Welcome to the Android Central Forums Create Your Account or Ask a Question Answers in 5 minutes - no registration required!
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    I have an old Iphone 4 that is paid for, that I gave to my 12 year old son. We only want phone service on it, as any internet can be done via wifi that we already pay for, just like I could if the phone was not activated.

    I went and put just phone service on it at an AT&T store.

    Now, after several months, I get an email from AT&T saying that smart phones are made for surfing the web, etc, so we have added an appropriate data plan to your phone at $30 a month.

    First off, this is called Cramming and is against the law. They DO NOT have my permission to add extra services, charges, and plans that I did not request or authorize.

    My question is: are there any others who have run into anything similar? Aside from how intrinsically and inarguably wrong it is to add plans and services without a customers request or authorization, I find it very hard to believe that it is impossible to have a smartphone that you OWN outright, and are not ALLOWED to use it as just a phone with no data plan.

    Sorry if caps offends, but I think this is pretty outrageous. Thanks for any input.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Call and just ask for a data block on the line.

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Thanked by:
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Thanks Almeuit, but we are literally being told we are not allowed to have a smartphone without a data plan. They are saying they require a data plan for all smartphones "to ensure it is running properly" which is the same as them calling me a moron, hence the frustration... I really don't get how this is possible, and would like to know if this "all smartphones must have data plans" policy exists for all sources, or just AT&T, and if not, whether it would be possible to jailbreak it and go to someone else. I remember something about how they are actually different phones depending on what carrier they were made for, etc.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    It's pretty much universal for all carriers and has, IIRC, been that way since Android phones have been sold. AFAIK, MMS is done over the data network, though not charged to your data plan, so you'd either not get a service you're paying for (MMS) or you'd risk having to pay a ridiculous amount any time you accidentally used data, or they'd have to put a bunch of extra work into plans that make them a lot less money.

    It's apparently not considered tying because accessing the internet is considered "naturally related" to using a smart phone. Keep in mind while the phone is yours, the mobile network is not. It belongs to the providers and they should have rights regarding how they use and sell it as well. Consumers should have rights, but so should businesses. Fairness goes both ways.
    Thanked by:
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Cool, thanks garublador, though I fail to see how “Cramming” is a case of unfairly denying a company their rights. I am not against business, companies rights, etc., though I’m not understanding how what you are presenting is related to what I described.

    There is no MMS involved to tie into your explanation regarding data usage. I just want simple phone service, and no matter the articles that may have been read, field experience, or earnest promises from experts that may have been given about the truth of the situation (see the current NSA debacle), I simply fail to believe carriers are technically unable to have phone-only service on a smartphone, with no data / MMS (with the proof being that I have already received exactly that service for several months now).

    Please don’t get me wrong… I totally appreciate where you are coming from and your adding your take… I could be totally missing something… I’m just saying that I don’t buy it. We have been told similar things by people at carriers and on forums, etc. with the same surety about how you could not buy phone service without a contract (data plan or not), which was quickly proved to be complete fiction.

    It’s simply too convenient and absurd to me to say that the high dollar purchase of a smartphone gives you something that is worthless without paying for phone service and data, when I can use all the “data” features of a deactivated phone over wifi… and that there is no way (or it would be too difficult or costly to the company) to log / classify usage according to function (phone vs mms, etc). I think it is nothing but a money grab, which yes, companies have the right to attempt, as I have a right to deny. But not at their whim without my request or permission, knowing the majority of the time people don’t even notice or understand and just pay whatever is on the bill.

    Maybe I’m just too shriveled up and old to understand, but am ready to be set straight!
  6. #6  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Without getting into the rights and wrongs of your situation. If you own the phone it's likely you are out of contract. If so, AT&T should unlock it for you (https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/cli...msAndCondition). Once unlocked get a TMobile $30 per month 1500 anytime talk or text which includes I think 50mb of data. Once data is used they cut it until you renew. BTW if you use the 1500 minutes say in 25 days then you have to renew, but at 30 days if you have minutes left they are lost.
    Thanked by:
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarathonMan View Post
    Without getting into the rights and wrongs of your situation. If you own the phone it's likely you are out of contract. If so, AT&T should unlock it for you (https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/cli...msAndCondition). Once unlocked get a TMobile $30 per month 1500 anytime talk or text which includes I think 50mb of data. Once data is used they cut it until you renew. BTW if you use the 1500 minutes say in 25 days then you have to renew, but at 30 days if you have minutes left they are lost.
    Awesome... thanks so much for the suggestion. Definitely going to check this out.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    According to their company policy all smart phones will have a data connection

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using AC Forums mobile app
  9. #9  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ameer Nuub View Post
    Cool, thanks garublador, though I fail to see how “Cramming” is a case of unfairly denying a company their rights. I am not against business, companies rights, etc., though I’m not understanding how what you are presenting is related to what I described.

    There is no MMS involved to tie into your explanation regarding data usage. I just want simple phone service, and no matter the articles that may have been read, field experience, or earnest promises from experts that may have been given about the truth of the situation (see the current NSA debacle), I simply fail to believe carriers are technically unable to have phone-only service on a smartphone, with no data / MMS (with the proof being that I have already received exactly that service for several months now).

    Please don’t get me wrong… I totally appreciate where you are coming from and your adding your take… I could be totally missing something… I’m just saying that I don’t buy it. We have been told similar things by people at carriers and on forums, etc. with the same surety about how you could not buy phone service without a contract (data plan or not), which was quickly proved to be complete fiction.

    It’s simply too convenient and absurd to me to say that the high dollar purchase of a smartphone gives you something that is worthless without paying for phone service and data, when I can use all the “data” features of a deactivated phone over wifi… and that there is no way (or it would be too difficult or costly to the company) to log / classify usage according to function (phone vs mms, etc). I think it is nothing but a money grab, which yes, companies have the right to attempt, as I have a right to deny. But not at their whim without my request or permission, knowing the majority of the time people don’t even notice or understand and just pay whatever is on the bill.

    Maybe I’m just too shriveled up and old to understand, but am ready to be set straight!
    Whether it should be technically possible and whether it actually is technically easy are two different things. I'm going to guess that the customer service people don't know the technical intricacies of how smart phones interface with their networks. They're just told that it's too difficult to separate data from voice/SMS service on smart phones. Without you actually digging down to someone who actually knows (which is likely pretty difficult to do) you won't actually know how easy or difficult it would be to totally separate those two services on a smartphone. There's a lot of legacy hardware and software infrastructure that's ancient in terms of smart phone technology.

    Either way it doesn't matter. Their excuse may be bad, but it's still their service and they get to set the policies. Applebee's makes you pay for fries whether or not you want them when you order a burger, satellite and cable companies make you pay for dozens of channels you don't want just to get the ones you do want and cell phone companies make you pay for data if you want to use a smart phone on their network. As long as the services are "naturally related" it's perfectly legal and IMO, logical for them to do it that way.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by garublador View Post
    It's pretty much universal for all carriers and has, IIRC, been that way since Android phones have been sold. AFAIK, MMS is done over the data network, though not charged to your data plan, so you'd either not get a service you're paying for (MMS) or you'd risk having to pay a ridiculous amount any time you accidentally used data, or they'd have to put a bunch of extra work into plans that make them a lot less money.

    It's apparently not considered tying because accessing the internet is considered "naturally related" to using a smart phone. Keep in mind while the phone is yours, the mobile network is not. It belongs to the providers and they should have rights regarding how they use and sell it as well. Consumers should have rights, but so should businesses. Fairness goes both ways.
    It has been for all carriers said to be required.. But if you push you can get data blocks.

    Dpham has gotten data blocks on Verizon. I know I can on T-Mobile... And my parents have the option on Sprint (I can log in their account and select it...).

    I can show examples of T-Mobile (see below) .. Maybe Dpham can show Verizon being able to do it? So I know AT&T can.. They'd just rather you pay.. They are greedy .

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?-1390922542313.jpg  
  11. #11  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Almeuit View Post
    It has been for all carriers said to be required.. But if you push you can get data blocks.

    Dpham has gotten data blocks on Verizon. I know I can on T-Mobile... And my parents have the option on Sprint (I can log in their account and select it...).

    I can show examples of T-Mobile (see below) .. Maybe Dpham can show Verizon being able to do it? So I know AT&T can.. They'd just rather you pay.. They are greedy .

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Verizon smartphones require a data plan. No way around it. If you have a basic phone then you can block data and have no data charge. I took 2 screen shots, one from my basic line and one from my smartphone line. The smartphone line is the one missing the data block option.

    You can block data on basic lines from the my Verizon app or online or over the phone. On Verizon, blocking data automatically removes the data plan.

    Also I should add that I am on the family share plan


    WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?-uploadfromtaptalk1390927129102.jpgWHAT? Just phone service not allowed?-uploadfromtaptalk1390927141499.jpg

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3 via Tapatalk Pro
  12. #12  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by dpham00 View Post
    Verizon smartphones require a data plan. No way around it. If you have a basic phone then you can block data and have no data charge. I took 2 screen shots, one from my basic line and one from my smartphone line. The smartphone line is the one missing the data block option.

    You can block data on basic lines from the my Verizon app or online or over the phone. On Verizon, blocking data automatically removes the data plan.

    Also I should add that I am on the family share plan


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	uploadfromtaptalk1390927129102.jpg 
Views:	28 
Size:	161.0 KB 
ID:	102459Click image for larger version. 

Name:	uploadfromtaptalk1390927141499.jpg 
Views:	28 
Size:	173.2 KB 
ID:	102460

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3 via Tapatalk Pro
    Oh well that sucks then.. I guess it's once again the duopoly trying to rip as much from a wallet as they can.

    Curious.. What if you shoved a SIM for a dumb phone into a smartphone and disabled data? They'd probably still catch on huh?

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
  13. Thread Author  Thread Author    #13  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Almeuit View Post
    Oh well that sucks then.. I guess it's once again the duopoly trying to rip as much from a wallet as they can.

    Curious.. What if you shoved a SIM for a dumb phone into a smartphone and disabled data? They'd probably still catch on huh?

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Almeuit... Does mean that your example for T-Mobile is not legitimate either? I see your screen shot, which makes me think that it is possible... is the phone this is set up for a smartphone? Thanks.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ameer Nuub View Post

    First off, this is called “Cramming” and is against the law. They DO NOT have my permission to add extra services, charges, and plans that I did not request or authorize.
    .
    My guess would be that somewhere in the fine print of your contract they've covered this.
    Thanked by:
  15. #15  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Almeuit View Post
    Oh well that sucks then.. I guess it's once again the duopoly trying to rip as much from a wallet as they can.

    Curious.. What if you shoved a SIM for a dumb phone into a smartphone and disabled data? They'd probably still catch on huh?

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Currently Verizon dumb phones only operate on cdma, so no sim, save some dumb phones with international capabilities, but those cannot be used on GSM in the USA.


    Also this may depend on the plan as well. Verizon has a $45 250mb plan with unlimited talk and text, same price for both dumb and smartphone. There is no separate data charge for this plan. Though since you can get subsidized phones on this plan, makes little sense to get a dumb phone

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3 via Tapatalk Pro
    Thanked by:
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintdrinkingpete View Post
    My guess would be that somewhere in the fine print of your contract they've covered this.

    Hey paintdrinkingpete! I’m sure it is, but contrary to widely held belief, that dosen’t really mean everything. From radio DJ’s still losing lawsuits for a woman dying in a radio contest (even though she signed contracts expressly releasing them and the company from any liability), to AT&T still losing lawsuits about the “Unlimited” plan, even though the throttling and extra charges were absolutely spelled out in the fine print.

    AT&T Loses iPhone Data Throttling Case - ABC News

    Cramming is described by the FCC as “the practice of placing unauthorized, misleading or deceptive charges on your telephone bill”. And, if customers “did not understand or were misled about how much it would really cost”. We were told by the store that we could have phone only service for this phone, and what it would cost.

    Cramming - Unauthorized, Misleading, or Deceptive Charges Placed on Your Telephone Bill | FCC.gov

    Also, “If a bill contains charges in addition to basic local service, it must distinguish between charges for which non-payment will result in disconnection of basic, local service and charges for which non-payment will not result in disconnection”.

    Aside from adding entire plans at their whim without permission and without even asking me first, the above paragraph is one of the big points with me. The email I received did not do this at all. Plus, the verbiage used was offensive in a subtly disrespectful way so as to deny any competency, rights, or autonomy of the consumer. Example – “Smartphones were made for surfing the web, social media, email, etc.” Who the hell do they think they are telling me what smartphones were made for as if I am too stupid to know, and then what I must use my smartphone for? I’ll use it for what I damn well please, all of which they mentioned can be done over wifi that I already pay for, without a data plan.

    Second, saying they have added an “appropriate” data plan at $30 a month. Who the hell are they to tell ME what’s “appropriate”? I tell THEM what’s appropriate, that’s why they call it an “order” in the whole customer-provider relationship thing. I’ll say it again, YES a company has a right to offer what they offer, just as I have a right to take it or leave it (with some continuing not to hear this sentence for some reason), but what a company does NOT have the right to do is add entire plans and services at their whim without permission, or asking the customer what would be appropriate, before they do so (again, a point some continue to ignore).

    No matter anyone’s stance on the issue, I fail to understand how anyone could disagree with that, and if so, you will be receiving a letter from me very soon about my having started window washing services for which you must pay $800 a month, that you didn’t request or authorize. Hopefully you won’t even notice and just pay, and yes you can cancel if you do notice… either way I’m sure it won’t bother you or offend you in the least that I have done things in this way, and you won’t mind at all that you have to take time out of your busy schedule to deal with it, right?

    BTW – I PM’d paintdrinkingpete to make it clear this is about the situation in general and not in response to his post, as it turned into a full on venting session!!! LOL…
  17. #17  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Hey, no offense taken. For what it's worth, I don't like the practice and fully agree with you...was just pointing out that they probably have tried to cover their @$$ in the fine print.


    Don't most carriers (sorry, I'm not familiar with AT&T specifically) have a rock-bottom data plan, usually around 200MB that costs considerably less than $30/month? I would at least think that would be the default "appropriate" plan to add...

    EDIT: For what it's worth, this isn't anything new either. A few years ago (before smartphones starting becoming popular), our company had a few old BlackBerries that they wanted to activate for phone service only...but we were told by our provider (Sprint) that it wasn't possible, and that a BB plan was needed to activate the devices. In their defense, they did provide us with free dumbphones to use, so it wasn't really an issue for us at the time.
    Thanked by:
  18. Thread Author  Thread Author    #18  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintdrinkingpete View Post
    Hey, no offense taken. For what it's worth, I don't like the practice and fully agree with you...was just pointing out that they probably have tried to cover their @$$ in the fine print.


    Don't most carriers (sorry, I'm not familiar with AT&T specifically) have a rock-bottom data plan, usually around 200MB that costs considerably less than $30/month? I would at least think that would be the default "appropriate" plan to add...

    EDIT: For what it's worth, this isn't anything new either. A few years ago (before smartphones starting becoming popular), our company had a few old BlackBerries that they wanted to activate for phone service only...but we were told by our provider (Sprint) that it wasn't possible, and that a BB plan was needed to activate the devices. In their defense, they did provide us with free dumbphones to use, so it wasn't really an issue for us at the time.
    Yeah, I totally hear ya… and I’m completely sympathetic to the fact that it’s not an easy situation. Contracts are legitimately necessary for both parties involved, otherwise things are left up to some 3rd party powerbroker who decides what is and isn’t fair or right depending on what mood they are in or what bribes they have recently received. At the same time, when absolutely every tiny little product, service, or mundane interaction requires review and consideration of 2k pages of fine print in jargon that cannot be understood by anyone without a lawyer, this does not equate to reasonable consent of the consumer. It’s kind of a paradox.

    A lot of these rulings dealing with such situations fall back on the premise that the endless contract fine print should include technicalities that aren’t prima facie consequential to the average consumer, while things that most people would deem “a big deal” must be presented up front in clear language, and not just in the fine print of the contract. Anyone who isn’t nave knows that a big company is always going to try to make the contract in a way that says “we have the right to do whatever we want whenever we want, and you have no rights”, but thankfully they can’t get away with that after a certain point. I’m no fan of government power and supremacy over private rights and freedom, but there is a certain line.

    And I’m just tired of the way we are being treated by a lot of these companies. The thing to do in the letter would have been to say “Hi there. We noticed you do not have a data plan on your smartphone. Data plans are a required service for any activated smartphone. We apologize that a “phone service only” plan was entered by mistake by one of our representatives. Please contact XYZ to discuss one of our many data plan options you may be interested in by XYZ date, or let us know if you would like to cancel service for this phone”.

    Not – “Hey, you obviously don’t know how to properly use a smartphone, and aren’t using it appropriately. We are adding whatever we think you ought to be paying, because it would be too much trouble for us to respectfully ask first, and we really hope this email is filtered to junkmail anyway so you don’t notice and just pay up, like the majority of these cases”.

    Someone else talked about a plan like the one you mentioned, and I’m def going to check into that. Thanks again!
  19. #19  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ameer Nuub View Post
    Almeuit... Does mean that your example for T-Mobile is not legitimate either? I see your screen shot, which makes me think that it is possible... is the phone this is set up for a smartphone? Thanks.
    No T-Mobile allows you to have no data if you want. That was me logging into my account, hitting change data (I have unlimited right now), and that's the options I had.. Having no data was one of them.

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Thanked by:
  20. Thread Author  Thread Author    #20  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Almeuit View Post
    No T-Mobile allows you to have no data if you want. That was me logging into my account, hitting change data (I have unlimited right now), and that's the options I had.. Having no data was one of them.

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Ahhh... very interesting, thank you! And I see you using a Note 3, so I wouldn't see any reason why I couldn't do the same with an iphone 4. Cool... seems like this is another option.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ameer Nuub View Post
    Ahhh... very interesting, thank you! And I see you using a Note 3, so I wouldn't see any reason why I couldn't do the same with an iphone 4. Cool... seems like this is another option.
    I've been thinking of making the switch to T-Mobile myself...their new plans and policies just seem a like breath of fresh air compared to AT&T or VZW...it's just too bad they don't have the same coverage.
  22. Thread Author  Thread Author    #22  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintdrinkingpete View Post
    I've been thinking of making the switch to T-Mobile myself...their new plans and policies just seem a like breath of fresh air compared to AT&T or VZW...it's just too bad they don't have the same coverage.
    Yeah, we actually even left AT&T when all the "Unlimited" throttling thing broke, and went over to Sprint to reward them with our business for them being the only ones still giving what everybody knows nearly all customers want (Unlimited). But unfortunately, their service was just too bad to stay, so we went back to the grandfathered plan.

    From reading articles about how the U.S. (the richest country on earth) is actually behind the quality / speed of data in European countries, to articles about electric / utilities companies not updating and letting their infrastructure crumble while continue to charge as if they were, it doesn't seem like there are a lot of wise decisions being made. Like you say, better policies will definitely be some fresh air.
    Last edited by Ameer Nuub; 01-29-2014 at 01:31 PM.
  23. #23  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Almeuit View Post
    No T-Mobile allows you to have no data if you want. That was me logging into my account, hitting change data (I have unlimited right now), and that's the options I had.. Having no data was one of them.

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Is this on the simple choice plan? If so, are there any savings over the 500mb plan?

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3 via Tapatalk Pro
  24. Thread Author  Thread Author    #24  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by dpham00 View Post
    Is this on the simple choice plan? If so, are there any savings over the 500mb plan?

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3 via Tapatalk Pro

    I do understand the answer to your question matters greatly in terms of what is the best decision, and I'll be interested to hear it. But it’s also interesting to me that the simple fact that there is a carrier (including Sprint according to him) that has the “data block” option for a smartphone seems to me to dispel the assertion that they “cannot” have a smartphone with no data, or that it would be too technologically difficult / not cost efficient, meaning that it really is nothing more than a money grab. They absolutely have the right to do it, but I knew better than to swallow that premise.

    The current “phone service only” plan was like 15 or 17 a month or something. I’m hoping I can find some option that is comparable. We can’t afford another 30-50 a month just so my pre-teen can text his puppy loves.
  25. #25  

    Default Re: WHAT? Just phone service not allowed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Almeuit View Post
    Oh well that sucks then.. I guess it's once again the duopoly trying to rip as much from a wallet as they can.

    Curious.. What if you shoved a SIM for a dumb phone into a smartphone and disabled data? They'd probably still catch on huh?

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    Don't do that the net work would pull up the dumb phone as a smart phone and automatically add a data plan my sister did that to me once she took a SIM out of her phone and put it into my old android and boom I get a text message from at&t

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using AC Forums mobile app
    Thanked by:
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-28-2014, 01:39 AM
  2. Best cameras on T-Mobile compatible phones?
    By jsheehan223 in forum T-Mobile
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-11-2014, 05:57 AM
  3. Google: Phone and web calenders don't sync
    By tabletnovice in forum Verizon Galaxy S3
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-04-2014, 12:07 PM
  4. Why would a phone number contain symbols but cant be called
    By zellhannah in forum General News & Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-28-2014, 05:50 AM
  5. HTC ONE not showing up in DDMS
    By signsincerelyme in forum HTC One
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-27-2014, 11:54 AM

Posting Permissions