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  1. #1

    OneMoreThing...'s Avatar
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    Post AT&T tells unofficial tethering users it will upgrade plans
    AT&T tells unofficial tethering users it will upgrade plans

    AT&T has sent out a second SMS warning to subscribers it believes are illegally tethering their phones, and this one contains a more stern message. The carrier has told these users they will soon be automatically upgraded and billed for its tethering plan, which includes 4GB and raises monthly data plans by $20 to $45. AT&T's basic plans only include on-device Internet access and messaging....

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  2. #2

    iggibar's Avatar
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    Automatic renewal? Hah....SO illegal! This won't last long. EVery new policy requires approval of your new contract. This is no different.
    “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

  3. #3

    schweb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idrinorbarsaku View Post
    Automatic renewal? Hah....SO illegal! This won't last long. EVery new policy requires approval of your new contract. This is no different.
    Actually that's not true. This isn't core to the contract, data is considered an add-on service. Same way that when they change the price of SMS messages it doesn't void a contract.

    They can always opt-out of the tethering plan, but they'll also need to stop the illegal tethering or it will be added back on. Their not forced into anything that isn't preventable by a behavioral change.
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  4. #4

    Kash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idrinorbarsaku View Post
    Automatic renewal? Hah....SO illegal! This won't last long. EVery new policy requires approval of your new contract. This is no different.
    Additionally, AT&T could argue that those illicitly tethering violated the terms of their contract and thus it is within their right to modify as they see fit. I'm sure there's a provision in the contract that states this.

    June 2007
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  5. #5

    iggibar's Avatar
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    Actually, I just looked all over my contract, and it says nothing about them having the right to modify anything without you approval. There are laws against that to protect the consumer. If this plan was existent at ATT from the get-go, then it would be okay for them to charge the user for "unofficially" using the tethering feature.

    How is a data package not a core package when you are required to purchase some sort of plan when activating an iphone? It isn't an add-on service, it is a requirement on the iphone...unless I got it wrong all along, and didn't realize you could get an iphone without a data package.
    “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

  6. #6

    baggss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idrinorbarsaku View Post
    Actually, I just looked all over my contract, and it says nothing about them having the right to modify anything without you approval. There are laws against that to protect the consumer. If this plan was existent at ATT from the get-go, then it would be okay for them to charge the user for "unofficially" using the tethering feature.

    How is a data package not a core package when you are required to purchase some sort of plan when activating an iphone? It isn't an add-on service, it is a requirement on the iphone...unless I got it wrong all along, and didn't realize you could get an iphone without a data package.
    You can't but it is not considered part of AT&Ts core service. The requirement is part of the iPhone "package" you sign up for when you purchase the iPhone.

    Just an FYI, IIRC Kash is in Law School and will likely thrive on a legal discussion in relation to this subject.

    Carry on.


  7. #7

    Shikarnov's Avatar
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    I wonder how they can tell when a user is tethering... Is it just a matter of noticing the higher volume that they often purport those who tether use?

  8. #8

    baggss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shikarnov View Post
    I wonder how they can tell when a user is tethering... Is it just a matter of noticing the higher volume that they often purport those who tether use?
    Higher volume and type of data. A mobile browser pulls different info than a desktop based one does. If they are looking atyou specifically they can probably tell exactly what browser is being used so if it's not a mobile browser it might be obviouse.


  9. #9

    iggibar's Avatar
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    I don't know...I can see the argument going both ways. You can change what they charge you for, but the customer also has a chance to rebuttal.
    “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Marcus Aurelius

  10. #10

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    They can tell:
    what type of machine is being used, and whether it's a PPC or Intel Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone, etc.
    what OS and version - whether that's 10.3, 10.5, Win 98, Win NT, Win 7, iOS, Android
    what browser and version, IE, WebKit, Mozilla...
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
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  11. #11

    RONE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    They can tell:
    what type of machine is being used, and whether it's a PPC or Intel Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone, etc.
    what OS and version - whether that's 10.3, 10.5, Win 98, Win NT, Win 7, iOS, Android
    what browser and version, IE, WebKit, Mozilla...
    My understanding is some tethering options available via Cydia appear to AT&T to simply be the phone's normal connection. I'm interested to see if that is no the case, or if this just affects other apps that are used for tethering.

  12. #12


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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    They can tell:
    what type of machine is being used, and whether it's a PPC or Intel Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone, etc.
    what OS and version - whether that's 10.3, 10.5, Win 98, Win NT, Win 7, iOS, Android
    what browser and version, IE, WebKit, Mozilla...
    Wow, if they can see all of that then I don't see how anybody gets away with tethering.

    I was thinking about jailbreaking my iphone 4 just for the free tethering because I thought it'd be super useful, but I really haven't been in a situation where I've needed it yet so I've stayed away from doing it. Anything I would need to look at on my laptop I can just look at on my iphone.

  13. #13

    Shikarnov's Avatar
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    On a political note: I have to wonder when the lawyers are going to start challenging AT&T's tethering cost. I mean, the water company couldn't charge you more per gallon if you decided to fill your pool instead of bathe your toddler. Contracts be dammed, this just isn't right.

  14. #14


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    Personally, I don't think they should be able to force charge for it. IMHO You should be able to use your phone and its data package for whatever you want. Whether you're using data via software on the phone itself or through the phone to a computer.

    I just don't think that any phone company should be able to double charge you for a service (like data) - and that's how I see what a tethering package is (especially if you're a long standing customer that still has unlimited data - assuming they haven't found a way to rip that away from existing customers)..

    It's not like you get better service with the tethering package and the only reason why they are doing this now is because the new iOS HAS a tethering feature in it vs before when it didn't and they couldn't attempt to force it on you. If they had in the past threatened to block or throttle data usage based upon if they believe you to be tethering, I could see how they could justify this easily, but the only reason they are doing it now is because they want to force you to buy their product even if it isn't really worth it (IMHO).
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  15. #15

    chscag's Avatar
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    I mean, the water company couldn't charge you more per gallon if you decided to fill your pool instead of bathe your toddler.
    I can tell you don't live in Texas!

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