Have you heard about this? Over the last few years there has been chatter about AT&T making life difficult for customers with grandfathered UNLIMITED Data Plans. I have one of these plans, and never had a problem. So, I figured the people that do must really be abusing the system. Boy, was I wrong.
Several months ago I upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It is an impressive phone, with many handy-dandy features, and I can’t even say I have tapped into the phone’s full potential. The most I am doing regularly is using Google Maps to Navigate to various locations (my job requires a lot of driving), and streaming radio or newscasts. I don’t stream video. I don’t upload or download photos. I don’t do anything that one would consider a heavy bandwidth strain.
A few days ago, I received this text message from AT&T:
“Your data usage on your 4G LTE smartphn is near 5GB this month. Exceeding 5GB during this or future billing cycles will result in reduced data speeds, though you will still be able to email & surf the web.”
I have never, ever had to pay any attention to my data usage with any of my smartphones. Why should I? I have an UNLIMITED Data Plan. Unlimited means just that right… UNLIMITED? Apparently not with AT&T Wireless.
I went to the web to read what other people are dealing with, and those that have experienced AT&T throttling their data have stated that the reduced data speeds are so slow as to make a smartphone useless. One can receive email, and technically surf the web, but that is about it. Most, if not all, of those handy-dandy apps on your phone become useless.
Upset by what I feel is unfair treatment of a long-time, loyal customer, I took my complaining to the Twitterverse. This was my exchange with AT&T’s Customer Care:
@ATTCustomerCare I have a grandfathered UNLIMITED data plan. You punishing me after 5GB is telling me you don’t want my business.
@TimothyAlex 2/2 benefit from a mobile share plan. If you can dm me your act & contact info, I will look into it for you. ^MikeW
— ATTCustomerCare (@ATTCustomerCare) June 10, 2014
Now, let’s see if this makes any sense. I can buy a 10GB Data Plan and use the whole 10GB without worry of having my data speed reduced, but if I stay on my UNLIMITED Data Plan my smartphone becomes the equivalent of a basic phone after 5GB. Nope… that doesn’t make any sense at all.
I suspect that as more and more UNLIMITED Data Plan users upgrade to the latest and greatest smartphones this will become a greater and greater issue.
At the end of it all, my days as an AT&T Wireless customer will end with this contract, and the 2 other phones on my account will not get upgrades. I will no longer be the AT&T supporter I was, telling friends and family to make the switch. The sorry-for-your-luck attitude from AT&T’s Customer Care has left a bad taste in my mouth.
I don’t fault anyone getting rich, but it must be done fairly and honestly. I can only hope enough customers put their aggravation into action. Let the All Mighty Market bring justice to this unjust corporation.