I think that all of the major cellular service providers charge for tethering. I know that AT&T and VZW do. The cellular service providers argue that they are in the business of providing service to their mobile devices, not every device that gets an internet connection.
T-Mobile always had the tethering charge on the books, they just didn't always enforce it. Our gravy train came to an end there. I love free stuff but also understand that businesses can't survive like that.
Not sure why you think you need to pay for tethering... it's free and been this way for years now. While all of the other carriers lock this out of the phone, it's open on TM and the G2. Settings -> Wifi -> Tethering.
Instead of jumping ship for another carrier that charges, you can stay with TM and send me the money.
Don't know what makes you think tethering is a free service. It has been explicitly prohibited in the terms and conditions for several years, unless allowed under a specific data plan.
TM started charging for the service a year ago when devices started to roll-out with Froyo installed, which was the first time a tethering capability had been included in the operating system. Since then they have been improving their detection techniques and blocking more access without the tethering plan in place.
TM's justification for this will be that integrated tethering represents direct competition to their broadband-only business stream where they sold both devices and plans to provide wireless network access to PCs.
With Froyo now delivering this capability to millions of customers, and with an already declining market share and revenue, TM had little choice but to introduce tethering fees.
I may be "prohibited" but there is simply nothing TM can do against someone who is just using a feature built into the phone. I've been tethering several times a week for the past couple of year. Never any issue. I've also read psots from many people (a _lot_) of people who do the same thing with no problems. TM can choose to remove this option from the G2 but they don't. A company has no ground to stand on when they allow customers to use a feature of the phone when they can simply stop it's use but choose not to.
I have not read that TM took away teathering even with the latest (Gingerbread) release. I have read post from _many_ people that they can still tether.
Is anyone posting here saying that they cannot check and use the teather feature on their G2?
You obviously haven't seen the flood of complaints in the GSII forum where tethering via the OS function is now routinely blocked.
Whether they are able to enforce their terms or not, customers are contractually required to refrain from using unlicensed tethering as a breach of contract. That isn't my personal preference, but it is a matter of law.
With that position established legally, TM can choose to enforce those obligations at whatever pace suits them. The fact that we are able to breach our contract does not confer on us the right to do so.
Go ahead and take advantage of their organizational weakness for as long as you are able. That isn't my concern, but as and when TM clamp down, just understand that they had that right established for the last 3+ years.
while it might not be good PR for some customers, it probably isn't going to do any more harm than letting their broadband business fall apart without compensation...and even if it is, current owners, Deutsche Telekom, don't give a flying fig. They are running TMUSA as a "discontinued operation", milking as much short term revenue as possible prior to selling to somebody as quickly as possible.
"A company has no ground to stand on when they allow customers to use a feature of the phone when they can simply stop it's use but choose not to."
What do you think of the new pay-per-use Web charges that T-Mobile has been levying on accounts that have a data plan? Those customers haven't made any changes in the way that they use their phones, but they are getting hit with data charges per MB.
T-Mobile has been blocking tethering on some users (who didn't have a plan) at what appears to be a random basis since last year, at least. Your usage amounts may not have triggered the system to block your usage yet, and that is something to be thankful for. However, T-Mobile may view this as stealing service. As far as I know, they haven't pursued reimbursement for past use, but they are well within their rights to start charging for this service. I don't like it, but the free ride may be over.
From what I have read around the forums, HTC Amaze 4G and SGS II owners are the ones that can't tether at all without an active plan in place. Everyone else just flies below the radar, for the most part.
"What do you think of the new pay-per-use Web charges that T-Mobile has been levying on accounts that have a data plan? Those customers haven't made any changes in the way that they use their phones, but they are getting hit with data charges per MB."
What do I think about it? I think it's against the TOS and also pretty much illegal (in that TM is adding services/charges to a customers bill with no right to do so. I also have no doubt that TM knows that they woudl loose this battle if pushed but until someone does, they will use it to generate revenue.
While these are two different issues I can see how they at least appear the same. In one case the person is simply using a function supplied with the phone. In the other case TM is adding a service onto someone's bill. I'm not clear on what is triggering the data plan being added... the fact that someone has a smartphone where data is open or that somene is capable of using data even though they don't pay for it. I'm betting TM CSR don't even know for a fact).
If anyone is claiming tethering without a plan is against the TOS or any other contract, please let me know where it's located. Regardless, TM would loose, hands down, if they attempted to convince anyone that someone using a feature such as teathering should result in a charge. They had the opportunity to turn off that feature and they did not... so they have no grounds to put the duty on it's customers not to use that feature. It's not in the agreement/TOS.
"T-Mobile has been blocking tethering on some users (who didn't have a plan) at what appears to be a random basis since last year, at least."
I can't speak for non G2 users as I don't really seek out that info. But I've read posts from many people, here and on other forms, that the GB update did not stop them from tethering. Until this post I've not seen any post from anyone with a G2 that cannot teather. I've also not heard back from the OP that he/she cannot enable tethering and... tether. I _think_ the G2 migth be ab exception as TM did not change anything with the OS... only added some bloatware.
"You obviously haven't seen the flood of complaints in the GSII forum where tethering via the OS function is now routinely blocked."
I don't know what the "GSII forum" is, otherwise I'd certain look.
"Whether they are able to enforce their terms or not, customers are contractually required to refrain from using unlicensed tethering as a breach of contract"
As I've mentioned, please feel free to point out where it states this. I've read the TOS/Users Agreement a few times in the past.
here you go:
11. * Data Plans and Other Features. You will be charged for data usage on a pay per use basis unless you are required to maintain a data plan ("Data Plan") as part of your Service, or as otherwise provided by your Rate Plan or prepaid data pass. Permissible and Prohibited Uses: Your Data Plan is intended for Web browsing, messaging, and similar activities on your Device and not on any other equipment. Unless explicitly permitted by your Data Plan, other uses, including for example, using your Device as a modem or tethering your Device to a personal computer or other hardware, are not permitted. Other examples of prohibited uses can be found in Section 18.
It's the forum for the Samsung Galaxy S II here in the T-Mobile support community.
As gandecab has posted, the restrictions are explicit and, if you trace back through the linked versions, you will see that tethering has been prohibited since 2008.
The new terms and conditions apply to everyone, even those whose contract has rolled-over to month-to-month. Previous versions have always allowed TM to update terms on the fly.
Enforcement of restrictions has nothing to with the validity of contractual terms. TM don't need to apply restrictions in order to validate their expectation that customers don't breach their contractual commitments and the absence of enforced restrictions at any time does not invaldate later enforcement measures.
On the other hand, TM has certain (minimal) obligations themselves, such as proper notification of material changes, which they must be made to adhere to under pain of reimbursing improper charges, or allowing customers to leave without penalty.
In my view, it's important to recognize our obligations in order to ensure theirs can be enforced.
Well I guess I'm pretty much stuck with an another bill or a higher one I should say...I cant help but to wonder if some of you guys who replied to my discussion are actual TM employees...lol, but all info was helpful, its a good thing that I live in a building where there's alot open network to use my wi fi, still i rather use FREE tethering, now should i get the galaxy s II or stick with my g2?
Sorry for the delay in this reply. I had a couple of things come up.
@gandecab: Thanks very much for taking the time to look that up and post it here (for me). The first part of that only give TM he ability to charge for data used on a per MB plan if you don't have unlimited but that 2nd part is spot on for not allowing customers to tether without a tether plan. I will say, I still don't think it allows TM to take action other then block tethering (i.e. I doubt it would hold up if TM tried to charge a customer for tethering just because they were tethering).
It also looks like TM is back peddling on the whole "charge customers for data when they don't have a data plan". Rightfully so as they really only stood to be sued over the matter (Verizon tried the same thing). I'm hoping the ***** at TM that thought it would be a good idea to charge for data with no warning is now loking for another job.
@crystal06: I'm certinally not a TM employee. I do think they have great rates and offer good plans. They (had) a nitch in this regard. But TM certainly has been ****** me off lately. Bought a bluetooth headset and have spend around an hour on the phone with them over this. Granted, it was a price mistake (at least this is what they say) at 1 cent but what they did afterwards really suck. I spent 15 minutes on hold with 5 different depts and dispite the transfers no one could tell me anything (I dialed the number they gave me in their email). Then click... call was dropped. So right now I'm no lover.
Fortunately, TM don't seem to be charging for tethering without consent. They will block access access which, as you say, they are within their rights to do.
The total reverse on pay-per-use for smartphones is very welcome news, but it remains to be seen whether they will still try to charge for incidental data transactions on "feature phones" which have no data plan. They used to ignore the tiny downloads that such phones executed periodically without action from the user. We'll see whether they continue to do so.