All Four National Wireless Companies Accused Of Breaking FCC Rules By Hiding Information About Data Throttling

All Four National Wireless Companies Accused Of Breaking FCC Rules By Hiding Information About Data Throttling

Just over two weeks ago, the FCC not-so-gently reminded all four big wireless carriers that although true “net neutrality” might not apply to them, there are still rules about transparency and disclosures that they have to follow. At the time, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said that companies had no excuse to think the FCC wasn’t watching them — and the FCC isn’t the only group putting wireless companies on notice over their lack of transparency. [More]

Like To Multitask On Your Smartphone? Sprint’s Spark Service Isn’t For You

Like To Multitask On Your Smartphone? Sprint’s Spark Service Isn’t For You

Sprint calls its new Spark service, which they started implementing last year, a “super-high-speed capability” network. It’s faster than the 4G LTE network that they’re still expanding nationwide, but is a Spark-compatible phone something that you should look into? Well, that depends: how many things do you do on your phone at once? [More]

(rockmixer)

Straight Talk Cuts Off My Data, Will Only Explain Why In Confusing Doublespeak

Mike’s phone spent two weeks in the repair depot at Samsung. When it came back, shortly afterward his data stopped working. Oh, no! Would it have to go back for more repairs already? Well… no, that wasn’t the problem. The problem is that his mobile carrier, Straight Talk, has throttled his data access down to nothing. [More]

(bikeoid)

I Can’t Make My Son Use Less Data On HIs iPhone Without Giving AT&T More Money

Mark has a teenage son. His son has an iPhone. Like many teens (and quite a few adults, come to think of it) his son has trouble managing his usage on his 200-megabyte data plan. Most of the time he’s near wi-fi…but that’s only most of the time. Mark called up AT&T to see whether there was any way that he could lock down the phone from his account so it just can’t access the data network at all after reaching its limit. That would be a nice feature, wouldn’t it? Too bad that AT&T doesn’t offer a way to do that without somehow giving them more money. [More]

(Kevin Froissard)

For Once, AT&T Being Incompetent Is Good News

Do you remember reader Aaron? We published his story about a month ago. He was stuck between two mobile providers. He ditched AT&T when his iPhone 5 was devouring so much data that his data connection got throttled. Fine, he said–he switched to Sprint, which has unlimited data, but painfully slow data. He resolved the situation by going back to AT&T, but here’s the interesting part: he got unlimited data back because AT&T thought that he had never canceled his account. Well, um, that’s nice. [More]

(rafa_uoc)

AT&T iPhone 5 Customers Just Keep Gobbling Data

Last week, we asked whether anyone out there in Consumerland had experienced their new iPhones downloading huge amounts of data when the phone wasn’t supposed to be using any data at all. Yes, having a mobile device that uses the faster LTE network means you can use more data faster, but that’s not supposed to happen while you’re connected to wifi. Or driving. Or asleep. [More]

iPhone 5 Data-Gobbling Bug Affects AT&T Customers, Too

iPhone 5 Data-Gobbling Bug Affects AT&T Customers, Too

Josh doesn’t think that he’s using any more data with his new iPhone 5 than with his previous iPhone 4. In fact, he should be using less, because he isn’t streaming music anymore. Only that’s not the case. His phone gobbled 5 GB of data in only 22 days. He has an unlimited plan, but getting through 5 GB means he would be throttled for the rest of the month. Just like Verizon’s customer service, AT&T tried to convince Josh that he was using more data because he was using it faster on the LTE network. While that might be the case for some less savvy customers, Josh is an experienced smartphone owner and knows how to manage data. [More]

(Will Middelaer)

For Hours Of Frustration And Weeks Without iPhone 5 Mobile Data, Sprint Offers $10

Who gets to buy an iPhone 5? You may remember reader Luke, who wrote in to back up our Consumer Reports colleagues’ account that Sprint stores were requiring customers to buy an accessory bundle if they wanted to get their hands on the shiny new gadget. After a mixup in activating the two phones he eventually bought (from the Apple Store, with no unwanted bundles, thank you very much) Luke’s data connection wouldn’t work. Sprint’s apology for two data-less weeks? A $10 credit on his bill. [More]

I Have To Sign A 2-Year Contract To Put A SIM In My Outdated Android Tablet?!

I Have To Sign A 2-Year Contract To Put A SIM In My Outdated Android Tablet?!

In the life of a human, a few years isn’t very long at all. In the life of an electronic device, it’s… well, it’s an entire lifetime. Literally. Still, Matt doesn’t understand why his Android tablet, which was manufactured a few years ago, can’t just have a T-Mobile SIM slapped on it so he can use it on a mobile network. He’s been using it on wifi for years, but wants to be all portable, as well as update the OS. This would require a two-year T-Mobile contract. Two years? [More]

T-Mobile Signal Finally Fails On My Unlocked iPhone

T-Mobile Signal Finally Fails On My Unlocked iPhone

Once upon a time, T-Mobile and the iPhone were friends. Even though AT&T had exclusive rights to the iPhone, T-Mobile was a significantly cheaper, friendlier, and less busy carrier that also used GSM. T-Mobile welcomed the owners of unlocked iPhones with open antennae. But that golden era is over, reader Brielle tells us. She’s been using iPhones on TMo for four years now, and is beginning to experience problems with her signal. It just so happens that her area has recently been upgraded for 4G service…right around the time her iPhone’s signal crapped out. They’re happy to sell her a new 4G Android phone, though. [More]

We Just Want To Use AT&T Mobile Data In Our Neighborhood

We Just Want To Use AT&T Mobile Data In Our Neighborhood

Dave and his wife don’t have any problems with data on their iPhones when they’re in their home, since they have wi-fi. It’s when they leave home but stay in the neighborhood that they can’t connect to the Internet. While it’s not a life-altering problem, they were able to get online from the pool only last year. What’s going on? AT&T isn’t terribly concerned. [More]

T-Mobile Customer Demands Refund For Two Years Of Too-Slow Data… And Gets It

T-Mobile Customer Demands Refund For Two Years Of Too-Slow Data… And Gets It

When Sam was having problems with his T-Mobile smartphone, he did what he thought he was supposed to do: call up support. The agent on the phone couldn’t restore his phone’s Internet connectivity, but they did try to upsell him on some new services. He’d rather have the services he was already paying for working, thanks. When he took the phone to a retail store for help, he learned the real cause of his problems: he’d been wandering around for two years with an old 2G SIM in his 4G phone. He thought that he should have the extra cost of a 4G data plan refunded to him, and T-Mobile acquiesced… but only after he launched an executive e-mail carpet bomb. [More]

Verizon Upgrades My Smartphone, Downgrades My Data Plan

Verizon Upgrades My Smartphone, Downgrades My Data Plan

At the end of last year, Christopher and his girlfriend upgraded their Verizon phones to a pair of lovely matching Samsung Galaxy Nexuses. They’ve both had Verizon data plans long enough that they’re grandfathered in to unlimited data, and Christopher has unlimited international data as well. Or…. he did. After the upgrade, his unlimited plan is gone, the employee who turned it off has (apparently) fled the country, and no one at corporate or the local Verizon store knows how to get it back. [More]

T-Mobile Upgrade Error Leads To Unwanted Data Plan

T-Mobile Upgrade Error Leads To Unwanted Data Plan

Were Michael’s troubles with Target and T-Mobile due to miscommunication, or did someone intentionally mislead him? Everyone’s pointing fingers at each other, but the lesson is clear: if your mobile phone company tells you that you have an upgrade available for which you’re not eligible, it’s probably a good idea not to take it unless you’re able to quadruple-verify that taking the upgrade won’t lead to a data plan you can’t use and don’t want. [More]

AT&T Still Wants Some People To Have Unlimited Data: BlackBerry Users

AT&T Still Wants Some People To Have Unlimited Data: BlackBerry Users

Michael writes that his wife uses a BlackBerry for her work e-mail, but pays for the service herself. It’s part of a family plan with Michael’s iPhone, to be precise. When Michael tried to put their phones on a limited data plan, he learned something interesting and hilariously backwards: customers can only pay $15 for Enterprise access (e-mail on a Microsoft Exchange server) if they’re also paying $30 per month for unlimited BlackBerry data. What if they don’t use that much data? Well, too bad. [More]

AT&T Tries Pushing WiFi Instead Of Tiered Mobile Data Pricing

AT&T Tries Pushing WiFi Instead Of Tiered Mobile Data Pricing

Realizing that their customers are not keen on the idea of tiered mobile data pricing, AT&T has a new solution: offer delicious carrots instead of beating already-dissatisfied customers with sticks. Instead, AT&T Mobility President Ralph de la Vega told BusinessWeek that AT&T is looking to expand their public wi-fi network, and use access points–free or free to AT&T customers–at sites such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble to help alleviate the strain on the 3G data network. [More]

Data Roaming: Don't Try This On The AT&T Network

Data Roaming: Don't Try This On The AT&T Network

For as long as there’s been mobile Internet, there have been outrageous roaming charges for using mobile Internet abroad. Now, people affected by this issue have a celebrity spokesman: Adam Savage of “Mythbusters” fame.