Are AT&T Ripping Me Off (International Moving To USA)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by HelixOmnimedia, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. HelixOmnimedia macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Traveling The World
    #1
    Hello,

    I need some serious advice. I think AT&T are ripping me off but because I have no way of checking or verifying this I thought I'd asking everyone on here.

    History
    Moving to Orlando FL, next weekend for 1year. I have an iPhone 3Gs and its been officially unlocked by 02. I can't be tied into a contact as I'll only be there 1 year. Want to use iPhone for emails and Twitter and Facebook, to stay in contact with people back home. (when I'm away from my MacBook).

    Now
    Spoke to AT&T via Twitter and email, and they have sent me some information, but its seems the prices are ridiculously expensive, and I thought the UK was bad.

    This is what I've gather so far:

    • $36 - Activation
    • $25 - Simcard
    • $15 - Texts per month (maybe $20 if I use more - doubtful)
    • $30 - iPhone Unlimited Data Plan
    • $40 - Voice Plan
    That's $146 to start with, then $85 per month after that.


    Why is it so expensive? How can I get my iPhone to work in the USA very cheaply.

    Ideas, Suggestions, Comments, All Welcome.
    Thanks
     
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #2

    Of your list it all adds up just fine. New account $36 activation. Pretty standard accross the board of all the carriers. Some times you can get it waved if you are signing up for a long term contract. Since you are not you are suck with it.

    $25 Sim, seems high but I am not surpised in the least I have heard new sims run $15-30 bucks so you have to eat that one. Again you are eating because you are not signing a long term contract.

    ATT text plans are
    $5 - 200 Text
    $15 - 1500 Text
    $20 - Unlimited
    Pleast note that unlike the EU you are charged for a text message for each one you send and receive.


    Other 2 numbers are standard cost. No way around it.
     
  3. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #3
    You’re not getting ripped off. That’s how much we pay for data and voice here. I have news for you, you’re not going to be paying $85 per month total either. We have ridiculous state, local and federal taxes and regulation fees on our monthly phone bills here that usually add up to around 15 to 20 percent extra per month on top of your service charges.

    You’re looking at least $100 per month easy. My monthly service charges are around $120, yet I pay almost $150 with taxes.

    You could always look into T-Mobile if you want to avoid the $30 data charge and you plan on having Wi-fi access most of the time. However, the iPhone is not compatible with T-Mobile’s 3G coverage due to spectrum/frequency incompatibilities (if you can even find it anyway).
     
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #4
    Welcome to USA, land of rippoff cellphone companys. Unlike Europe were u have Many choices of carriers with an unlocked iPhone here in order to get 3g connection with it your stuck with AT&T. You can go Tmobile but you will be only using edge but they do have cheaper plans. What they quoted you is correct though, that's what we all pay around here with AT&T.
     
  5. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Traveling The World
    #5
    Oh it just worse by reading your replies.

    I can't believe this, I though having an iPhone would have been cheaper than running a pay and go phone.
     
  6. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    The US has the most expensive mobile phone rates in the OECD. Apparently you need to pay for incoming calls and texts too.
     
  7. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

    Joined:
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    #7
    So what about the sims cards of ebay?

    That would save me some money.
     
  8. optophobia macrumors 6502a

    optophobia

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hudson MA
    #8
    Also if you are planning on sending texts to the UK they charge you per message (not included in the TM plan ! ) I cant remember how much, I think its 25 cents each.

    And as others have stated you pay for incoming and outgoing calls AND texts.
    The USA is about 5 years behind the UK in terms of cellphone technology..., and about twice the price !

    You might be better off buying a brand new 3GS, selling either the new one or your current one for about $400 / $500 and then after a year, ending the contract and pay the ETF of ($175 - $60 = $115 ) or you may be able to get out of it saying you are moving back to the UK (YMMV)

    By buying out here you get the 3GS at a discount price, and dont have to pay the $25 for a sim... It might work out cheaper....
     
  9. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

    Joined:
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    #9

    I just purchased the phone two weeks ago. Buying/selling one out there isn't an option or something I want to get into. I guess I'm just gonna think it through and go with it.
     
  10. mackmgg macrumors 65816

    mackmgg

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #10
    Well, if you don't need 3G, t-mobile's plans are much cheaper if you unlock the phone.
     
  11. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

    Joined:
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    #11

    Ok phone has been officially unlocked by 02 here in the UK. So that's something I don't need to worry about.

    Where I live the now we don't get 3G speeds. There just an E (i assume that its Edge) and sometimes a little Dot (I assume is GPS).

    I went to Glasgow yesterday, where I got 3G appearing I eventually turned it off as it drained my battery really really fast. I didn't use it for long.

    Is there really that big of speed difference for the cost? I think I'm just used to Edge speeds.
     
  12. iObama macrumors 6502

    iObama

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    SF
    #12
    Well, you ARE getting ripped off, but that's pretty much just common practice with AT&T and Verizon these days... :rolleyes:
     
  13. STEVESKI07 macrumors 68000

    STEVESKI07

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #13
    Since your used to Edge speeds and don't mind it then I think you should just go to T Mobile if money is the only issue at hand. You will get faster speeds from AT&T, but you will pay more.
     
  14. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

    Joined:
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    #14
    Question - Looking at T-Mobile page about the plans. It says Nationwide 3G? So what's stopping this working on the iPhone 3Gs?

    Same with Verizon, I just saw a pop up advertising Version, and it says about a 3G Network.

    What gives?
     
  15. STEVESKI07 macrumors 68000

    STEVESKI07

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #15
    To give you the short answer. The iPhone will only work on AT&T and Tmobile in the US. You will only get 3G with AT&T. The iPhone is set up to use different technologies/frequencies than the other networks so it will not work with them.
     
  16. co.ag.2005 macrumors 65816

    co.ag.2005

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    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #16
    What frequencies of 3G does O2 use in the UK? I assume it is the same as ATT, but in the off chance O2 is similar to TMobile (USA), then his phone may receive 3G data speeds here in the states... just a suggestion... I don't know the answer.
     
  17. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #17
    T-Mobile uses a different frequency band for its 3G (1700 Mhz) which the iPhone is not capable of tuning. Verizon uses a completely different technology for both voice and data (called CDMA2000 and EVDO, respectively). The are both "third generation" (3G) technologies, but Verizon's is completely incompatible with GSM phones. Verizon phones don't even use SIMs!

    No, Apple only makes one iPhone (Capable of 850, 1900, 2100 MHz UMTS data). No iPhone has a 1700 MHz UMTS radio.
     
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #18
    The iphone does not support Tmobile USA 3G frequencys.
    Also Verizon and Sprint are CDMA networks that dont use simcards and GSM phones will not work on their network. You have to buy a CDMA phone for that.
    So again AT&T only for 3G, Tmobile with Edge. You dont have many choices.
     
  19. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #19
    TMobile uses a different frequency for 3G that doesn't work with the iPhone so you'll only get Edge. Verizon's whole network is simply not compatible with the iPhone in any way.
     
  20. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
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    #20
    Ok that's good to know. I'm currently weighing up the options of price, Edge and 3G and seeing it there's going to be a significant difference.

    Just realized that a lot of people are wanting to see an iPhone on Verizon would mean Apple needing to bring out a brand new and completely different phone.
     
  21. co.ag.2005 macrumors 65816

    co.ag.2005

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #21
    Thanks for the info! Learn something new everyday
     
  22. Mademan12321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    #22
    It would be nice to see it on another provider to add competition and maybe lower prices on data plans, but people fail to realize that Verizon has problems as well, just as high as ATT, just as crooked as ATT, and they put there ugly red logo on everything. Sprint and T-Mobile are the cheapest of the big 4 but I left sprint for ATT in Texas and service was much much improved as far as reception and dropped calls :eek: (YES IMPROVED).

    If all you are looking for is edge and your phone is already unlocked (or can be if you have 3 minutes to spare) then I say go for T-mobile. Edge isn't unbearable but certain programs must use 3g to run properly. The 3g speeds can be pretty fast if found but if on ATT prepare to see a lot of edge when traveling.
     
  23. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #23
    You want to go to an AT&T corporate store. As long as you ask nicely, you can get the sim card for free.Or you can buy one on ebay for cheap. As for the activation fee, again you can get it waved if you are lucky. Otherwise you need a FAN discount with free activation. Also they may try to force you into a 2yr contract but as long as you say it is your own phone and you will not be put in a 2 yr contract you are good.

    As for the price per month. That seems about right.
     
  24. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Traveling The World
    #24
    Found this online.

    This package includes $25.00 recharge for Discounted International Dialing.

    This sim comes with 500 airtime minutes, Unlimited text messaging, Unlimited mobile to mobile calling, Free nights & weekends, and yes (Unlimited Data).

    Telephone number is Washington DC (202) ". Refill monthly as you need by purchasing a refill pin.
    No contract, No credit check.

    Its T-Mobile - so it will be Edge.

    http://www.mrsimcard.com/iphone.html
     
  25. HelixOmnimedia thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HelixOmnimedia

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Location:
    Traveling The World
    #25
    Could I possible charm my way into getting a free card and no activation fee.. That would make going with AT&T a little bit better easier.
     

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