iPhone use for a conference call may be illegal

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dangleheart, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. dangleheart macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #1
    Well, I do not know who will enforce this but if you go strictly by the terms and conditions you agreed to with AT&T, you can not really call into a conference call with your iPhone if you have unlimited voice services.

    From the AT&T iPhone terms and conditions:

    Unlimited Voice Services: Unlimited voice services are provided solely for live dialog between two individuals. Unlimited voice services may not be used for conference calling, call forwarding, monitoring services, data transmissions, transmission of broadcasts, transmission of recorded material, or other connections which do not consist of uninterrupted live dialog between two individuals. If AT&T finds that you are using an unlimited voice service offering for other than live dialog between two individuals, AT&T may, at its option, terminate your service or change your plan to one with no unlimited usage components. AT&T will provide notice that it intends to take any of the above actions, and you may terminate the agreement.
     
  2. nismo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    #2
    lol that is so dumb why aren't you allowed to do conference calling? :rolleyes:
     
  3. snook911 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    Yorba Linda, CA
    #3
    I don't know about you but i dont have an unlimited voice plan. I have only 900 minutes then I get charged. AT&T would'nt care if I used conference calling when i do more minutes click off my account. But if thier was a plan out thier with unlimited voice they might mind you using then because you could rack up large minutes quickly. Just a guess though. I heard that the phones at apple store read unlimited whenyou *646# them so maybe thats it.
     
  4. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000

    D1G1T4L

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    Jun 26, 2007
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    #4
    Illegal? :p Hummm AT&T is going to have the police arrest people for making a conference call? ROFL!
     
  5. dangleheart thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2007
    #5
    :eek: This means you can not leave a voice mail or talk to an automated voice response system. Forget about calling AT&T customer support or 1-800-MY-IPHONE.. :ROFL:
     
  6. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Gone but not forgotten.
    #6
    This sounds similar to something that made news a year or so ago, when Cingular started blocking conference call toll-free numbers, apparently to keep people from hanging on the line.
     
  7. *Spitfire* macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    #7
    I suspect the motivation behind this prohibition is the concern that someone with an unlimited plan could, using the conference call functionality, effectively set up his own telephone company. The subscriber would simply conference in his "customer" who would direct the subscriber to make calls to whomever he chose, and there would be no incremental cost to the subscriber. The subscriber could, I suppose, charge his customers, or just earn good will while using many more minutes than AT&T would expect.

    The language implies that AT&T would not exercise its rights unless it had good reason to believe that there was real abuse going on.

    Good observation by the OP, though.
     
  8. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #8
    Given this is a built-in feature of the iPhone and one that Steve Jobs demo'd none-the-less, if ATT came after customers they'd have a bit of a conflict and they'd lose, plus Steve Jobs wouldn't be happy. My guess is that ATT's legal just approved a boiler plate agreement w/o understanding all the features of the iPhone. I'd really love to see ATT go after people w/ this. Talk about creating a S* Storm.
     
  9. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    Apr 10, 2003
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    The "Garden" state
    #9
    I think Spitfire nailed the explanation. It's the same as "unlimited data" that's not really unlimited if you abuse it and tether your laptop 24/7 while uploading and downloading 100 gigabyte pr0n files. ;-) No one will actually get caught for this because there's no way with average use anyone would trigger an investigation.
     
  10. dangleheart thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2007
    #10
    Spitfire, I am not sure how one can become a 'telephone company' of sorts if someone has unlimited voice plan. I did not quite understand the scneario you have in mind. Just curious, that is all. In what way this is different from having an unlimited landline plan like Vonage?

    I can see abuses on the voice side something like this: Call into a conference with an unlimited plan service and leave it on for ever. Do whatever you want with it: Broadcast music or pipe whatever into it. I can see why AT&T want to prevent such abuses. But people who are calling in to listen to it are still on their own dime.
     
  11. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

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    #11
    Reselling long distance calls, most likely. On a normal telephone plan the long distance rates are generally different than they are on a cell phone, so conceivably you could "resell" long distance through conference calling and an unlimited plan.
     
  12. *Spitfire* macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    #12
    What I was picturing, dangleheart, is a situation where say I have an "unlimited" plan with AT&T, and you would like to call up Question Fear during a weekday in daylight to compliment him on his insightful posts. Let's also assume that you have no prime time minutes left on your 450 minute plan, and your plan with your landline carrier is such that it would also charge you extra for the call, and you would never dream of using your office phone for a personal call. You could ask me to arrange a conference call among myself, you on your landline, and Q-Fear. The two of you could have your chat, which would cost me nothing, and AT&T would lose the incremental revenue otherwise generated by a call placed on your own phone. Similar abuse would be possible under a Vonage or any other unlimited plan that also supports conference calls. Since exhorbitant landline long-distance charges are becoming more easily avoidable, and since in the U.S. cellular inbound calls are also charged, the likelihood of this sort of abuse isn't high, but it still makes sense, I think, for AT&T to have language in their contracts that affords them some protection. On the other hand, as Chupa Chupa points out, this may all just be a copy and paste of standard language from a contract first drafted in the 1950's when mothers would yell out to the backyard, "Spitfire, grandma is on the phone--hurry, she's calling long distance!"
     
  13. millar876 macrumors 6502a

    millar876

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    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland UK
    #13
    what you'll probably find is that the conferance calls are just charged at standard call rates. i.e. if you had a finite no. of mins on your plan (say 200 instead of unlimited) and you started a conferance call that lasted 50 mins you would still have 200 mins available cos they are not included, just like phoning answerphone ect. thats the way my contract works. maybe its just worded better over here, where it states that your free calls (unlimited or x00 mins) are for 01, 02, and 03 (land line uk no's) and 07 (uk mobile/cell no's)
    and you get charged for calling the answerphone
     
  14. sanford macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, USA
    #14
    This is standard language to prevent abuse of unlimited calling plans that may or may not even be offered. In point of fact, 3-way calling is offered as part of the iPhones plans, which are really just the usual AT&T plans with a data plan tacked on.

    Calling into a conference call is fine. Using your mobile phone, not just your iPhone, to stay connected via a conference call service to several other parties all weekend on your unlimited weekend minutes is not. These contracts all sound ugly but really they're intended to stop intentional and obvious abuse that would slaughter the network if many people did it, not prevent you from using your iPhone in a way anyone would use any phone. Note that you're not even prevented by the contract from staying on the phone every minute of your unlimited weekend or mobile-to-mobile minutes with only one other person.

    Note in particular the language "connections which do not consist of uninterrupted live dialog between two individuals". Conference calls do consist of uninterrupted live dialog between two individuals. What they don't want is you to use unlimited minutes to set up your own service for provided constant recorded information, probably for your profit by subscription. Those sorts of things.
     

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