Questions for those that received TETHERING notice from AT&T

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by NJRonbo, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    Curious to see how many people in this
    forum actually received a text message
    from AT&T.

    For anyone that received a text message
    from AT&T alerting them of thier unauthorized

    1. What do you intend to do? Call AT&T or
    just keep tethering?

    2. How much data were you using at the
    point that AT&T contacted you?
  2. TEHi macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2011
  3. APtalent macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2010
    If you don't reply, they'll automatically add the Tethering Plan. It's $45 from what I recall.
  4. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    No one seems to mention how much data they are using in either threads :rolleyes:
  5. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    If you were grandfathered in to the unlimted datat plan - call them and talk with them. You got caught. If you want to keep tethering - you're going to have to pay
  6. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    Instead of being able to collect informative
    data directly from those affected this looks
    as if we are going to have a thread full of
    replies that don't have anything to do with
    the subject header.
  7. yiyopr macrumors member

    May 19, 2009
  8. Maverick1337 macrumors 65816


    Nov 4, 2008
    I just got off the phone with them and they clearly don't know if I am tethering or not. The lady "Tanya" exclaimed that it was based merely off a spike in usage and that's why it was sent out. I just said I was streaming over Netflix and Pandora and she looked up my account and was like, "2 gigs...that's not a lot" but she did say that after the 27th they will go into "further review" of my contract but she said everything will be good. We'll see what happens, if AT&T boosts up my plan with tethering, I'll just switch to the 2 gig, only time will tell though.

    EDIT - she did express the concern that the last thing AT&T wants to do is up someones internet plan, I was really nice with her and calm and she said she took notes of our call so I will report back when everything is all said and done.
  9. Dooger macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2009
    Is this even legal?

    This made me smile today. Thanks dude.
  10. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    No, ATT did not consult their legal department before sending out numerous emails/ texts/ letters. :rolleyes:

    I'm sure there is language in the TOS that will support ATT's move.
  11. Dooger macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2009
    Do you have a copy of the numerous emails/texts/letters that you're referring to? Do they specifically say that they can (and will) charge a tethering fee? I just ask because you used that tragic little "eyeroll" emoticon, which means that you must know something spectacular that I obviously don't.
    Or it could just mean that you love using emoticons. You're an adult, right?
  12. 184550, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011

    184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    Try looking at the front page of the MR, Engadget or any other tech site that has reported on this developing story. IMO, the term 'numerous' is applicable and is correctly used in this instance.

    Take a look at Section 6.2 of ATT's TOS. Here's part of it for your convenience.

    Bold is mine. 'Modify' seems to work in this instance, no?

    I guess you've never had a 'conversation' with iJohnHenry. He uses his fair share of emoticons and I believe he's one of the oldest members on this board. (Age, not membership.) ;)
  13. bilboa macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    I'd like to know if anyone has received this text or email who wasn't tethering, or if you were, what method were you using. I'm wondering if they can really detect tethering, or if they're just going by usage spikes as another poster stated. If they can detect it, is it only certain programs that are detectable by them? For instance maybe they can only detect if you're using MyWi but not PDANet, or maybe they're only detecting those who use a hack to get the builtin tethering feature to work without adding it to their contract.
  14. gco212 macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2004

    The modify usage clause is legal garbage. Just because you put a phrase in a contract doesn't mean it's legally enforceable. In contact law, the US does not recognize punitive damages, which that clause clearly is. AT&T has to either prove damages, or if the damages would be difficult to quantify, they could have stuck in a clause specifically what the damages will be for a given breach and that damage be a reasonable estimation of the damages at the time of the signing of the contract.
  15. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008

    None of that stops the language from being in the TOS.
  16. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    sorry... not sure what data there is to collect - you drove past the speed limit - a cop saw you. you got a warning. talk to the po po and see what the deal is.
  17. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2007
    Savannah, GA
    How is it illegal?
  18. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    It seems you missed my point.

    I'm in the process of arguing that ATTs move is valid and supported by their TOS. Hence the post five positions above yours.
  19. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2007
    Savannah, GA
    Ok I'm confused. Dooger asked if it was legal and you said No. I'm just wondering why you said it wasn't legal? Yes the TOS supports their move but what makes it illegal?
  20. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    I think you missed the heavy dose of sarcasm as evidenced by the eye roll emoticon.
  21. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2007
    Savannah, GA
  22. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

    May 1, 2009
    So far no one, so far as I know from looking at multiple forums, has either received anything with low data usage, i.e. under 1gb, or from using TetherMe. However, someone posted this, which may be of interest.

    ATT internal info concerning tethering:

    Tethering is a practice that enables a customer to use a smartphone as a broadband connection for other devices, such as laptop computers, netbooks, tablets, and Wi-Fi-enabled and other computing devices.

    The Wireless Customer Agreement (WCA) requires our customers to be on a tethering plan if they use their devices to tether. Refer to the WCA from the Related Links section.

    What Is Going On?

    We are reminding customers of our requirement to have a tethering plan if they use their smartphone to tether. This is a reminder of the existing policy and a request to bring their account up to date.

    As of March 17, we will be sending notification to subscribers who are currently tethering without the appropriate and required smartphone data plan which is DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering.

    Process to Bring Account in Line With Policy

    Customers can do this in one of two ways:

    Call, click, or come into a store to change from their current data plan to DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering.
    Wait until the date indicated on the notification, at which point we will update their account and add the plan for them.
    Customers can also choose to stop tethering, in which case they do not need to take any action on changing their plan.

    Why Are We Doing This?

    Customers tethering without the appropriate data plan are not in line with the requirements of their Wireless Customer Agreement. Review this from the Related Links section.

    When Does The Communication Start?

    The notifications begin to go out on March 17, 2011.

    Which Customers Are We Addressing?

    The notifications are sent to smartphone customers identified as tethering without the appropriate plan. We are asking them to bring their account up to date by adding the required tethering feature.

    We will be notifying customers in stages, however, the plan is to eventually identify and notify all customers tethering with a smartphone, regardless of the type, without the required data plan.

    How Will They Be Notified?

    Notifications are sent by e-mail, SMS, and a letter sent through U.S. mail.

    Customers will receive a first notification to remind them of the terms and conditions, educate them about our tethering plan requirements, and ask them to bring their account up to date by changing to DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering.

    Customers may either bring their account up to date as requested or they may choose to discontinue tethering and remain on their current data plan.

    If they continue to tether and do not change their data plan to DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering, a second notification will be sent informing them that we have moved them to DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering, as we informed them in the first communication.

    Secondary notifications will also be sent via U.S. mail, e-mail, and SMS. Refer to the Related Links section to review samples.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which plan are customers automatically moved to if they do not bring their account in line with our policy?
    They are moved to 4GB for Smartphone Tethering. The $45.00/month plan includes 4GB of data per month; $10.00 for each additional GB thereafter, added automatically as needed. Mobile Hotspot capabilities are included for compatible smartphones. Refer to the Related Links section for more information.

    How does this work with customers currently on a Smartphone Data Unlimited plan?
    Handle business as usual. We do not offer a tethering option for subscribers who wish to remain on their Smartphone Data Unlimited plan. However, the customer can keep their unlimited data plan if they stop tethering. If they wish to continue to tether, they will need to move to DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering to align with our policy.

    Once a customer moves to DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering, whether they do so on their own or we automatically update their account, the customer will no longer have the option to return to the Smartphone Data Unlimited plan.

    Where are customers directed to when they receive notification and have questions?
    The notification includes a phone number for customers to call with questions. These calls will be auto-routed to the EON/DEON specialty representatives trained to assist these customers.

    Similar to date as well: SIM Swapping

    Appropriate data plans are required to use Mobile Broadband devices (laptop, tablets, or AT&T Mobile Hotspot devices) on the AT&T Network.

    Effective March 16, 2011, AT&T will systematically enforce this policy by alerting customers with unlimited data plans when they take the SIM from their current smartphone, QMP, or basic phone and place it into a Mobile Broadband device to access data unlimited, that an appropriate data plan is required.


    Once SIM swapping is detected, customers will receive notifications via SMS and e-mail that an appropriate data plan is required for their Mobile Broadband device. If the customer continues to use their SIM in the device, their data service will be restricted for the remainder of the billing period unless they contact Customer Care to add the appropriate data plan.


    Any data unlimited customer who takes the SIM from their smart phone, QMP, or basic phone and puts it into a Mobile Broadband device is not in compliance with the requirements of their wireless customer agreement.

    Communication Key Dates

    Effective March 16, 2011

    Specific Customers Addressed

    The notifications will go to smartphone, QMP, and basic phone users with unlimited data plans who put their SIM into a Mobile Broadband device (Examples: Laptop, Tablet or AT&T Mobile Hotspot device).

    Notification Methods

    By SMS and e-mail

    SMS Communications

    The first message is sent when AT&T first detects SIM swapping activity.
    AT&T Free Msg: An eligible data plan is required when using a Laptop, Tablet or MiFi device. Call 611 as soon as possible for details and to avoid service interruption.
    The second message is sent when AT&T detects subsequent SIM swapping activity.
    AT&T Free Msg: Your data service has been restricted due to SIM swapping with a data connect device. Call 800-331-0500 to discuss available plan options.
    E-Mail Communication

    If we have the customer's e-mail address, the following communication will be sent after each out-of-policy usage.

    At AT&T, we value your business and want to ensure you have the data plan that's right for you. Did you know an eligible data plan is required when using mobile broadband? If you have recently swapped a SIM card from your wireless handset into your Laptop, Tablet or MiFi, your data service may no longer work properly on either device.

    Call us at 1-800-331-0500 (or 611 from your wireless phone) and our team will help you establish service with an appropriate data plan for your device and restore data service if necessary.
    AT&T offers a variety of plans to fit your needs in order to provide the best on-the-go experience on the nation's fastest mobile broadband network. Our team is ready to help you activate data service with the right plan. We look forward to your call. You can also visit our web page here to learn more.
    Thank you for being an AT&T customer.


    Does this policy affect all SIM swapping?
    No. This policy is being enforced for smartphone, QMP, and basic phone customers with a data unlimited plan on their account who put their SIMs into a Mobile Broadband device (Examples: laptop, tablets, or AT&T Mobile Hotspot devices) in an effort to share data unlimited between two devices.

    Why is AT&T notifying my customer about putting their smartphone SIM into their new tablet?
    Any customer using a Mobile Broadband device on the AT&T network is required to have an appropriate data plan which supports that device. This policy is now being systematically enforced.

    How will my customer receive the SMS notification if the SIM is in one of the Mobile Broadband devices?
    Most of these devices allow customers to receive SMS messages. However if the device does not, the SMS communication will continue to be sent for a period of up to three days. Also, if the customer has an e-mail address on file, AT&T will send a notification via e-mail.

    My data unlimited customer did not realize it was against AT&T policy to put the SIM from a smartphone into a Mobile Broadband device. My customer does not want to add a data plan for their Mobile Broadband device. What are the options?
    With the many services and ease of use of our great new Mobile Broadband devices, our customers will be able to fully utilize these devices. Also they get the best possible experience if they have an appropriate data plan for that device or they can select our DataPro with tethering plan for their current smartphone.

    If the customer continues to use their smartphone SIM in their Mobile Broadband device, their data service will be suspended until the end of the billing period, unless the customer calls into Customer Care to add the appropriate data plan.

    Note: If the customer does not contact Customer Care to add a plan, their data service will be restored for their smartphone at the beginning of the new billing cycle. If SIM swapping activity is detected during the next billing cycle, the data service on the account will be suspended again.

    Is my customer eligible for a data credit while his data service is suspended?

    Can my customer continue this process each billing cycle?
    No. If the customer continues the out of policy behavior, AT&T reserves the right to remove the unlimited smartphone data plan from the account.
  23. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    Many thousands of people are tethering illegally. Why haven't we seen more testimonials?

    And, if it is just based off usage, and you have an unlimited plan, just deny you're tethering. Put the burden on them to either demonstrate conclusively you are tethering - or - admit their Unlimited Plan is not truly unlimited.

    Until I get more conclusive evidence at&t is actually catching people, changing the plan, etc, I'm saying there is some kind of FUD disinformation plan going on. :cool:
  24. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    To me it sounds like a poker game and AT&T is bluffing.
    Sending notices to all very heavy users and assuming they're using all that thru tethering. Then if they dont respond they're put on the 4GB plan and if they continue to use that much data then they'd be paying an arm and a leg each month.
    In most cases they're probably right that those heavy users are tethering and in others they might not be.
    That's the reason when you call and deny it they leave it alone.
    Imagine the hours of work investigating and digging they would have to do to look up and identify all the traffic and what is going for what and to conclusivelly prove you are tethering.
    Is it worth it?
  25. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    Here we go again. The same old misconception. It's not based off usage. Carriers can tell by looking at IP/TCP packets. Their unlimited plan is limited to your iPhone usage and tethering usage is another story. So there is not point of "demonstrating" it.

    Please take a look of this thread (

    It clears up on some of the concepts.

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