If you have a WLAN (wireless internet) capable phone, will your service provider charge you if you use it?

In today's generation of uber-techy mobile phones, they now have the capability of becoming like mini versions of laptops. Examples are the Nokia N-95, Blackberry Pearl, and the Apple iphone. They have all the new features like GPS, WLAN (wireless internet that you can connect on your home internet or where ever there is a wireless connection) connectivity, and larger memory. But it also has a drawback of added service fees and hidden fees that may discourage you to use these, which in the end, may not be worth buying that phone that you always wanted. So I know that the GPS service you definitely have to pay, but what about connecting to your wireless internet from home which you already pay from your cable or phone company? In using them will the mobile providers charge you for it? Is there a hidden charge in between those fine prints of your service contract? Please tell me!!! I love technology and that's what's scaring me! hidden charges!!!

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you use the internet, there are always charges associated from your carrier, be it a data plan (normally required with PDA's and 3G phones) or pay per use (per kilobyte chgs.)

    Can only give info on AT&T, but with most PDA devices, they will actually ask you if you intend to use the phone for tethering and have specific plans available for that.

    They data plan requirement is actually built into the rebates available on most of these phones as well.

    If you request that a data plan be removed, (not an option with the Iphone) you will be fully advised of possible excessive data charges that you could incur, and this will be documented on your acct. Most reps will recommend that you block internet access if you choose to remove the data plan, and if you decline, that also will be documented.

    Reason? Exactly what you outlined...the charges are not actually hidden, they are explained if you read the plans, but because so much gets so techy now...many people who buy the phones have no clue about all the capabilities, much less how they will be charged if they use them.

    The company makes recommendations, and explains the reason for the recommendations, but there are people who insist on removing the unlimited data package because "they don't use that stuff," refuse to add blocks because "they might want to use it sometime", and then call back the next month wanting to know why they have a 750.00 data access charge - all they did was watch the Sopranos a couple of days while they were waiting in line- they simply have no concept of data usage and associated cost.

    I actually know of one case where a woman went thru the exact case scenario I just outlined - and ended up with an 18000.00 bill on one phone.

    So, millions use them everyday, and MOST never have a problem, lol, but ask the questions, and READ the website and the usage definitions.

    Most of the time, an unlimited data plan is simply the best way to go, but you have to assess whether you will use the capabilities enough to warrant the xtra cost. If not, you may prefer to go with a 3G phone instead of a PDA, for example, so you can use the less expensive media packages vs. data pkgs.

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