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Posted Apr 21, 2014
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AT&T Throttling 3G Data for NO reason
Edited by Phil-101 on Apr 21, 2014 at 7:56:55 PM

Every month on the 15th or 16th my internet suddenly becomes almost useless.  Streaming radio doesn't work, most websites won't load, etc.  I've tested the throttled connection and its at least a 75% reduction in my normal 3G speeds..around 30kbs/s (kilobytes/second) to be precise.  The connection always goes back to normal right around the last day of the month.  I know all about how wireless data contracts work and if I'm being throttled at all then it should have no relation to the day of the month - it should be a function of my billing cycle.  Second and more to the point, there's no excuse for me being throttled when I'm not going over my data cap.  This billing cycle I've used less than 100mb of data so I know that I'm being throttled for no reason whatsoever.  This has been going on for about six months now and over the past 4-5 months I've contacted AT&T multiple times and received either no response or completely absurd ones.  Last time around I was told the slowdowns were due to tower upgrades.  I took it upon myself to seek out a cell network engineer with over 15 years on the job.  He comfirmed my suspicion that the upgrades excuse was yet another lie.  I've had it with AT&T's deceptions.  Barely being able to use mobile internet 50% of the time isn't just annoying - its a breach of my contract as well.  I'm going to contact AT&T one last time and demand they start delivering the service I paid for or I'm getting legal help.  Still, you can't let these companies walk on you or they'll just keep doing it.  Is anyone else having this problem?   I'll try to keep you all posted on developments.

 

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AT&T Throttling 3G Data for NO reason

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Apr 21, 2014 11:38:10 PM
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Edited by christopherjones on Apr 21, 2014 at 11:42:03 PM

"its a breach of my contract as well"

 

No, actually it's not. You obviously haven't read the Terms and Conditions.
AT&T can throttle your data or even completely stop your data if they want to; and yes, they can do that legally.
If I were you, I wouldn't waste my time with a lawyer, as it'd just waste your money and time (I'm pretty sure AT&T's big-wig lawyers have covered themselves for events and situations like this...)


Anyway, back to an actual solution... ...

  1. What data plan do you have?
  2. What phone do you have? (is it this Blackberry 9900?) (They are known to have issues)
  3. Have you noticed this issue on other phones on your account?
  4. Have you tried using your SIM card into a different phone?
  5. When you notice this "slowdown", what is your monthly data at? (950MB out of 1GB, or 75%)
  6. When you notice this "slowdown", is your location about the same?
  7. When you notice this "slowdown", what is the data symbol at the top of the Cell Phone? (2G, EDGE, 3G, 4G, HSPA+)?

 

I'd recommend that you answer all those questions so that we might be able to help you out.

and if I've answered your question, click on the green checkmark to the right

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Apr 22, 2014 6:17:31 AM
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christopherjones wrote:

"its a breach of my contract as well"

 

No, actually it's not. You obviously haven't read the Terms and Conditions.
AT&T can throttle your data or even completely stop your data if they want to; and yes, they can do that legally.
If I were you, I wouldn't waste my time with a lawyer, as it'd just waste your money and time (I'm pretty sure AT&T's big-wig lawyers have covered themselves for events and situations like this...)


Anyway, back to an actual solution... ...

  1. What data plan do you have?
  2. What phone do you have? (is it this Blackberry 9900?) (They are known to have issues)
  3. Have you noticed this issue on other phones on your account?
  4. Have you tried using your SIM card into a different phone?
  5. When you notice this "slowdown", what is your monthly data at? (950MB out of 1GB, or 75%)
  6. When you notice this "slowdown", is your location about the same?
  7. When you notice this "slowdown", what is the data symbol at the top of the Cell Phone? (2G, EDGE, 3G, 4G, HSPA+)?

 

I'd recommend that you answer all those questions so that we might be able to help you out.


Agree with the above. Chances are you are not being throttled and the issue is something else. 

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Apr 22, 2014 7:58:18 AM
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I've read my contract and there is nothing in it saying that AT&T can slow down my data for no reason at all.  Nothing.  There are no network congestion issues that would cause my connection to go to 2G on the same day of the month every single month.  Also, if they wanted to cut off my data then they have to cancel my service altogethor..maybe you guys should get a little more more famialiar with contracts.  The unwarranted throttling started about 5 months ago and it happens regardless of how much data I have used.  Even if it WAS due to me exceeding my cap it wouldn't be happening on the same day every month  In fact it wouldn't ot be based on a calendar month at all but rather on my billing cycle.  There's no technical issue the engineer could think of that would be causing it.  As to some of your questions I have unlimited data.  My BB9000 always says 4G when its getting a 3G signal even though its not a 4G phone - it was a stupid and deceptive ploy by RIM and AT&T to try and fool people this way, but there it is.  I've never exceeded my data cap before the throttling kicked in and it keeps right on saying 4G (LOL) once it happens.  The slowdown is 100% consistent - it takes me down to 2G speeds (30 kilobytes/second) no matter where I am.  The only logical answer is that its just AT&T screwing its legacy unlimited data customers with a clear breach of contract, as they've done repeatedly in the past.  And have no fear, I won't be spending a dime of my money on legal help if it comes to that.  Obviously I'm hoping it doesn't but you have to hold these companies accountable for their actions.  BTW, I find it realy interesting how AT&T employees can mention legal action yet my original post was edited by the mods to remove them.

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Apr 22, 2014 8:03:26 AM
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Actually, "contract" isn't the right word - what I should be saying is "service agreement".  I've been out of my contract for a long time.  I have noticed that my agreement changes frequently but there's nothing it in that can explain the slowdowns I'm experiencing.  Also, regarding the tower upgrades explanation: if there were a shred of truth behind it then millions of customers would be having issues and this doesn't seem to be the case.

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Apr 22, 2014 9:19:11 AM
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Edited by wingrider01 on Apr 22, 2014 at 9:20:19 AM

s_coleman wrote:

Actually, "contract" isn't the right word - what I should be saying is "service agreement".  I've been out of my contract for a long time.  I have noticed that my agreement changes frequently but there's nothing it in that can explain the slowdowns I'm experiencing.  Also, regarding the tower upgrades explanation: if there were a shred of truth behind it then millions of customers would be having issues and this doesn't seem to be the case.


What you want is the Fair Use Policy. A quick search of the support knowledge base turns up this

 

http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB410284&cv=820#fbid=KacQD5a57vg

 

 

Scroll down end expand the section labeled "About reduced data speeds"

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Apr 22, 2014 9:24:56 AM
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Do you have an unlimited data plan? If so, we have information to help you manage your account if you use more than 3GB, which means you are in the top 5% of data users in our network. If you have a 4G LTE Smartphone with monthly data usage over 5GB, you'll also be interested in this information. You can check your usage for this month by dialing*data# on your mobile phone.

If you have one of our tiered data plans, this information will not affect you.

Background: In response to soaring mobile broadband usage and the limited availability of wireless spectrum, we implemented a network management program back in 2011 to help ensure the best possible mobile broadband experience for all of our customers.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Apr 22, 2014 9:25:33 AM
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Edited by Constructive on Apr 22, 2014 at 9:26:17 AM

1.2   What are AT&T’s Rights to Cancel My Service(s) and Terminate My Agreement?

AT&T may interrupt, suspend or cancel your Services and terminate your Agreement without advance notice for any reason including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Any conduct that we believe violates this Agreement or AT&T’s Acceptable Use Policy;
  • Any conduct that involves the use of abusive, derogatory, insulting, threatening, vulgar or similarly unreasonable language or behavior directed at any of our employees or representatives whether it be in person, over the phone, or in writing;
  • You use your Device/Equipment and/or our Services for an unlawful purpose;
  • You use your Device/Equipment and/or our Services in any way that: (a) is harmful to, interferes with, or negatively affects our network, other customers, or the network of any other provider, (b) is harmful to, interferes with, or negatively affects our Services or operations, (c) infringes intellectual property rights of AT&T or others, (d) results in the publication of threatening, offensive or illegal material, or (e) generates spam or other abusive messaging or calling, a security risk, or a violation of privacy;
  • You fail to make all required payments when due;
  • Your credit has deteriorated and/or we believe that there is a risk of non-payment;
  • You refuse to pay any required advance payment or deposit;
  • We discover that you are underage;
  • You provide inaccurate or misleading credit information; or
  • You modify your device from its manufacturer’s specifications.

 

AT&T's rights under this Section 1.2 are in addition to any specific rights that we reserve in other provisions of this Agreement to interrupt, suspend, modify, or cancel your Services and terminate your Agreement.

After your Service Commitment ends and you are on a month-to-month Agreement, AT&T may terminate your Agreement at any time with 30 days notice

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Apr 22, 2014 11:49:50 AM
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Edited by christopherjones on Apr 22, 2014 at 11:51:20 AM

 

You stated:

 

I've read my contract and there is nothing in it saying that AT&T can slow down my data for no reason at all.  Nothing. 

 Let me help you out with that...

 

Click this link:

http://www.att.com/shop/en/legalterms.html?toskey=wirelessCustomerAgreement

 

and read this:

 

6.2   What Are The Intended Uses Of AT&T's Wireless Data Service?

...
Unlimited Data Customers. If you are a grandfathered AT&T unlimited plan data service customer, you agree that “unlimited” means you pay a fixed monthly charge for wireless data service regardless of how much data you use. You further agree that “unlimited” does not mean that you can use AT&T’s wireless data service in any way that you choose or for any prohibited activities, and that if you use your unlimited data plan in any manner that is prohibited, AT&T can limit, restrict, suspend or terminate your data service or switch you to a tiered data plan.

 Interesting, you stated that you read the contract, and "nothing in it saying that AT&T can slow down my data for no reason at all. Nothing."

....

 


 

Also, if they wanted to cut off my data then they have to cancel my service altogethor..maybe you guys should get a little more more famialiar with contracts.  

 no, again AT&T can stop or slow your data if or when they want (you signed the agreement).

And again, since I am simply a member of the AT&T community does not give you the right to insult.

 


 

As to some of your questions I have unlimited data.

 Bingo! That's why.

Here's a fun link:

http://www.att.com/esupport/datausage.jsp?source=IZDUel1160000000U

 


 

My BB9000 always says 4G when its getting a 3G signal even though its not a 4G phone - it was a stupid and deceptive ploy by RIM and AT&T to try and fool people this way, but there it is.  I've never exceeded my data cap before the throttling kicked in and it keeps right on saying 4G (LOL) once it happens.  The slowdown is 100% consistent - it takes me down to 2G speeds (30 kilobytes/second) no matter where I am. 

 I apologize that you do not understand how 3G / 4G works.

3G was a new way of transferring information. Then AT&T found out (yes a very evil deceptive ploy, that accidentally benefitted you), how to increase speeds on 3G with a revolutionary new data transfer protocol, called HSPA+. Since this was a lot faster than 3G, they named it 4G.

Simple / Easy version: AT&T simply made a faster version of 3G. So where there is 3G, yes, there is actually 4G. I hope that you can understand this "stupid and deceptive ploy". (BTW, other carriers do the same).

 

Educational link: http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB115951&cv=820#fbid=5o_RKtzT_6S

 


 

The only logical answer is that its just AT&T screwing its legacy unlimited data customers with a clear breach of contract, as they've done repeatedly in the past. 

 

There's no breach in contract, see above; as you signed and agreed to the contract (Wireless Customer Agreement). If you didn't sign this, then you simply wouldn't have service on your cell phone.

 


 

BTW, I find it realy interesting how AT&T employees can mention legal action yet my original post was edited by the mods to remove them.

 

I'm not an AT&T employee, this is an AT&T community forum. This is generally for AT&T users to help other AT&T users, and so far you're not making it easy for us to help you out.

 

While non of the users on this forum (including employees) are getting paid to help you out, it doesn't seem like you really want to receive help..

 

But yes, my legal advise is to not waste time on a lawyer Smiley Tongue

 


 

 

 

Yes, we get it... You paid for Unlimited Data but you're not getting Unlimited Data..  You're not the first one, and certainly won't be the last. We get it.

Another person with the same issue:

https://forums.att.com/t5/Wireless-General-Care-and/Dissatisfi-ed-with-data-policy/m-p/3356149#M194390

 

 

 


So here's a recap for you.

 

  • You have unlimited data
  • Because you have unlimited data, once you hit 5 GB, you'll be throttled (and I honestly think you knew that before hand because there are plenty of notifications about being throttled, such as text message and email.)
  • and yes, AT&T can legally cap, restrict, slow down or change your data speed at any point in time that they choose
  • If you don't want to be slowed down, change your plan (there honestly is no point in arguing as no one will do anything about it for you)
  • I've been in the shoes of an AT&T agent, there literally isn't anything that we could do even if we wanted to

 

  • We are mostly AT&T non-employees trying to help you out, you're welcome.
  • Try to be a bit more understanding and nice, as again, we are not getting paid and we are not obligated to help you
  • Maybe if you're kind, we'll help you find a good rate plan and data plan that would suit your needs Smiley Wink
and if I've answered your question, click on the green checkmark to the right

Re: AT&T Throttling 3G Data for NO reason

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Jun 9, 2014 4:43:19 AM
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Well.. I am NOT defending or taking AT&T's side on this, but if you are currently in a 2 yr contract, it means you agreed to a clause that basically states that you won't take at&t to court.. The store representative SHOULD have disclosed this to you during your upgrade/activation and more often than not, they do, however as an ex long time at&t employee myself, I have personally witnessed MANY times in which this was never done.. This is not what at&t teaches their reps to do, in fact they over stress the importance of full disclosure during countless hours, days, even weeks of training when you start work for them. But stores fill up with guests quickly and reps often think its perfectly fine to skip right passed many of the critical need to know clauses and terms.. Any whoo, there are ways around that, I'm currently in the outskirts of going after them for the same reason, "technically".. Smiley Wink Just know that if you decide to go that route, it will be a LONG grueling uphill battle in which your Goliath has nearly unlimited funds, resources and have covered their butts AMAZINGLY well.. The only hope is that enough of us go after them and keep taking small chunks out 1 battle at a time. But, it's more than likely not going to happen. IMO, the best way to stick it to em is by going to another provider, unfortunately for that though, the grass isn't much greener there, if any.. :-\ Good luck though! lol

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Jun 11, 2014 3:11:06 PM
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@Constructive. That line "If you have one of our tiered data plans, this information will not affect you. That is basically saying if you don't pay you won't get the service you originally signed up for. That's why "you" came up with the tier data plans. More data will cost you more. UNLIMITED SHOULD MEAN UNLIMITED WITH NO PENALTIES NO MATTER HOW MUCH DATA YOU USE. That is how the consumer (like me) interpreted "unlimited". I am currently grandfathered into my "plan", and two months out of the last six I have gotten a text stating that my service speed will be slowed down if I go over 3 GB. Why should I be penalized for using a service I pay for? I even tried to renew my contract at the beginning of the year to see what was available. That's when I learned of "your" greed inspired tiered data plans. So naturally I stuck with my current plan. Not liking it.

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Jun 11, 2014 4:24:54 PM
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Unlimited Data Customers. If you are a grandfathered AT&T unlimited plan data service customer, you agree that “unlimited” means you pay a fixed monthly charge for wireless data service regardless of how much data you use. You further agree that “unlimited” does not mean that you can use AT&T’s wireless data service in any way that you choose or for any prohibited activities, and that if you use your unlimited data plan in any manner that is prohibited, AT&T can limit, restrict, suspend or terminate your data service or switch you to a tiered data plan.
Now if you read this thoroughly, you will note that only when you use your unlimited data plan in any manner that is prohibited, then they reserve the right to limit, restrict, suspend, etc. etc. so explain to me again why my data speeds will be and are reduced when I go over 3 GB of data.
Are they saying that when you go over 3 GB of data, you are using the data plan in any way you choose? I consider that to be ludicrous. I would love to hear an explanation of this. Still not liking this.

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Jun 11, 2014 5:28:53 PM
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The contract that YOU agreed to,has a fair use policy in regards to the "unlimited" data. The fair use policy is what AT&T determines to be a fair amount of data. You get top data speed until you use what AT&T determines to be over fair use. Unfortunately, it is in your contract, and it is in most of the other providers contracts, also. It is legal as it is part of your contract, and unfortunately, you have to live with it.
*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.

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Jun 12, 2014 6:28:36 AM
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wildguth wrote:
@Constructive. That line "If you have one of our tiered data plans, this information will not affect you. That is basically saying if you don't pay you won't get the service you originally signed up for. That's why "you" came up with the tier data plans. More data will cost you more. UNLIMITED SHOULD MEAN UNLIMITED WITH NO PENALTIES NO MATTER HOW MUCH DATA YOU USE. That is how the consumer (like me) interpreted "unlimited". I am currently grandfathered into my "plan", and two months out of the last six I have gotten a text stating that my service speed will be slowed down if I go over 3 GB. Why should I be penalized for using a service I pay for? I even tried to renew my contract at the beginning of the year to see what was available. That's when I learned of "your" greed inspired tiered data plans. So naturally I stuck with my current plan. Not liking it.

While you're welcome to your opinion, you don't make that decision. The company you pay for service does.

*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.

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Jun 12, 2014 7:25:17 AM
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wildguth wrote:
@Constructive. That line "If you have one of our tiered data plans, this information will not affect you. That is basically saying if you don't pay you won't get the service you originally signed up for. That's why "you" came up with the tier data plans. More data will cost you more. UNLIMITED SHOULD MEAN UNLIMITED WITH NO PENALTIES NO MATTER HOW MUCH DATA YOU USE. That is how the consumer (like me) interpreted "unlimited". I am currently grandfathered into my "plan", and two months out of the last six I have gotten a text stating that my service speed will be slowed down if I go over 3 GB. Why should I be penalized for using a service I pay for? I even tried to renew my contract at the beginning of the year to see what was available. That's when I learned of "your" greed inspired tiered data plans. So naturally I stuck with my current plan. Not liking it.

My Greed? you act as if i wrote the contract, i just copied and pasted from the at&t website. I am only an employee (cant fault me for having a good career with a company i love working for) As other have said we are only here to help other forum members and you get advanced warning that your are nearing data limits so this should not come as a surprise each month. I too am grandfathered in with unlimited data and have to tolerate the reduction in speeds myself, this is no ones fault but my own , i know i use a lot (i drive 2 hours each way to work daily and pandora is my best friend during these times) and ive come to expect it. It is what it is and other forum members have given you plenty of links and pasted the agreement but you still insist that at&t is breaking the law somehow? At this point i dont think anything anyone says will satisfy your needs.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Jun 12, 2014 10:37:37 AM
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To my knowledge, every company, including AT&T that still has 'unlimited' plans, includes in their terms of use, the right to throttle the internet, especially for heavy users. I've looked at tmobile's, sprint's,  and straight-talk full or abridged versions.

Given that every internet company has some version of terms dictating how much internet you can use, the common name for this, that someone else mentioned is the 'fair use policies'

 

All the general details about what you are agreeing to both with a 24month contract, and general terms of use that aren't limited to the 24months, are included here: http://www.att.com/shop/en/legalterms.html?toskey=wirelessCustomerAgreement-list


-Alex

 

 

 

 

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Jun 12, 2014 4:23:42 PM
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"your" as in the company. Don't take things so personally. I am grateful for your input. I have read the contract (at least what specifically pertains to my situation). Although that "fair use policy" had eluded me. Thank you all. But I'm still agitated.

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Aug 4, 2014 3:09:18 PM
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Tis all a shame,

 

I currently am downloading a 4gb playlist of music from my google play library. To say that I have to wait til I go on wifi to access my own online data is just a tad bit ridiculous.  

 

I guess I will just have to pay the price and have a practically unusable device for the rest of my billing cycle because I want to listen to some offline music. It is too bad that I can't use my device without facing these consequences. I know people say "I shouldnt be transfering that much data over cellular data and should be doing it on wifi", but I just think that is silly. The technology of cellular data exists and so I will not restrict myself from using it to the extent I am able to. Don't flame me because yes I know "fine then get throttled! etc etc etc" I am not yelling at anyone or anything, I am only saying it is a shame and I accept that I will get throttled for access my onine music library. I just wish it was not this way! ha

 

I have heard terms "top-percent of users" thrown around in these topics and it makes me wonder when more people learn to use technology properly and extend it to its full potential. It is 2014 and we all know that even 10gb is only a drop in the bucket of the data modern citizens might want access to over the course of an entire month. Come on everyone! Start emailing videos to yourself on cellular data all day for no reason! Lets change the relativity of what normal data usage is! lol

 

cheers everyone!

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