Grandfathered unlimited data - why the fuss?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by KeepCalmPeople, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816

    KeepCalmPeople

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    #1
    Hi all,

    First time posting. I've greatly enjoyed perusing the threads on this forum so far. Some very passionate participants with strongly held opinions!

    To my question (and I know this has been brought up in other threads, but I haven't seen a thread specific to this one concern):

    Why do people hold onto their unlimited data plans so vehemently?

    If your monthly usage is 6GB+ I can see the advantage, but look at the disadvantages:
    - No tethering unless jailbroken
    - No taking advantage of iOS 6 Facetime over cellular (at least with AT&T)
    - No taking advantage of the shared data plans (I know they are not attractive to most, but for families with 3+ smartphones/devices they have merit I think)

    I've seen some posts where people are even prepared to pay for a no contract iPhone in order to keep their unlimited data - that's denying yourself a $20 a month subsidy on the phone right there.

    Or is it just a case of wanting to hold the wireless carriers to their word, even if they don't want to support unlimited data plans any more?

    I switched from unlimited to the AT&T 5GB plan with hotspot, and now my family is on the AT&T Share Plan with 6GB between 3 smartphones. We have 3 wi-fi only iPads in the family and being able to use any phone as a hotspot is very convenient. I have not missed the unlimited data once, nor have I exceeded my data allowance once.

    What is your situation?
     
  2. STiNG Operation macrumors 6502a

    STiNG Operation

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Location:
    The Zoo
    #2
    This is a good thread. In my case I'm on a family plan with 2 people at at&t grandfathered into the unlimited. I think that most people are happy to stay with their unlimited plans due to the pricing on the new plans. It might be financially smart to stay with the gfathered plan in most cases. I also considered going to verizon but they are more per month. Just my opinion but I'd like to here why others want to leave the att unlimited plans.
     
  3. cableguy619 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    #3
    It's all about situation and not wanting to be over charged. believe it or not their are people who use quiet a bit of data.

    i switched to sprint a yr ago since I have 2 teenagers, the wife and myself figuring that I was the only one on unlimited data with ATT at the time we would be better off. After a yrs time of horrible service I checked our usage. our biggest month was 3.4 gigs for a month.

    So back onto ATT after a yr and happy to have a service that works well we are on the 10 gig plan for now. I figure this is a sweet spot to be in and also able to tether without the extra fee or jailbreaking.
     
  4. satchow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    #4
    It's fear. People are scared of overage charges, which is ironic because a lot of times people get more expensive plans just so they never have to think about overages.
     
  5. MajesticNJ macrumors regular

    MajesticNJ

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Location:
    Central NJ
    #5
    Just be prepared....

    The new iPhone is "rumored" to have real 4G/LTE in it. If it DOES and you choose to utilize the LTE network they may force you into changing your data plan to be able to do so.

    The reason I say this is they did that for me on my iPad. My old plan was $25 a month but would not give me LTE. In the end I had to upgrade to the "newer" plan which included LTE but was $30 a month.

    I have two grandfathered iPhones and one non grandfathered iPhone plus my iPad 3 and personally can't see any cost savings right now moving over to shared data. Maybe $15 a month tops. They will need to do more to get me to switch over and risk overage.
     
  6. Trash Can macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #6
    For me, it's not so much about losing unlimited data, but the possibility (likelihood) of losing my pricing. Currently, I'm on a VZW Loyalty Dept plan that gives me unlimited data for $10/mo per line on two lines. Also get 1400 min with unlimited text. This promo plan, offered in Nov 2010, supposedly has no expiration date. I haven't read either way if someone under this plan would be able to keep it or not, but all indications seem to point to that it will go away. We normally use approx 2-3GB/mo between the two of us, so I'm not thrilled at spending a whole lot more to get a whole lot less, no matter how much data I purchase.
     
  7. noodile macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    #7
    Just for the record, i was "grandfathered" into unlimited. last week i got a galaxy s3, and i never had to switch out of it. just have unlimited 4g
     
  8. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #8
    I totally agree with your main post, and yet I still have my unlimited plan. Once they started throttling over 3 GB I decided that I didn't need "unlimited" anymore.

    But...

    1) I have yet to go over 3 GB so the throttling hasn't affected me yet.

    2) The shared plan is, for me, currently more expensive than what I pay now.


    So I sit and wait. If either of those factors changes I'll abandon my current plan in a heartbeat. But so far they're both still true!
     
  9. Geckotek macrumors G3

    Geckotek

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #9

    What carrier?

    I may not use 5GB today, but who's to say my needs won't change tomorrow? THIS is why I keep my unlimited on AT&T. But I'm also not paying fully unsubsidized prices to keep it.

    Oh, and what Small White Car said. Same situation.
     
  10. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio
    #10
    From what I've seen, people with unlimited data plans either a.) stream a lot of music/video, b.) have little to no wifi access, or c.) a mix of a. and b. The carriers are really regretting unlimited data services and I think it's only a matter of time before they cut it off completely, either by forcing people onto tiered plans or, taking Verizon's action one step further, sell the next phone with tiered plans only. Meaning if you want the new phone, you either give up your unlimited data or live with the old phone. Underhanded, yes, but I can see the carriers doing this.

    As for me, I plan on getting an iPhone and going with ST. $45 for unlimited talk and texts and 2GB of data with no contact sounds great to me. Yeah, I have to pay for an unlocked phone but that doesn't concern me. I'm usually at home or work and use my phone more at home, where I do have wifi. At work or when I'm on the go, I use my iPhone's data very sparingly, like checking emails or using Maps, so 2GB will be more than sufficient for me.
     
  11. cableguy619 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    #11


    after 3 gigs they can throttle you if they choose to
     
  12. Geckotek macrumors G3

    Geckotek

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    5GB on LTE.
     
  13. mantan macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Location:
    DFW
    #13
    Bingo!

    There are a lot of users who cling to a 'when they pry it from my cold dead hands' approach to unlimited data who've gone years never using more than 1MB a month.

    And some people just don't want to worry about monitoring their data every day...or feel their 'experience' isn't the same if they are limiting the use of the their phone cause of data concerns. (Even though the overage cost of $10 is what they usually blow on lunch or a few apps/songs on iTunes.)

    I know it's not a popular opinion, but I have no issues if the unlimited data gig is up. AT&T offered unlimited data as a condition of being the exclusive carrier of the iPhone. That day has obviously passed.

    We demand cell companies continually reinvest in their infrastructure to support faster and faster speeds. Expecting that same $30 you spent in 2007 to do that the rest of your life is unrealistic.

    I was kind of surprised it lasted through the last iP4 release, I would be surprised if the iP5 LTE service wasn't used an good time to end it.
     
  14. formerpc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    #14
    Here's my situation:
    450 mins $39.99
    500 txts (w/unlimited in-network txts) $10
    Unlimited data $29.99
    Top-level insurance plan (I forget what it's called) $9.99
    -10% discount I get through work on Mins and Data ($7 savings)
    +taxes and misc fees $3.36

    Total current monthly cost $86.33

    I'll be ditching the insurance plan, so there's $9.99 off.
    Now add the cost of the unsubsidized phone $18.50 ($450/24 months).

    Brings the new "total" to $94.84 (taxes, etc. may be slightly different but for the purpose of this demonstration we'll assume they're the same).


    If I switch to the 2GB Mobile Share Plan, with my company's 10% discount off the data/mins (but not the device fee, obviously)- brings the pre-tax/fee price to $94. Plus a few dollars for the taxes, etc. so maybe $98 total.

    So it actually works out to be marginally cheaper to buy it outright (in my case- can't speak for others).
     
  15. GoreVidal macrumors 6502a

    GoreVidal

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    #15
    Nice try AT&T rep.

    I pay less than $90/mo for 450 minutes that I never use+unlimited data and text. If I change my data plan, I get capped at 5GB and have to pay at least $20/mo more.
     
  16. HeyGreggie macrumors 65816

    HeyGreggie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    #16
    This is me all day. Why should I have to monitor my usage?

    I remember when Verizon used to do that with their 5, 10, $15 text plans. give you 250 texts, but tell you it was sending AND recieving.

    I dont have time to keep checking everyday like "oohhhh, is my 2 gigs up? I have 9 days left in my cycle" :(
     
  17. Kelly682 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Location:
    East Coast
    #17
    I've been grandfathered in through Verizon for years now. For me, it comes to pricing. I pay roughly $83 for 450 minutes, unlimited txt and data. I did check my data usage for the past 6 months, and I don't even hit 1GB. Probably because 3G on my droid is oh so slow I can't be bothered. I just use my iPad.

    What I am concerned about is overages if the new iPhone has LTE. I'm looking toward the 4GB shared plan. I'd end up paying I think $30 more. Which I really don't want to do. Then again I do get a 22% discount through my employer.

    I'm going to upgrade regardless of my grandfathered unlimited. I refuse to spend $750+ for an iPhone to keep it.
     
  18. HeyGreggie macrumors 65816

    HeyGreggie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    #18
    This is me all day. Why should I have to monitor my usage?

    I remember when Verizon used to do that with their 5, 10, $15 text plans. give you 250 texts, but tell you it was sending AND recieving.

    I dont have time to keep checking everyday like "oohhhh, is my 2 gigs up? I have 9 days left in my cycle" :(
     
  19. Geckotek macrumors G3

    Geckotek

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #19
    Why is it unrealistic? You do realize they had infrastructure costs in 2007 as well...right? In fact, I believe they were even higher back then because they had a lot of tower relocations that were necessary.

    Also, have you checked the revenues and profits compared w/ 2007? Sorry, I'm not some sucker consumer that believes the company when they tell me their network is clogged because of too much data and they not only have to shut down my usage, but they have to charge me more?!? BS

    http://dslprime.com/a-wireless-clou...-wireless-data-growth-half-the-fcc-prediction
     
  20. KeepCalmPeople thread starter macrumors 65816

    KeepCalmPeople

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    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    #20
    Trust me I'm not. I'm actually a stay at home Dad...!
    Obviously cost is a big factor and very specific to the individual/family situation. My family's monthly bill has gone up $60 since the time when I had unlimited data on my iPhone and the other two phone's had 250MB each on a family talk plan.
    The convenience of shared data and tethering undoubtedly has a price (and the unlimited texting and calling, but that is becoming less relevant).
     
  21. GoreVidal macrumors 6502a

    GoreVidal

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    #21
    Yeah, every situation is different. I have just my iPhone on my plan, and my fiancée has her iPhone on her parent's plan (even at 30 years old, I know). So for her and I to get a shared plan would mean giving up my unlimited and it would cost me more and would obviously cost her more since she's not paying anything now. I'm sure AT&T will kill unlimited soon, but until then, I'm content with using whatever data I use at the price that I am paying now.
     
  22. breakaway11 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    #22
    Interesting discussion... I just signed up to the forum to ask how the grandfathering process works on AT&T. (Any tips on how to go about this if I order the new iPhone online shortly after it's released, if I do want to keep my unlimited plan?)

    My wife and I both have 3GS and it's time to upgrade... we have unlimited data plans. I figured I want to keep it just to keep it... Then I checked to usage stats going back to Jan 2011, and I have not gone over 1gig once, and my wife hit 1.5gigs once, otherwise she was under 1gig every month.

    So, we do not need the unlimited... and the OP mentioned that you won't be able to use Facetime over cellular data if you are on unlimited? That would probably be the deciding factor right there to switch, with grandma wanting to see the baby on Facetime.

    So yah, now it will come down to the Facetime thing as well as the cost of the other plan + phone subsidy factored.
     
  23. cableguy619 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    #23

    you do nto have to giv eup your plan with ATT, which is the nice thing. Honestly if you price it out it is either less or a little more. Every plan is designed for the specific user. One you give up unlimited though you will never get it back..

    Face time and tehtering will be pluses on a shared plan.

    Just go over your current pricing with new shared pricing.
     
  24. satchow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    #24
    I don't have unlimited anymore, because I voluntarily gave it up to get the 5GB+Tethering plan, but when I wanted to keep it during an upgrade it was easy.
    Ordering off the apple.com site, you enter in information like your phone number and pin so they can access your records and see what type of subsidized pricing you're eligible for. Then when it came time to change/renew my plan, it gave me the option to choose a new data plan or keep my existing one.
     
  25. KeepCalmPeople thread starter macrumors 65816

    KeepCalmPeople

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    #25
    How about this scenario:
    Single user with unlimited data, who is prevented from buying the new iPhone without moving to a limited data plan (say $50/5 Gig). I guess only AT&T or Sprint will let you stay on an individual plan...
    Would it not be better to renew your contract and pay $199 for the phone, rather than pay $650+ for an unlocked phone and get to stick with unlimited...?
    I do understand the desire to avoid worrying about data usage, but carriers throttle you anyway...?
     

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