Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Great AT&T Bait and Switch

The popularity of Apple's IPhone has been without peer. An excellent device that can handle a ton of data. The IPhone has been a huge success. Anyone with an IQ north of 90 knew that-before the phone hit the ground.

Everyone that is except AT&T. I read an article the other day wherein the CEO said because of that success, they simply don't have the infrastructure, i.e. the bandwidth or capacity to handle all of the data requests coming through the pipeline. Therefore, they must pass this cost onto the consumers who are using that bandwidth. Here is a blog I clipped that references that problem:

AT&T's Bait And Switch On iPhone Unlimited Service: We Screwed Up, So Now You Have To Pay More

from the well,-that's-convincing dept

There's lots of buzz going around concerning the news that an AT&T exec has admitted that to deal with the companies own inability to build out a strong cellular network (angering tons of iPhone users), that it's planning to put in place caps and charge more to high-end users. Of course, this is pure bait and switch. The company sold people on an unlimited data plan, failed to invest in its network, and pushed high bandwidth apps on people. And, of course, it's worth noting that while they now want to charge high bandwidth users more, they don't say anything about the low bandwidth users. No one gets a discount. AT&T is making a ton of money off of the iPhone. It could have -- and should have -- invested more of that into network upgrades. Now it's blaming its most loyal users -- the same ones who it recommended high bandwidth apps to -- and expecting that everyone will be happy with that? AT&T may discover that people start looking for other alternatives if they dump the unlimited data offering that they sold people.

Now I kind of understand this dude's problem. He is claiming to be a victim. A few months ago, AT&T started surcharging me for data. Apparently I didn't have the "all you can eat data plan" that IPhone users have. I have a Blackjack II. So I did the only thing I could do to cut costs. I took data off my phone. I use my laptop for data.

Well then in January, AT&T decided to triple my bill to something like 250.00. I called their call center. One of those script readers at the call center told me that 4200 primetime rollover minutes of mine had "expired." They had simply eliminated them without telling me and tripled my bill. That rollover minute plan was the only reason I had signed up. On a 450 minute plan per mo., those 4200 minutes are worth about a year's worth of calling. They have value. And that's why AT&T swiped them from me. I also had to sign up for a two year contract.

AT&T's answer to all of this was that the expiration of those minutes was in my contract. I told them at no time during the "selling" phase of my plan did anyone state this. She said it's in your contract. That would be great, show me the contract, I replied. Like I carry the thing in my wallet or that I can read the 2-point font it is written in.

The kind woman then agreed to reduce my bill to something like 90 bucks a month from the 65 I had been paying.

That folks-is classic bait and switch without the data excuse. Sign up for one plan, agree to a two year contract, and then have AT&T switch you into a much more costlier plan and I still don't have data.

Here's my position. I want the plan I signed up for at the agreed upon price. I have already given them back their precious data and was forced to add, "all you can eat" texting. Let no good deed go unpunished.

All of this greed has left me with no other option than to refuse to pay the bill and file an FCC complaint. That means I have to rely on Frankenstein Government to settle this. David v Goliath. God help me and my credit score. I can understand the IPhone users complaints. They have a very data receptive device which was bought for that purpose and AT&T is too greedy to invest in their own infrastructure and is now dropping downloads, gouging customers, and making excuses. So file your complaints with the FCC. Let's see if Frankenstein can save us a few hundred bucks in return for the 20 thousand I will pay in taxes this year.


JimB said...

Brian, Why don't you just get two cans and some string?
I had a great plan with EDGE, but then AT&T bought them out. My rate went from about $65/mo to $115/mo for the same level of service.
$20,000 in taxes?? Must be making too much or not playing the tax game well enough.
Hope all is well.

Brian said...

Yea me too, apparently. We'll see how it sorts out.

I cracked a 401k. My tax bill and penalty are actually gonna be 30k or nearly half the 70k I had in that acct. People do the work and save, the gov and banks either steal your $$ while its in the fund or steal it when you take it out of the fund. Either way they get it.

Vinnie would be proud.

Rattler said...

Greatest scam known to man, work, earn, pay income on those earnings, take what is left to eat, live, save, reach into that saved to eat, live, and they want to hit it again. Sounds like freedom from slavery to me.. Thomas Jefferson would be proud of us.