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PinkyThePig
Premium
join:2011-05-02
Tempe, AZ
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

1 recommendation

Signing for contracts

Is it even legal to sign them up for something without their permission? If I were this guy I would pay my bill with a credit card then charge back the data charge portion as that was never agreed upon when signing up. I'm curious as to how AT&T would handle that whether they would cancel the whole thing, charge some rediculous ETF or some other wonky setup.

EDIT: Forgot to add that he should check the original service agreement he signed and see if it talks about adding additional charges for data if using a certain phone



Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Legally, unless you are under contract, they can do whatever they want. Wireless contracts usually last 2 years. Note that the guy wasn't "forced into a contract", AT&T just started charging him for data. He is free to leave if he wants.

Yes many people are "grandfathered" in under certain packages, but there's no law that says AT&T has to keep those around after the contract expires. AT&T could force "grandfathered" users off those plans at any time.

If you are outside of a contract they can pretty much do whatever they want. If you don't like it, leave them. The problem is that with little nationwide competition and the major carriers playing the same game (*), it's not a question of if you'd like to get wallet raped, but by who.

(*) - Yes there are smaller resellers, that don't do this, but they have their own problems and you never know when one will get bought out by one of the big boys.

--
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.


tanzam75

join:2012-07-19
reply to PinkyThePig

said by PinkyThePig:

Is it even legal to sign them up for something without their permission?

No. However, you gave permission by agreeing to the 50-million pages of the Terms of Service.

(Note, however, that the blog post makes it clear that he's off-contract.)

The problem is that the carriers charge extremely high fees for per-MB data if you do not have a data plan. Thus, if you have no data plan, forget to turn off data on the phone, and try to use data, then you could easily rack up thousands of dollars in charges.

AT&T judged it better to upset the minority of users who have the discipline to have no data plan and use Wi-Fi everywhere, rather than to upset the users who cut the data plan and then continue to use data.

There are two obvious solutions to the "stupid users" conundrum: (1) Don't charge so much for data off a data plan! (2) Disable per-byte usage if you don't buy a data plan. But, well, we know that obvious solutions are never adopted.

AT&T can force every smartphone onto a data plan, and pick up additional revenues. Or they can lower prices and/or turn off data, and forgo the revenues. Which of these two options do you think they'll pick?

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to Morac

ROFL .. you're funny.

On the surface, you're correct, however we don't live in that world you're speaking of bud.

Even under contract, these providers have proven to us all over and over again that the contracts are just so that WE follow them.. they don't have to. They change what ever they want, when they want, and tell us if we don't like it they'll let us go. The last one that tried that was Sprint when they took my unlimited 3G data and put a 5gb cap on it for the same price while I was under contract. A bit of telling them that wasn't going to happen, well, to this day I'm still unlimited on my 3G data. I'm no longer under contract and they CAN pull that away from me, but since 2008 they have not.

OUTSIDE of a contract, still, no, they can't just do what ever they want, per-say. There are still certain rules they have to follow set by states and fed and have to abide by those. But in theory, yes, they have more flexibility to change things at will. MOST the time they won't do that because they do realize you can leave. A sheep (customer) out of contract is a threat their existence. There still is a little bit of a balance act they have to play when they make changes. Verizon has had the biggest balls as we all know in standing their ground. Who knows if this will ultimately harm them in the long run or not. Having AT&T follow in their in-on-the-game moves, it gave VZ an upper hand to pull the stunt they did. I just feel sorry for all the VZ customers who paid full price for a handset to keep unlimited data who are inevitably about to have that plan pulled as well.

You're absolutely right about grandfathered plans too.. but, in a sense, those grandfathered plans may as well be the same as being in a contract. AT&T knows that as long as people are GF'd, they're less likely to leave so they can keep their plan. They rarely pull plans away like that.. What they will do is give the illusion that something better is out there, get you to switch, etc etc. But grandfathering is actually MORE of a reason to stay with a provider over that of an actual contract. I'll pay the ETF ANY-DAY if a provider pisses me off.. and I have! (I don't see it as a threat.. I see it as I'll either buy the handset outright, or over time.. either way I'm paying that price) But, I'm more likely to stay and keep my "unlimited plan" in this example, because I know that once I leave I won't get it back. see?

These guys aren't stupid.. we are.



IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to PinkyThePig

said by PinkyThePig:

Is it even legal to sign them up for something without their permission? If I were this guy I would pay my bill with a credit card then charge back the data charge portion as that was never agreed upon when signing up. I'm curious as to how AT&T would handle that whether they would cancel the whole thing, charge some rediculous ETF or some other wonky setup.

EDIT: Forgot to add that he should check the original service agreement he signed and see if it talks about adding additional charges for data if using a certain phone

This is from the AT&T subscriber agreement:

6.3 What Are The Voice And Data Plan Requirements?
A voice plan is required on all voice-capable Devices, unless specifically noted otherwise in the terms governing your plan.
An eligible tiered pricing data plan is required for certain Devices, including iPhones and other designated Smartphones. Eligible voice and tiered pricing data plans cover voice and data usage in the U.S. and do not cover International voice and data usage and charges. If it is determined that you are using a voice-capable Device without a voice plan, or that you are using an iPhone or designated Smartphone without an eligible voice and tiered data plan, AT&T reserves the right to switch you to the required plan or plans and bill you the appropriate monthly fees. In the case of the tiered data plan, you will be placed on the data plan which provides you with the greatest monthly data usage allowance. If you determine that you do not require that much data usage in a month, you may request a lower data tier at a lower monthly recurring fee.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

TheGuvnor9

join:2006-06-23
Beverly Hills, CA
reply to fiberguy

Ding Ding, best answer ever. If you don't want to get fleeced don't sign a contract. Buy a pad, download skype, add some $$ just in case and talk away on free wifi.