Orlando, Florida
Not resolved

My family has been an AT&T client for over 3 years now. When we signed up, me and my wife got iPhone 3GS, while my 10-year old got a Samsung phone without a data plan. After 2 years, the phones were all paid for and AT&T unlocked our iPhones. Recently I upgraded to iPhone 5, and gave my old iPhone 3GS to my 13-year old daughter. Needless to say she was very happy with it as she could now take pictures, listen to music, and browse the web on our home Wi-Fi connection.

A few days ago we called AT&T to ask why my daughter cannot get or send any pictures via text messaging. We have an "unlimited family messaging plan" so this should work (it never worked with her old Samsung phone either). The rep asked what phone she was using, and we told him it was my old 3GS phone. Well he did not fix the messaging problem. Later that day, we got a message from AT&T saying that they have added a data plan to the 3GS phone!

I called to tell them that we do not want a data plan on the 3GS phone (our bill is already $280 per month). I was shocked to hear from the rep and then a supervisor (Brant Employee ID BR874S) that since my daughter is now using an iPhone, then she must pay a data plan! Now I understand AT&T forcing clients to get a data plan when they get a subsidize smart phone for a discount and thus wants to make up the cost, but in this case we already paid for the 3GS for 3 years and it was MY PHONE and I do NOT want any data plan on it. Brant refused to help and said that they will FORCE me to pay for a data plan unless my daughter goes back to the beat up 3-year old Samsung!!!!!

Really AT&T? Do you need to nickle and dime 13-year old kids who want to use their parents old handy-me-down phone? Isn't the $280 per month you are charging our family each month enough? Why do you want to take away the old iPhone from my 13-year old kid???

Product or Service Mentioned: Att Phone Plan.

Monetary Loss: $720.

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Some people aren't too bright.you need a data plan to send pictures and any company requires you have one with smart phones.


I'm the original poster (CellUser123). Just an update to let you know that when my contract expired I switched to T-Mobile.

They gave me 4 lines with unlimited calls, text and 10 GB of data for $100/month! I was paying $250/month with AT&T which they dropped a few months ago to $170 (which seems to be their response to T-Mobile's $100/month plan). The whole experience with AT&T left a bitter taste in my mouth as I feel I got robbed. I ended up paying $30/month for a data plan on my daughter's iPhone for almost 2 years.

Part of this amount is to subsidize new phone purchase (which you get when you sign a new 2-year contract), but since in my case I was using an old and all-paid off phone, I was just being robbed.

Goodbye AT&T. I will never use your services again.


I was going to say that's what they do when you get smartphones. but like you say if it was new you could see why they would force you to buy a data plan.

but since it was paid off for why should you be forced into a data plan for a phone when it's clearly not wanted?

terrible service I tell you. yeah you expect to get the shaft initially but not after having paid off the thing.


That suxs ! OMG I am having a similar issue !

I got my two sons iPhones 4s for my sons birthday then then two months later I decide to switch me and my sister to AT&T for the advertised $160 a month for 4 lines! OMG that's the biggest scam ever! So at the end after paying over $ 200 I'm not sure what for the rep says our bill will be 290 a month an I'm like that's not the deal I came in for! Basically im paying for 24 months for the iPhone 5s for me and my sister plus data plan and my sons phones could be on that plan because they had "free" iPhones under two year contract!!!

They said now they don't do contracts they just make u pay monthly for the phones! It's a scam the only way to get the $160 deal is to already own your own phones! And still it's not $160 a month with all the extra add ons ! This company lies!

Their managers are rude and they no longer care about pleasing their customers !!!!! It's sad because they got me for over $500 bucks a month for home phone/internet /cable /and 4 mobile phones! internet is spotty at best and service is not reliable !

I'm trapped for at least 2 years !!! ;(



If you want your daughter to have an iPod Touch, then buy her an iPod Touch.

If you want your daughter to have an iPhone, then pay your bill.


"gave my old iPhone 3GS"

If you already had the Iphone prior to your daughter, you already knew it required a data plan because you had to have one on it yourself....


Cellularuser sounds like a disgrultled employee. When were you fired? :zzz


We all know that AT&T can easily block data on any phone, so this is not about them protecting you from accidentally using their data plan and running up your bill. Rather, this is about them boosting their bottom line by forcing clients to sign up to highly profitable services.

Also by putting such conditions in your contract they guarantee that users will not cancel their data plan after contract expires. In summary, this is about corporate greed and big companies forcing consumers to pay more than they care to pay.

My advice is to simply switch to another cell company. AT&T is known for poor customer service and bad cell service, so why bother stick with them?


While ATT can in many cases block or impede data usage on a phone, a representative can not willingly put a data block on a smartphone, unless they are on a mobile share plan and the block only lasts until the end of the cycle. Also putting smartphone data plan restrictions in the contract isn't about making sure you don't cancel the data plan when your contract expires.

The contract only has to do with the subsidy of the phone and pretty much nothing else. You can add, change, or remove whatever plans you want to given the right equipment.

If you have a phone that requires a data plan and your contract runs out, you still have to pay for that data plan every month. If someone is using a smartphone, which works on using data (they are data-heavy devices compared to nonsmartphones), then it is only fair that a data plan would be required.


PeterATT must be on AT&T payroll! I happen to have a graduate degree in engineering and run a tech company, so I understand technology very well.

AT&t can very easy block any phone's use of their data steam. This is not the issue. And no it's not fair that they force you to buy a data plan if you use your Dad's hand-me down smart phone. And for your info, outside of the US people can use any phone they want without being harassed by the service provider.

Even in the US many companies now offer a SIM card only option and you are free to use that with any phone and you can choose whether to buy a data plan or not.


data plans are not required for smartphones to work. In fact, you can turn cellular data off ON THE PHONE ITSELF. The device will function just fine.


That fact that they're putting a data plan on the phone has nothing to do with the subsidy for the phone or anything like that. It is exactly what they had stated in the email that you received.

If you activate a smartphone on a line that did not previously have a data plan, it will automatically have a data plan attached to it to either prevent you from exorbitant data pay per use fees, or to allow you to actually use the internet on it when not on wi-fi, whether that's a feature you really need or not. And also, like they said, they can take the data plan off if you go back to your non-smartphone.

Or if you have that line keep using the iPhone, then you could at least lower the data down to $20 for 300MB. Oh, and the reason they could not send/receive any pictures was because when she had the iPhone before, she did not have a compatible plan (until one was put on of course), and I'm guessing when she had the Samsung phone she had a data block.


I had the same issue, but the fine print does say that they reserved the right to add a data plan to an active smart phone. What they can't do is modify the type of plan.

I've had an unlocked Android for several years with an unlimited plan. I will have this plan for many years to come.

Of course they did throttle me back, hey still works for me. People should always purchase their phones online and avoid a new plan.

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