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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Contract language

When you sign up for service, you agree that if you connect a smartphone to their network, that you'll pay for a data plan. Using a smartphone without a data plan is a breach of the contract, which makes it technically an unauthorized connection to the network and can expose the user to legal issues. It's technically theft of service as it equates to buying basic cable and removing the filter at the tap and getting more channels than you pay for even though you don't watch the unauthorized channels and you get those channels from another TV service.

If you want a smartphone, pay for the data as it is required as a term of service. They have it buried in the fine print that if you attach a smartphone to your account, then you must buy a data plan.

As an iPhone owner, my data plan is important. I go to a lot of places that do not have Wi-Fi. Pioneer Valley Transit Authority buses do not have Wi-Fi, nor do the city parks. The city library has Wi-Fi but I use my own mobile hotspot. The only time I've used public Wi-Fi is at Baystate Medical Center as the Verizon signals do not penetrate their complex maze-like facility. BMC is so complex to navigate I don't know how the residents (student doctors) can get to a patient in code blue quickly enough without getting lost.

I personally avoid Wi-Fi, I just prefer to use my data plan unless the signal is 1xrtt.
--
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.


tanzam75

join:2012-07-19

1 recommendation

said by IowaCowboy:

It's technically theft of service as it equates to buying basic cable and removing the filter at the tap and getting more channels than you pay for even though you don't watch the unauthorized channels and you get those channels from another TV service.

Not the same thing at all.

The guy does NOT want data service. He's not trying to steal data service from AT&T. And what's more, AT&T could simply block data service, and that'd be the end of the matter.

Unlike cable TV, data is bidirectional. The guy can hack his equipment all he wants, but if AT&T blocks data on his account, then he ain't getting it.

AT&T already has a voice-only plan for non-smartphones, they just refuse to provide it for smartphones. In other words, AT&T preferred to lose a customer, rather than provide voice-only service.

Imagine if the cable provider required a subscription to premium channels for anyone with an LCD or plasma TV. Want basic cable? Sorry, the only way you can do that is to use a CRT TV. That's what AT&T is doing, by requiring a data plan with every smartphone.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to IowaCowboy

So you are implying he is stealing service that he isnt even using. How in the world did you come to that conclusion?

Being you dont know what was in his contract you cant speak for any fine print that may or may not have existed. He was either under his old contract as it is still in effect but just expired or he is not under any contract and any terms or provisions in the expired contract do not apply. Both him and AT&T take the implied risk of there being no contract between them.

Regardless of that, AT&T's choice should have been to contact him to explain the situation and give him X days to comply at which time they terminate his service.

AT&T should not have taken it upon themselves to add cost to his bill that he has not explicitly given authorization to. The phone companies have been sued and have lost on those very grounds concerning renewing of contracts.


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to IowaCowboy

I prefer wifi but since it is not everywhere I have a data plan. But a good router and a good broadband will blow any LTE from the water when one has a chance to use wifi.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports



IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to Skippy25

What the article fails to mention is that many people don't read the entire contract before signing it. AT&T is a multi-billion dollar company with some of the best attorneys on retainer. If you read the contract word by word, there is all kinds of terms and conditions that you don't realize you are signing. That is why they have a buyers remorse policy but they can charge a $35 restocking fee. There is all kinds of language such as giving up the rights to participate in class action suits (arbitration agreement), that you agree to pay debt collectors that they may assign/sell a delinquent account to, that you have to pay attorneys fees and collection costs, that they are not responsible for failed 911 calls (even if they are grossly negligent), etc.

If I were your law professor, your homework assignment is to read your cell phone contract word by word. It's basically a closed end contract which means take it or leave it. In other words, if you don't like it, don't do business with AT&T.

And one last word, that contract has terms that if you violate the contract, AT&T at its discretion may terminate your service and bill you the appropriate ETF. So if you use a smartphone without a data plan, that is a violation of the terms of service and AT&T at its discretion may consider that a breach of contract and suspend and or cancel service and bill you the ETF.
--
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.



IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to tanzam75

I know Verizon used to cripple their phones, AT&T could do the same thing by disabling the Wi-Fi on phones unless there is an active data plan. And it will now be illegal to break those locks under the new DMCA regulations. Like I've said in previous threads, while you may own the physical device, you don't own the software. When I unboxed my MacBook Pro in 2011, I opened the box and the computer itself had a wrapper on it that had a sticker that said "by breaking this seal, you are agreeing to the software licensing agreement".

Knowing how AT&T operates, they might lock the Wi-Fi on smartphones and restrict you to AT&T owned hotspots only. Starbucks and McDonalds have most of the AT&T hotspots.

Read my post below, like I said that many people find out the hard way that they've signed a contract or agreed to terms & conditions without reading them. You'd be surprised at what you agree to. The only exception to the rule is if a minor (child under 18) purchased the phone or someone who has been declared incompetent by a court of law (placed under a guardianship because of mental illness, dementia, etc) and those individuals can void a contract.
--
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.