Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

Teacher

Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

I am asking here on the forums because I have spent over 2 hours of my time on the phone with AT&T trying to get an answer.  I would like the capability to tether my phone to my laptop, I do NOT want to use it as a hotspot.  Last I checked, my phone is only capable of sending and receiving a finite amount of data up and dow stream.  Why do I have to pay 15 dollars a month more and give up my old unlimited data plan. When I bought my original iPhone in July 2007, AT&T wouldn't even give me service without an "Unlimited" Data plan.  So I have been paying it for almost 4 years now.  Now they tell me that if I want to keep my evil unlimited plan, no new capabilities for you.  So glad I have been a loyal customer.  All I want is the option to tether without the hotspot, that way they know I can't abuse the network and I don't get rubbed the wrong way to the point that I go to Verizon out of spite.  I don't want to jailbreak my phone.  I would prefer that AT&T allow me to do this legally.  Again, over 2 hours on the phone with them has yielded me nothing, not even an explanation as to why.  "Well sir, that is above my level", alright, connect me to that level please.  If anyone has input (AT&T folks please) it would be greatly appreciated.

Message 1 of 155 (82,996 Views)
Professor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

Tethering is not allowed on the Unlimited data plan, never has been for an iPhone.

Tethering requires the Data Pro plan, this is AT&T's rules.

 

Your options:

1) accept it and move on.

2) Look for another provider.

 

Regardless of whether you utilize the Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, or a physical cable, it is tethering and requires a tethering plan.

Message 2 of 155 (82,957 Views)
Professor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

First, there are no AT&T people here.  This is a customer forum, and the only official AT&T presence are the moderators.  Everyone understands what you would like to do.  A lot of people would like to tether with unlimted data, but AT&T doesn't allow it, plain and simple.  Whether people feel it's right or wrong, your only legal options are keep unlimited data and forget tethering, or get tethering and pay for the data limited tethering plan.  As far as going to Verizon out of spite, they don't allow data unlimited tethering either.  It's a 2GB tethered data limit.

Message 3 of 155 (82,938 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 


piersonz wrote:

I am asking here on the forums because I have spent over 2 hours of my time on the phone with AT&T trying to get an answer.


 

Why? Because AT&T decided to structure their service offerings that way.

 

Do whatever you would have done on your laptop on your iphone instead. Or pay for the service if you need it.

 

Hey - quick question... why does comcast charge extra for HBO?

 

Why do theaters charge for popcorn?

 

Gasoline... why is it expensive?

 

Magnets... how do they work?

 

I mean, really, come on. Wireless data is a service you buy. So is tethering AKA hotspot access. Buy it or don't buy it, but asking why AT&T charges for it? Is today your first day in the USA?

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 4 of 155 (82,918 Views)
Mentor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

To put it simply.

 

AT&T likes money. Now you may see something wrong with that, but just like you expect to get paid for your services, AT&T has every right to expect to get paid for their services. You as a consumer have the option to not pay for services that you don't want to pay for. 

Message 5 of 155 (82,914 Views)
Teacher

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

[ Edited ]

Again, glad I spent the time to ask a question.  Thank you all for the input.  You have been as insightful as AT&T.  My question is simply this.  Data is data.  It's going through my phone one way or the other.  As you said, gas is expensive. True.  Last time i checked, no station charged me more for putting the gas in my new truck or in my old beater or a plastic can.  AT&T isn't providing me a service, the capability is built into the device and wasn't even created by AT&T.  All I am asking is why doesn't this seem wrong to anyone at AT&T.  Not my first day in the USA guy.   {Please keep it courteous}

Message 6 of 155 (82,891 Views)
Teacher

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

I understand what the Verizon plans are, but I do thank you for your input.  I just thought this would bother more people since the customers it seems to target are those that are the longest standing "smartphone" users.  Those that poured most of the money(capital) into AT&T to get this whole thing rollin.

Message 7 of 155 (82,889 Views)
Professor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 


piersonz wrote:

Again, glad I spent the time to ask a question.  Thank you all for the input.  You have been as insightful as AT&T.  My question is simply this.  Data is data.  It's going through my phone one way or the other.  As you said, gas is expensive. True.  Last time i checked, no station charged me more for putting the gas in my new truck or in my old beater or a plastic can.  AT&T isn't providing me a service, the capability is built into the device and wasn't even created by AT&T.  All I am asking is why doesn't this seem wrong to anyone at AT&T. 


 

Let's try explaining it this way.

 

When you subscribe to cable, you pick a package that provides you with the channels that you want.  There are various packages, but ultimately it's all just video streaming over a cable (bits in this day and age, not analog). 

 

Based on your arguements, why can't we all just pay for basic cable and get all 500+ channels plus the premium channels for free?  Very simply, you're paying for a package with specific features.

 

With your cellular service,  you chose a package that meets  your needs.  You have 3 options for data plans at this point, well, 4 technically.

 

1) Your grandfathered unlimited plan.

2) 250mb

3) Data Pro 2GB

4) Data Pro 2GB + Tethering 2GB for a total of 4GB.

 

Tethering is not the same as using the data on your device, essentially tethering is using your phone as a modem.  You data plan does not include the feature of using your phone as a modem.

 

If you want to tether, you need to pay for the appropriate package.  Just like if you want HBO, Showtime, or HDTV you need to pay for the appropriate cable package.

Message 8 of 155 (82,871 Views)
Mentor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

Better explaination. You walk into an all you can eat resturaunt. You pay for yourself(iPhone) to eat there, but you didn't pay for your girlfriend(computer) does she get to eat? The plan you are paying for is for your iPhone and no other device. If you any other device to use the data you will have to pay for it.
Message 9 of 155 (82,791 Views)
Highlighted
Teacher

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

Wow, ok, so by this logic, my wife and I got to the same joint and take along our newborn daughter.  Do we get charged for 2 or three since my wife is breastfeeding??  Come on man, we can play analogies and metaphors all day.  Apparently this isn't the "forum" for my questions.  I was told by AT&T that this was the way to get an answer from the company.  If the only people on here are customers then I am again wasting my time.  All I have gotten from the group here is a regurgitation of facts from the AT&T wireless site.  Yeah, crazy, I looked the way before I ever came here.  Ahh, oh well.  Yall have a good one.

Message 10 of 155 (82,772 Views)
Mentor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

[ Edited ]

 


piersonz wrote:

Wow, ok, so by this logic, my wife and I got to the same joint and take along our newborn daughter.  Do we get charged for 2 or three since my wife is breastfeeding??  Come on man, we can play analogies and metaphors all day.  Apparently this isn't the "forum" for my questions.  I was told by AT&T that this was the way to get an answer from the company.  If the only people on here are customers then I am again wasting my time.  All I have gotten from the group here is a regurgitation of facts from the AT&T wireless site.  Yeah, crazy, I looked the way before I ever came here.  Ahh, oh well.  Yall have a good one.


Now that's funny.  You pay for 2 and 2 eat there.  Your newborn isn't eating off a plate right?  Come on be serious here...  If the kid can eat off the plate or be fed food you bet your bottom dollar you'd have to pay something.  That's the only reason why you used a newborn over someone older.

 

Message 11 of 155 (63,599 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 


piersonz wrote:

  I was told by AT&T that this was the way to get an answer from the company. 


 

Really? They told you to go to the user forum to get an answer from them?

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 12 of 155 (63,580 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 


piersonz wrote:

Again, glad I spent the time to ask a question.  Thank you all for the input.  You have been as insightful as AT&T.  My question is simply this.  Data is data.  It's going through my phone one way or the other.  As you said, gas is expensive. True.  Last time i checked, no station charged me more for putting the gas in my new truck or in my old beater or a plastic can.  AT&T isn't providing me a service, the capability is built into the device and wasn't even created by AT&T.  All I am asking is why doesn't this seem wrong to anyone at AT&T.  Not my first day in the USA guy.   {Please keep it courteous}


 

It's not DATA you are paying for, it's the SERVICE.

 

You pay for ON THE DEVICE service.

 

Of course AT&T is providing the SERVICE. The device is an access device, without service it's just an ipod touch with wifi.

 

You can decide to pay for the SERVICE of TETHERING/HOTSPOT. It's an EXTRA SERVICE.

 

AT&T is a for-profit company, and mobile data is a service. They can change whatever they want. You can decide to use their services or not. This is the way capitalism works.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 13 of 155 (63,577 Views)
Expert

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

[ Edited ]

It is simple - your unlimited (or limited) data plan is based on the device being used as a endpoint in the communications stream - aka the data stops at that phone, if you want to use the phone as a access point (aka "hotspot") then you have to pay an additional charge since is is passing the data path to other devices, those deivces are not covered by your phone data plan.

 

 

internet data ====> phone [phone is the end point = covered by normal data plan]

 

internet data ====> phone =====>. up to five other devices [phone is being utilized as a access point = additional charge

 

You basic data plan, either capped or unlimited is for the phone to be used as a endpoint in the communications stream

Message 14 of 155 (63,546 Views)
Teacher

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 

I'm with pierzonz here and before you guys fry me, allow me to explain my thinking on this.

Unlimited plan on iPhone, 5 gigs or whatever the cap is, used 1 gig of data by week two of billing cycle, go in a long weekend trip, no wifi on the hotel, I plug in the iPhone to my laptop and tether, check email and read CNN for 10 minutes or so, half a gig is used, so I've used 1.5 gig of my unlimited plan that I'm paying for it, why in the blue cloud I need to pay extra $15 to use the data that I'm already paying for? I need to pay for the right to use my own unlimited data? the right to use my own device? What a crock.

SERVICE you say? Ha ha, tethering is a feature added to the phone by Apple, not AT&T. If the tethering goes over the cap, yes, I'll be glad to pay extra, not until then, I feel I'm paying twice for the same SERVICE, data transmission is the service provided.

They can do whatever they want on behave of capitalism as explain by you, johninsj, and you and others fall for the so call "service" that is embedded on the phone from factory.

I'm not using extra "anything in any way, shape or form" by tethering without going over my quota, and AT&T is charging for it, charging for a feature you bought when the phone is purchased, the right to use you say? Oh boy, see my point now?

It is what it is, use it if you want, I decided not to use it because of what I think, and this goes for every other cell phone service provider.

One more thing, there many iPhone users that are jailbroken, they tether and no charges appears on their bill, you know why?, because they are using just their data, no extra service.

Before you ask, no, I don't have an iPhone, never jailbroken by the way, gave it up last month for an Android, suits me better.

Message 15 of 155 (63,541 Views)
Share this topic
Announcements

Welcome to the AT&T Community Forums!!! Stop by the Community How-To section for tips on how to get started.