Family Allowance Features


    I switched from AT&T my 4 lines because AT&T's service was spotty and they charged too much. But one thing they got mostly right was Family Allowances. Here are some features that they have that TMobile doesn't, and a list of what I want. I will be checking Verizon to see if they have these features, and if they do, I'm switching to them, regardless of the cost.


    1. Need fine-grain control of the hours my kid can use his phone, or when it's locked out. TMobile's "common hours" buttons are ludicrous! Different schools have different hours. My kids' school starts at 8am, but TMobile's one button blocks from 9AM until 2PM. My kid would be on his phone from 8am-9am every morning. TMobile needs to allow the parents to set the start/stop hours PER DAY, and download this data to the phone's lockout monitor. Yeah, this creates more programming, more database stuff, and more UI for the end user to wade through, but it's worth it.

    2. Need fine-grain control on who my kid is allowed to text. I want one set of people he can text as much as he wants, and one set of people that have a total overall limit. Or even better yet, for those #'s that are in the limited category, he should be able to send each person in that limited category a set max # of messages. If my son is chatting one of his male buddies, he can chat as much as he wants. If he's chatting some unknown number (most likely a girl), he can chat that # let's say 20 times per month. Oh yeah, chat limits should be set "per day" or "per month", not just "per month".

    3. Need to set "max duration per call" on phone calls that are to the monitored set of phone #'s. No 2 hour phone calls.

    4. Want controls to turn off my kid's wireless AND data. If I am remote, and want to turn off his internet pipe, I want to turn off cellular AND wireless data. Please make this happen.

      All replies

      • cesaribenitez95

        Re: Family Allowance Features

        I don't even think their is an 3rd party apps that can do that. The closes one would be family link and that doesn't control calls or texts. I understand that you want to keeps safe, and trust me most of us too. But you may need to use more than just one app to do so.

        • This is asked at Verizon almost daily. Most everyone will tell you that the parental controls there are broad and not really fine tuned. They also say that nothing compares to a parent physically taking the phone if the child cannot abide by the rules. The amounts of calls and texts and data can be co trolled but not turned on and off at will. And there's no way to unlock and lock Wi-Fi hardware on a phone remotely or otherwise. So Wi-Fi calling and texting and data would always be on. 

          • magenta2366202

            Re: Family Allowance Features

            Oh yeah, *sure*, there is "no way" to unlock or lock Wi-Fi programmatically. Look, first of all, thanks for the advice for a parent physically taking the phone. Never thought of that. In fact, i'm so stupefied I didn't think of that before, I'm just sitting here in awe. Always love a parenting lesson to start off my forum replies. I don't want to check on his phone every 5 minutes to see if he's gone over his "2 hour limit" or "100 chat messages limit". Your advice to monitor his phone is - well, honestly, retarded and useless. You wasted time typing it. Next, of course the amount of calls and data can be controlled by TMobile (or any other company). I'm a programmer, I know how these things go. Want an example? Sure you do.


            You see, first the TMobile programmer guy makes a database, with a index by phone #. Next, for that phone number, he creates some groups. One group is "unrestricted", the other is "restricted". Both groups accept adding and removing phone numbers. Each hour, the phone connects to the back-end database, and looks up the permissions settings, and stores it locally. When the phone user tries to make a call or start a new chat, the daemon process on the phone that runs in the background that is a part of what TMobile always runs on the phone, looks at the recipient, checks its local permissions, and decides whether or not to let the activity through or block it. The parent can control what goes into the database through something called a "web interface" that talks to the back-end server via CGI script, python, or perhaps even HTTP+SOAP stuff.


            So, YEAH, it's possible, it's that nobody's bothered. and it needs to be a whole lot better. Oh wait, if I were a good parent, I'd just check every 5 minutes.



            • cesaribenitez95

              Re: Family Allowance Features

              Well you're more than welcome to develop your own app, place it on the market and make money. I will totaly would love to have done. I don't do it cause it takes time and frankly it's a lot easiler to do than to make the app. You seem to have to the exact science already. We'll be rooting for you.

              • cesaribenitez95

                Re: Family Allowance Features

                I just learn a fun facts about Verizon family base:

                You can turn off data.

                Only one line can be the parent, the rest are child lines, JUST ONE PARENT LINE DO TAKE NOTE OF THAT.

                You get a text for every time a text/mms is sent, to who they sent it to, but not what it was.... every time. AND I DO MEAN EVERY TIME

                If the child line calls 911, it deletes all your restrictions, and you have to go back and reset them back again.

                • arch113

                  Re: Family Allowance Features

                  I would like to limit how much data a line can use per month (example, limit phone data to 1.9gig/month, once it hits that, no phone data allowed).  I know you can set that on the phone, but they can just as easily, remove it.  Would also like to turn data services on/off at will on a line.
                  • tmo_marissa

                    Re: Family Allowance Features

                    Hey, all! We're going through older posts with this feedback and making sure that everyone gets a chance to take a peek at our new family program, FamilyMode, launching 6/29. You can read our blog about it here and learn more in the Resources list at the bottom: Meet the digital ally parents need -- thank you for sharing your opinions with us!

                      • bcasil325

                        Re: Family Allowance Features

                        Just spoke with two reps regarding FamilyMode which expands the controls in Family Allowances.  Unfortunately it costs $10 per month.  If you want the control unit there is a one-time $20 fee.  T-Mobile appears to have seen the opportunity to cash in on the Disney Circle service that charges $100 for the unit, but covers all mobile devices and PC's for WiFi and a separate monthly fee of $4.99 for CircleGo.  I simply want to insure Family Allowances covers voice, data and texting controls for zero additional fee like what we had with AT&T.  Is that possible or are we required to pay more for this feature?