Another Warning From AT&T to iPhone Users with Non-iPhone Data Plans

It was not that long ago TiPb passed along some warning signs we'd seen about AT&T cracking down on iPhone users who currently not on an iPhone data plan. Well they've gone and given all of you rebels out there one more warning for good measure.

After some digging around in AT&T's myWireless application, we have found yet another dose of legalese from AT&T that states they can and will change your data plan and charge you accordingly if you are currently using an iPhone with any data plan other than the iPhone data plan.

While this is nothing earth shattering, we figured we would pass it along so, if AT&T started following up on the warnings, our readers wouldn't be caught by surprise.

Switch to the appropriate data plan or possibly end up with a larger than normal bill?

38 Comments
  • That's where they get their money from when it comes to the iPhone.
    Apple gets 199-299 retail price
    AT&T gets subscribers and $30 for the data plan. ( among other services and fees )
  • I love getting that stupid text from them when I'm using my blackberry data plan on my iphone.
  • I don't understand why this is so complicated. If you use an iPhone on atts network you have to have the plan. If you don't, and you've been warned fairly then you have what's coming to you. If you don't agree with their pricing don't use the iPhone or write them a letter.
  • Apple already owns top marketshare of mp3 distribution - not allowing others to properly sync to their library stinks of monopoly. this thread stinks even more of strongarming the public. If AT&Apple keep up this anticompetitive , anti free choice behavior up, I'll have no problem dumping the iPhone for an alternative.
  • I don't see what the big deal is. Ive been paying $95.00 a month for almost a year now. I'm not happy about it. But I think it's just the price of having a iPhone if you don't like it just get the touch. PS AT&T has been my carrier for 4 yrs previously (Cingular) and I love them ! I don't see why everyone is out to put them down.
  • Have faith people, they'll bring the pricing down at least by $10 at the unveiling of 3.0.
  • Look at it this way. If they didnt auto sign you up, then there's potential for a bill of over 5 grand. It's happened to a couple of friends.
  • This is partially to prevent people like me, primarily a Rogers customer in Canada, from swapping out my SIM card with my crummy basic AT&T phone for when I go to the States. I don't want to use data in the States, I just want to have only one device with two SIM cards—but doing this will cost me an extra $30 per month because if they see an iPhone IMEI number on their network they'll just ding you with the $30/month.
  • I just paid my AT&T bill yesterday. That's AFTER making them remove $103.00 in "usage" charges! I have the Blackberry Bold as well as the iPhone 3G, 16 GB, and they didn't like me switching back and forth.
    But, not to worry anyone. Just call 'em up and yell very loudly and you'll be just fine. They'll take those charges off AND apologize for your inconvience! LOL
  • If the data plans are all $30 I don't see why AT&T cares. You're paying them their money. But like it was pointed out, if you call them up and spell it out to them that your a multiple phone user and swap SIMs they will normally let it go.
  • Sting, AT&T cares because not all data plans are $30. For example, the first generation iPhone data plan was $20. Also, unlocking to use T-Mobile allows for the use of cheaper data plans. Also, unlimited MEdiaNet through AT&T allows people with cheap flip phones to have unlimited data on their cheap (worthless) apps that are on those weak phones. The plan is cheaper because people use a lot less data because those apps are next to useless but it saves you from a massive overage if you don't have that kind of plan. Some people have found ways to use those cheaper data plans with iPhone. AT&T doesn't like this because they are spending an arm and a leg repairing their network due to massive iPhone usage and they want people to pay the full $30 to support the large use of network data that the iPhone represents. Hopefully that clears this argument up a little bit.
  • I gave like over 5k to AT&T damm
  • hahaha!!! I love it when people find loop holes.
    to make plans work w/ their budget. isn't that what big companies* do by the way
  • Let's see:
    - Rumours of TV and Movie downloads
    - Stories of Apple building server farms
    - Stories of AT&T upgrading their 3G network
    - Now warnings from AT&T that you must have a data plan
    = Prediction: Apple is going to offer streaming TV & Movie content from iTunes to the iPhone
  • @jeff it's not your phone until you finish paying out your two year contract. That is why AT&T can off the phone at a discount because they get their money over two years. It's almost like financing a car.
    I agree with most. Stop complaining about the data plan that you agreed to when you purchased the iPhone. If you do not like it then go get a nokia.
  • How can you block them from seeing what type of device you have?
  • I own my iphone. I bought it outright and I want to shut off data for a month all together and they won't allow me to. My phone My choice but not / att. Jerks! I owe at&t nothing an I owe crapple even less.
  • This is an interesting issue.
    On the one hand, why should it matter. AT&T is well within their rights to dictate the required service for a specific device. If you disagree, try buying a standalone DVR sometime, or an unlocked premium cell phone- you'll see that the service lock-ins are not only, in most cases, good economics for both the consumer and the company, they're also WAY less hassle for both parties. (Specifically, getting a third party DVR to play nice with your cable or satellite provider, or getting internet and MMS working on an unlocked phone.)
    On the other hand, the only consumers who have a legit ground to complain are those who are already paying for the plan, but are needlessly locked in to a device. The Blackberry and iPhone (as well as Windows PDA) plans are identical, so it seems to make little sense for them to require different billing plans. Except that both Blackberry and Apple draw kickbacks from those monthly plans. So, using an iPhone on a Blackberry plan, your kickbacks are going to the wrong company, and vice versa. More relevant for the BB plan, which includes the value-add of the push servers; on Apple's side, those are paid for by MobileMe subscriptions.
    That all being said, an iPhone is a device that demands a data/text plan, being as much an internet device as a phone. I don't comprehend those who want the phone without data as without data it's just a pretty phone. Buy a Razr V3xx in chrome if that's what you want.
    Mr./Ms. Truth: You can't block your IMEI. If you get an obscure imported phone maybe they won't be able to identify it. Its probably possible to hack an iPhone to spoof its IMEI or mimic another model, but I assure you that instability would result, and if you got caught it might be an issue since you'd be in violation of FCC regs and DMCA as well as ATT policies; probably even hacking laws. I would steer clear.
  • @Rico: I found a loophole to make the plan work with my budget. I got together with some friends and family members who all talk a lot. We all got a family plan together, a few of us have iPhones. The bill is $210 a month, but none of us pays more than $60- 60 each for the 2 iphones, 30 each for the other 3.. Vs, the $100 or so it would be for a standalone iPhone.
  • @James. now that is a piece of real good advice! it's legal and it works! Love it. the only thing is ya gotta trust the people you go in on this with. and..correct me if I am wrong, but there is the one guy (the one whose plan your on) that is ultimately responsible for all the phone's bills? I wouldn't even do that for my own mother. well, I would, but you get my point.
  • So everyone has a point....If you buy the phone from ATT, then yes they are subsidizing it and should have their data plan. If you buy the phone outright, you should NOT have to have the data plan. If you choose not to have the data plan, then YOU are responsible for the bill. If it is $5k, then pay up, you chose to save the $30 a month extra. Now that being said. ATT says, you have an iphone, it must have a data plan or it will not work correctly. That is untrue...My ATT plan has Internet and text BLOCKED for the plan. Thus it can't connect. Phone works fine. Why would I want an iphone and not a phone and itouch. I have wireless EVERYWHERE i am thus would never use the internet on the phone. Secondly, instead of carrying 2 devices i only carry one AND add the capacity of the camera. Thus as 1) I paid for the phone outright 2) I pay my plan for PHONE useage I should not be required to have a plan for data. I am not adding load to their network, I have prevented load and I do not have a subsidized phone as I paid full price for it, I should not be FORCED into this. It is only with IPHONE that this is forced. I can buy any other phone outright and be fine. Thus this is nothing more than greed and collusion between companies. If they force me to a plan, i'll just go back to the old phone and carry 2 devices again. I'll still have paid the same price as the touch with more features.
  • @revog: You sir are 100 percent right. Anyone else who disagrees has no idea what they are talking about.
  • I have an ATT account paid directly by the company I work for. It has a $45 per month enterprise data plan and my company wants me to use a windows phone. I put the Sim card into my iPhone and it has worked great for six months. Now it says I have no data plan. My company won't allow me to switch to the iPhone data plan due to suposed security risks. Is there a way to trick ATT to not know I am using an iPhone so I can keep using it with my enterprise data plan? I could really use some help here. I am dying without e-mail on my iPhone.
  • I just want wifi on a phone without data plan. I only use my phone at home and at work, which both have wifi.
    I don't understand why a person can't get a smartphone without data plan. Dell doesn't make you buy a data plan with a computer?
    We should be able to buy a phone and use it only on wifi if we want and not even use it as phone if we want, like a mini netbook?
  • I was wondering...If I order my iphone right now, will they automatically add the $30/month data plan on my phone before I even use it? Or does it start charging once I use the phone with my sim in it?
  • Snorkey, do you work for a company run by Mark Turd? I have a friend who works there and has done what you describe except that so far he has not had any issues--it's working fine. Have you made any progress?
  • I think it's hilarious that this site auto-censors the word "drut" (reverse it)!
  • I'm a little confused. I don't have an iphone, but am thinking about purchasing one (a unlocked g2). From what I'm getting here, there is an additional charge of $30 on top of whatever your plan is, correct? And also, if you use a different network from at&t(ex: verizon) then you're dinged $5000? so what if I'm already on at&t but bought an iphone off a friend, how does that play out? Any advice would be appreciated before I decide to buy an iphone. thx!!
  • I am paying for the damn VOICE planl; that is the only SERVICE I want. How I use it is up to me. They are violating my privacy by even trying to find out what device I have or use. Why don't they do that with my home phone?
    I am out of contract. I do not use OR NEED a stupid data plan as I am always in close wifi proximity. I do not use their stupid 3G slow a$$ network. Whether I want to use phone A or phone B to use THE SERVICE is up to me. As long as I am not using the 3G network, they have no right to force me to pay $30 just because I have an iphone. By the way, I bought an unlocked iphone from another country and I AM USING it on the ATT network WITHOUT the stupid data plan. I use the phone capabilities of the iphone to make calls. I use it as a camera. I use it on WIFI. I use it to play games. I use it to write notes. I use it to sync up my calendars. It is a smart phone and I love it. Nobody has the right, especially ATT and including apple to force me to pay for a data plan just because I have an iphone. I told them that loud and clear; the day they charge me, I will file a privacy violation lawsuit for knowing what phone I have and an antitrust lawsuit for their BS exclusiveness of the iphone in the US. Their claim they have the right to FORCE me to pay $30 for a data plan that I don't need is in my mind against every consumer right, monopoly laws, antitrust laws and good business practices.
  • hey if I have a regular AT&T plan and I use a blackberry bold 9000 without the data plan, can they add a data plan to my account like they do with the iPhones?
  • That's what I don't understand...I have purchased my iphone 3G from AT&T and essentially paid it off through 2 years with AT&T...then I upgraded to iphone 3GS and am still with AT&T under another 2 year contract. But I gave my old 3G to my wife who is also under AT&T she does not have a data plan with it. Just uses it on private WiFi, essentially not adding to AT&T 3G network traffic, because she does not use their data network, 3G or Edge. Why is AT&T requiring her to carry iphone Data Plan?
  • I think the text is somewhat a made-up... the person just want attention. I use both unlocked iPhone on AT&T Wireless Data Plan, one with Go Phone with data the phone was using a blackberry IMEI and one is a monthly plan with data and the IMEI was a HTC, both now using iPhone and access have no problem. I have been using it for over 6 months and never have any problems and never have AT&T add additional charge for my plan and never receive any of that text from AT&T and I even call several times to AT&T Customer fro questions on my account with iPhone... so, who-ever write this; is definately a person on T-Mobile not on AT&T... this is just B.S.
  • Oh, by the way, Go Phone use the regular Data Plan, and the other is HTC Monthly Data Plan... Never receive any of that text for over 6 months... this is just.... haha don't know what to say.
  • I completely agree with revoq. I am an AT&T customer who uses a Windows Mobile smart phone with WiFi and without a data plan. I also bought my device outright without an upgrade discount that would require a new contract. I share voice minutes and unlimited text with 4 other family members.
    Almost everywhere I go, I have access to WiFi connection and am able to check my email, the weather, stocks etc. I cannot use a cell phone GPS application in the car without having a data plan or text photographs. But I can survive without those things. My car has a GPS.
    I like not having to carry multiple devices such as a phone, music player, and camera. My phone is all of these things plus it syncronizes with my pc for easy file transfer.
    I heard that Verizon is going to start requiring smartphone user to carry data plans. I certainly hope that AT&T does not follow suit.
  • revog has a point, im using an iphone right now with just phone service and unlimited texting. If you go to at&t you can tell them to completely block the internet data usage thus making the iphone a ipod touch with a camera,phone and texting. This has been working out great for me since like everywhere i go theres wifi so internet really isnt a problem.
  • Trevor: high five!
  • I have been using an Iphone 3g for about 2 years on t-mobile's unlimited everythign plan for $30 a month. You get the pay as you go SIM from TM. Wait until your phone gets cut off. Go to TM store same day and request to get your phone reconnected. TM waives all the fees and ony charges $30 if you stay with their service. I wait every month to go to the TM store. They know me by name now. hahahaha easy $30 a month unlimited 3G plan. Take that ATT. YOU SUCK IN NORCAL.
  • What law allow ATT to monitor what kind of phone they are using & force them to have data plan, even if the phone have been out of contract? It does not make sense, Why they can invade our privacy so easy?