwled, even timed out.

 

so 'that' was my real experience with the nations 'fastest network'

 

2.  Turned wifi  back on , cause att needed that helping hand: loaded google, it loaded so fast,  then brought up heavy sites with tons of graphics and flashes on step 1: timed out completely... then turned on wifi, loaded instantly

 

3. concluded to call techsupport aboutmy findings, they say "its the phones"   I laughed.  mind you, one is brand new, one is 4 mos old, the other is maybe a year.. they all performing the same during the test.

 

i say and i dont care what anyone else says, ATT should not make us have to depend on wifi when they sell a data packet and  backs it up with the "nations fastes network and 3g" claim when they should say.."we have data but you need to pay us so you can use wifi to make it work'.

 

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Contributor

Re: Charging to enable Wifi HotSpot?

I understand that At&t like any other company purpose is to make money. However I do not live in north America. When I did an update on my htc inspire phone I was no longer able to use wifi tethering with my computer which I was able to do when I first got the phone. Now I understand that At&t would block this service for American based phones but how can you do this for phones that are based in another country?  Can this be fair? Since I do not have an account with At&t does this mean that I can never get to use this app anymore? I do not understand how this service should be blocked on my phone as I do not have an At&T account? Even If I wanted to pay for it, I could not as I am with a South American Carrier. Could you please email me to tell me what to do. The reason I got my phone was for this purpose and my carrier gave me a specific plan for this purpose. So please tell me what I need to do to get this app unblocked. I hope you understand that my request is not like any other. Lastly, I am not a Citizen of the United States so I do not feel that your laws would apply in this case. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

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