Not on the AT&T $30 iPhone Data Plan? Soon You Will Be...

If you currently own a iPhone 3G and are lucky enough to be paying $15 for the MEdia Net Unlimited data plan, your luck is about to change. And not for the better. AT&T is currently on the hunt for you, and you will soon join the rest of us in coughing up another $15 a month of your hard earned money for the the $30 iPhone 3G data plan.

You chould be receiving the following email anytime now:


blockquote>Our service records indicate that you are using an iPhone 3G with a data plan designed for other devices. To avoid unexpected data overage charges and enable Visual Voicemail, please contact your telecom manager, or an AT&T representative at 1-800-331-0500. Thank you for choosing wireless from AT&T. We appreciate your business.

So there you have it folks, everyone will soon be on a level playing field. Have any of our loyal readers received the email above from AT&T yet?

(via The Boy Genius Report)

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!


Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

More Posts



← Previously

Rumor Smashed: No Unlocked iPhone 3G in the US

Next up →

TiPb Answers: Secure Individual Apps on the iPhone?

Reader comments

Not on the AT&T $30 iPhone Data Plan? Soon You Will Be...


I dont pay anything a month, they never asked me too... i just bought it and cam home.. and i use wi-fi. I love my ipod touch, its great

Seriously... At&t is milking it and making a killing. $70 plan + $30 data + $20 SMS. At this rate, soon people will stop buying iPhones from apple because of the plan and buy them used for wifi. iPhone is great the plan is not. And it's getting worse.

How is it possible anyway?
I thought that buying a 3G iphone required to sign up or renew a contract (by choosing the available plans).

If things get too out of control, and users don't need cellular data, they can simply jailbreak the phone, and turn off edge and 3g and just use wifi. Then call AT&T and drop the data plan altogether. You will also loose visual voicemail, but thats not a deal breaker.

I got the email, but I am already on the $30 plan... when the data plan was set-up on my account it also gave me 1500 SMS messages on the $30 iPhone data plan... not sure how/why but am not complaining! LOL... I still show "iPhone Data Plan + 1500 Text" in my account which is current through 9/16. I wonder if that would go away and if I will be charged $0.20 per SMS at the end of the month? Should I call them or let it be?

i got one :( brushed it aside and Im keeping a close eye on my plan from day to day. will keep you posted

I pay $48 a month for unlimited everything except phone usage so it does not matter much to me!!! I don't need phone since I can't hear well on it so I am golden!

I have a 3G 16gb iphone and have a prepaid sim. I also have the $19.99 unlimited medianet and it works great, with the exception of the visual voicemail. I originally had the V1 iphone, had a cracked screen and Apple replaced it with a refurb. However, they kept my sim card, so I ent to local AT&T store, purchased a $100 prepaid sim, and the store activated the phone for me with the prepaid sim. I then called 611 and purchased the medianet package. I'm curious if Apple will send me the e-mail or ban me from the Medianet package?

In reference to my previous post, after I had the V1 iphone activated, I sold it and purchased a new 3G from a friend (with no contract). I put ther old sim card in and everything works.

I am on my 9th Iphone. failed calls Apple said up to 20% is norm 21% they replace the phone. Any one out there with same. Came from Sprint after 10 years for Iphone wish Sprint had Iphone

I guess AT&T has a captive audience with the little leak called Wifi. The question is how much can they charge before the leak gets bigger.

So, If I buy a new iPhone I can activate it without a data plan? If so, will I end up paying a price for every byte that is transmitted or will it block all data transmissions? I'm hoping it block all data transactions and I can still use wi-fi free.

I have a v1- I dropped the data plan, saved $30, and just use wifi... No visual VM, but other than that, it's all good

I was previously on AT&T and it was time to renew our contract. I went out and got an iPhone 3G with the the data plan and haven't had much problems, if any, with it so far.
After about two months of having mine I renewed my wife's contract and got her a 3G iPhone as well. After using my wife's iPhone for about 3-4 weeks I called AT&T and told them I was switching back to my old phone because the iPhone just isn't working out for me and I will need the $30 data plan removed, and Internet blocked. I gave the rep my IMEI # from my old phone, she put it in their database, removed the iPhone data plan, switch my texting to the normal 200 messaging plan and put a block on Internet useage.
Now my wife's phone still works for voice calls and wifi just fine. It no longer has the 3G or EDGE icons on the top and I can no longer connect to the Internet via the cellular network. I just made this change the other day, so we will see how the bills come out for the next few months.
If anyone has done what I've done and has had problems, then please let me know. Thanks.

So , if I take off the data plan on my Iphone , all I have to do is disable 3G on the phone settings and just use WIFI and I wont be charged any data download charges ? Because it seems to me that the data plan is only a bridge between having access to the internet when Wifi is not around . Am I correct to say this ?

If you remove the data plan, make sure you tell the AT&T rep to put a data block on your phone. This way your phone won't connect to the cellular network to occur any expensive data charges. Trust me, it's expensive if you have no data plan. You will always be able to use your phone on wifi. When you don't have wifi and you try to access the net, you will just get a message about not being able to load it.
Update to my scenario:
It's been two weeks, and I've received my latest bill. I haven't heard anything from AT&T about adding the data plan back on. The only problem that I have is that visual voicemail doesn't work. Voicemail does work though, although I had to do a few things to make it work, just not visual voicemail.
I will see how it goes for another month or so.

Lucky me!!! I own a wide variety of phones including the ones who unlimited data plans cost only $15 and I also own the iphone 3g. I activated the unlimited plan for $15 with my razr v3 and to advoid the email what I do is which back and forth between the phones...thats it It works for me!!!

Found your comments helpful.
Heres my scenario...Got an iPhone3G 2 weeks back.Fortunately ATT didnot put the dataplan on my phone , confirmed it by many ways. I now use the wifi to surf on net.
Problem - I am however not able to access my voice mail .
I don't know the difference between the Visual voicemail and the regular voice mail.All I am looking at is to be able to go to my voice mail box to listen any voice mails i have.
Is there a way to do this ,as u said u were able to access the voice mails.
Please n please help me with this will be just Gr8!!
waiting on ur reply

The iPhone supports Visual Voicemail, but only works with a data plan. Visual Voicemail allows you to see your voicemails on the screen in a list. You can simply select which vm you want to hear and click play. With regular vm you have to call into your vm box to check it. Visual Voicemail is cool, but probably not worth a $30 data plan if you don't use the data much anyway.
Since you don't have a data plan, in order to fix the voicemail issue you'll have to call AT&T and tell them to reset your voicemail box.
One caution to think about is that when you call in and they notice you have an iPhone on your account then they might force you to add on the data plan. When I called in I had already told them to switch my phones from an iPhone to a Sony Ericsson phone, so they didn't question me on it.
I hope that helps.

Juester.. I have the first version of the iPhone and I want to get rid of the data plan. What do I have to do? I might be able to get access to a friends phone and then call them up to cancel my data plan after I place the sim card in another phone. Is there anything else I have to do? Do I have to unlock the phone or anything like that? Or what about this Edge everyone is talking about. I'm a newb. Thanks.

Dear Juester,
Thank you for your comments!
What do you think about this - You could just buy the phone with a 2yr contract and after the 1 month call and cancel the data plan. Before calling switch your sim into a cheap phone. Ask them to clock all data access on your account, then switch back to the iphone. I don't know how it will work?!
In case if you cancel and if you bought the iphone from At&t, you have to return it. If you bought from Apple store, it's yours. But in general if you canceling, you have to pay $175(early termination fee)
But by the way i'm not sure. Please if you have direct answer, please let me know.
Thank you in advance!
Good luck everybody!

I haven't posted on here for awhile, but so far I haven't had any problems with my wife's iPhone 3G not having a data plan. It's probably been about 4-5 months now. It seems to work fine except there is not data (unless connected to wifi) and now visual voicemail, but regular voicemail works fine.
From my experience, as long as you have an extra AT&T phone that you can put the SIM card into, they won't care. I did the switch even before my 1 month mark. You can just tell them that you want to use another phone because the iPhone isn't working the way you expected. Then cancel the data plan and have them put a block on the data connection so that you won't accidentally use it once you put the SIM card back into the iPhone.

As an employee who has the iphone, I have had plenty of time to play around with the 3g iphone and the data plans that are compatible with the phone. I don't how this slipped the minds of tyrants at the collection end of the bill, but somehow it slipped through the cracks that one could use A)Medianet or B)use the pay-per-use feature or C)bolck the internet access on the phone(leaving wifi as the only means to access internet). Of the three options, I would only recommend A or C. Option B does not make much sense because AT&Tle charges at a rate of .01 cents per Kilobyte. The Iphone can easily download hundreds of Megabytes per day depending on usage. These are the steps if you are curious which I am sure a lot of us are. 1) Purchase iPhone and let the sales rep complete the entire process. 2) Have a regular phone and put the sim card from your newly purchased iPhone into the regular phone. 3) Call customer care or if you are brave enough visit the store. 4) Tell Customer care or sales rep you have decided to use regular phone instead of the iPhone. 5) At this point tell customer care or sales rep whether you would like to add A) unlimited medianet for $15 dollars a month* or C) completely block the internet usage....I mean really who wants to pay $30 dollars a month 6)(Bonus) If you have any form of unlimited messaging on the account, inquire about unlimited medianet for $10 a month. 7) Your regular voicemail and visual voicemail will not work after this process because as soon as one purchases the iPhone, regular voicemail is kcicked off and visual voicemail will not work with MediaNet 8) With the sim card still in the regualar phone, call in to customer care and ask them to fix your voicemail, if they ask what phone you are using, please do not say the iPhone or you will end up back to step 1. The customer service rep will reset your voice mail and you will set up regular voicemail by pressing and holding down number 1 on your keypad. 9) Pop the sim card back into the iPhone and everything should work splendidly barring Visual Voicemail.
Sadly, AT&Tle may have found a way to close this entire loophole with the 3.0 software. From the preliminary tampering, the results do not look good for media net, however you may still follow this process and choose to block internet access to the phone and be content with wifi, but rest assured where there is a will, there is a way! And all it takes is time to find a new loophole.
*Only applies if you have a regular phone and not another PDA device such as a blackberry/Samsung Blackjack 2/etc.. we should all know what a PDA device is by now, if you don't please Google it and it will let you know whether or not your device is a PDA or not.

I bought an old iPhone from a friend who recently upgraded to the 3G S. Interestingly, the old iPhone works with his new SIM and his new 3G works with my SIM. The strange part is that the old iPhone I got from him won't work with my SIM. I will definitely call and block data access (current phone has 3G/EDGE/WIFI, but didn't know I could block the data side - it just has an on/off switch in the wireless setup menu that has worked fine so far), but I'd be interested to know if anyone has had issues with older iPhones/newer SIMs before I go and jailbreak it...

I wanna purchase a IPhone so bad but thew data and texts is to high.They need a plan like sprint like the all in one plan for $100 now thats a deal or like boostmobil only $50 amonth for unlimited everything I say again thats a deal.Love the IPHONE not At&T plans

So if I were to buy an Iphone from ebay, would I have to go to AT&T and tell them that I purchased the Iphone in order for it too work at all or would I be able to get on the wifi network and keep my same plan that I have now. And if I was able to get on the wifi network, would I still have to make sure to call AT&T and make sure to put a data block on?

i just bought an iphone and i was disapointed cuz i wanted unlimited textin but the data plan which is required cost me 30 bucks and eliminated my dreams of texting.

Juester YOU are the best! Shock you are also amazing :D
I am thinking about putting a block on the data connections for the phones on our family plan, buying an At&t Iphone off of ebay, and using it for texting, calling, and picture sending without a data plan.
Do you seen any glitches in this plan?
Juester does your wife send picture messages and normal text messages and still remain undetected in using an her iPhone on At&t? Thank you so much for all the help! :D

I recently came into a new iPhone 3G. I was worried at first that I would see data charges on my next bill from unintentional data usage because I have a texting plan, but no data plan. The first time I tried to use Safari on my iPhone when I wasn't within wifi, it told me I don't have a data plan so it cannot connect. So, if you don't have a data plan, it won't connect unless you have wifi. So buy an iPhone, use it to text and call like a regular phone, and get on the internet when you have wifi. That simple, no extra charges. I myself am going to sign up for a data plan when I get home, but in the mean-time, this suits me.

AT&T SUCKS!!! I just got off the phone and they tell me I have to 15 dollars more just becasue I have an Iphone. My Iphone is a legacy first genration unit. The rep could not explain to me why I need to pay more what additional services/functionality (probably becasue there are none) I get for the money; or how the AT&T recieves no penalty fo rchnaging my plan but I do if I were to change my options... I agreed to the plan and pay what I signed up for ... they should deliver the sevices as agreed at the price agreed ... ALL PHONES should be unlocked and customers should be able to use whatever service provider they want ... how is this not collusionist monopoly of thecnology? AT&T SUCKS!

i am looking to buy an i phone 3g.
1) i already have a connection wid att,so can i buy another from att and then after putting the sim card into anthr phone i can cancel the data plans, which i read all above!
2) wud it be rght if i buy i phone 3g from apple store and put my sim card into the iphone? will it work?
to be honest i dont want data plans,i dont want anythng except the i phone itself?
what do u guys suggest,please help

Got this text message from at&t last week:
AT&T FREE MSG: We need you help regarding your iPhone account. Your iPhone does not currently have the necessary data plan required for all iPhones. Please call us by Sept. 14. Just Dial 611. We appreciate your business.

This is the clit! Corp scum will tell u $30 data is required for iPhone but I'm here to tell U data plan can be Taken off ur parasite known as iPhone. iPhone data is a feature just like txt package, u just have to get someone to take it off ur account. Put ur sim card in a different phone and go to a Att store ask 1 Of the reps to remove data plan. If they say they can't. That's BULLSHIT! They can do it. Offer them oral pleasure or $10 and they will do it. This is the clit out

My son wants my old Iphone without data plan. I put his AT&T sim card from his phone only AT&T contract in my Iphone and I get a message that I have emergency calling only. Will that go away after I connect to Itunes or I do I need something additional from AT&T?

CMK : also forgot to mention once u jailbreak/unlock it , u wont see this message on ur iphone, that u need to slide for emergency.

CMK: I purchased a used Iphone 3GS today and plugged my AT&T sim (without the data plan in it), connected with Itunes and it started working. Can make calls, text etc. I have stopped the data usage (auto updates, 3g etc). I dont know what they will do about it but so far its working fine. Also, i keep monitoring data usage and it's still zero (using wifi rite now).

2 month ago, I upgrade my two lines with iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G. I activate 3gs with $30 data/Month. and 3G no data. Next day I removed sim from 3GS and put in 2G phone and activate. Now I am paying $20 data+200sms/Month. And no data charge for second line 3G.

Does anyone know at what point AT&T determined that all iPhones must have a data plan? I asked an in-store rep before buying one for my sister last year. She figured she'd try the data plan out for a month then cancel, but was told it was required. She really can't afford the $30 per month and never uses it to send email or surf the net. My understanding, when the phone was purchased in September 2008, was that the 2 year requirement was for the voice account.
She's in California. They're pretty strict with cell phone companies changing the terms of a contract, which in effect, voids the rest of the contract.

Quick question- I was planning on getting an iphone 3gs...but ran into the thirty dollars a month data package and I know I can't afford it. I currently own a blackberry...if I buy the iphone, put the sim card in my blackberry and call the att store to get the data package taken off claiming the iphone didn't work the way I wanted it to...will everything work alright? Or should I put my sim in something like a razor? Will the $30 fee go away? ***Please help

ok. help guys? there is so much info here im overwhelmed...
My sister recently got a new 3gs for xmas and gave me her old iphone (1st gen/2g?)
how can i get around this whole $30 a month extra plan?
...i already pay $40 a month for minutes i never use on my 'regular' phone(but thats the lowest plan they have) plus my texting package, taxes, etc... its $55 monthly...i really cant afford the extra $30 for the iphone package which seems to be no different than the regular package for other phones for less cost?........from what im reading there are ways around this for me since ive got the 1st gen iphone...???

Hey Wendy, you are trying to save money of the wrong side of the ATT fees. To save money on your bill, have your sister put your iPhone on her family plan ($10/mo + $30 data). You'll save $40/month.
Then pay your sister every month. ATT's family plan will even bring you and your sister closer together.
ATT does not even care if the family plan numbers are all in the same area code -- but if they put up a stink, use Google Voice to get a local number that rings your iPhone.

you obviously work for AT&T
anyone have any HELP regarding the question i asked they can offer?

OK from all the posts here I take away the following:_take your ATT sim card out of your regular ATT phone, stick it into any used iPhone 3g, and it will work according to your "regular phone plan"
As far as data, The iphone will block all 3g & EDGE data because it knows that you are trying to work without an Iphone data plan.
Therefore there is no danger of incurring data charges when you are using the iPhone without a data plan
___WIFI works just fine. ;)
___Though you may receive the above message about risks from AT&T, to date there have not been any cancelled plans or special fees over this.
___This message is apparently scare-spam, to scare you into signing the data plan without buying a phone... and not a real threat... or?

FYI data plans are required for all PDAs, iPhones including blackberries. (roughly $30)
The data plan for the original iPhone is less than $30. (I think around $15-$20??)
I have an iPhone 3G and have tried getting around this data thing. I called AT&T and gave them an old IMEI (from a previous phone) to replace my iphone's IMEI. I also had them turn on the data block to prevent any tracking. I'll see if this works & if they end up adding in the data plan. Also, I heard AT&T can track iPhones by any calls you make? I wonder if this is true..

Okay hate to dig up an old topic BUT here's my story. I got an Iphone 3g back in late 2008 from a friend and at the time had a lg shine with a data block already on so I didn't use the pay per use on the internet. So I just put in my sim card and everything worked fine. Well in late 2009 I decided to upgrade to the iphone 3gs at the AT&T store and I told them I didn't want the data plan and they said okay. Well I got home with my new 3gs and found that they had added a data plan and took off the data block. So in the same day not even an hour after buying the phone I called them and told them I broke the phone and gave them the IMEI number off of a prepaid AT&T nokia go-phone. They said "sorry your phone broke, we'll be glad to assist you on changing back to your old phone" They then took off the data plan and put the data block back on. And since then I've been using my 3gs without any problems. I just don't have visual voice mail or any type of data, just wifi. Also I'm aware that they can see what phone you're using but they have not sent me any text messages or emails saying I need to add anything.
Okay my question now is, if I call them and add the $15 unlimited data plan to my "nokia go-phone" will that actually work? Could I use the edge/3g network with my iphone? Without any substantial charges to my account. Also the sim card I'm using now was originally from a v3xx. Is there any difference in the unlimited data plan for the iphone compared to the other unlimited data plan?
Please, PLEASE do not reply saying it's impossible if you don't know for sure and haven't tried it.
The reason I don't want to pay for the Iphone data plan is because everywhere I am I have access to wifi and I switch from my iphone to my cheap phone when I'm going out and know there's a good chance of losing, breaking, or having my phone easily stolen.
Thank you for anyone who has helpful input.

Okay just read more comments and found my answer so just ignore my question! Thanks shock! That will teach me to sit here and read ALL of the comments before asking.. :P

Similar to the Wendy, I also have someone else's old iPhone that I've been using with my regular phone plan (no data plan), and I have it set so that 3G is turned off, data roaming is off. Its worked fine for a few months, but I just got a text from AT&T that its "required" for me to have a data plan and they are now billing me for it. I called and asked how it was required since I didn't buy the iPhone from them and they just repeat that 'it's required'. Not sure what the legality is on this, is it in my AT&T contract that they can charge me based on the device I use? I just use it as a phone and with wifi, I am not planning to spend another $30/month. So now I'm on the hunt for another phone...

Hey, discovered your site by accident doing a investigation on Google but I?ll surely be coming again. ? How can I believe in God when only last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?

I absolutely agree with what you have explained. In fact, I browsed throughout your additional posts and I'm sure you happen to be completely correct. Great job with this particular online site.

Ordered an Samsung strive paid a 1 time fee of 30 dollers,he said some phones their able to wave the data plan,but for the most part they dont.(yes my phone required a data plan)i dont know if its because i've been with them for 7 years or i just got lucky. their full of crap saying it's required