Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

Highlighted
Tutor

Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

[ Edited ]

I received a text message, an email, and now a letter from AT&T saying if I didn't stop using tethering on my iPhone, that my unlimited data plan would be removed and I would be signed up for a 4 gig limited + tethering plan.

1)  Wouldn't I have to HAVE a tethering plan before I could tether???  HELLOOOoooOO!!!  AT&T- pull your head out of your butt and get with the program here.

2)  Is it legal for a cell phone company to change your plan without your consent?

3)  If they do, I would imagine that would break the contract since that would not be the terms you signed the contract under.

4)  Anybody else being threatened with this?  Looks to me like AT&T just wants to get rid of all of us old-timers that still have unlimited plans.  [Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

Message 1 of 67 (35,309 Views)
Master

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

[ Edited ]

emtiv334 wrote:

I received a text message, an email, and now a letter from AT&T saying if I didn't stop using tethering on my iPhone, that my unlimited data plan would be removed and I would be signed up for a 4 gig limited + tethering plan.

1)  Wouldn't I have to HAVE a tethering plan before I could tether???  HELLOOOoooOO!!!  AT&T- pull your head out of your butt and get with the program here.

2)  Is it legal for a cell phone company to change your plan without your consent?

3)  If they do, I would imagine that would break the contract since that would not be the terms you signed the contract under.

4)  Anybody else being threatened with this?  Looks to me like AT&T just wants to get rid of all of us old-timers that still have unlimited plans.  [Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].


[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

 

ATT sent that to you becasue the type of data and volume probably looks like you are tethering?  Did you jailbreak your phone?  If not, using the Online account management, what volume of data are you using month-in-month out?

 

As for can they do this, yes; tethering is against the terms of service for the smartphone data plans unless you add the right tethering plan and change from the unlimited plan to the 2GB plan.  Since tetherhing is against the terms of service, and ATT is changing your plan to match your usage and they sent you this warning, no you do not have grounds to get our of your contract.

 

Now if you are not tethering, call ATT and ask to speak with someone.   Do not wait because once your unlimited data plan is gone, it is gone!  It is not a conspiracy to get people off the unlimited data plans but an effort to get those who are thethering on the right plans per the terms of service.  There is something going on on your line that looks like tethering to them.  A good discussion with them may clear this up and you won't even need a lawyer!

 

Here is the phone number to call them at:

 

For service or support questions including existing order status, call:
Customer Support: 1-800-331-0500

http://www.att.com/econtactus/callUs.jsp?serviceGroup=wireless#wireless



_____________________

For service or support questions including existing order status, call:
Customer Support: 1-800-331-0500

Information on iPhone unlocking can be found here by copying this link into your browser:
https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/
Message 2 of 67 (34,523 Views)
Former Employee

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

If you don't stop tethering, yes it's legal for AT&T to change your plan and no it will not break the contract.

Message 3 of 67 (34,516 Views)
Expert

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone


emtiv334 wrote:

I received a text message, an email, and now a letter from AT&T saying if I didn't stop using tethering on my iPhone, that my unlimited data plan would be removed and I would be signed up for a 4 gig limited + tethering plan.

1)  Wouldn't I have to HAVE a tethering plan before I could tether???  HELLOOOoooOO!!!  AT&T- pull your head out of your butt and get with the program here.

2)  Is it legal for a cell phone company to change your plan without your consent?

3)  If they do, I would imagine that would break the contract since that would not be the terms you signed the contract under.

4)  Anybody else being threatened with this?  Looks to me like AT&T just wants to get rid of all of us old-timers that still have unlimited plans.  [Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].



1. No there are methods out there that will allow a person to tether without having the service, tethering does not require the plan.

2. Well within the rights of the terms of service - there is a clause in there that specificly states that you agree to let the carrier modify your serivce to bring it within the designated requirements - read the TOS if you don;t believe it

3. Not in the least,  if in fact you are tethering your phone with out the required plans you are the one in violation of the terms of service, not the carrier

4. read the internet,  the letters have been going out to people that appear to violate the tos for months. ATT is trying to clean up the users that are violating the TOS and doing things such as tethering without a valid plan. Tethering never was a function of a unlimited plan, it always required a seperate plan - if one was available for the phone style.

 

ATT is not the only carrier that has started enforcing thier fair use policy, other ones are also. The next change is starting soon - throttling of unlimited data plans that exceed a maximum amout of data transfered withion a billing cycle - again, well withing the legal rights of the terms of service that was agreed to by users - but probably did not read.

Message 4 of 67 (34,483 Views)
Contributor

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

[ Edited ]

I just received one of these letters as well. I do not tether but travel over 50% of the time and watch Netflick's and Sling Media on my phone. I attach it through my iPhone adaptor to LCD TV's in my room to watch shows (13G a month sometimes). I called AT&T and they told me if I connect my phone to a TV to watch streaming movies that is considered tethering and violates my unlimited data plan and if I do it after October 31st I will be moved to a 2G plans. How is this possibly right. They sell the cables to do this but you are not allowed to view your content on a larger screen. That is not right. I talk to several account managers (low level people that do not know what they are talking about) and was repeatedly told the same thing and they would not explain how this is tethering or the method that is being used to check this. While the AT&T person the commented below says they are not attacking unlimited data plans there is no other reasonable explanation. I have been attaching my phone to LCD TV's for years but moire so recently with all my travel so it is obviously only based on the amount of data usage and no real info on how the data is being used. I ask others to join me in [Per Guidelines: Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].on AT&T on a bait and switch when they sold us unlimited data and know are prevent us in using the data plan in perfectly proper manner. This is not right and something must be done. I am going into the store today to show them I have an iOS5 operating system that is not jailbroke and can not be tethered and see what they have to say about this threat that will remove my unlimited plan if they feel I am using to much data next month with no recourse on my part.

Message 5 of 67 (33,822 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

When you hook your phone to another device, that is "tethering"
Here is the definition of tethering "Tethering means sharing the Internet connection of an Internet-capable mobile phone with other devices."
It doesn't say computer, it says other devices. What you are doing is tethering. Plain and simple.
If you were watching on your phone, that is not tethering.
This is a user to user forum. I am a user, just like almost everyone else on the site.
*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 6 of 67 (33,812 Views)
Expert

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone


kdfederer wrote:
When you hook your phone to another device, that is "tethering"
Here is the definition of tethering "Tethering means sharing the Internet connection of an Internet-capable mobile phone with other devices."
It doesn't say computer, it says other devices. What you are doing is tethering. Plain and simple.
If you were watching on your phone, that is not tethering.


Appears that connecting to a bluetooth device to stream audio to the radio in cars or a tv is being considered as tethering also, since the bluetooth device has it's own unique MAC address, so streaming Pandora to your MS sync equipped car is tetheirng., which by the definition is correct

Message 7 of 67 (33,781 Views)

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

I'm not going to get into the debate over what is or is not tethering, but there's about ZERO chance you're going to continue being able to use 10+GB a month and not have to pay for it. AT&T has apparently been sending out a number of these notices to extraordinary users, and they may be using the tethering angle to give their argument greater force of law. 

 

Sorry, but them's the breaks. Even Comcast is capping users now. AT&T is either going to force you to switch plans, or is going to start throttling your service so it's not usable past some X number of GB yet to be disclosed.

 


pzahos wrote:

I just received one of these letters as well. I do not tether but travel over 50% of the time and watch Netflick's and Sling Media on my phone. I attach it through my iPhone adaptor to LCD TV's in my room to watch shows (13G a month sometimes). I called AT&T and they told me if I connect my phone to a TV to watch streaming movies that is considered tethering and violates my unlimited data plan and if I do it after October 31st I will be moved to a 2G plans. How is this possibly right. They sell the cables to do this but you are not allowed to view your content on a larger screen. That is not right. I talk to several account managers (low level people that do not know what they are talking about) and was repeatedly told the same thing and they would not explain how this is tethering or the method that is being used to check this. While the AT&T person the commented below says they are not attacking unlimited data plans there is no other reasonable explanation. I have been attaching my phone to LCD TV's for years but moire so recently with all my travel so it is obviously only based on the amount of data usage and no real info on how the data is being used. I ask others to join me in [Per Guidelines: Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].on AT&T on a bait and switch when they sold us unlimited data and know are prevent us in using the data plan in perfectly proper manner. This is not right and something must be done. I am going into the store today to show them I have an iOS5 operating system that is not jailbroke and can not be tethered and see what they have to say about this threat that will remove my unlimited plan if they feel I am using to much data next month with no recourse on my part.




Message 8 of 67 (33,775 Views)
Teacher

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

The problem isn't that they need to cap traffic, the problem is that they sell a service as UNLIMITED, then decide later to implement arbitrary, unpublished caps.  They they want to hide behind the term "tethering".  Thethering means sharing the data connection - it does not have anything to do with the means of viewing the screen.  If I put one of those magnifying lenses on my screen so it appeared bigger, would that be tethering?  Hooking it via analog cable to TV isn't tethering either.

 

Come clean AT&T.  Just publish the bandwidth limitations for all your services including "unlimited", then provide your customers of reasonable warnings of their bandwidth usage.  

 

Simple, honest, ethical.

mgg

 

Message 9 of 67 (33,650 Views)

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

AT&T does....look in their Wireless Customer Agreement. It's spelled out pretty clearly that 5GB is the limit of even the "unlimited" data plans. One way or the other, they'll get people who are regularly using more than that amount of data - either by notifying them that they'll be required to change or by throttling them (although I'm not sure if AT&T, unlike T-Mobile, does that).

Message 10 of 67 (33,631 Views)
Expert

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone


mggardner wrote:

The problem isn't that they need to cap traffic, the problem is that they sell a service as UNLIMITED, then decide later to implement arbitrary, unpublished caps.  They they want to hide behind the term "tethering".  Thethering means sharing the data connection - it does not have anything to do with the means of viewing the screen.  If I put one of those magnifying lenses on my screen so it appeared bigger, would that be tethering?  Hooking it via analog cable to TV isn't tethering either.

 

Come clean AT&T.  Just publish the bandwidth limitations for all your services including "unlimited", then provide your customers of reasonable warnings of their bandwidth usage.  

 

Simple, honest, ethical.

mgg

 


as mentioned - it is called the Fair Use policy and it is in the terms for wireless usage. the majority of carriers have the same thing built into their terms of service - ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint even thel lowly Cricket has it.

 

 By your definition, tehtering is sharing data - data is anything that comes across the net, movies, web browsing, music, it is all data, so by your definition, tethering your smartphone to your home bluetooth capable stero, or you bluetooth equiped car to play music is tethering. The only exception is connecting the phone to a blue tooth device for voice communication - and it is different

Message 11 of 67 (31,798 Views)
Tutor

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

I got the same letter too!!Makes me very dissatisfied with AT&T.Im out as soon as a better carrier comes along with other millions of customers.This all started because of greed!!Verizon and AT&T are in bed together concerning the data plans because they know Sprint is sorry and also slows down speed too...So with all that being said my friends...just be patient because companies like republic wireless will be popping up now because ALL the main carriers have became consumed with major greed.I dare say it's a racket between all 3.There is too much demand for unlimited data for it to be only limited
plans.Patience is key.....AT&T SUCKs!!
Message 12 of 67 (31,727 Views)
Expert

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone


Goodman7 wrote:
I got the same letter too!!Makes me very dissatisfied with AT&T.Im out as soon as a better carrier comes along with other millions of customers.This all started because of greed!!Verizon and AT&T are in bed together concerning the data plans because they know Sprint is sorry and also slows down speed too...So with all that being said my friends...just be patient because companies like republic wireless will be popping up now because ALL the main carriers have became consumed with major greed.I dare say it's a racket between all 3.There is too much demand for unlimited data for it to be only limited
plans.Patience is key.....AT&T SUCKs!!

You might try Cricket - oh wait they do the exact same thing. Bottom line, unlimited data, be it broadband or wireless is as dead as the dodo bird.  If you are going to be waiting for a better carrier to come along you will be with att for a number of years. Unfortunately the churn numbers for ATT do not support the theory of "millions of people", inducstry average is about 3 percent chrun, ATT has maintained a little over half that percentage.

 

You realize that republic wireless actually buys tower bandwidth from sprint right? The only reason they can offer the low price that they do is they utilzie what is called Hybrid calling technology, ot means that if there is public wifi avaialble it wil use that instead of cellular - the caveat there being if your non-wireless utilization is to high, they will boot you (you get 300mb of cellular data allotment). If you think a company like republic wireless is the answer you are sadly mistaken. According to this 5th estate review of the company, they seem a little more greedy then the top 3 tiered carriers

 

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-57320773-251/republic-wireless-unlimited-android-phone-for-$19-...

Message 13 of 67 (31,722 Views)
Teacher

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone

Got the same letter, My phone is "jailbroke" and I did tether one weekend when my house internet was down. I didnt realize unlimited was just a sales pitch, but so be it. I received a text making me aware of the fact that tethering was against my service agreement so I stopped. A month later i get the letter from AT&T and I call them. The Lady preceeds to tell me that I must update my phone to the latest firmware or my plan will be changed. What!!! I told her that I had thethered and had stopped when I received the text and that I did not appreciate the threats from AT&T and that my phone was jailbroke and that it is legal to do so. She imediatlely backed off and said since I new that I was tethering and had stopped i had nothing to worry about. Someone said that this is not a conspiracy by AT&T, BULL!

Message 14 of 67 (31,648 Views)
Mentor

Re: Got a threatening letter regarding tethering and my unlimited data package for my iphone


BadBadLeroyBrown wrote:

AT&T does....look in their Wireless Customer Agreement. It's spelled out pretty clearly that 5GB is the limit of even the "unlimited" data plans. One way or the other, they'll get people who are regularly using more than that amount of data - either by notifying them that they'll be required to change or by throttling them (although I'm not sure if AT&T, unlike T-Mobile, does that).


5gb?  I was throttled at 4.5 last month and will be watching closely this month to see exactly when I hit (if I hit) that number again.  If you think I'm paying more than $30 for a data plan that's crazy.

Message 15 of 67 (31,655 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.