AT&T starts sending out tethering notices to jailbreakers


One of the big advantages to jailbreaking has been the ability to enable tethering without carrier support. That doesn’t mean the carrier is unaware of the way the phone is being used. In fact, AT&T has started sending text messages to customers who are tethering without the company’s tethering plan.

The message reads as follows:

“Did you know tethering your Smartphone to a computer requires a tethering plan? Pls call 888-860-6789 for details or visit”

Some customers are also receiving emails about the usage, alerting customers that they will be automatically enrolled in the DataPro 4GB plan if they don’t get in touch with AT&T. From the email:

“If we don’t hear from you, we’ll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB after March 27, 2011. The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan. If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.”

AT&T says the goal is fairness to customers. Yes, they would like to screw all of us equally.


Apple takes 600,000 iPhone 4 pre-orders

Steve Jobs iPhone 4.Despite the insane problems during the iPhone 4 pre-order launch, Apple still sold more than 600,000 pre-orders on day one, according to a company statement. That number includes all the carrier sales, which may not have been recorded in full considering pen and paper was being used at one point and it could take some time to log those orders.

From the Apple press release:

Yesterday Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Apple’s new iPhone 4. It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock.

At first, 600,000 seemed a little low, but that’s just the people fanatic enough to go out and order the first day it became available.


iPhone 4 pre-order was full of snafus, still sold out

Steve Jobs iPhone 4 launch.

After today’s crazy iPhone 4 pre-order problems, it’s hard to imagine what the 24th is going to look like.

As I mentioned here earlier today, website pre-ordering was down for both AT&T and Apple for most of the day. I finally got one ordered through Apple, still confirmed for delivery on the 24th as far as I can tell, but a lot of people were stuck staring at an error screen, or worse yet, an AT&T retail store for a few hours.

In case you missed the fun, there were reports of errors in the AT&T system that were granting access to another user’s account when you would log in. The AT&T upgrade system was down to the point that some stores were breaking out pens and paper and the old knucklebusters to take orders. Some stores were only taking down phone numbers and credit card info and then calling customers back to finalize the details of the sale. All in all, it was a crazy day full of AT&T’s failure to manage the load on their system, and the phone still sold out.

Here’s the official word from AT&T:

“Because of the incredible interest in iPhone 4, today was the busiest online sales day in AT&T history. As of Tuesday afternoon, customers who preorder iPhone 4 moving forward will receive their device on June 25 or later, depending on when the order is placed. We’ll email customers with confirmation once their order is placed, and again when it ships. In addition, we will have devices available on a first-come, first-serve basis in our stores beginning on June 24.”

As ever, the resounding sentiment from the tech world sounds something like “jesus christ will you idiots end the AT&T exclusivity already?!?” Seriously, Apple, people want the phone so badly they are willing to put up with mountains of carrier-related bullshit to get the thing. Find someone that doesn’t suck, make them pay you to sell your awesome phone. Thanks.


iPhone 4 pre-orders are totally borked

I woke up early this morning all excited to pre-order my iPhone 4. I was up a bit late last night and noticed that the store was down, and with the iPad, pre-orders were available around 8:30am EST, so I planned accordingly. Much to my chagrin, the online system at Apple wasn’t working. Neither was the AT&T system. In fact, it seems the whole pre-ordering process has melted down.

I started digging around the web to find other experiences, and even the people in brick-and-mortar stores are having trouble pre-ordering. The problem, it seems, is on AT&T’s end (who’s surprised?). Requests for account information aren’t being handled properly, and presumably because of the massive traffic AT&T is receiving, every step of the upgrade process is causing errors. As in, you fill out the data for step one (which renews your contract), press enter and get an error. Resubmit until it goes through. Now you have a new contract, but no subsidized phone until you can get step two or three to work.

This especially sucks for the people in brick-and-mortar stores. Cross step one and you’re stuck in the store until AT&T’s system deems you worthy to leave or, as I mentioned, you get a renewed contract but no new phone. Hopefully this will get fixed at some point today, but knowing AT&T, that’s not going to happen. If you have a couple hours to kill and feel like testing your boiling point, head on out to your nearest AT&T retailer for a little fun.

Photo from fOTOGLIF


Verizon lays into AT&T with new 3G ads

Island of misfit toysAT&T might have done well to keep quiet about Verizon’s “map for that” ads. Since bringing a lawsuit concerning the original commercial, Verizon has launched three more ads, all bearing the same message: AT&T’s network sucks. It’s not that the message is anything new, but AT&T has made it clear that network quality is a pressure point, and now Verizon’s going to squeeze.

The new ads will likely air all through the holidays since they’re all about Christmas. In one the iPhone ends up on the island of misfit toys, not fitting in until it shows its new friends the AT&T 3G coverage map. That one works on two levels, digging at AT&T and reminding Apple that Verizon still really wants the iPhone.

The second ad turns the naughty gift from coal into AT&T’s network, and the third features a man having a Blue Christmas (yes, the song runs in the background) until he walks home to find a festive red package sitting on his front porch.

The last two ads sound like the usual competition bashing you see in any industry, but that the commercials have so much truth behind them makes them devastatingly effective. Talk to anyone with an iPhone and you’ll hear about AT&T’s crap network. Apparently no one has mentioned to Big Blue that fixing their network would solve all kinds of problems, the least of which is this new ad campaign.