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

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 (35,300 Views)

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

[ Edited ]

 back to my original question , what difference would it make as to how i use my data plan as long as i dont go over ?

mike

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

Message 31 of 67 (10,026 Views)
Expert

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


bristolmrd wrote:

 back to my original question , what difference would it make as to how i use my data plan as long as i dont go over ?

mike

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]


same response, if it is not listed in the terms of service, fair use policy and authorized types of data usage it is not permitted.

Message 32 of 67 (10,014 Views)
Voyager

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

I too got a letter about tethering and I have unlimited. I have a iphone 4 with IOS 6.1.3 not jailbroken and just used it for Netflix while out of town and I get a text first about I went over 3GB by just whatching Netfilx when I thought I had unlimited. Then I call and they said it was tethered to my car which I listen to Pandora. So riddle me this my car does the same thing as my Bluetooth earpiece that was purchased from Apple and now they say this is tethering. So why do they sell Bluetooth speakers if your not allowed to use them? These are the same as Bluetooth earpiece your supposed to use to make driving safer right. Bluetooth is Bluetooth So in California you can't use a iPhone with a Bluetooth earpiece cause that is tethering by ATT logic.

Message 33 of 67 (9,870 Views)
Expert

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


xx86 wrote:

I too got a letter about tethering and I have unlimited. I have a iphone 4 with IOS 6.1.3 not jailbroken and just used it for Netflix while out of town and I get a text first about I went over 3GB by just whatching Netfilx when I thought I had unlimited. Then I call and they said it was tethered to my car which I listen to Pandora. So riddle me this my car does the same thing as my Bluetooth earpiece that was purchased from Apple and now they say this is tethering. So why do they sell Bluetooth speakers if your not allowed to use them? These are the same as Bluetooth earpiece your supposed to use to make driving safer right. Bluetooth is Bluetooth So in California you can't use a iPhone with a Bluetooth earpiece cause that is tethering by ATT logic.


1. the email on the 3gb is the simple fact that you exceeded it, so you are being throttled, at the start of your next billing cycle the throttling will be removed until you exced the limits again then you wil be throttled. there are dozens of threads on this, it is documented in the terms of service and the fair use policy and is well within any carriers rights to do this.

2. blue tooth audio to a stereo system is a little different then blue tooth to a headset device, it can and will occasional trigger a false indication of a tehtered connection depending on the version of bluetooth and the age of teh device that is being connected to. Not much of a lot of wiki's but this is one of the better ones that I have seen that keeps it if fairly regualr laymans terms - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth

 

I only utilize the bluetooth on my device to connect to my phone, if I want music I have a 1TB passport plugged into the Sync system in the car for music

Message 34 of 67 (9,867 Views)
Guru

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

[ Edited ]

As a former employee, i've seen the policy that mentions bluetooth. So many employees don't know how to read (i'm mainly talking about trainers/supervisors, as they are the ones that tell the employees the incorrect info).

The policy says that bluetooth can be used to tether, that's true. But according to att policy "Tethering is a wireless or wired method in which your AT&T mobile device is used as a modem or router to provide a Internet Access connection to other devices, such as laptops, netbooks, tablets, smartphones, other phones, USB modems, network routers, mobile hotspots, media players, gaming consoles, and other data-capable devices"

Using pandora in the car with bluetooth is no different than plugging a regular 3.5mm headset into the phone. If any employee tells you differently ask them to re-read the policy again. You aren't passing internet access/data to the stereo. Just the audio.

Message 35 of 67 (9,848 Views)
Expert

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


ujmnz wrote:

As a former employee, i've seen the policy that mentions bluetooth. So many employees don't know how to read (i'm mainly talking about trainers/supervisors, as they are the ones that tell the employees the incorrect info).

The policy says that bluetooth can be used to tether, that's true. But according to att policy "Tethering is a wireless or wired method in which your AT&T mobile device is used as a modem or router to provide a Internet Access connection to other devices, such as laptops, netbooks, tablets, smartphones, other phones, USB modems, network routers, mobile hotspots, media players, gaming consoles, and other data-capable devices"

Using pandora in the car with bluetooth is no different than plugging a regular 3.5mm headset into the phone. If any employee tells you differently ask them to re-read the policy again. You aren't passing internet access/data to the stereo. Just the audio.


actually by your posted text it is not the same, the blue tooth connection for other then a hand free falls under the highlighted section and with my new Ford, with MyFordTouch, the car also utilizes the bluetooth connection to make the vehicle a personal hotspot.

Message 36 of 67 (9,833 Views)
Guru

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

[ Edited ]

Not quite, ip packets are not reaching the stereo when using Pandora. They reach the phone and the phone converts them to audio and sends that audio through bluetooth. Obviously the hotspot in the Ford would be considered tethering since ip packets would not stop at the phone.

 

I forgot to mention that one way to verify this is the case is by going to the bluetooth profile settings. For example, on my phone, when I go to bluetooth, and then click on my jvc unit settings,  the only profiles being used are phone audio and media audio. Nothing about data access there. I have an android phone, so i'm not sure if you can view these profiles on another os. But they all work the same. Most car stereos just provide a gui to control the pandora application within the phone itself and receive the audio.

Message 37 of 67 (9,824 Views)
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ACE - Master

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


wingrider01 wrote:

xx86 wrote:

I too got a letter about tethering and I have unlimited. I have a iphone 4 with IOS 6.1.3 not jailbroken and just used it for Netflix while out of town and I get a text first about I went over 3GB by just whatching Netfilx when I thought I had unlimited. Then I call and they said it was tethered to my car which I listen to Pandora. So riddle me this my car does the same thing as my Bluetooth earpiece that was purchased from Apple and now they say this is tethering. So why do they sell Bluetooth speakers if your not allowed to use them? These are the same as Bluetooth earpiece your supposed to use to make driving safer right. Bluetooth is Bluetooth So in California you can't use a iPhone with a Bluetooth earpiece cause that is tethering by ATT logic.


1. the email on the 3gb is the simple fact that you exceeded it, so you are being throttled, at the start of your next billing cycle the throttling will be removed until you exced the limits again then you wil be throttled. there are dozens of threads on this, it is documented in the terms of service and the fair use policy and is well within any carriers rights to do this.



I believe the first time you exceed the 3gb, you get a warning but don't get throttled. The next time he'll probably get throttled.

 

*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 38 of 67 (9,819 Views)
Contributor

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

I too received this letter and spoke on the phone with ATT.

I also watch movies through an HDMI phone attachment. And stream copious audio files. They said this is not tethering.  The TV does not access the internet.  It is simply magnifying the screen, similar to how hooking up speakers to your phone is magnifying the sound

My tethering is not even hooked up. I asked them to simply disconnect my tethering capabilities.  I have no idea why all of a sudden there is this issue..

Finally they said that it might be something in my cars computer/audio system causing the tethering problem and they said they were emailing me a down load to fix it.  But I never received any email

 

I find this all very disturbing, and very offensive, on the borderline of being bullied., Carl C

Message 39 of 67 (9,785 Views)
Mentor

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

I also received the letter saying that I would be switched to Data Pro on the next billing cycle.  Next billing cycle was on the 27 of March and nothing happened.

 

I have a $35 data only plan and I currently do not have a voice plan, and Data Pro must be offered together with a voice plan.  So I think that is the reason they can not switch me.   So, What plan would they switch me to? Will they also add the Nation 450 automatically? If they do that I will cancel right away and go with T-Mobile monthly 4G

 

 

Message 40 of 67 (9,724 Views)
Contributor

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

I just got a text today saying I was being switched to a $50\mo tethering plan on top of my unlimited data. I called the number on the text and talked to an account manager that didn't know a laptop from a bluetooth. They said I have no Other options, either accept the change or pay 2 $300 early termination fees since I just upgraded both phones and got locked into another 2 years 3 weeks ago.

The thing is I have absolutely not been tethering - dont even use Bluetooth for all those speculating about that. I do use a lot of my unlimited data though, usually 4 gb a month but last month I used 6 gb. Its garbage. I swear they waited until I upgraded on purpose.

Never got a letter - although I got a text about using tethering last February. I called and they couldn't tell me why they thought i was tethering- just that some magical all knowing software in their system told them so.

This is absolutely ridiculous.
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Community Support

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


cccarino wrote:

I too received this letter and spoke on the phone with ATT.

I also watch movies through an HDMI phone attachment. And stream copious audio files. They said this is not tethering.  The TV does not access the internet.  It is simply magnifying the screen, similar to how hooking up speakers to your phone is magnifying the sound

My tethering is not even hooked up. I asked them to simply disconnect my tethering capabilities.  I have no idea why all of a sudden there is this issue..

Finally they said that it might be something in my cars computer/audio system causing the tethering problem and they said they were emailing me a down load to fix it.  But I never received any email

 

I find this all very disturbing, and very offensive, on the borderline of being bullied., Carl C


It could very well be a setting in your car's audio system. I'm sorry you didn't receive the email as promised. Send us a Private Message with your account number, email address and best contact number. We'd be happy to look at this in more detail. 

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Message 42 of 67 (9,526 Views)
Contributor

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

Ummm, tethering IS NOT hooking a device to a TV.  Know how I know?  Because I looked up the definition of tethering according to the AT&T website, it says:  Tethering lets you use your smartphone as a wireless modem or Mobile Hotspot for your PC or Wi-Fi-capable device.  


Since 95% of TVs are not Wi-Fi capable, that'd mean hotel TVs are not, in fact, a "PC or Wi-Fi-capable device".

 

Call them back and ask them to read to you THEIR definition of tethering and then how that applies at all to your particular case.  I hate that their reps can just lie to you time and again until YOU find the actual way things work and remind them of that.

Message 43 of 67 (9,386 Views)
Contributor

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

"same response, if it is not listed in the terms of service, fair use policy and authorized types of data usage it is not permitted." 

 

Ummm.... a TOS is not an exhaustive listing of all things you're ALLOWED to use your phone for.  I may want to use my iPhone 5 as a wireless doorbell that sends a signal to speakers in my living room, that's not listed in the TOS; if I accidentally mentioned that on the phone with an AT&T rep would they be in the right to change my service plan?  Of course not, because by not explicitly forbidding it, AT&T left themselves open to it being used that way.

The TOS is a standard contract for BOTH sides that, just like ANY contract, only covers what it covers, nothing more.  If you and I sign a contract for me to sell you wood for two years at a given price and then after a year I decide I don't like the houses you build from my wood (or, in the case of unlimited data: my wood is worth way more than what I had agreed to).  By selling the wood to someone else,charging you more for the wood, or leaving our agreemnt unfulfilled in any way, I've broken the contract.

 

I'm not saying theirs isn't a smart financial decision, but something unlawful or unethical doesn't become legal and right just because it makes a business more money.

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


Timberly wrote:

"same response, if it is not listed in the terms of service, fair use policy and authorized types of data usage it is not permitted." 

 

Ummm.... a TOS is not an exhaustive listing of all things you're ALLOWED to use your phone for.  I may want to use my iPhone 5 as a wireless doorbell that sends a signal to speakers in my living room, that's not listed in the TOS; if I accidentally mentioned that on the phone with an AT&T rep would they be in the right to change my service plan?  Of course not, because by not explicitly forbidding it, AT&T left themselves open to it being used that way.

The TOS is a standard contract for BOTH sides that, just like ANY contract, only covers what it covers, nothing more.  If you and I sign a contract for me to sell you wood for two years at a given price and then after a year I decide I don't like the houses you build from my wood (or, in the case of unlimited data: my wood is worth way more than what I had agreed to).  By selling the wood to someone else,charging you more for the wood, or leaving our agreemnt unfulfilled in any way, I've broken the contract.

 

I'm not saying theirs isn't a smart financial decision, but something unlawful or unethical doesn't become legal and right just because it makes a business more money.


tethering was never allowed on the discontinued unlimited plan even when it was available as a feature, if you had the unlimited plan and wanted to tether you where required to purchase a secondard 5GB data plan that was only used when the device was tethered.

 

They really need to sunset this discontinued plan to get rid of it once and for all.

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