T-Mobile data plans suddenly stop working

18 Comments

I have been using a T-Mobile Dash Windows Mobile 5 smartphone for almost a week now and enjoying the seamless web integration that T-Mobile has put into the Dash.  Push email, the T-Zones connectivity, even web browsing on the Dash has been a real joy.  I have especially liked using the Mobile Google Reader to keep up with my RSS feeds when free time makes itself available.  Until this morning, that is.

Sometime this morning I lost all ability to connect to the web.  Nothing is working, I get various error messages indicating the server is unavailable.  I spoke to Kevin who reports he lost his connectivity a few days ago and it still hasn’t come back online.  Matt Miller reports that his connectivity dropped recently, although he got his back after a few days.  Hearing this coupled with my own experience I sensed a pattern so I hopped over to the authority on mobile phones, Howard Forums.

It didn’t take me long to find a bunch of T-Mobile customers from all over the US reporting the same loss of connectivity.  What’s confusing is the lack of an apparent pattern, some people report the ability to connect came back after a few hours, others report the ability to get push email but not surf the web, others that they can use the WAP connectivity but nothing else. 

Some folks are offering the theory that T-Mobile finally caught on to users who have been using the web services by exploiting a hole in T-Mobile’s setup and that the carrier has blocked all the various ports to shut that down.  That is backed up by this internal T-Mobile Customer Service screen (posted on Howard Forums) to help reps deal with calls about this issue:

T-Mobile exploit

If this is the root cause of the total loss of data connectivity it is even affecting customers (like me) who have the total internet service from T-Mobile for $30 a month, we can’t connect at all.  Surely T-Mobile wouldn’t shut down their highest paying customers to curtail those who might be exploiting their system.

It’s not just the Dash owners that are suffering, it seems to be affecting almost every data user no matter the device they are using, although Windows Mobile devices seem to be particularly affected since they are heavy into data connectivity.  Let’s hope that someone can shed some light on this so a solution can be reached, the lack of access to my email is killing me, and I know it’s adversely affecting others too.

18 Comments

Objet Petit a

Is there any follow up on action against them? Any fallout from this recent turn of events?

I also have been a long-time customer, at least 5 or 6 years. I loved t-mobile for its reception and customer service. I got a number of friends to sign up with them, most recently, my partner. Now I have one year left on my contract, and she has two years, and I am stunned and angry that 1) I cannot check my gmail, and 2) they are so narrow minded as to cut off other applications or try to force people into a more expensive plan. Ultimately, they are shooting themselves in the foot, and they will need to do some damage control.

This sure makes the iPhone look appealing to me. Not that I need anything to do that. And, really, I suspect that it is this product that *really* has t-mobile scrambling.

William

It seems as if T-mobile has been shutting down users of “T-Mobile Web” Service across there network for the past few months and they just got to me. As I read several websites I see the same things and I have found that I am not alone. I am not going to be pushed over with there company line. The Fact is I purchased the DASH and removed a feature called T-zones and Added A feature Called T mobile web. The rep at the mall told me that is all I would need to access the web and that the data plan was for push email and hotspots. From Dec to July I have had data on my phone for 5.99. The shut down my access while I was on a road trip with no warning I lost access to email and google maps. The next day I was treated like a criminal from T-Mobile stating that I was on a free ride with the data I had been receiving and that It should have been costing me 29.99 per Month for the same thing I had before. I an not going to stand for this anyone wishing to join me in a group dispute please email neo8088@gmail.com We will find a common forum to communicate and gather facts and I will seek legal council on this. I do not know why they are doing this to some of there biggest users. I for one cannot use there Push email service and there is only one hotspot in my community and that is at a starbucks this to me holds no value since I can get free wifi at 19 places within a few blocks. 29.99 for a 70K at best connection is not competitive. Blackberry users get the same for 19.99 and it worked for 5.99 on my dash and other phones it still works. As early adopters of mobile technology there are numerous people that look to us for advise on this and I for one have got a lot of folks this is affecting. Let’s get together and get something done.

Flounder

I just finished arguing like crazy with them. I am with Dude on this. I had been using the 5.99 plan since May of 2005. From then until November 2006 I was on a Treo 600.

In November I switched to a dash. All my internet worked, including programs like Google Maps. They stopped working around the middle of May 2007.

I finally got around to calling today and they informed me that this had been a “loophole” and I had been incredibly lucky and inferred that I should be grateful that they are not going to go back and charge me $24 for all the months I have been getting this for free. Of course I complained that I wouldn’t have signed a 2 year contract if the internet was $30 a month.

They also would not let me out of the contract without paying the $200 termination fee and that they don’t think they were in breech of contract because only your voice service is part of the contract and internet is a “feature” and not covered by any contract.

I’m now faced with a) no internet b) paying $200 to break contract c) paying $432 over 18 months.

I use the internet maybe 5 or 10 hours a month it sure isn’t worth it to pay $30 for that.

I think this is a load of crap and I would be happy to get on board any sort of class action lawsuit against them. I had been a loyal customer since 2003 and even recommended them on many many occasions. I would be happy to end my contract today and whether I have to stick it out or not, I will not be any sort of word-of-mouth advertiser for them anymore.

irish musician

My Dash connectivity problems didn’t seem to arise until about the end of April or the beginning of May. I thought, at first, that I had somehow caused it.

Now, I see I’m not alone. Sometimes, I wish I paid the $20 for better access, but it seems like a lot to pay just to regain those limited web browsing abilities (layout and forms are sometimes an issue, especially in IE) on a tiny screen. I already pay $140 for my family’s three phones.

Antoinette

I have been a tmobile customer since 2002. I just purchased the MDA Phone for data and email and internet. I was quoted 29.95 a month because I wanted a separate data line. Now I have been getting my bills and it is 49.95 and they said that is what they originally quoted. Well it was not and I am at their mercy. I am very upset and I do not know what to do. They said their nots do not reflect the 29.95.

HELP

Dude

Can anyone out thare with any legal knowledge comment on whether this is a breach of contract on T-Mobile’s part? I’ve been paying for the mobile web addon, about $10 a month and have been using exchange connectivity and on occasion, the internet access. Yesterday, when I called to check with T-mo as to why neither work anymore, I was told that the mobile web addon will no longer work with smartphones and I’d have to upgrade. When I bought my smartphone and and signed up for the 2 year contract, that was part of the reason why. Now if I want to have the same features I signed up for, they say I have to pay $20 more a month. They’re esentially changing my contract on my and leaving me with the choice of paying more or rendering many of the features of my smartphone useless.

This can’t be legal. To lock someone into a contract only to try and raise the price???

john

Man I am so pissed at t-mobile right now. I have a motorola v160 which I have had for three years and a Dash, which I purchased online last month as an upgrade. The Dash is a nice piece of equipment. I have used it for a few weeks now, but I find myself using my old tired V160 beacuse of T-mobile’s “patches”. I also have the $5.99 (so-called) unlimited data plan on my account. I added the data services about 3 months ago, and realized the v160 would be inadequate. I wasnted a PDA, mp3 player, primary web browser and phone all in one, and the Dash was winner in terms of Web browsing and other areas. Imagine my delight when the UPS man hands me my package and the Dash gloriously emerges from a long slumber- no longer ensconced in a bubble wrap cocoon, but fulfilling beautifully its purpose- for about three days. Then it became a very expensive notepad and phone, and mp3player. What pisses me off evenb more is that when I got my dash from the UPS guy, it worked like a charm right out of the box, for a few days. Then it stops connecting. I thought it was my futzing around in the innards of the registry so i reset the damn thing. Now i get an error message about the WiFi driver not being loaded. So do I have to pay for that now too? I had wifi out of the box a few weeks ago. What I if use the motorola as a modem for my dash? Or set up a proxy or a VPN?
Now, I understand an extra fee for the t-mobile hotspot access. But, I don’t want the unlimited hotspot access, I would prefer to pay on a per-session basis. So, when I put my SIM in my old raggedy Motorola I can get to Google’s page and use their wap portal to get most anwhere on the net and retrieve almost any text info I need, (unless the file is a pdf goddamm it) as well as some limited multimedia. My blood boils when I load the very same SIM in my Dash; whereupon I get neat-o t-zones and nothing else. NADA.
This being the case, I can only conclude T-mobile wants to charge me an extra twenty or thirty bucks or so a month to change the NAME of my plan.
I must have an erroneous understanding of the word “unlimited” as used in the phrase “unlimited data service.” And what’s all this about the wifi driver? I didn’t realize I couldn’t use the wifi at the local public library without paying t-mobile.
Well, I have about ten thousand pages of fine print to scrutinize before I call t-mobile again. Peace out.

bob

I have been with T-mobile for years. I ask for a simple change to one of my rate plans, and they refused to waive the 200 fee. What a sad company that will throw away a long-term customer for $200. I am very disappointed and will never deal with them again

Don't Panic!

Well I guess I’ll have to charge up my t-mobible Universal and see what’s up then… This will be hard after using verizon.

Cheryl

Just adding a data point here: I only have the $5 T-Zones GPRS data plan and I was just able to check my Gmail via the mobile Java midlet app I have installed. I don’t have a proxy set up (I used to, but then there was news that it wasn’t required anymore, so I unconfigured the proxy info since it was mucking with my WiFi browsing at home).

Of course, now that I’ve posted this, I’ll probably lose my data connectivity. :P

Aaron

I’ve had the $20 internet plan for 3 years now. Never had any interruptions at all in the last week or so.

Looks like it mostly affected the people getting free rides.

jk

UPDATE: I spoke with T-Mobile tech support and they confirmed they made security updates to their network and that feature codes (SOCKS) were changed as part of that upgrade. She was able to reset my account (T-Mobile Internet) remotely and told me it would take up to 48 hours for the change to take affect. She admitted that the “security updates” were to prevent unauthorized data connections and that they had knocked customers off the grid. She also stated that tech support intervention is required for existing customers to get this resolved on a customer by customer basis.

She had me turn my Dash off while she made the change to my account and when I turned it back on everything was back to working normally, including all web stuff like email, exchange server sync, TZones, etc.

William C Bonner

I’m paying for the bottom level of web access from my phone, a RAZR. The strange thing is that opera mini and gmail java apps stopped working from my phone, but I can still use the bluetooth connection from my laptop and connect to everything on the internet that I need.

Mike

Yep, the proxy info works I’ve been using it for about a year. Too bad it limits the file download size.

Alasdair

James – I’ve seen a recent post (looking for a reference) that T-Mobile (UK) are shutting down access to all apps apart from their own WAP browser and authorised 3rd party apps, it may be a wider implementation of this – when I find the post I’ll cite my source as a supplementary comment

Al

arebelspy

James: I’ve got a solution that’s only a minor hassle to set up. The solution involves setting your proxy to a T-Mobile server. Set your proxy as 216.155.165.50 (port 8080). You’ll have access again.

if you’re using a PPC/Smartphone and you also need an access point name, wap.voicestream.com should do it. Set that up and you’ll have full internet access on T-Mobile again.

-arebelspy

arebelspy

James: I’ve got a solution that’s only a minor hassle to set up. The solution involves setting your proxy to a T-Mobile server. Set your proxy as 216.155.165.50 (port 8080). You’ll have access again.

if you’re using a PPC/Smartphone and you also need an access point name, wap.voicestream.com should do it. Set that up and you’ll have full internet access on T-Mobile again.

-arebelspy

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