Access forbidden issue - a look behind the scenes

Access forbidden issue - a look behind the scenes

Postby jsg2012 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:59 pm

Like many other users I run into 'access forbidden' issues, and the forum is less than helpful because all discussions are taken 'offline'. The reps are perfectly polite, but somehow the conversation seems to go in circles. I have posted my particular offline/behind the scenes discussion here so people know what to expect. Maybe some others can do this as well to help other forum users.

My conclusions so far:
- something changes / goes wrong with the 'provisioning' at some point (i.e. which services you're allowed to use)
- the reps are not able or allowed to say whether the 'forbidden' message is originating from ATT or ST
- the reps suggest that the cause for the issue is actually not known, which could either be that they're not allowed to say, or that they have not been told what's going on.
- they can either do something that temporarily fixes it, or the issue is intermittent, so just waiting resolves it
- they have been asking to clear the cache, cookies, and history, but I haven't seen anyone report that that actually works.

Whatever the cause is, unless we hear of a permanent solution I'll be looking closely at the next round of subsidized phones elsewhere later this year. If anyone finds more definitive info on the issue, please post here.


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Me (public): Same issue here, suddenly no data on APN settings that worked for 2 months, iPhone 4 ATT micro sim. Signal strength was 3-4 bars on 3G, which should be fine. Browser would return 'access forbidden' and on other occasions 'could not connect to proxy' on Chrome for iPhone. The CS (phone) rep told me the phone needed to be jailbroken to change APN settings to fix it, but I don't want to do that, and I don't understand why it would stop working from one day to the next. Not a great experience, seriously reconsidering getting a 'subsidized phone' with ATT again.

Che (private): Hi! may I please have the serial number of your phone?

Me: Serial number of iPhone 4 with the issue (data stopped working after long time OK): XXXXXXXXXXX

Che: Can you just provide me the phone number of your phone?

Me: Phone number XXXXXXX

Che: Can you please provide me the value of your APN? Thanks

Me: If you need any more info, please ask it all at once to save time, thanks. APN settings downloaded from unlockit.co.nz set to att.mvno I don't care about MMS, so this has worked fine in the past.

(Che went offline, tried with Kyle)

Me: Kyle, I see you're online. Could you look into my account and see why I'm getting occasional 'access forbidden' messages in the browser on my phone? If I use too much data that's fine, I can switch to another provider, but at the moment I just don't know what's going on. Last happened Thursday around noon, unlocked iPhone 4, serial number XXXXXXXXX, phone number XXXXXXX, APN settings downloaded from unlockit.co.nz set to att.mvno. I don't need MMS, and don't want to jailbreak. Thanks for any help or info you can provide.

Kyle: Please try to delete the cache, cookies and history of your browser settings. Turn the phone off and on. Check if it works.

Me: Thanks, I'll try that next time if it happens. Does this mean there is nothing in my Internet use that would be cause for throttling or disconnect'?

Kyle: Everything is provisioned. Regarding the data usage, you may refer to the terms and conditions in the website under section 6 and 7. Thanks.

Me: Thanks a lot for the response, much appreciated. I am aware of the terms, and I think I'm being 'good'. (although medium-heavy user, maybe 1.2GB/mo) What does 'everything is provisioned' mean? And: is 'access forbidden' a message that is 'by design' for example due to overage, or an actual error? In either case: does it come from an ATT system or a Straight Talk system? I want to make sure I can stay with Straight Talk. Having intermittent internet is not worth the cost savings for me, so I really want to understand what's happening.

Kyle: There is no problem with the set up in your account. Second, that error usually refers to accessing a certain webpage. Thanks.

Me: That helps, but you didn't fully answer my questions. I want to avoid losing internet connectivity, and the question is 'why does it go wrong sometimes' even when the APN settings are OK. Whose fault is it, and how to I prevent it?

Kyle: As long your phone's APN settings are correct, then there should be no problem. For data usage, please make sure that your usage pattern is in compliance with the Terms and Conditions. Thanks.

Me: From all the answers below it's still not clear what causes the 'access forbidden' to appear. You say it shouldn't happen, but it does. It's a distinct error that I never saw in five years with AT&T, so it's something specific about ST or about ATT's treatment of mvno users. Do you have any information on the technical cause of this error?

Kyle: Please try to delete the cache, cookies and history of your browser settings. Is that happens to a specific website?

Me: I will do that next time, but my question is: this is something specific to Straight Talk. What is the actual problem?

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This last answer has remained unanswered for three days, and to be honest I don't expect I'll be able to make much progress. I'm one more 'access forbidden' away from throwing in the towel and selling my soul to ATT again. Did anyone else get a clear answer?

PS. ST reps, please don't offer to take this issue offline! That would just be too ironic. :)
Last edited by jsg2012 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Access forbidden issue - a look behind the scenes

Postby ST - Kyle » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:16 pm

Hi jsg2012. My name is ST - Kyle. Please check your Forum inbox for a private message. Thanks.
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Re: Access forbidden issue - a look behind the scenes

Postby jsg2012 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:43 pm

It just happened again randomly. After a while it started working on its own. Maybe ATT squeezes out MVNO users when they need the bandwidth for their postpaid subscribers? I'll stick with ST until the Lumia 920 / HTC 8x / Samsung Ativ S subsidized prices are revealed, at which point I'll likely switch back to ATT. They are greedy, but at least the data network is consistent.
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Re: Access forbidden issue - a look behind the scenes

Postby billstren » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:20 pm

iphone 4
6.0.1

Sim not provisioned?
not working
need cell .
Help
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Re: Access forbidden issue - a look behind the scenes

Postby Lindsay_ST » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:00 am

Hi billstren. My name is Straight Talk Lindsay. We are sorry for the trouble. Let me help you. We need to take this issue offline, so I can address it further. I will contact you directly with a private message. Thank you.
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Re: Access forbidden issue - a look behind the scenes

Postby wheelercub » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:32 pm

Any developments on this topic? I regularly get the same error. Sometimes disconnecting from the network and reconnecting helps, but more often than not, I just can't connect at all when it happens.
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Re: Access forbidden issue - a look behind the scenes

Postby Jhonally_ST » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:46 am

Hi Wheelercub. My name is Straight Talk Jhonally. Sorry that you’re having a problem. I’m going to try to help you now. We need to take this issue offline, so I can address it further. I will contact you directly with a private message. Thank you.
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Re: Access forbidden issue - a look behind the scenes

Postby djchuang » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:06 am

jsg2012 wrote:Like many other users I run into 'access forbidden' issues, and the forum is less than helpful because all discussions are taken 'offline'. The reps are perfectly polite, but somehow the conversation seems to go in circles. I have posted my particular offline/behind the scenes discussion here so people know what to expect. Maybe some others can do this as well to help other forum users.

. . . Whatever the cause is, unless we hear of a permanent solution I'll be looking closely at the next round of subsidized phones elsewhere later this year. If anyone finds more definitive info on the issue, please post here.


I don't have a more definitive answer to the "Access Forbidden" error message; all I can do is confirm I get similar behavior and symptoms at random. Most of the time, when I get an "Access Forbidden" error via my smartphone browser, I would disconnect from the Mobile Network (whether 3G or 4G) and reconnect, and that restores access to the data connection and I can browse the Internet again. (tech note: I have a BYOP Samsung Galaxy S3 formerly on AT&T network)
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Re: Access forbidden issue - a look behind the scenes

Postby shankaho » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:51 pm

Seems to me that each time I have had this issue its been when I had been using more than a small amount of bandwidth like gaming or streaming then trying to use browser. Straight talk is known for their underhanded ways and shameless lying. From false advertising to all around terrible service. They have the upper hand in the marketplace and know it. Things will not change until they have true competition or the government steps in again.
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