Does Anyone Know EXACTLY how the AT&T Data Plan works?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by iRabbit, May 10, 2010.

  1. iRabbit macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    #1
    Question 1

    I bought the $14.99 month plan...
    To make it easy, let's say I bought it May 1st...

    Let's say I use up the 250mb of data on May 15th...

    Am I charged $15 to upgrade to unlimited for the rest of the month, or am I charged $29.99 for unlimited for the NEXT 30 days... May 15 - June 15?

    Question 2

    Lets say I let my service lapse... and now I'm not paying for any 3G service. If I find myself out and about and in need of 3G, am I able to buy it without a WiFi connection? In other words, will AT&T's 3G network at least let me connect to it for buying it's service?


    Yes, I looked at AT&T's website for an answer to both questions, and it wasn't clear...
     
  2. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #2
    Question 1.

    Once you run out of your $15 dollars a month, you will either get charged another $15 for 250mb or $30 for unlimited. There is no upgrade path.

    So if you run out and $15 dollars is used up within the 30 days, you can choose to pay $15 dollars more for another 250mb or $30 dollars more for unlimited.

    Also, if you don't choose, it will just bill you in 30 days for another $15 dollars for 250mb. It's a recurring charge, so if you don't want it to recur you have to deliberately cancel.

    Question 2.

    Yes, you can buy 3G service without WiFi being available.
     
  3. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #3

    Question 1: I don't know the answer.

    Question 2: When you sign up it will use the 3g connection. You don't need wifi or an active account to do so. I know because I setup my 3g service when I first got it from a place with no wifi (which is why I got the 3g to begin with cause I'm there a lot :D)

    Edit: For the benefit of those without an iPad yet I activated mine at the Apple store first (which I think does require an internet connection). So I don't think you can just buy one and open the box at a no-internet location and start using it. I maybe wrong though.
     
  4. iRabbit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    #4
    That seems confusing - well not confusing to me, but in general - LOL.

    If I run out of 250mb, I have the option to choose 250 more for $15, or go unlimited for $30. Let's say I go with the unlimited plan... what happens the next time it renews? Am I renewed at $15 again or automatically at $30 for unlimited. And WHEN does it renew... 30 days from when I picked $30 for unlimited, or 30 days from when I signed up initially?




    Thanks to you both for the answer to question 2... good to know!
     
  5. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #5
    Assuming you choose to upgrade to the unlimited plan, you will pay $29.99 for the next 30 days, May 15 - June 15. At least, that's what I understand from my reading of AT&T terms and conditions.

    Yes, a 3G connection is available for you to connect and purchase the service plan from AT&T. I know because I tried this before I bought the plan.
     
  6. calvin2006 macrumors regular

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    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
    It renews 30 days after your second plan starts.
     
  7. iRabbit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    #7

    Okay... that makes sense (I guess), though it's a big misleading.

    AT&T says on their website - "To help you manage your data with a 250 MB plan, iPad will notify you at 20%, 10%, and when there's no more data available, so you can decide if you want to add more data or upgrade to an unlimited data plan. To provide a seamless data experience, your domestic data service will be automatically renewed every 30 days, unless you decide to cancel your service before the end of the 30 days."


    In theory, I should only be charged $15 to "upgrade" to the unlimited plan within a month I've paid for.

    It seems to make it IMPOSSIBLE to truly "upgrade" to the unlimited only when you need it.

    What happens if I do the upgrade BEFORE I run out of 250mb? For example, if I know I'm going away to an area where WiFi might not be widely available...
     
  8. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #8
    Ok I can't answer that question cause I don't have a 3G iPad.

    What I can tell you is that there is no Upgrade. So I would assume, that if you say your next charge will be the unlimited one, it will either

    A. Wait for the 30 days and then charge you the next cycle for the Unlimited.
    B. Wait until the 250mb runs out, and then it will charge you for the unlimited.

    I'm not sure.
    What I do know is that once you run out of 250mb, you have the choice to buy another 250 for $15 or unlimited for $30 and that will become your new recurring plan.
     
  9. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #9
    Yeah, that part is a bit misleading, though I think you have to read each sentence independently of each other. (1) If you have a limited plan, and you run out in the middle of the month, you have a choice to buy another limited plan, or you can upgrade to an unlimited plan. (2) If you don't make any changes to your plan in the middle of the month, it will be automatically renewed at the end of the month. Concepts (1) and (2) aren't really related to each other.

    But basically, if you want to temporarily upgrade to an unlimited plan, you have to remember to revert back to the limited plan before the 30 days are up. I think I read somewhere that when you do that, you will have the unlimited plan for the whole month you paid for, then get back on the limited plan starting in the next 30-day cycle. But yeah, that part *is* confusing!

    Now *that* is a very good question. For some reason, I doubt the remaining mbs will roll over into the "upgraded" plan. I'd just wait until all the mbs are used up before upgrading or renewing, since, after all, you can renew anywhere / anytime you get a AT&T 3g connection.
     
  10. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #10
    Whichever plan you choose is good for 30 continuous days. If you chose the 250MB plan and use it up on Day 15, you can buy another 250MB plan or the unlimited plan. In either case the 30 day clock resets.

    If you run out on Day 15 and do nothing, your limit and clock resets at the end of the 30 day period. If you buy another plan before the original plan ends, the new plan starts when the old plan ends (i.e. when you have used up your 250 MB or 30 days).

    All plans automatically reset at the end of the 30 day period unless you cancel. If you upgrade to an unlimited plan from a 250 MB plan on Day 15 you have gotten the full 250 MB you paid for and now you get a full 30 days of unlimited use.

    I hope this is clear.
     
  11. iRabbit thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2007
    #11
    The misleading part is that AT&T uses the term "upgrade" both on their website and, I believe, in the interface on the iPad...
     
  12. iRabbit thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2007
    #12
    It's clear, but not if I want to "upgrade" BEFORE I run out of data...

    I guess what happens then is that once you're 250mb is used up, it'll bill your for a new unlimited plan and the clocks starts over on THAT day...
     
  13. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #13
    I purchased the $30 unlimited plan for a test drive. On my iPad, in the "cellular data" page in settings, I now have two choices for what I'd like the system to do when the 30 days elapse: I can elect to cancel the plan on day 31, or I can switch to the $15 250MB plan. If I choose neither between now and the end of the 30 day period, the plan will renew (another 30 days unlimited, for another $30) by default.

    I haven't purchased the 250MB plan, but I'll bet anything it works like this: you probably have similar choices for what to do once 30 days elapses (either cancel, buy the $30 unlimited plan, or simply renew), but if you hit the 250MB limit first, I bet it asks you which option you want rather than just renew the previous plan by default. This is consistent with AT&T's language that says, "iPad will notify you... ...so you can decide if you want to add more data or upgrade to an unlimited data plan". By "add more data" they mean purchase another 250MB for another $15, and by "upgrade", in this sense, I'm sure they mean "buy a higher-capacity plan in the future". I'm sure that if you choose the $30 "upgrade" at this point, you will start a new 30 day clock and your previous $15 purchase is not relevant -- you bought 250MB of data and consumed it all, so that "contract" is complete.
     
  14. Robbadore64 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #14
    I still don't know why you or anyone would ever want to do this? If you can start a new contract at any time it would be like wasting days of a thirty day contract while you still have some data left on the 250 contract. Since we've established it's not truly an upgrade, it would be dumb of AT&T to even let you get a NEW contract while your current exists.

    Would someone ever WANT to "upgrade"? Say you are day 25 of the limited contract and you decide to "upgrade". So you'd pay another $15 to have unlimited data for 5 more days??
     
  15. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #15
    Both questions have been asked and answered to death. Apple makes it clear on the actual iPad 3G.

    “The selected plan will start when the current plan expires. Your credit card will automatically be billed every 30 days, on the date your current plan ends.”


    - Add 250MB of data for 30 days for $14.99
    - Change to Unlimited data for 30 days for $29.99

    A screenshot is available on Apple’s iPad 3G Web site:
     

    Attached Files:

  16. ChrisJSNh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #16
    They could have worded it better, but to put it simply , it is like a new car ,, 50,000 miles or 5 years which ever comes first.

    So if you get the 250 meg 30 day plan, and you use 250 in 3 days that is the end of the plan until the 30 days are up. then it will renew on the 30th day. And you get another 250 meg to play with Provided you do not make a change to the plan before the 30th day.

    If you make a change to the plan before the 30th day from the start of it, you reset your clock to start all over.

    And i am sure At&T will not stop someone from changing their plan before the 30th day.

    So if you had an unlimited plan, and went in on the 25th day and selected the 250 meg plan, you now reset the clock and start the 250 meg one from 0 ant that instant , and loose the last 5 days of unlimited.
     
  17. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #17
    Err, no.

    Per Apple’s Web site, the 250MB plan would not begin until your unlimited 30 day plan was over.

    This entire process is treated just like any of AT&T’s other Pay-as-You-Go Services.
     
  18. ChrisJSNh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #18
    well according to at&t wording from this
    http://www.att.com/Common/about_us/files/pdf/emerging_devices/iPad_fact_sheet.pdf

    And the at&t person told me that was accurate on the wording , no matter what
    "If you do make a change, a new 30-day window begins."

    I only called them to see if could weasle my ipad plan onto my corporate account and they said no, i knew they would say no, but i wanted to try. I have iphones and thought it was worth the try

    oops editing to add, but that doesn't mean the At&T person i talked to knew really. When i bought my first iphone i was told i couldnt get the corporate discount, i waited an hour and called again i was told of course i can. ..so i odered it.
     
  19. iRabbit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    #19
    I think it's pretty clear to me now how it works.

    I will say this though... Personally, I'm sure I am not the only one who thought they could truly "upgrade" to unlimited within a month's plan. So if i start with limited on day one, then hit the limit on day fifteen, I'd be able to upgrade to unlimited for $15 for the rest of that month.

    I'd still like to know what happens, for sure, if I start at the limited plan and upgrade to unlimited BEFORE I hit the 250mb limit.
     
  20. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #20
    You lose the remainder of your 250MB and you're put on the unlimited plan immediately for the next 30 days.
     
  21. MiguelS macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2010
    Location:
    San Jose
    #21
    How do you track ur usage on the unlimited plan? It just states unlimited under usage.
     
  22. Hammie macrumors 65816

    Hammie

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    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Wash, DC Metro
    #22
    Well, I blew through the 250MB plan in about 10 days. i easily upgraded to the Unlimited plan.

    I agree the wording is not the best but it is far easier than negotiating contracts.
     
  23. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #23
    General / Settings / Usage. Look under Cellular Usage.
     
  24. MiguelS macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2010
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    San Jose
    #24
    Thanks! 112Mb in 1 week
     
  25. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    Location:
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    #25
    I'm over 600MB and have not streamed a thing...
     

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