Author Topic: Do smart phones work on wifi if AT&T shuts off service for non-payment?  (Read 1388 times)

Bobberth

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Lots of experts here so I thought I would ask this question. My brother in law has moved in with us for theoretically the next year and a half as he finishes school. We know he is terrible with money. Now that he is closer (used to live 6 hours away), we are starting to wonder if he is abusing prescription/drugs :-( He was helping me work on a rental property last night and asked for cash because his phone got shut off. I didn't have any. We left the property at 10:15 pm so no AT&T store would be open that late.This morning, 7am at home with wifi, he is using his phone to text and search the web. Would the phone still be able to do these functions without service? I'm guessing it would but I am unsure on how AT&T 'shuts off' a phone for non-payment. He is still making payments on the phone. I want to make sure any evidence is sound before I present it to my wife.

ringer707

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Re: Do smart phones work on wifi if AT&T shuts off service for non-payment?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 08:38:45 AM »
Yes, it would work on wifi. He can't send traditional text messages but would be able to send iMessages or text through any text messaging app, like WhatsApp, as long as he had wifi. He would not be able to make a phone call without AT&T service. He could always facetime someone though.

As an aside, I'm a prosecutor and I have many, many defendants who do not have "working" cell phones but do use text messaging apps on wifi, particularly when making deals. Not trying to say that's what's happening here, and I certainly hope it isn't, but I do see it a lot.

bobechs

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Re: Do smart phones work on wifi if AT&T shuts off service for non-payment?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 08:42:07 AM »
Yes, a phone with no cell service can connect through its wi-fi adapter (another kind of radio different than the cell-band radio built in to phones) and function as a teeny-tiny touchscreen laptop.  E-mail, youtube and transgender-hamster porn all available at any public hotspot (provided by eg., McDonald's and its ilk)ith no let or hindrance from the great and powerful demi-divine corporate cadet offspring of the late, great Don Ameche.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Do smart phones work on wifi if AT&T shuts off service for non-payment?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2017, 10:17:29 AM »
You can make calls using the google hangouts app on wifi. Works on mine anyway for phone calls.

dcozad999

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Re: Do smart phones work on wifi if AT&T shuts off service for non-payment?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2017, 10:27:58 AM »
Yup. It's essentially an ipod touch with the service turned off.

CCCA

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Re: Do smart phones work on wifi if AT&T shuts off service for non-payment?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2017, 10:46:13 AM »
If he gets a FreedomPop LTE sim he could get 200 min 500 txt and 200 mb data per month for free.  You can stick that into an AT&T locked phone. Just don't go over the monthly limits or you start paying.