ATT 3G: Prepaid or Postpaid?

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by MattEcho, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. MattEcho macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    #1
    The ATT website wasn't that clear on the differences between the two option. Does anyone have any advice? Anyone know what the pros/cons are?
     
  2. Rigby macrumors 601

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    San Jose, CA
    #2
    I'll stick with the prepaid plan. Main reason is that prepaid can be simply activated and cancelled in the iPad settings, whereas you have to go through AT&T customer service for the postpaid. I don't see any real advantage to the postpaid option.
     
  3. MattEcho thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    #3
    Okay, so I read that the primary differences are:
    1. Prepaid is charged directly to your credit card, whereas Postpaid is billed through your existing ATT account.
    2. Prepaid charges another $25 for 2gb when go you over your alloted 2gb, whereas Postpaid charges $10 for 1gb.
    3. Prepaid can be started/stopped using your iPad, whereas Postpaid users need to go through ATT customer service.

    Hmm...tough call. I like that Postpaid is billed to my account and that the overage charge is only $10 for 1gb. However, with the Prepaid, I would have the convenience of starting/stopping the service using my iPad.

    Anyway, thought I'd share.
     
  4. KatMarie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #4
    With the $10 per gb over it's only good for that month though, right? It expires when the month is up, even if you were just charged for it on the last day of the month, the next day it doesn't roll over. With the prepaid, if you go over 2gb, you have to buy 2gb more at $25, but they don't expire for another 30 days. Am I making sense? Lol
    Also, I thought with the prepaid, when your 2gb are gone, it doesn't automatically charge you for more? This is my first time using it and it does say it will automatically charge me every month and I'll get 2gb every month, but if I run out, I have to buy more, then my month restarts at that time.
     
  5. MattEcho thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    #5
    Yes, you're correct about the Postpaid plan. If you go over the 2gb, you get charged $10 for another 1gb, but it does not roll over to the next month.

    So just to clarify what your saying: With a Prepaid plan of 2gb at $25, if I go over, I will be charged another $25 and a new 30-day period begins? Do you have a link?

    If this is accurate, then the Prepaid would be the way to go for me, since I would probably not hit the overage until later in the month.
     
  6. KatMarie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #6
    Here's from the email they sent me when I bought 2gb. Yes, you get charged $25, but a new 30 day period begins.

    Reminder: Domestic iPad Plans may be purchased with unlimited data usage up until June 6, 2010, or with a data usage allotment measured in MBs or GBs, for a 30 day period utilizing a credit or debit card. The 30 day period begins to expire immediately upon purchase, whether or not you are using the service. If you purchase a Domestic iPad Plan with a data usage allotment and you use all of your allotment prior to the expiration of the 30 day period, your access to our Data Services will cease for the remainder of the 30 day period. If you want to continue using our Data Services during the remaining 30 day period, you will need to purchase an additional iPad Plan by going to Settings > Cellular Data on your iPad and selecting from available options. If you purchase an additional iPad Plan, the 30 day period, including the 30 day automatic renewal period, will change to the date and time you purchase the additional iPad Plan. Domestic iPad Plans include the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

    DOMESTIC IPAD PLANS WILL AUTOMATICALLY RENEW EVERY 30 DAYS, AND YOU AUTHORIZE US TO CHARGE YOUR CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD FOR YOUR INITIAL AND ANY SUBSEQUENT IPAD PLAN, UNLESS YOU CANCEL THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL OF YOUR SERVICE. TO CANCEL AUTOMATIC RENEWAL, GO TO SETTINGS > CELLULAR DATA ON YOUR IPAD AND SELECT CANCEL PRIOR TO YOUR NEXT SCHEDULED PAYMENT TO AVOID BEING CHARGED. IN ORDER TO PROCESS YOUR AUTOMATIC RENEWAL IN A TIMELY FASHION AND ENSURE YOUR CONTINUED USE OF THE SERVICE, AT&T WILL CHARGE YOUR CREDIT CARD OR DEBIT CARD FOR THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL APPROXIMATELY TWO HOURS BEFORE YOUR NEW IPAD PLAN 30 DAY PERIOD AUTOMATIC RENEWAL IS SET TO BEGIN. SHOULD YOU CANCEL AUTOMATIC RENEWAL AFTER WE HAVE CHARGED YOUR CARD BUT BEFORE THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL PERIOD IS SET TO BEGIN (E.G. WE CHARGED YOUR CREDIT CARD FOR THE RENEWAL AT 7 AM ET FOR A 9 AM ET AUTO RENEWAL AND YOU NOTIFIED US TO CANCEL THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL AT 8 AM ET), PLEASE CONTACT AT&T CUSTOMER SERVICE TO PROCESS A CREDIT FOR THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL.

    The terms for the AT&T 3G Data Plan for iPadTM have been revised. For updated terms, please see www.att.com/termsofservice. Your continued use of the AT&T 3G Data Plan for iPad constitutes your acceptance of the revised terms.

    Thank You,
    AT&T
     
  7. MattEcho thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 19, 2011
  8. Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
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    San Jose, CA
    #8
    Yes, that is correct. The prepaid plans run out after 30 days or when you run out of data, whichever comes first. When that happens, a new plan will automatically be started (unless you have cancelled in the meantime, which stops the auto-renewal).
     
  9. BobbieM629 macrumors regular

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    Mar 25, 2011
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    Midwest
    #9
    I like this idea as well and like to be able to control it myself.
     
  10. johnny5k macrumors member

    johnny5k

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    #10
    I just made the switch from Postpaid to Prepaid

    It was incredibly painful. Here's my story:

    I just spent 45 minutes on the phone with AT&T -- not on hold, mind you - that's how long it took them to figure it out - through the course of talking to 4 different people. Seriously, it sounded like I was the first person who ever needed to do this, and it was like I was asking them to cancel my old pager account and port that number to my iPhone or something - not 1 of them knew what the hell was going on; and I even knew exactly what I needed them to do - cancel my Postpaid account on the iPad, and set up a new Prepaid account with my existing phone account. But for some reason it completely perplexed them. And at the end, the CS agent said something about shipping charges for the new SIM she was sending out; luckily for her, before I could say anything, she said she would waive the charge. I told her (and 1 or 2 of the previous agents I talked to) that they really need to streamline the whole process - it shouldn't be so difficult.

    And I had already called earlier today, and I was told I could manage the whole thing on my iPad, even though I told her that I had bought it through AT&T.com, and it wasn't connected to my phone account (which she should have known meant that it was Postpaid, but she instructed me as though it was prepaid).

    It really sucks that AT&T is able to so easily make these very well-designed devices work like crap. If I had bought my iPad at the Apple store instead of directly from AT&T, it would have come with a SIM ready for me to set up right on the iPad, and manage my data account myself. Instead, AT&T decided they would manage the account on a random new phone number that was in no way affilliated with my existing AT&T account, and which was nearly impossible to cancel. It's really too bad this version of the iPad isn't compatible with Verizon, cuz there's a good chance I'd be making the switch if it were. That was horrible. And I bet they'll charge me for the 46 minute call on my iPhone.

    I just got the confirmation email, and I'm not very hopeful that this is over. Does anyone know if they use the same phone number, just with some other options enabled on the SIM when you switch? Cuz according to this, my new SIM is going to have the same number as my old one.

    Per your request, I have placed an order for a new SIM for wireless number 414 xxx 6732 today.
    Per your request, your service was cancelled for wireless number 414 xxx 6732 effective 4/13/11.
     
  11. OverSpun macrumors 6502a

    OverSpun

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #11
    I'm stuck in the same spot with my brand new iPad 2 3G-


    I noticed that PREPAID isn't an option turning it on. I'll likely use 3G only for trips, so how would I do this?


    Note: I had a gen1 wifi iPad until I upgraded to the 3G version this time.
     
  12. johnny5k macrumors member

    johnny5k

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    #12
    That's EXACTLY the same situation I'm in - 3G is really only for trips; otherwise I have WiFi. I think AT&T only has the Postpaid option because it locks you in, so you have to pay whether you're using it or not. They probably LOVE when people complain about how hard it is to switch to Prepaid, because it discourages anyone from doing it.

    The ONLY way to change or cancel your Postpaid plan (also known as "DataConnect rate plan") is to call AT&T or go to an AT&T retail location. 1-800-331-0500

    If you tell them exactly what to do, maybe it'll go smoother for you. You might actually be best off not telling the first person that you're going to want to add Prepaid service, and instead just get them to cancel your Postpaid service first. It might save them some confusion.

    1) You want to cancel your DataConnect rate, also known as Postpaid, plan.
    2) To find your account, they need your 'iPad phone number' (your iPad actually has a phone number, even though you don't use it for calls) - access it on your iPad at Settings > General > About > Cellular Data Number

    3) Once that's done, you need to set up new Prepaid service on your iPad (if you already have an AT&T account, you likely want to set it up on the same account so you can manage your iPad alongside your phone).
    4) They will need to send you a new SIM card in order to activate your Prepaid data plan on your iPad. They should be able to waive the shipping fee on the card.

    Note that you will not have any 3G service until you get your card. If you need service in-between, you may want to do #3 & 4 first, and wait to cancel your postpaid plan until after you get your prepaid plan set up; but then you have to call them back, and that may be more of a hassle than it's worth.

    Here's the only page on AT&T's help section that addresses this issue (and just tells you to call them): http://www.wireless.att.com/answer-center/main.jsp?t=solutionTab&solutionId=KB117148

    Good luck - report back how it goes.
     
  13. ateganda29 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    #13
    My 30-day free trial for signing up a postpaid account is coming up so I will be calling to cancel my postpaid. The thing is, when I called to activate a postpaid account, the representative said I would be able to cancel my iPad data connect plan either on my iPad or on my account online or by calling them. After activation did I found out that the first two options were not true. So now, I came across the FAQ page on the wireless.att.com website and found out that the only way to cancel your postpaid iPad data connect plan is by calling the customer care number. Great! Not! Oh well, I'm hoping my call tomorrow won't be as painful. I'll keep in mind your suggestion, johnny5k, of just mentioning the cancellation of my postpaid first and get that done before saying something about wanting to go back to prepaid. I'll keep you guys posted.
     
  14. lucan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    #14
    hi guys,

    I just closed my iPad post-paid plan by calling AT&T. I am planning to move to prepaid plan as well but CSR didn't provide me much useful information and kept telling me I could do it thru iPad.

    With certain level of skepticism, I tried thru iPad's cellular setting (you should wait 10-15 mins after the phone call.) When I turned cellular data on, I got "No service". So I know my post plan is terminated successfully. I tapped on "View Account"(post paid plan doesn't support this), hehaa, I can register for prepaid plan directly now. It requires you for name and billing information.

    In brief, you don't need to get a new sim card for post to prepaid transition. You just have to close your post paid plan and pre paid plan will be ready for you thru iPad.

    Have fun!!!
     
  15. xavier184 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #15
    I did the opposite when signing up a month back, I did it through the iPad first (prepaid), then went through heck, many phone calls and dropped calls :mad:, with AT&T Customer Service to change it to postpaid.

    At one point, one uninformed rep also wanted to send me a new sim card too. I ended the call with the Rep and a rep or 2 later and did it fine without a new sim card.

    At that time it wasn't clear that prepaid you get "renewed 30 days" at overage/purchase, so postpaid seemed the way to go since it was only $10 for 1GB more, or a $35/mo 3GB plan (better then Verizon's plan and where I thought my usage would be).

    Thus far my "heavy usage" was only 1.2GB last month. I tried to use it heavy, but no Netflix or heavy youtube usage. I will try some netflix/video usage for month two.

    I suppose doing the math, if you're closer to a 3GB per month user, then post paid is $35/mo versus prepaid would be $37.50/mo ($25/mo plus half of the next billing's 1GB, $12.50).

    For those on Postpaid, did you get charged 1 month advanced?

    I did, and talking to the AT&T Rep they said you get billed 1 month in advance, but the overage ($10/GB) would be postpaid on the next bill. Sounds odd, but I know I'm on postpost paid because I cannot edit/sign-up/off for cellular service on my iPad, like I use to.

    It may warrent another call on Monday/Tuesday to double, double check.
     
  16. ewl930 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 27, 2011
    #16
    Does anyone know if they charge an activation fee with prepaid, i.e., if you cancel for a while and re-start it? If they do, that would be a huge drawback. (Maybe it's Verizon that I heard does this?)

    I just got the Ipad 1 online also and they set it up as postpaid, very aggravating as I'd have liked the choice... so about to go through this cancellation process to switch to prepaid.
     
  17. djransom macrumors 68040

    djransom

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    #17
    AT&T doesn't charge an activation fee.
     
  18. ewl930 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    #18
    Ok so I called and canceled my postpaid plan (first one the rep had ever done...) and now I have "no service" displayed and sure enough the prepaid registration now comes up when I click on "view account" ( but note you have to be on a wifi network to get this). But after entering all my info, I get an "AT&T cannot process your request, please try again later" message. What's up with that?! I've tried several times, still the same thing.
     
  19. johnny5k macrumors member

    johnny5k

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    #19
    That's weird, after I canceled my postpaid, mine always said my account type isn't supported; until I put in my new SIM, then I got the registration screen as expected.

    Sounds like you might have to get a new SIM afterall.
     
  20. ewl930 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    #20
    Yep. FYI, brought it to an AT&T store and said I needed help getting setup on a prepaid plan; they switched the SIM (no charge) and I entered my info in the store-- easy as that. Took about 10 minutes. And I now have a different phone number associated with the new prepaid account. Thanks all for the tips.
     
  21. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    #21
    Some people are also paying taxes/fee/charges on the postpaid plan that don't apply to the prepaid.



    I just went to the AT&T store to switch from Postpaid to Prepaid and think they just switched from Postpaid on its own account to Postpaid on my iPhone account. Arrrggh.
     

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