Jailbreaking your iPhone so you can tether your phone for free? AT&T may have a surprise for you in the coming days. According to a 9to5Mac tipster, the company has been issuing threats to its customers who have jailbroken their devices to take advantage of free tethering on the network.
An AT&T representative has confirmed that the company has begun sending out letters, emails, and text messages to smartphone users who have been “unfairly” tethering their phones without paying the corporation for the right to do so, despite having access to unlimited data plans.
Customers have three options according to AT&T:
- Stop tethering and keep their current plan (including grandfathered unlimited plan)
- Proactively call AT&T or visit our stores and move to the required tethering plan
- Do nothing and we’ll go ahead and add the tethering plan on their behalf — after the date noted in their customer notification
It’s the principle that really boils my blood. Carriers were quick to offer unlimited plans to entice user conversions at the point of sale, but now they feel the need to back track because there are dollars to be made in tethering.
AT&T is looking to find a way to charge customers twice for the privilege of using data plans, despite some customers still carrying unlimited data plans. Have a data plan and want to use it in a way that AT&T doesn’t support, despite having paid in-full for the data? Well, pay AT&T again, or else they’re going to illegally change your plan for you, unilaterally, without your permission.
That’s exactly how the options from AT&T reads. Depsite a customer legitimately paying for an unlimited plan when they were available, AT&T thinks they have the right to badger customers, and bend them to their will when they see fit.
Look on the bright side. You may be able to argue breach of contract and get out of your AT&T contract altogether if they pull that kind of stunt.
Need another case in point? AT&T will also begin to throttle data speeds for customers with unlimited data plans. AT&T says it’s so they can provide “fair” speeds for all their customers. We say it’s because that want the customers to pay the Pied Piper a second time.
Thankfully my carrier in Canada has been doing it right, providing customers with a certain level of data plan with free tethering. If Rogers would pull the same stunts that AT&T does up here in Canuckistan, they would lose this customer faster than they could get a customer support representative on the phone.
If faced with this kind of unethical behaviour up here, I’d give up my cell phone entirely, and recommend that most do the same. Think about it for a second. Do you really need that cellphone? I probably don’t.
Johnny Cash finger to AT&T indeed.