Why is AT&T charging me to tether?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by CosmoPilot, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. CosmoPilot macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #1
    So I'm a late adopter to the iPhone world. Bought two iPhone4 at launch (switched from Sprint). So, AT&T decided to cap data packages and I was forced into the 2GB/month deal (no unlimited option for me).

    So my question is, if I'm paying for 2GB of data, why the heck is AT&T now charging someone like me...anything extra to tether?

    I can barely see their logic for those with unlimited plans, because you could sit at home and eat bandwidth all day. However, now that they cap data plans I feel charging me to tether should be illegal? Shouldn't I be able to use my 2GB of data anyway I want (either through my iPhone or Computer)?

    I recently had a "chat" session with an international specialist on a different subject, and posed this question at the end. The response was "Tethering uses more data, that is why." After I explained my point, they said, "you need to talk with a U.S. representative to discuss this further."

    Thoughts?

    Cosmo
     
  2. jlw2387 macrumors member

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    #2
    There really is no reason for it. They just want an excuse to charge more.
     
  3. Sdahe macrumors 68000

    Sdahe

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    #3
    That makes a lot of sense... Users should be able to use their 2GB how ever they want. The answer you got doesn't make sense either because ATT charges you $10 for an extra 1GB of data if you go over the 2GB cap.
     
  4. Goldinboy17 macrumors 65816

    Goldinboy17

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    #4
    People who have the option to tether usually do, causing a larger strain on their network. To be honest though I do think $20 is rather extreme. I'd say $5, equalizing the price to their former unlimited plans would be fair
     
  5. coochiekuta macrumors 6502

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  6. jlw2387 macrumors member

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    #6
    2GB is 2GB. Just because a laptop is using it doesn't put any additional "strain" on the network.
     
  7. Sdahe macrumors 68000

    Sdahe

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    #7
    That's right... and it's running in the same speed (3G) anyway so there's no change at all
     
  8. einmusiker macrumors 68030

    einmusiker

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  9. Goldinboy17 macrumors 65816

    Goldinboy17

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    #9
    Thats not what I meant and you know it. You're more likely to do data-extensive activities while on a laptop compared to a phone. Downloading songs, pictures, streaming videos or music. Maybe just browsing more than you would compared to a phone. Do you believe someone who has the tethering package uses the same amount of data compared to someone who doesn't?
     
  10. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #10
    This is my thought exactly. It is against the law for a company to charge an individual for the same thing twice. It isn't like AT&T is providing me with a special cable adaptor, or a special code or anything.

    Bottom line, the data is streamed from their network to my phone at the same rate. If I "choose" to go above 2GB, they charge me extra for it.

    When they had unlimited plans, they could make the argument that consumers would surf on the network for days on end and chew up bandwidth. Now, it is a moot point because even if I decided to do that, I would get charged an arm and a leg for excessive data.

    I might push this issue with AT&T in the next day or so.
     
  11. Goldinboy17 macrumors 65816

    Goldinboy17

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    #11

    How are they charging you twice for the same thing? The initial fee is for allowing you to use data on your phone. The other fee is for using it on your laptop or other devices.
     
  12. Sdahe, Nov 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2010

    Sdahe macrumors 68000

    Sdahe

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    #12
    What?... that's not true. You are still using your data from your plan and if you don't have the unlimited data plan you will be sucked in the additional charges

    And what's the difference?... you're still using the same data
     
  13. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #13
    It is all based off of a model. People who teather will use more demand higher bandwith for longer period of time and often teather demanded data will be during peak hours.
    2gigs of data spread out over a month is not as big of a deal as 2 gigs demand in a shorter time span.

    Also people who teather are much more likely to push the limits of their 2 gigs than people who do not.
    AT&T never expects everyone to max out their 2 gigs in one month.
     
  14. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #14
    I certainly understand that argument as well. Please don't get me wrong. BUT the service AT&T provides does not change with or without tethering for someone who DOES NOT have an unlimited data plan.

    Explain to me what PHYSICALLY changes for AT&T? What EXTRA effort is required on their part? Do they provide me with faster upload/download speeds? Does the data get ported around my cell phone into the computer via some magic trick they set up via their computers?

    My point is, AT&T does not do anything additional to enhance my data consumption. If your talking about how they physically "turn the service ON," then I can maybe see an "activation" fee...but nothing else.

    I think in the eyes of the courts, AT&T is really just gouging consumers and not providing any additional service for the added money. I'm not prone to being right on all issues, so if you could elaborate on what extra effort AT&T provides to justify charging me for data I've already paid for. REMEMBER I'm not on an "unlimited data" plan.

    I can see your argument that the added service is to allow data into a computer....but I think that data already belongs to me since I've paid for it. And since AT&T doesn't provide any special cables, connectors, etc. for me to port that data in...I don't see how they can justify charging me. In fact, I still have to use the device in which I'm under contract with to get access to said data.

    I guess their are two schools of thought on this, I just don't see your side very clearly. And honestly, I don't think a judge would either. In my opinion, having the tethering plan was acceptable when AT&T offered unlimited plans...but when they switched to tiered data plans, they just decided to leave tethering charges and see if they could sneak it past the consumer.

    Cosmo
     
  15. CosmoPilot thread starter macrumors 65816

    CosmoPilot

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    #15
    WHO CARES!!! When I use MY 2GB worth of data is of no concern to AT&T. If it is, then they should charge me based upon the time of day I use my data. Since AT&T doesn't, your argument hold NO water! My data is my data. Your argument is VERY valid for those with UNLIMITED plans. Those individuals can eat away at data at higher rates because they are on a computer. However, for those of us on tiered plans, as soon as my 2GB are up...I get charged MORE!!!!!!!

    AT&T doesn't care if I use 2GB in one day or over the course of 30 days. Just as long as I stay at or under that amount. If I don't, they penalize me by charging $10/extra GB.

    Cosmo
     
  16. Goldinboy17 macrumors 65816

    Goldinboy17

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    #16
    Don't get me wrong, I wish AT&T would charge much less for the tethering feature. I'm on the unlimited data plan so I'll never be able to access their plans anyways. I just think it's fair to expect a small fee for allowing you to port your data connection over to other devices. AT&T allots you 2GB of data. They seriously don't expect everyone to use that much within a month. I average out from 50 to 500mb's in a month. If I could tetra freely, I definitely would. When commuting to and from school on the train, maybe I'd even cancel my home internet if 3G wasn't so slow in my area? This is a general consensus among us. If we were to all push our limits, AT&T would either be forced to increase the cost or reduce the limits on data. I'm definitely against that.
     
  17. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    #17
    ^This! It strains less the network and making us pay for tethering is basic supply & demand analysis which they probably demonstrated that it was more efficient and more economically profitable to charge us extra for tethering, is not only for the iPhone is for any smartphone...
     
  18. Rooftop voter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Just think of it this way, if att has to enable your teathering, you have to pay thier monthly fee, as another service they are providing you. If you jailbreak and do it yourself, you just cut out the middle man and don't pay anything more than your normal gb allowance. Its your data, you paid for it, use it how you like.
     
  19. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #19
    umm yes it is a concern to AT&T. As I try to explain the entire system is based of models and based on when average peak usage will be.

    Tethered users are much more likely to be demanding data during peak usage time. This means that cost per kilobyte is much higher. Those same users also are more likely to demand long periods of time of higher data demands. This again increase cost per kilobyte.

    Just puling data normally just with you phone your data demand will be lower and in short periods of time and less during peaks so it does not cause as much congestion and their for lower cost.

    I just am explain Teathering on average have a much higher cost per kilobyte so therefor they get to pay more for it. This is the same BS people argued when it was just unlimited.......
     
  20. sirslaysalot macrumors member

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    #20
    because there are people who may use tethering to download files on their laptop/desktop via bittorrent. whether or not they stick to their data cap is irrelevant. bittorrent actually places alot of additional strain on the network, even if its a simple 100mb song album.
     
  21. vastoholic macrumors 68000

    vastoholic

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    #21
    Call J.G. Wentworth, to get your structured settlement now!
     
  22. Sdahe macrumors 68000

    Sdahe

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    #22
    hahahahahahahahaha... it's your 2GB data plan, use it when you need it!!!.. :D
     
  23. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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  24. strodda macrumors regular

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    #24
    that is exactly what i do. although all my torrenting is in the evening and overnight.

    i just recently dumped my comcast deal, so ive been tethering for little over a week now, im already over 17gb usage. thank god for the unlimited plan.
     
  25. Goldinboy17 macrumors 65816

    Goldinboy17

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    #25
    And this is why they charge you for tethering.
     

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