So AT&T tells me that AIM counts toward SMS, and Apple tells me no. Helpz?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SkippyThorson, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. SkippyThorson macrumors 65816

    SkippyThorson

    Joined:
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    Utica, NY
    #1
    A long explanation is in my blog, (the September 11th 2009 post) - but I want to give the short one here. I'm not in it for clicks. (Or am I?)

    I talked to more than a half a dozen tech support phone reps, and the results were the same. Apple reps told me no it does not count, and AT&T reps told me that it does. Even when on the line one after another, they still disagree.

    Here's my logic. AIM can be downloaded to the iPod Touch and iPhone. It works the same on both. If the iPod can get the messages, they must be Data, as there is no cellular network to send an SMS Text. So why wouldn't it be the same on the iPhone? It makes no sense.

    There's also a piece that I found in another thread from an AOL FAQ that states it counts towards Data. One of the reps I got told me that it was only AOL's perspective, and that no they don't charge, but AT&T can, will, and does.

    I ran over my 200 texts, to 273. Wow, $3.65, I know. I'm a principle guy though. I don't care how small that is. The fact of the matter is that they're doing it, when since February 2008, they were NEVER included. AT&T even told me so. One AT&T person said that it was good for me; that I wasn't charged.

    It's absurd. I know that there is no real answer to this, because both companies involved have complete opposite ends of understanding and agreement.

    For the love of God, if anyone else wants to try, I will appreciate it, especially if you can get a different outcome from mine - the simple 'too bad'.

    (I have included the AOL FAQ, where it mentions the Data - the 5th question down.)
     

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  2. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #2
    All I can say is that I thought it was data. I don't text though. Sounds absurd if they somehow charged you.
     
  3. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #3
    If is coming through the app on an iPhone it should be counted as data. AT&T is smoking crack. Did you check to see if your SMS overages had numbers attached to the exceeding SMS?
     
  4. SkippyThorson thread starter macrumors 65816

    SkippyThorson

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    #4
    It is. After having it from February 08, my August 09 bill was the first to have an overage. It is an overage because it includes IMs. Had they not been counted, I'd be fine and well under my 200 basic texts.

    They do. Some just say Phone Number, some have the a telephone number. Some times correspond to a sent or received IM, but have a phone number actually with them. The thing is, they are all my friends phone numbers, but some don't match, or some were ones I didn't contact at that time, if at all.
     
  5. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #5
    This has been discussed before. The consensus is that the at&t reps are clueless. The only way you can be charged for an AIM message is if you have message forwarding to SMS on. Otherwise all messages are sent over the data network just like on your computer.
     
  6. daihard macrumors 6502a

    daihard

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    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7C144 Safari/528.16)

    It is a prime example of how bad a tech support team can be.

    As far as I know, the only SMS counted towards AT&T's SMS (doh!) is the built-in SMS. Whatever AIM does, will not be.
     
  7. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #7
    AIM is data. If AT&T is charging you AIM for the SMS, demand it to be fixed.
     
  8. Demosthenes427 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    #8
    They're ********. I use AIM all the time and I keep track of my texts and I never go over one or two more than what I counted.

    AT&T has it wrong--AIM works over the data network by design and circumvents the texting clause.
     
  9. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #9
    You would only be charged for AIM IMs if you used their forwarding service to/from SMS - then, each SMS would count as any other would. If you are using AIM to/from AIM/iChat, it's just data and included with the iPhone unlimited data plan.
     
  10. SkippyThorson thread starter macrumors 65816

    SkippyThorson

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    #10
    All the AT&T reps said the same thing, read off of the same stupid clause they had in front of them. That AIM is included in Text and not Data. However, it is truly a little blob of Kilobytes. Kilobytes are Data. When I told one of them that, she says they are, but because they are literal written text, they are charged. Ignoring the point I just made.

    One Apple rep who I dubbed AppleJesus, reacted to what I said with a pause, and shouting "WOOWWWWWwwwwww". He obviously understood where I was coming from, but he too was brainwashed by the doubletalk of an AT&T rep.

    A supervisor with AT&T told me I was basically stuck. They can't do anything, because I was charged correctly and justly. I know they're wrong, but they insist they're right. I'll take this to anyone I can get it to, from AT&T heads to Mr. Jobs.

    It just makes NO sense. Which is why I am going to a local AT&T store bright and early tomorrow. It's only $3.65, but it's the cost of a small meal, and in the grand scheme, I want this fixed on behalf of everyone else getting charged some small fee, adding up to a large chunk of change that AT&T shouldn't be getting a penny of.
     
  11. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #11
    I don't use AIM or AT&T, but I'll give my interpretation of the FAQ item that you posted.

    If you are sending text messages using AIM, then the receiver would likely be charged for that message. If it's an AIM message using the AIM system, then it would be counted as data.

    It's worth noting that if your AT&T bill is showing text charges, then somewhere down the line you are sending or receiving texts. The only way that data could be charged as text would be if AT&T is peeking inside your data packets and checking for IMs. If this is the case then the terms of service would have a provision stating this. Personally I'm rather confident that you are being charged correctly.
     
  12. SkippyThorson thread starter macrumors 65816

    SkippyThorson

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    #12
    Right. Now the thing with that is I am using the AIM App available in the App Store, with an account that I am sure is configured with no phone numbers. My address book includes no screen names, and it is not set up to push SMS to anywhere. No link from my screen name to a phone number exists unless you dive into my screen name, to actual name, then credit card, to iPhone.

    What you said is exactly the one hook they have me on - if it's showing text charges, then something is getting screwy somewhere. The irony is that AT&T and Apple are both unable to tell me where that is. AT&T specifically refuses, and reiterates that all Text and IM clients are paid Text.

    Now, further puzzling, even if I am being charged correctly now, why has this never counted since AIM for iPhone became available? The problem has only started with my August bill - and there is no evidence of this happening at any earlier date.

    To put it elementary, I can IM all I want from a desktop, laptop, tablet, etc. Why should it not be the same on a handheld device that happens to contain a cellular module?
     
  13. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #13
    Is there an option on AT&T's site to see your usage in real-time? See whether texts are appearing when you send messages, or whether you're using data blocks.

    Also, is it possible to turn the phone feature off in the iPhone settings? I only have a Touch so I don't know whether it's doable or not, but if you can then I'd suggest sending a message with the cell transmitter disabled (forcing it to use Wi-Fi) and see whether you get any errors.

    Edit: And the other other thing I'd try is a different app. I believe that eBuddy can communicate with AIM (and it's free).
     
  14. iLeoMarc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    #14
    1. Calm down a bit.
    2. I don't have a SMS plan but use Beejive IM on the iPhone, which basically works the same way as AIM, and I am not charged for any SMS.

    So either you are using your sms over the allocated amount (which is understandable sms on the iPhone is easy to get carried away) or are unique and AT&T decided to screw you.
     
  15. Resist macrumors 68030

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    Jan 15, 2008
    #15
    I have AIM on my iPhone and it never counted towards my text messages (200 plan) with AT&T.
     
  16. ChaSSe macrumors member

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    Jun 13, 2009
    #16
    The only way it counts, is if you have it forwarded to your phone via text message. If you are using the app then no it doesnt count.
     
  17. PhightinPhils26 macrumors 6502a

    PhightinPhils26

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    #17
    As a former competent AT&T employee let me try to explain this...

    If you use a phone that has a IM application like BeeJive, AIM, etc it is Data.

    If you set up your IM account to forward to your device, then it is SMS.

    Back in the day, you used to have to sign in and send IM though SMS short codes, and this is where a lot of AT&T employees get mixed up.

    Here is an FAQ post from AT&T's website.

    I hope this helps.
     
  18. trssho macrumors 6502

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    May 24, 2009
    #18
    My son had aim loaded on his lg, and I got charged for 500 texts! This was last year.
     
  19. SkippyThorson thread starter macrumors 65816

    SkippyThorson

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    #19
    What you've just told me is exactly right, and what I figured was right. The problem is that this is the opposite of what every AT&T rep told me yesterday.

    This is as ignorant as that Verizon Math Youtube video. Almost everyone in this thread is right, but no one wants to remove the charge, and the all tell me AIM costs per message.

    It's like talking to a brick, and the company seems built out of them.
     
  20. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

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    Northern VA
    #20
    IF, you have your AIM set to forward messages to your cell phone, and it comes through the Messages app (Or SMS app before 3.0), it counts as a text.

    If it comes through any application that you downloaded through the App Store, it counts as data, not texts. This should not count as your texts.


    I think that the AT&T reps are confused with you saying AIM. They, automatically, think that you're talking about when you set up your AIM to forward your messages, since that's what most of the teens do, if they don't have an iPhone.

    But yes, clarify that you have an iPhone, and that it's coming through the AIM app.... If they still say that it counts as a text, then ask to speak through their supervisor.
     
  21. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #21
    The confusion is that on AT&T dumbphones the built-in IM clients are all designed to send IMs with AT&T as a proxy. They sign into AIM for you, all messages sent from the built-in client are first sent to them, logged, and then forwarded to AIM. This is a ridiculous way to implement IM, but it is the way they did it (so that they could prevent your using AIM as a substitute for text messaging). All the AT&T contracts were written with this in mind, and AT&T customer service reps have this drilled into their heads in training.

    But that is only true for dumbphones. IM apps for the iPhone do not work that way - they sign into the IM servers directly, and use only your data account. You are not charged for messages sent from the AIM client.

    In short, if you are being charged for SMS messages, you sent or were sent SMS messages. Have you checked your inbox in Messages and counted all your incoming and outgoing text messages?
     
  22. SkippyThorson thread starter macrumors 65816

    SkippyThorson

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    #22
    So I called back again this morning. I get a rep who offers to take the charge off. I told him that I'll accept that, but they're still wrong.

    He insisted differently from everyone else, yet again. That AIM on the iPhone counts both towards Data and SMS Text. How, I'm not sure, but at least he took the charge off.

    He's wrong. They're all wrong. Apple and AOL are right, and AT&T is wrong. No one has an answer as to why this happened, but AT&T insists that everyone is charged the same, and the charge is just.

    I've mentioned everything here, and I've mentioned everything I know, and they still ignore what I'm saying and read off their little chart. Whatever. :D I'm so not done.
     
  23. outphase macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7C144 Safari/528.16)

    Why not take the time to look at your bill and see where the texts went? You would clearly be able to tell if they went to an aim server
     
  24. SkippyThorson thread starter macrumors 65816

    SkippyThorson

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    #24
    I've tried that. All the sent and received items correspond to a phone number, or some of them actually say the words "Phone Number" They are all numbers I know, but some of them match up, and some of them don't, and some flat out don't exist.

    I'm one of those who doesn't delete anything if it's not spam. I am not missing anything.
     
  25. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    #25
    The simplest explanation, and therefore probably the correct one, is that you or someone else with physical access to your phone actually did send and/or receive 273 text messages that month.
     

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