off-network wireless data usage violation.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by livingonvideo13, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. livingonvideo13 macrumors regular

    livingonvideo13

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #1
    I long for the day when I can use my iphone with a decent carrier besides AT&T (without unlocking). The past 9 days I have been on a motorcycle trip in a lot of remote areas. I created a web page where family and friends could check the status of our trip by using GPS Tracker and PixelPipe.

    [​IMG]

    Coverage for the trip was OK but there were many times I had to use another phone with Verizon to make calls since I could not get any service on my iphone with AT&T. There was never a time when AT&T had service and Verizon did not. Verizon had the best coverage.

    About 5 days into my trip I get a text message from AT&T that says

    "Important AT&T FREE MSG: Your off-network wireless data usage is violating the terms of your contract. Please contact us at 800-331-0500" for details"


    [​IMG]

    So I give them a call and after being transferred a few times around they tell me I am using to much data in roaming areas. They tell me that I can only use 6mb data per month in roaming areas. I ask them how am I suppose to tell and they tell me that my phone will now say "Off Network" when I am not in an AT&T area and try and use data services as little as possible.

    This kind of ruins my whole idea of uploading photos and tracking my ride via the GPS Tracker since 6mb is not that much data.

    Sure enough, my phone now says "Off Network"

    [​IMG]

    About 95% of the time in 5 different states when I do have service, my phone is displaying "Off Network" and there are many times when I wanted to upload photos from my trip and I could not because I have already used my 6mb roaming data for the month.

    I understand the 5GB cap per month but 6mb per month in Data Roaming Areas?

    I love my iphone but Verizon service is so much better.
     
  2. ctt1wbw macrumors 68000

    ctt1wbw

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Seaford VA
    #2
    I would told ATT to shove it up their ass. I told that to Sprint PCS years back and won't deal with that cheap ass company anymore.
     
  3. livingonvideo13 thread starter macrumors regular

    livingonvideo13

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #3
    I did give the guy on the end a talking to. I told him that the only thing keeping me with ATT is the iphone and that Verizon has much better coverage. I am seriously thinking about unlocking my iphone and switching it over.
     
  4. goodcow macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    #4
    The 5GB per month cap doesn't exist. I used 8.3GB last month.

    MEDIA MAX UNL MNET
    DATA ACCESS 8,325,923 8,325,923 $0.00/KB 0.00
     
  5. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #5
    They don't want to pay for it. It could be worse, they could charge you for data roaming...

    Same with voice minutes.
     
  6. livingonvideo13 thread starter macrumors regular

    livingonvideo13

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #6
    It is a "soft cap". If you do it a few times, they do not care. If you keep going over 5gb per month, they will notify you and start charging you. I have a friend that received a bill because he kept going over 5gb per month.
     
  7. goodcow macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    #7
    That bill would be invalid because it's clearly advertised as UNLIMITED data.
     
  8. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #8
    Sadly your only option if you unlock is T-Mobile
     
  9. benflick macrumors 68020

    benflick

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #9
    My carrier clearly says on my plan details "Unlimited messaging and unlimited media" (Data, MMS), when really I have only 10MB per calendar month. Above 10MB is $.05 per kilobyte. :rolleyes:
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    Good luck with that since the iPhone is using GSM and Verizon is on CDMA.
     
  11. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #11
    ...who will do the exact same thing if they find you roaming. I just received my boot notice three days ago. Effing cell carriers... they're all going to siht.

    EDIT: At least you don't live in Montana, where your iPhone options are virtually nonexistant.
     
  12. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #12
    I can't believe that they sent you that message after just FIVE DAYS. What did they tell you they'd do if you kept using data?
     
  13. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #13
    To be fair, it was in your contract...

    You decided to take a trip into a state that has almost no native AT&T coverage at all. It's on their coverage maps. The only thing you could have done worse was to continue into Montana where there is no native AT&T at all. I'm sorry you had a bad experience but choosing a phone for use where there are significant penalties for where you want to go doesn't really make it their fault. That's kind of like taking up skateboarding when you live on the beach.

    The map appears that you started and ended in Provo, Utah. Immediately to the east is a huge "no service" area and then that is followed by massive off-network. There's basically no AT&T coverage at all in that direction.
     
  14. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #14
    Or Centennial or any of the other local GSM providers.
     
  15. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #15
    Maybe the OP knows how to change out the hardware for GSM and can switch it to CDMA. :rolleyes:
    But seriously, I thought everyone knew by now that iPhone is GSM while Verizon and Sprint are not.
     
  16. ruinfx macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    #16
    you can be mad at at&t all you want but you could have checked the coverage map and seen the large gaps in data coverage in that region of the country.
     
  17. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #17
    To the OP: I don't agree with any of the above comments.

    Yes, you could have checked coverage. Sure, you could have called ahead and "OK'ed" it with ATT. But the simple fact of the matter is this service is utter bullsiht. 6MB/Month cap? I understand roaming costs them extra, that much makes sense. But for ATT to limit their customers to 200kb/day while roaming? Despicable. According to websiteoptomization.com, that's loading up macrumors ONCE daily, and clicking on nothing. Simply opening the window, and that's it.

    Is that really fair, especially for a service advertised as "nationwide free roaming"?
     
  18. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #18
    If you look at the contract it clearly says:

    You sign a contract, not an advertisement.

    Geez, do you not have wifi at home or are you just never ever home?
     
  19. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #19
    You're quoting from the part of the contract for so-called air cards, not the iPhone data plan. The iPhone date plan is unlimited there is no so-called "soft caps," and no one had ever been able to reproduce a link stating that there is.


    Edit: here's what you quoted in its entirety (I had to go find it):

    DATACONNECT PLANS
    DataConnect plans may ONLY be used with AT&T certified LaptopConnect (PC Data) Cards and other devices for the following purposes: (i) Internet browsing; (ii) email; and (iii) intranet access (including access to corporate intranets, email, and individual productivity applications like customer relationship management, sales force, and field service automation). On DataConnect Plans with a monthly megabyte (MB) or gigabyte (GB) allowance, once you exceed your monthly allowance you will be automatically charged for overage as specified in the applicable rate plan information (generally per Kb for any data used or a fee for additional MB allowances to be used during the month). All data allowances must be used in the billing period in which the allowance is provided. We may, at our discretion, suspend your account if we believe your data usage is excessive, unusual or is better suited to another rate plan. If you are on a data plan that does not include a monthly MB/GB allowance and additional data usage rates, you agree that AT&T has the right to impose additional charges if you use more than 5 GB in a month; provided that, prior to the imposition of any additional charges, AT&T shall provide you with notice and you shall have the right to terminate your Service.
     
  20. ruinfx macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    #20
    this has NOTHING to do with the unlimted data plan "5gb cap" so stop debating it. off-net usage is governed by its own section of the wireless service agreement that overrides your unlimited data plan.
     
  21. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #21
    I don't disagree with you. The posters went off on this tangent and I was just setting the record straight. As far as the OP's circumstance, the AT&T off-net map is clearly shown on their website and other places. AT&T states they have the fastest wireless network, not the largest (I believe that is V's boast). He should have known, I guess. I do, but maybe he didn't.
     
  22. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #22
    This is all very interesting...

    The OP was quoted a cap of 6 MB per month of off-network usage. However, the terms and conditions as referenced by avaloncourt state that the cap is the lesser of 20% of your total data allotment, or 24 MB per month.

    No matter how you cut it (unlimited or capped at 5 GB), 20% of the iPhone's data allotment is still going to be way more than 24 MB, so 24 MB will win out.

    I know, 24 MB is still a paltry amount of data. But it's 4 times larger than the amount that the customer service rep had quoted.
     
  23. livingonvideo13 thread starter macrumors regular

    livingonvideo13

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    #23
    I found this strange also. After I talked to them I also noticed that I was sent an e-mail stating that read

    The lady on the phone though told me 6mb but I would take what they sent me in writing with more weight.

    I am not saying that it is ATTs fault my my sucky service. I am just stating that the service sucks but I did agree to all the fine print but who really reads it all?

    Most of the time I spend is in ATT areas. I have had an iphone for about a year now and this is the first time I ran into this problem. Also who knows where I will be 1 year from now.

    I started this thread to raise awareness of the "off-network" limited data usage. I am sure that many people here had to idea that it was in their contract.

    On a positive note though I am glad that they did not just start charging me "extra" for going over the roaming data usage and just told me to use it as little as possible when in a roaming area.

    They told me they would look at my usage again in 90 days and re-evaluate my account again whatever that means.

    From this whole experience I have learned that if you want the best coverage which can save your life in an emergency, choose Verizon. The last day a rider with us ran over a screw which caused him to have a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Everybody with ATT phones could not get service buy luckily we had a Verizon phone also so we could call for help.

    Also what is with the "Data Roaming" feature under Network in Settings on the iphone? I have it set to off but it would still use data in roaming areas. When I asked the lady on the phone about it she told me it will transmite data anyway. What is up with that?
     
  24. ctt1wbw macrumors 68000

    ctt1wbw

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Seaford VA
    #24
    Going??? My friend, they are already there. I've been with them all, and they all suck donkey balls. So far, I've had good customer service from ATT. So far.
     
  25. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #25
    I guess by "going" I was referring to TMobile... the whole time I used them their service was great, and the customer service reps seemed like actual people. Then all of a sudden something changed, and things went down the drain. ATT in particular has always been in the dumps IMO, never once have I felt true "customer care" when interacting with them.
     

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