AT&T Again Raising Price of Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. dmunz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    #226
    There has to be something else going on here. I can't imagine the liability (or cost) to AT&T for the remaining grandfathered plans is really that big. (If you map unlimited data use into their total LTE spectrum use especially with the constant escalation of data allowance in new plans.)

    I believe that AT&T is in a slightly different position than Verizon as far as the existence and non-throttling requirements go with the unlimited data plans (due to the spectrum purchase agreement VZ is tied too). I suspect VZ has a very good reason to get that last unlimited plan holder off unlimited but I'm not sure what motivates AT&T. (Again, IMHO, it can't be just about the costs to AT&T.)

    I'll keep my VZ grandfathered plan as long as I can. Mostly because they can't mess with it. Sure they can raise the price but VZ is tied to the purchase agreement in what they can and can't due to my plan. If I switched to some other plan I don't believe that I have that same protection.

    It will be very interesting to see what happens when AT&T and VZ finally get ride of their last grandfathered plan user. Only then will we really have a chance to find out what is driving these changes. (And, it might be nothing but corporate grumpiness. There is someone in the organization that just hates the fact that there are users with plans they don't totally control...)

    FWIW
    DLM
     
  2. nostresshere macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    #227

    Who gives a crap if they have that information and target ads to me? Big freakin deal.
     
  3. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #228
    The water "company" is usually the local government. And you don't see "shock" bills from that utility because, odds are, you use about the same amount of water every month. Water rates do go up but it's rarely well publicized so you don't notice a $5 rise there like you would with a phone bill b/c you aren't looking for it.

    But you make my point exactly with your heating example -- if you turn down your thermostat to 68 in the winter your utility bill for whatever energy source your furnace or boiler uses will be much less than if it was set to 74 because you are using less. That is no different than most wireless data plans -- buy a smaller package, pay a lower price.

    There is nothing wrong with the system other than you seem to think low cost data is a right. I hate $100+ cell bills too but these networks are not inexpensive to maintain and upgrade. And they also have a finite amount of bandwidth, so yes, consumers that hog up a lot of data should pay more because they are a tax on the entire system, and that costs companies more money to maintain a high level of service for all users.

    There is a lot of choices out there right now for customers that don't want or need top tier service. Plenty of $50 plans offering 3GB and unlimited phone and text which is plenty for the average adult who doesn't stream gobs of video or music.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 11, 2017 ---
    I think ATT just wants to get these old plans off the books. They can't outright cancel the plan at this point b/c they'll piss off too many customers who will likely jump. So they are using the slowly boil the frog concept with these small annual price hikes that just get them (us) thinking. At some point the cost of the unlimited plan will no longer be any kind of bargain and ATT hopes most will just switch over to similar priced current plans that offer more features like tethering.

    For people like me with just one line -- we'll likely go elsewhere, but I don't think ATT is especially interested in the single user customer anyway.
     
  4. Helmlein macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    #229
    That's fine by me. My personal opinion is that infrastructure providers don't need to know my present location (except where it's required to provide the service, as e.g. with mobile phones), nor my health details (e.g. from Internet searches) nor does the TV provider need to know who called me yesterday or where I ordered my lunch from.

    But it all comes down to personal preferences.

    H.
     
  5. Brookzy macrumors 68040

    Brookzy

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #230
    I don't know how it works for you guys, but here in the UK you pick a package and have to stick with it for usually 24 months. You can't just decide to pay less in months that it suits you.

    I can't imagine why you think the current situation is satisfactory unless you are invested in it somehow. America has hugely expensive data and carriers that seem to routinely break the law and receive pitiful punishments.

    You keep making the false equivalence of new network technologies and present expense. These are largely debt-funded investments made in anticipation of future value. Using them as an excuse for present day price hikes is just plain wrong. Sorry sir, we have to charge you more this month because we're buying something that will make us a bucket load of money in ten years! I'm sure then that the price hikes are tied to a metric of reinvestment? I think not...

    To claim that this second price rise from AT&T in a year is for network upgrades is just disingenuous. It is plainly to shift as many people as possible back to their regular metered contracts, to extract more revenue from them.

    One day we will look back at the wireless market today and laugh.
     
  6. RobNYC macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #231
    It's $105 now on the final bill and now it'll be going up to $110 a month. Screw it. I'm downgrading to the 3GB plan. I went through my data usage for the last year and a half and never hit 3GB. Now with WIFI at work, the gym and now the subway platforms I shouldn't have any issues.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 11, 2017 ---
    It used to be you did sign a two year contract for a specific plan but most providers have ended that when they stopped subsidizing the phone. So you can change plans now when you want but I don't think you can keep switching plans to suit your data needs for each month. Not sure what the restrictions are on that.
     
  7. ggibson913 macrumors 6502a

    ggibson913

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    #232
    I owe money on phones at AT&T but once that is paid I am definitely looking to T-Mobile.
     
  8. powaking macrumors 6502

    powaking

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #233
    Data usage is not tracked in every state. I'm in Massachusetts and have come close to using 800MB in a month yet the data usage is not enforced here.

    https://customer.xfinity.com/help-and-support/internet/data-usage-find-area

    As such since the majority of the usage is due to YouTube and Netflix, with the kids having their own iPhones on TMobile I try to encourage them to use their phones on cellular for their video streaming.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 11, 2017 ---
    When I was still with AT&T this time last year I believe they waived the ETF if you chose to leave within 60 days of them increasing the unlimited plan. They may have to do that again since they are changing the price of the plan again. You may be able to leave without owing AT&T anything. Will have to read the fine print or chat with them to find out.
     
  9. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #234
    When did they promise anything "for life"?

    When you signed the original contract years ago you were locked in for 2 years at whatever the price was. AT&T's practice has been to let you keep the same terms after the 2 years ends, but they never guaranteed the same terms "for life" - either side could walk away after those two years.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 11, 2017 ---
    And the price is only going to go up as more customers without super-high data use realize that it's cheaper to use one of the new plans -- eventually the grandfathered plans are only going to be people who stream constantly and the price will reflect that.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 11, 2017 ---
    Because the people left on the unlimited plans are generally the highest users of data - anyone else would sensibly switch. The mention of other plans isn't a justification for a price increase so much as a "there are alternatives if you don't like the price increase".
    --- Post Merged, Jan 11, 2017 ---
    Take a look at the contract, find the provision that allows immediate cancellation if they change terms, and call up cancellations. Given the subsidy is built into the contract price, rather than a separate "loan" you should be able to cancel and walk away (or choose a new plan).
     
  10. ctdonath macrumors 65816

    ctdonath

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #235
    Anyone want to buy an AT&T Unlimited plan?
     
  11. npmacuser5 macrumors 6502a

    npmacuser5

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    #236
    I missed the Unlimited as the communication I received did not mention that option. What Comcast is doing to match their system is add the cost of their box to streaming only. The average consumer pays about $40 a month for the cable box. The cable box allows unlimited, turn it on and leave it on 24 hours a day forever with no penalty. Backdoor way of recuperating their lost revenue and making their option more competitive. Not a fan of this but nice to know it is available if needed. Thank you for the update.
     
  12. MistrSynistr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #237
    Unless you're a truck driver, everyone should be switching to Sprint or T-Mobile. I have never had a problem with Sprint and have also received excellent customer service on everything.
     
  13. 2457282 Suspended

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    #238
    I am all about privacy and not giving folks information about me or my family if I can help it. So on that point we agree. However, I am looking at this more as a utility. I do not watch TV through cable as I did my cable cutting years ago. I do not have a home phone as I cut the land line even earlier than the cable TV. I just need internet access as a utility. I can then use whatever apps (encrypted) to message and talk. I can subscribe to Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime to watch TV. I can use iTunes/Apple TV for renting movies on Demand. I can use DuckDuckGo to search the web instead of Google. As it is today, I do all the above, but I have one service to provide me internet through the air (AT&T) and another to provide me internet within the house (FiOS). I would like to consolidate the internet access to a single provider. Because at the end of the day, whatever the provider does to sniff my packets, I cannot control. Just about everything else I can and do as much as I am capable.
     
  14. bigfatipod macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #239
    We don't have much signal near our house and I don't trust coverage maps. Does Cricket allow the Call-over-wifi feature? Or, can the att microcell be used*? (*the microcell's primary account would remain on att for my wife's work)
     
  15. BernyMac macrumors regular

    BernyMac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #240
    That logical fallacy is way awesome! :p
     
  16. noekozz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #241
    They'll keep raising the prices for those of us still hanging on to our grandfathered UDP in hopes of pushing us out. I see no difference between this and the rise in cigarette taxes. Sometimes I hate their guts but besides $$ I really have no complaints with them.
     
  17. npmacuser5 macrumors 6502a

    npmacuser5

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    #242
    To your point. Very little difference in the wireless providers "IF" they provide the services you require. TMobile and Sprint have good coverage in our city except my house. AT&T has excellent coverage here. Comes down to what works for the individual.
     
  18. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #243
    1. Many plans in the U.S. are contractual. The contract rate is for the entire term of the contract -- if the cellco raises any of its fees in that period the consumer can opt out of the contract with no penalty.

    2. Before entering into a contract the consumer has complete choice to pick any carrier, any offered plan and take their phone number with them if they move to a new carrier. There simply is no strong-arming. In fact carriers offer big incentives to switch which lowers the net cost of the contract. Additionally, if a consumer does want to break their contract a competing cellco will usually pay for the breakup penalty. So, really it's not that difficult to switch carriers even when in contract.

    3. Consumers (like myself) can also go no contract and switch at any time they want. I use to be on contract until ATT axed the subsidy plan. At that point there was no incentive to be on a contract so I just paid full price for the phone for complete freedom.

    4. I do not think the "situation" is satisfactory. As I said, I don't like paying $90 for cell service. But I'm also not so naive to think ATT is banking all that money. Sorry you don't quite get the costs of operating a huge nationwide network -- an expansive nation that spans 3000 miles, much of it which is rural. Yes, quality and reliability of service does come at a cost. T-Mobile and Sprint, the two "discount" top tier carriers here almost went belly up a few years ago because they didn't invest in LTE upgrades concurrent with ATT and VZW. They also didn't build out there network as deep as those two. They have caught up but a lot of previous customers were burned and don't trust them anymore.

    5. I never said explicitly the $5 price hike was for upgrades. I said Cellcos have costs just like everyone, the need to upgrade just one of them. Please don't quote me for things I never wrote.

    Bottomline here is that companies are in business to make profit -- as much as possible. So sure they are not going to giveaway product -- $40 for 22GB/mo of reliable, non-throttled LTE data is still pretty cheap.
     
  19. steven3130 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    #244
    Has anyone with the grandfather plan noticed that when AT&T used to throttle at 5gbs that you would hit that fairly quick? Then when they moved it to 16.5gbs you would hit that mark just as quick? I haven't had a change in my data usage but I always hit the throttle limit about 10 days into my billing cycle. Makes you wonder...
     
  20. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #245
    Mobile internet sites have become more data intensive, so it's not surprising that data usage has increased along side data limit increases.
     
  21. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #246
    Or tiu aren't getting a good signal or a signal at all in various places where you often are (like at/around your home or work or during your commute).
     
  22. MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #247
    Then just eliminate the plan... raising the rates to force people off is a passive aggressive jerky thing to do. They should just make like they did when they switched from CDMA to GSM (everyone had to get a new phone) and just kick everyone off and say; you either get Plan A or you can choose a plan you want to move to. But Plan X that you have is no longer valid.
     
  23. lulla01 macrumors 68020

    lulla01

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    U.S
    #248

    None of those ever had an "unlimited plan" except maybe the haircuts at certain salons if you join a club.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 11, 2017 ---
    Companies don't care about losing customers, at this point i think everyone is already really subscribed to something so its just about maximizing profit.
     
  24. Brookzy macrumors 68040

    Brookzy

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #249
    So, to clarify, you cannot pay a lower sum in particular low-usage months like you can in other utilities, and even in out-of-contract offerings you cannot pay per unit of consumption: you are coerced into buying blocks before you consume. Fundamentally consumer-hostile behaviour.

    In tighter regulatory environments, such as in the EU, wireless providers cannot arbitrarily raise their prices as AT&T have (they are uses limited to rising prices annually in line with the official measure of inflation). Just because you can leave at any time does not vindicate the industry when everyone else can and does arbitrarily rise prices and change terms (as Verizon 'coincidentally' did today!).

    Your condescension is a tad unnecessary. Previously you criticised high data users as a 'tax' on the system, but now you cite rural development as a particular cost pressure. So are rural wireless users not deserving of caps and other revenue-raising strategies too because they are a tax on everyone else?
     
  25. SigEp265 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    #250
    Unlimited data too? When do you get throttled?
     

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