10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 24, 2011 1:52 PM by bandit.queen
smactrox Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I bought the iPad wifi + 3G shortly after launch and really love it. I haven't needed the 3G at all since wifi is pretty abundant, but on road trips and vacations I may get the 250MB plan.

I'm wondering how it works in terms of data renewal. By default the option is to purchase the same data after the initial thirty day stack, right? If I buy a data package, can I immediately tell the iPad to not auto-renew but not forfeit the thirty days I just purchased?

And in doing that, what happens to the account I create with AT&T? Let's say I buy a data package today. Then I go and tell the iPad not to auto-renew it. If I don't need data for a few months, and then I want to buy another thirty days' worth, do I have to type in all my info (AT&T username and password, credit card info, billing address, et cetera) from scratch or can I just log in, select a plan, and hit the purchase button?

My intuition is that Apple and/or AT&T make it hard to go this only-when-you-need-it route in order to encourage customers to just passively let the packages auto-renew every month. Thanks for any help!

64GB iPad wifi + 3G, iOS 3.2.2
  • 1. Re: iPad 3G data plan account
    Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (58,265 points)
    Why not just call ATT and ask them?
  • 2. Re: iPad 3G data plan account
    smactrox Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I find AT&T customer service lackluster at times and in the Apple Discussions users are generally friendly and provide the answers needed. If anyone has purchased a 3G data plan on his or her iPad and only uses it occasionally (meaning not letting it auto-renew), I'd love to know the answer based on your own experience. Thanks!
  • 3. Re: iPad 3G data plan account
    Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (89,680 points)

    Best bet is to find out what's available for your account. Go here. Login to youra ccount here. https://www.att.com/olam/loginAction.olamexecute?goto=welcome

    Click My Services / My Rate Plan / Change Rate Plan

    You should be able to view what is available for you there.

    Customer contact / AT&T here: http://www.att.com/wireless/contact-us/index.jsp

  • 4. Re: iPad 3G data plan account
    Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (58,265 points)
    I find AT&T customer service lackluster at times

    Then ask to talk to someone else. CS is only as good as the person you're talking to.
  • 5. Re: iPad 3G data plan account
    araym Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Basically what happens is you are buying 30 days or 250MB - whichever comes first. If you run out of days first and have auto-renew, your remaining data is forfeited (no “roll-over”), and you just start a new 30 day contract with a fresh 250MB. If you run out of data first, you can wait until the 30 days are up (with no service) and, again assuming auto-renew, it will start a new contract on the 31st day. Or you can start a new contract immediately – you get a fresh 250MB and your 30 day clock resets right then and there.

    I’ve never turned off auto-renew and then turned it back on before. But in checking my account it does have a history of my old contract, it does know the SIM card information, the credit card information is stored on AT&T’s servers, so everything is in place for them to start you off on demand sometime in the future. AT&T wants to make it easy for you to give them money so I’d be shocked if they made the renewal process after a break hard.
  • 6. Re: iPad 3G data plan account
    smactrox Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately I read that after sixty days of not buying service AT&T deletes your account.
  • 7. Re: iPad 3G data plan account
    VSL.008 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    5/29/10 - iPad 3G received
    6/1/10 - Purchased a data plan to test it for 30 days
    7/29/10 - Purchased a data plan again while traveling

    * I did not have to reenter account info; it is stored. Simply select a plan as if this were the first time.
    * Each time I cancelled my plan before 30 days passed, so auto renew would not engage.
    * Upon renewal cancellation, a confirmation is sent.
    * As you nearly exhaust your data limit, or 30 days draw near, AT&T sends you a courtesy e-mail notice. Actually, they sent me several since auto renew was not active.
    * I find the process very simple, and I never heard of any consequences for not having a plan each 60 days.
    * I will purchase a data plan only if needed. Hope this helps.
  • 8. Re: iPad 3G data plan account
    smactrox Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    If you go to that page and search for "dormant" you'll get to the paragraph where he explains inactive accounts are deleted by AT&T after sixty days. Unless someone can share an experience where they bought a plan, canceled it, didn't buy a plan for over two months, and then was able to just log in and select a new plan, I'll assume that AT&T does this as a deterrent to prevent users from buying only when they need data and instead letting it constantly auto-renew out of convenience. I don't plan on buying iPad 3G data if AT&T is going to have a policy like that in place.
  • 9. Re: iPad 3G data plan account
    Macjbraun Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This month when I went to cancel my account so it would not auto renew I was not given that option. The only option available was to cancel and delete the account. I used 3G service yesterday so it had not been 60 days of inactivity. I did. Guess what. It did. AT&T could not explain why I did not have the option to cancel only. Now the next time I want to activate I have to reenter all my info and start a new account. After squeezing the customer service rep for info she told me I would have to contact Apple because it was a software problem. I don't believe her that it is Apple's problem. If this happens again I will call Apple support and I am sure they will have me restore the iPad and that won't work. Then they will suggest I call AT&T. I have Googled this issue and I haven't found anybody else with this problem.
  • 10. Re: iPad 3G data plan account
    bandit.queen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    not to mention her question may help someone else answer their question, like me!