I am a little dismayed. Apple's website says FaceTime will not use cellular minutes since it is strictly a WiFi feature. MacWorld states the exact same thing, as do many other sites. I called Verizon TWICE to confirm this. Each time, the Verizon rep told me they had never been asked that questions before. After being put on hold by both, the both came back with the same answer:
FACETIME USES MINUTES AND DATA!
This is something everyone that does NOT have an unlimited plan needs to be aware of. I have unlimited data but NOT unlimited minutes.
I don't understand why Verizon is charging for this when it's a WiFi feature only.
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FaceTime shouldn't use minutes or data since you can't use FaceTime without WiFi access. Have you actually tested it to see if you notice minutes being used towards the calls? Now using a different video chatting program may use minutes (Not sure if Skype uses minutes on the iPhone)....the fact that reps have been known to give incorrect info on the iPhone I wouldn't be surprised if this info is also incorrect.
The reps both told me that it doesn't matter what Apple's website says. They determine the charges, not Apple. I have not had an opportunity to try it since I am currently in my free nights and weekends. I purposely have a low minute plan since most of my friends and family is Verizon and we use the M2M features. But I do have friends that are AT&T iPhone users. Verizon says no matter what network they are, it will use minutes and data. It does not state that anywhere on the Verizon website, and it should!
Facetime is not supposed to count against your minutes or data use unless perhaps you've tethered via your 3G connection. Once you've tethered (hotspot feature) then it would count against your data plan as this negates an 'unlimited data plan' and puts all data on the 2 gig timer. If that's not the case then that 's news to me as facetime on it's own is via YOUR WIFI shouldn't cost you anything against your minutes except for any talk time that you might do BEFORE you switch to Facetime.
I am on the phone once again with Verizon - this is the 3rd time tonight and they are saying YES, FaceTime uses your minutes and data when using it on WiFi. I don't think this is fair when Apple says there is not charge.
Even if you are on your weekend minutes you can test this out and then look on your account to see if minutes were deducted. The reason this sounds odd is because VZ is claiming that they are charging for data despite you using WiFi. If that is the case then everyone's data usage would be a lot higher because they would calculate wifi usage as data at other times (not just FaceTime). It means very little to me because I have only used FaceTime once...but if the info you were given is true I could see where anger would exist. I still doubt it (at least the data charge. They very well may charge airtime...although it seems odd).
Rep is checking with another supervisor. I am still on hold.
Just an FYI for everyone ... the reference to Apple's website for the iPhone manual is NOT relevant when it comes to charges from a particular provider. Verizon makes that very clear. They are in control of pricing, not Apple.
I'm not surprised that the service provider sets the price for services...that is expected since Apple only provides the device and software, not to the service. It is why they don't sell plans...they refer you to the service providers for pricing. What surprises me is charging for WiFi use that they do not provide (especially if I'm using my home WiFi, which I pay for and VZ has nothing to do with it)
Just hung up with Verizon for the last time tonight. This last rep said there is not a a minute charge, but there is a data charge. I keep getting. Go figure. I really wish Verizon would give the reps complete information. The only way I am going to be able to get a straight answer is to use it and see if it deducted from my minutes.
I have always been a Verizon fan, but tonight, I'm not. The reps have not been informed on the iPhone. With a launch as big as this, they should definitely be able to answer questions. I have wasted 2 1/2 hours on the phone with them tonight. It's not the reps fault, they've all been wonderful and have tried to answer the question.
There is NO data charge when using your WIFI whether it's Facetime using it or you're browsing a web page through Safari. There is only a charge when you use 3G of which is only applicable while talking on the phone when using WIFI. Of course when you're not on WIFI, EVERYTHING is channeled through 3G so everything is counted against your plan. For the record when a phone call is received or sent, you are on 3G and your time is counted against your minutes. When you switch to Facetime, the 3G call is in effect terminated and you're transferred to WIFI of which from that moment forward handles the communications. Facetime only functions through WIFI. That's the way it is and any Verizon rep that's telling you different is wrong. They can't charge you for something that they aren't providing. These guys need to get their facts straight.
So kiddies, listen... IF it passes through 3G in any capacity it's billable. IF it's through your WIFI connection, it in effect is not billable as YOU are already paying for it via YOUR internet connection (as an example). The one thing to remember is that it takes a phone call to initiate Facetime and you are billed until you actually switch over to Facetime. If you have any doubts turn off your cellular data (in settings) and you'll find that your iPhone pretty much transforms into a full featured iPod Touch which can do everything it can do accept make phone calls. The Touch however CAN do FACETIME via WIFI (WITHOUT paying a phone company!) just like the iPhone.