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Feeling deceived by tethering charge policy
angelsix
Member

I just switched from T-Mobile, because my phone broke (1 month out of warranty) and it was cheaper to pay the remaining early termination fee than to pay retail for a new phone (shopped through Amazon).  My decision came down to Verizon vs.. ATT.  When I saw that ATT charged an extra $20/month for tethering, and Verizon only charged extra for a "mobile hotspot", I chose Verizon, happy that I could continue tethering my cellphone to my laptop without charge.

 

What made me think that Verizon did not charge for tethering?  Their data plan website lists plans that charge extra for "mobile hotspot", as contrasted with the ATT plans that charge extra for "tethering".  "Hotspot" refers to WiFi.  "Tethering" involves a wired connection (USB cable).  T-Mobile recognized that distinction -- charging extra for using a cellphone for a wireless hotspot (that could be used by up to 5 computers), but not for tethering.  Unlike VerizonWireless's, ATT's plan listing is clear -- using the word "tethering".

http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/services/services-list.jsp?wtSlotClick=1-0060AL-0-2&c...

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/explore/?page=data

 

Understanding these terms ("tethering" & "hotspot") in their usual sense, I signed up with Verizon.  Now I have my new phone, and while getting it set up, I was shocked to stumble on articles complaining about Verizon cracking down on tethering.  It turns out that buried in the VerizonWireless contract (that, like the zillions of others, we are forced to ignore in the modern world) Verizon redefines "hotspot" to include "tethering." 

 

So, Verizon, I have good news:

Your verbal deception worked.  I am now signed up with a two year contract.  If I tether my cellphone, you'll get to charge me another $20/month.

 

I also have bad news:

You have a new customer who began his relationship with you, on the very first day, feeling cheated.

 

(Note:  the following has, I'm sure, been expressed numerous times, but I needed to throw it in.)

I think it is unreasonable for VerizonWireless to charge for bandwidth (e.g.. 2gb, 4gb), and impose an additional charge depending on what I use the bandwidth I paid for.  (It does not seem unreasonable for T-Mobile to charge for a "hotspot", where up to 5 people might be using the bandwidth at the same time.)  When I travel, which is occasional, I like to be able to check my email and the local weather, and maybe find a good restaurant.  If I'm in a hotel that charges $15 for Internet service, it's been nice to tether my T-Mobile cellphone and get free Internet access.  Now, I would have to expect that Verizon is monitoring my usage (which, really, I'm not happy about anyway) so they can nail me for a $20 extra charge for the bandwidth I've already paid for.  I was pleased also to discover that FreePress, an online rights group, has sued VerizonWireless for violating net neutrality with the tethering charge -- maybe VerizonWireless will have to find some other way to add extra charges for their users. 

 

 

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Re: Feeling deceived by tethering charge policy
Not applicable
Verizon's plans and prices are spelled out precisely if you go to that section of this web site and READ them. There are no surprises. What some other carrier calls their plans has no bearing on Verizon.
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Re: Feeling deceived by tethering charge policy
carolcaseylee
Member

I just bought a laptop. I have a dinosaur phone almost five years old. How much is it going to cost me to get a phone and wireless access for my laptop. I don't care if I've got wireless on my phone. Do I have to get a smartphone just to be able to get wireless for my laptop? I'm grandfathered in with the text/mess for 20 a month. Will go down to 39.99 for the call minutes. Just wanted a plain phone and unlimited internet access so I can go online at work. Where I work, there are no wifi signals to share. I had one, but the guy went out of business. Is there anything such as umlimited online access or am I going to be charged extra if I go over a certain amount like I am when I go over the minutes on my phone? Why can't I just get a unsmart phone and online service for my laptop?

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Re: Feeling deceived by tethering charge policy
Not applicable
You don't need a smartphone. Click on Shop then Mobile Broadband above to see the data plans. There are no more unlimited plans. You can get a USB modem or a hotspot device. A data plan would be $50 per month for 5GB or $80 per month for 10GB. If you were to get a smartphone, the data plans are the same price for just the phone plus $20 additional for 2GB to use with a tethered laptop.
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Re: Feeling deceived by tethering charge policy
carolcaseylee
Member

Thank you. Is there a cheaper way to get wifi for my laptop without Verizon? I would just update my old phone for free. Sign another contract, go down in minutes and pay 60 a month. With the extra 50, that's alot for me.

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Re: Feeling deceived by tethering charge policy
Not applicable
You could check the other cell phone providers and you might find a cheaper plan for phone, computer, or both. You just have to be careful that the coverage is adaquate for you. Verizon has the best coverage by far.
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Re: Feeling deceived by tethering charge policy
angelsix
Member

:

Of course!  I really should have hired a team of lawyers to read every user agreement and definition page associated with signing up as a Verizon customer, to see where I might have been deceived by the plain language Verizon used in describing the plans.  Silly me.

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Re: Feeling deceived by tethering charge policy
Elitist_Jerk
Novice

verizon is the most expensive company..this is either true or urban myth but its what everyone says.

 

using that logic, i find it hard to beleive you didnt think they charged for tethering when every single company does

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Re: Feeling deceived by tethering charge policy
Tidbits
Sr. Leader

angelsix wrote:

I just switched from T-Mobile, because my phone broke (1 month out of warranty) and it was cheaper to pay the remaining early termination fee than to pay retail for a new phone (shopped through Amazon).  My decision came down to Verizon vs.. ATT.  When I saw that ATT charged an extra $20/month for tethering, and Verizon only charged extra for a "mobile hotspot", I chose Verizon, happy that I could continue tethering my cellphone to my laptop without charge.

 

What made me think that Verizon did not charge for tethering?  Their data plan website lists plans that charge extra for "mobile hotspot", as contrasted with the ATT plans that charge extra for "tethering".  "Hotspot" refers to WiFi.  "Tethering" involves a wired connection (USB cable).  T-Mobile recognized that distinction -- charging extra for using a cellphone for a wireless hotspot (that could be used by up to 5 computers), but not for tethering.  Unlike VerizonWireless's, ATT's plan listing is clear -- using the word "tethering".

http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/services/services-list.jsp?wtSlotClick=1-0060AL-0-2&c...

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/explore/?page=data

 

Understanding these terms ("tethering" & "hotspot") in their usual sense, I signed up with Verizon.  Now I have my new phone, and while getting it set up, I was shocked to stumble on articles complaining about Verizon cracking down on tethering.  It turns out that buried in the VerizonWireless contract (that, like the zillions of others, we are forced to ignore in the modern world) Verizon redefines "hotspot" to include "tethering." 

 

So, Verizon, I have good news:

Your verbal deception worked.  I am now signed up with a two year contract.  If I tether my cellphone, you'll get to charge me another $20/month.

 

I also have bad news:

You have a new customer who began his relationship with you, on the very first day, feeling cheated.

 

(Note:  the following has, I'm sure, been expressed numerous times, but I needed to throw it in.)

I think it is unreasonable for VerizonWireless to charge for bandwidth (e.g.. 2gb, 4gb), and impose an additional charge depending on what I use the bandwidth I paid for.  (It does not seem unreasonable for T-Mobile to charge for a "hotspot", where up to 5 people might be using the bandwidth at the same time.)  When I travel, which is occasional, I like to be able to check my email and the local weather, and maybe find a good restaurant.  If I'm in a hotel that charges $15 for Internet service, it's been nice to tether my T-Mobile cellphone and get free Internet access.  Now, I would have to expect that Verizon is monitoring my usage (which, really, I'm not happy about anyway) so they can nail me for a $20 extra charge for the bandwidth I've already paid for.  I was pleased also to discover that FreePress, an online rights group, has sued VerizonWireless for violating net neutrality with the tethering charge -- maybe VerizonWireless will have to find some other way to add extra charges for their users. 

 

 


T-Mobile does charge for Tethering...  Most people use a loophole to tether without paying the $14.99 fee.  This is a recent change so some people still think it's "free", but it was NEVER free in the first place before that.  If you ever read T-Mobiles old TOS you agreed not to tether at all.  T-Mobile has been recently starting to enforce the rule as well as charging for it started early last year if I remember correctly.
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Re: Feeling deceived by tethering charge policy
Not applicable

angelsix wrote:

:

Of course!  I really should have hired a team of lawyers to read every user agreement and definition page associated with signing up as a Verizon customer, to see where I might have been deceived by the plain language Verizon used in describing the plans.  Silly me.


If you need a team of lawyers to understand pricing options for a smartphone, maybe you should stick with a simple phone.
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