My family and I bought the iPhone 3G around the summer of 2008. On my old Motorola SLVR I was able to text for $10 a month and free unlimited within network. Once I got the iPhone the plan became around 15 and there was no such thing as free within the network. So I put up with the 200 texts and soon began exceeding the amount. As a family we decided that the amount I was going over, I could simply upgrade the whole family to an unlimited plan for an additional 30 dollars instead of the 15 and for one person it would be 20 unlimited. Prior to this, I was able to receive SMS multimedia messages on my iPhone 3G which would tell me the following via a text:
“I sent you a multimedia message. You can view my message w/in the next 7 days via the web at www.viewmymessage.com/1 using MSG ID XXXXX Password XXXXX”
Which was a horrible design (user and pass is always different), but at least AT&T had a workaround the fact that the iPhone was not able to receive pictures or send them. So when we switched to the unlimited family plan, I was ecstatic! I had unlimited texting and so fourth. But my friend then began sending me pictures, but no matter what network they were on or phone they were using, I would not receive that message stating that I received a multimedia message. So after three months, I figured out that it stopped accepting. I called AT&T who I was on the phone with for 30 min and said it could be my SIM card. I went to the AT&T store the next day, near my home in the Chicago land suburbs and I showed the guy the fact that I had received messages before and no longer could. He was perplexed. So he put a brand new SIM card in for me. Still no results! Then he tried sending a picture to his phone with some phones on display, no luck. Meanwhile I never bothered to ask him if he had an unlimited plan or the 200. Most likely he had the unlimited plan, since most people cant handle 200 with a keyboard that lets you do 200 in a day!
So I left the store at 7:30 at night with a phone number in hand and an explanation that he tried changing my services and deactivating some stuff and nothing worked and that I needed to speak with level 2 support. I called the number and the apple guy was very nice and explained that the service issue I was referring to had nothing to do with their end and was AT&T’s problem. So he said, please wait and we will speak with an AT&T representative. I was asked for my typical questions for verification. The representative from AT&T began trying to figure out the problem and at one point said that she didn’t think I had a data plan on my phone. Which the Apple guy and me wanted to laugh at because you can’t buy an iPhone 3G without one! She explained that when you are on the 200 texting plan for one phone the system you are using is SMS1 network and once you switch to the unlimited you are using SMS4 network. So I asked her, “Why am I paying you more money for such an expensive phone, and instead I get less service than before?” She is perplexed and has no idea how to answer this. She says “You have the Mercedes of all phones…”, which I got a kick out of! She became very flustered and I asked to speak with her manager. It sounded like she was being trained not to give him, but she couldn’t handle it anymore and I finally got a hold of the manager.
The manager was a really nice guy and we spoke for a while and even he was confused as to why when someone pays more, a feature would be removed. He admitted that apple does have a lot of restrictions on what they can and cannot do. He tried looking for a way to get me the iphone 3.0 release, but sadly was not able to. He was nice enough to credit the balance on my bill, which did make me a happy camper and hinted at the fact that the 3.0 software should be coming out very very soon.
All in all, I got my bill paid, which is great, but still does not resolve the issue. So if you have a 200 texting plan, be weary of switching now to unlimited. How can a phone like iPhone 3G come with a camera, but not have the option to send pictures over the network? Just unbelievable! You are forced to pay 40 dollars extra for a data plan plus special texting plan, and this is all on top of your regular phone plan! So Apple, the next move is yours! I am waiting patiently for your 3.0 software and I am not going to pay 100 dollars for your beta version!
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