Are AT&T data plans for iPad still month to month, or is it a contract?
April 4, 2013 5:47 PM   Subscribe

The original promise of the data plans for an iPad was that they were not a long term contract, but rather something you could use for a month or two, disable / cancel for a few months and then activate again as you needed it. You also would not have overage charges as running into the limit would just disable your account until you upped the plan. Is that still the case?

I've been hearing that they now have termination fees, and after you cancel and try to add service again a few months down the road that problems reactivating the account are typical and require many trips to AT&T store or or call to their support number.

I am not talking about a shared data plan with other devices, but rather the option of signing up directly on the device (in settings --> cellular data).

I'm wondering what your experiences have been if you are someone who cancels and reactivates the data plan as needed.
posted by ridogi to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Best answer: Mine is still month-to-month. I have started and stopped it several times with never any fees.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 5:49 PM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: Yep. I cancel and restart mine as needed too. When I've hit my limit, it gave me the option to re-up early.
posted by cabingirl at 6:03 PM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: We've cancelled & reactivated several times with no problems.
posted by belladonna at 6:32 PM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: Same here - no issues. My experience has been identical with cabingirl's.
posted by jquinby at 6:40 PM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: Ordering the data package that way makes it session-based, and it should never incur termination fees as there is no contract.
posted by Zarya at 7:28 PM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: You can now buy a tablet from AT&T, getting both a discount and a contract: AT&T Offering $100 Off Tablets for 2-Year Contract. That might be the source of people's complaints.
posted by meowzilla at 7:31 PM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: I mean as opposed to buying the tablet straight from Apple, which is what it sounds like the previous responders have done. The AT&T discount deal is new.
posted by meowzilla at 7:32 PM on April 4, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you. I did purchase this iPad (as a gift) from Apple and this is good news. My girlfriend would like to use it when she travels for conferences, but doesn't want another monthly charge every month.
posted by ridogi at 7:39 PM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: When I first got my iPad, I bought data, then bought more when I needed more.
Then I canceled for a while because I wasn't using data.
Now that I've restarted, it renews automatically every month, which drives me nuts. I could cancel though, there is no contract.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:31 PM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: Slcmom, you should be able to set it not to renew automatically. I don't remember exactly how, but I know it can be done.
posted by Zarya at 8:38 PM on April 4, 2013

Best answer: In my experience, it's a little annoying because it defaults to renewing automatically. So if you know you don't want it to renew, the best thing to do would be to buy the data package and then cancel it right away. It will still be valid for the 30 days but will expire at the end.

Otherwise they have been known to give me 45 minutes' warning that it's about to auto-renew, such that if you're not looking at your email that hour, you get roped into another 30 days.

But even with these little shenanigans, yes, it's still easy to start and stop as you wish. Definitely a nice feature.
posted by veggieboy at 6:58 AM on April 5, 2013

Thanks Zarya. I will look for that.
posted by SLC Mom at 10:44 PM on April 6, 2013

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