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AT&T keeping up pressure on top iPhone data users

AT&T keeping up pressure on top iPhone data users

Looks like AT&T is still sending out passive aggressive -- or aggressive aggressive -- text messages to top iPhone data users again/still.

AT&T Free Msg: Your data usage this month is in the top 5% of users. Use Wi-Fi to help avoid reduced speeds in future bill cycles. Visit www.att.com/dataplans.

Nothing new, of course, they've been sniffing around for Jailbreak tetherers and trying to figure out other ways to lighten their network load for a while now.

Anyone else wake up to this particular nastygram recently? If so, how much data did it take to make you a five-percenter?

Thanks: David!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 61 comments. Add yours.

Alex Harker says:

The greater crime is that I pay $30/mo for a plan that only occasionally sees data speeds over 1MB/s even with the supposed "4G" HSPA+

Jessica Ramos Edholm says:

I get crappy speeds in speedtests too. shrugs I gave up sweating it. If I want lightning fast, I use my iMac. It is a shame that they charge 30 bucks though. Its about time that data plans got cheaper.

Ethan S says:

You don't have 4G with any of the iPhones. Don't know what you're talking about.

Ethan S says:

You don't have 4G with any of the iPhones. Don't know what you're talking about.

jbrandonf says:

The truth is that the GSM chip in the 4S has a theoretical max speed the same (14.4mbps) as at least three other phones that AT&T classifies as 4G devices. So arguably on AT&T you would have 4G service capabilities.

iArnie says:

Respond to AT&T with: "Your cell service is in the bottom 5% of providers. To avoid me going to another carrier, STFU."

Andrew Elliott says:

Perhaps you get punished for using what you've paid for...

Steve Hartsock says:

AT&T works better than any other carrier for me. Perhaps you just don't have a clue about real world performance....

Tmaleman says:

Or perhaps you happen to live in the few areas where AT&T actually has reliable coverage...

Ethan S says:

Response to you:
"If you're that unhappy with your service, STFU and go already. They don't care about your 'threats'."

audicy says:

Ethan, meet HUMOUR, humour meet Ethan.
It was a joke, you know, a humorous reply. Get a grip and seek some anger management.

Ethan S says:

Response to you:
"If you're that unhappy with your service, STFU and go already. They don't care about your 'threats'."

SJB says:

It's kind of unfair how all people have to choose from is the 200MB or 2GB, making the top 5% a lower number.

Nathan Nye says:

The thing is, we are never given concrete numbers so you really have no idea what is being used. Also, how many of you are willing to bet they include dumb phones that have data contracts in with the smartphones? This lets them set a ceiling at anything they want basically.

Nathan Nye says:

The thing is, we are never given concrete numbers so you really have no idea what is being used. Also, how many of you are willing to bet they include dumb phones that have data contracts in with the smartphones? This lets them set a ceiling at anything they want basically.

Andrew Elliott says:

5%. Coincidentally I just passed 2GB for the month. I wonder if that's related...

Lemontree says:

Same here, I checked my usage when the message hit and it was just a tick above 2GB. If they start throttling at 2GB what is the advantage of paying $30 when the 2GB plan is $25. $5 for the privilege of dial-up speed?

Jessica Ramos Edholm says:

LMAO! That is too funny! I've never gotten one of those. Not even back when I used to use my sling box while at work during my lunch hours! I have one of the grandfathered unlimited plans. I wonder if this message went to some one with an unlimited plan.

ANSJailbreak says:

They always put me in the top 5% and I do have the old unlimited plain. They have to give at some time. As the Internet is a big part of the digital age. More and more people from kids to youth to elders are using the Internet. Wireless company's need to keep up with the demand of users. It is the way of life. Get in the game or get out!

Laytyriankd says:

Yea me too 5% but has anyone got the email where AT&T said there gonna change your plan cause they detected you were tethering

Guacho says:

How much data was this guy using when he got this message... That's the question

Michael says:

What exactly is the top 5%? I think I'm a pretty heavy data user but I never get messages like this.

Danny Michel says:

I would gladly take the place of any AT&T customer due to my horrible verizon data speeds

Jay Brandt says:

Yeah I'm totally with you there, I switched from a 2 year old Nexus One on T-Mobile's 3G to a Verizon 4S and couldn't believe how slow it is. Seriously, it kind of blows my mind that all my friends with Verizon never said, "hey btw the 3G data speeds are barely fast enough to stream Pandora."
In NYC

Glorishears Dtv says:

AT&T's speeds are just fine in Seattle with a 4S: 3Mbps to 5Mbps; once I got 9Mbps, admittedly standing about 15 feet from the highly visible cell site.

Pancho says:

I have an Unlimited plan and when I used my phone before as a modem they send me the message to discontinue the practice or they will change my plan to 2g with thetering, no questions ask. I'm using more my Wifi now but one bill cycle of mine was over 20 g.

kjjb0204 says:

You 5% people and your bandwidth greed and power must be stopped! We are the 95%! Occupy Data is now forming!

X8manx says:

The danger to all users is that AT&T is tiering it's data service with this 5% of users which pay for an unlimited plan instead of addressing this with development of their network. Today's 5 % top users may represent the normal user of tomorrow as we become more dependent on data access in mobile devices. We are being exploited as a consumer early in the game and castigated with telecom greed to come. 95% raise your concern for you are part of the 100%.

Lemontree says:

The top 5% number will be a moving target and get lower and lower each month as users start getting throttled.

Deavod says:

Exactly what I was thinking, too. Every month there will be a top 5% no matter how little (or how much) data they actually use.

JAy says:

You don't need every AT&T customer for a CAL, you only need 1 smart greedy lawyer. ;)

Danny Michel says:

you have no case. they said they would charge you a certain amount of money to use your data as much as you want without having to pay overages for that data. they never said how fast that data would be.

Danny Michel says:

you have no case. they said they would charge you a certain amount of money to use your data as much as you want without having to pay overages for that data. they never said how fast that data would be.

Christopher_M_Nice says:

I got it, I've been using iTunes music match to download my library, most of it was done on wi/fi, but it doesn't stop when I leave my wifi network. I've downloaded about 4000 songs. I'm also grandfathered in to unlimited data.

fmbimmer says:

I'd be pissed if I got that message considering I'm paying for unlimited data. I see people are talking about data speeds so here is my two cents. I live in Princeton NJ, during the day when the network must be getting nailed by all the users I see speeds of 3-5mbps, but at night I get between 9 and 11mbps on my iPhone 4s. I was impressed so I run the speedtest app around 10 more times just to check and it was still the same speed. I'm very impressed with 11mbps over 3G/fate 4G.

Lemontree says:

2GB seems to be the magic number. I've seen many posts from people who have stated getting this message once they cross 2GB.

Jaydigital1010 says:

Checked my data usage after receiving the text. 2088 mb. I'm grandfathered in, so they must really want to start charging me for the overage. Why do I feel that "top 5%" is a big old lie?

lalo76 says:

I have used 7mb this month.

JaredKaragen says:

ATT Rep: "you are being switche off your unlimited data plan because you use too much data".
Me: "you won't mind waving all early termination fees then, effectively nullifying all contract terms".
ATT Rep: "No problem, we will miss your business".
Me: "ATT sure will when I see them in court".
Grandfathering in an unlimited data plan that I have always used over 7Gb a month, means nothing has changed. Well, they obviously lie about letting you have "Unlimited Data".
Instead they should have renames it to the "Unlimited up to 5.5Gb plan".
Even though there is the "undue network stress" clause, I have proof that I am in a tower zone that literally sees an average of count it FOUR users.
Undue stress my-ass.
My lawyer already tells me I have a clean cut case, and he will take the case for a 35% fee if won, and NO fee if lost. Zero cost up front. He's pushing for $2+M because it is reasonable given the corporate "scheme", and is the only true way for the corporation to feel a sense of repercussion on the matter... A few hundred thousand is pennies to them.
Pretty soon we submit the case and file for discovery and release of pertinent records/data from ATT.

Joey Mendoza says:

Where I were I get great speeds on my 4. Im talking 3.3 down and 1.4 up. Now when I was in downtown Seattle I could barley send an email with a picture. At one point edge was faster than 3g when I was in seattle.
Screen shot from a few days agohttp://d.pr/EBwW

Jacques says:

WTF I got this and only used 43GB so far... ?????

Micp2912 says:

i live in south Florida as well and its the exact opposite here, At&t service is horrible. i drop calls daily with my new 4s.

EagleyeSmith says:

I'm in the 95%!! Yes, and I tether. Psh, when my internet goes out and I can't get on XboxLive, AT&T is my backup. Haha. But I must say, my KDR takes a hit in COD. Step ya game up AT&T, not coo', not coo' at all. ;-)

xxplosive82 says:

I try my best to use as much data as possible every month. F my carrier (VZW).

Dan Paddock says:

I got a Top 5% text and email. I have used 5656.09 MB of Unlimited (at 14 of 30 days in my billing cycle)
Not Jailbroken. Just a lot of Hulu+, Slingbox, and HBO Go...

Hun says:

Crossed 11 gigs and got throttled to 15 KBps.

Szubba says:

Same here ... The question is what can we do . That speed isn't even letting the IPhone function.

Speckles says:

I'm over 5GB so far, this month, about halfway through cycle and no text warning or throttling.
Unlimited Grandpa Plan
Tennessee

Baller says:

I received this message this message this morning and I have only used 2gb. This is bs. The top 5 percent could use 1gb and they will slow your speed b/c you are in the top 5%. That's not smart business. At least T-Mobile tells you that if you use 2gb of data on your unlimited data plan they will slow your speed but saying the top 5% and notifying a threshold is bs

jbrandonf says:

I know. By that definition then 4G is something we won't be seeing for a long time. The carriers are responsible for watering down the term and its too late to go back.

Pounchr says:

I'm in the top 5% using 11gb a month

Superiorxsoul says:

Lol Ive used 32GB of date this month. At&t sent me that messege this morning i was wondering why and now i know. But, honestly Whatever they choose to do, wont stop me from using my internet as much as i want as long as its unlimited. I pay for it for a reason and ive paid for unlimited since the first iphone came out back in 07. I now have an iPhone 4, and Im constantly on my phone after updating from the 3Gs. Everything is digital, and everything now a days surrounds around the internet. If sprint can find a way to have unlimited for everyone and not bitch about it, then im sure at&t can find a way too.

Chad says:

Grandfathered under the unlimmited data plan. Got this message today. I'm at 5.1gigs for the month. 8 days left in my billing cycle.

Ejonlam says:

I got this but I barely went over 2 GBS so I am confused

Phoneplex says:

I just got the same text message and I've only used 2 gigs so far this month on my un-limited data plan. I find it hard to believe that 2 gigs puts me in the top 5%. At&t is really trying to push there subscriber base away. Sure makes me feel like switching.

Flabbergasted says:

I'm in the 5% and the throttling speeds are horrendous. You can't stream anything at all. I hope someone really does stand up to ATT and let them know their deception will not continue. I understand that I am paying for unlimited data and that there is nothing in the terms that says speed is a part of that. However, considering when they throttle they are deliberately capping how much data I can use per month opposed to how much data I'd be able to use without that throttle so essentially what I'm paying for ($30/month grandfathered unlimited plan) is not unlimited at all but limited by the enforced throttling on their part.