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Replying to:  I want a Smartphone without a Data plan?? by sinclaircohen   Dec 3, 2012, 12:05 PM

Re: I want a Smartphone without a Data plan??

by JRDL    Apr 24, 2013, 12:46 AM

Starting January 2013, I was informed that AT&T is charging customers who use a smartphone $30 per month for a 3-GB monthly data plan whether they want the data plan or NOT. I have complained to AT&T about this as I do not want to have *any* type of data plan for my wireless number. I prefer to use wi-fi since it's much faster, and don't have an overarching need for cellular data access.

I routinely repair and refurbish mobile phones for donation to local charities, so I use a variety of phones in any given month. Some are basic flip-style, others are earlier feature phones with a slide-out keyboard, and still others are various iOS or Android smartphones. The moment a wireless phone powers on and registers on the AT&T wireless network, the phone information is sent back to AT&T and compared with your current calling-data plan. If you use a smartphone even for a minute, you will see a data plan charge for that month.

This type of "no-choice" opt-in business policy for data plans is entirely unethical in my view. However, it is entirely legal as this kind of action by AT&T is not prohibited by any regulation, rule or statute that I have been able to identify. Even the FCC and FTC state that there is nothing they can do about this. It reminds me of the long-distance telephone "slamming" years ago.

So, if you really do NOT want to have a data plan, use a phone that isn't one of the newer smartphones like the "feature" or browser-capable phones (even though these might be older and have less features).

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