Sunday, July 25, 2010

AT&T will data block a phone - but this disables MMS messaging

In the process of picking up my new iPhone [1] I asked (again) about blocking a user's data services. Today the store AT&T rep more or less confirmed this anonymous comment on a June post:
Gordon's Notes: AT&T’s secret Nov 2009 mobile contract change – Elegant Evil

... you can have AT&T put a data block on any phone. I have one on one of my blackberries. And it's something they do routinely, in fact on my bill it's explicitly called out as a line item. Call them again, and tell them to put a data block on, and they should do it ....
The catch (you knew there was one?) is that the data service block also disables MMS messaging -- even if that is covered by an unlimited texting plan. It does not impact SMS messaging.

I also asked again about AT&T's policies on adding data plans to "smart phones" connected to AT&T's network. I've asked about this previously and gotten conflicting responses:
This time I got yet another response - a very bad one.

I'm going to put up yet another post on this topic, including some AT&T policy language that's not publicly available. I'll update this post with a link when the new material is out.

[1] I can kill bars by touching any part of the antenna. I used to tune TVs by waving my hands; I think it's a sign of alien possession. I suspect a lot of the antenna problems are actually user-specific.

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