Leaving AT&T Due to Throttling of Grandfathered Unlimited Data

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3282868

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jan 8, 2009
5,281
0
AT&T has given me two warnings and throttled my unlimited plan to almost no 3G service. After dealing with customer "service" I was told that my 2888.1MB monthly (billing cycle ends on the 11th) I am not being punished, this is simply a "reaction to my action." Basically, anyone who goes over the 2GB data rate on an unlimited grandfathered data plan is subject to AT&T's "Top 5%" of data users and can be throttled. When asked how they determine the top 5% (friends have gone way over 3GB/mo and have not been throttled) I was given the run around.

SO I am reacting to their reaction by leaving and am considering Verizon or Sprint.

-Sprint: Unlimited data for $10, slowest network, ok calls
-Verizon: Best voice network, average data speeds, tiered plans (although Verizon doesn't throttle through billing cycles, speeds may increase as tower congestion decreases for accounts over their data limit, so I've been told).

Before I ditch I'd love to read anyone's suggestions/experiences. Thanks!
 

SurferMan

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2010
1,267
51
South FL
AT&T has given me two warnings and throttled my unlimited plan to almost no 3G service. After dealing with customer "service" I was told that my 2888.1MB monthly (billing cycle ends on the 11th) I am not being punished, this is simply a "reaction to my action." Basically, anyone who goes over the 2GB data rate on an unlimited grandfathered data plan is subject to AT&T's "Top 5%" of data users and can be throttled. When asked how they determine the top 5% (friends have gone way over 3GB/mo and have not been throttled) I was given the run around.

SO I am reacting to their reaction by leaving and am considering Verizon or Sprint.

-Sprint: Unlimited data for $10, slowest network, ok calls
-Verizon: Best voice network, average data speeds, tiered plans (although Verizon doesn't throttle through billing cycles, speeds may increase as tower congestion decreases for accounts over their data limit, so I've been told).

Before I ditch I'd love to read anyone's suggestions/experiences. Thanks!
Like you said, I think the top 5% thing is a complete myth, otherwise their system and logistics would pin point every single user going over 2GB and warning/throttling them, which isn't happening and more so like their picking and choosing, and even if the top 5% was true how do they determine person A in the 5% should be throttled, and person B in the 5% shouldn't. Plenty of us use a lot of data and have no issues with unlimited, last month I was traveling and used over 6GB, and I always average at least 3-4GB month and have gone well over 6 quite a few times.

A few of us are thinking it primarily has to do with your GEO location, i.e. seems to usually be areas where AT&T network isn't the strongest already. I live in South FL for what it's worth, even few friends that still have GU as well, no warnings or throttling.

I personally don't care for Sprint or Verizon, but with always running around or traveling, I'd trust Verizons network more.
 

Leonard1818

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
2,459
393
Do the american thing and give em the bird by switching. Go to verizon. They're doubling data right now so you can get 4GB for $30/mo.

Verizon is expensive... yes... but my wife and I agree that it's worth every penny. (and I'm pretty cheap when it comes down to it :) )
 

MattMJB0188

macrumors 68000
Dec 28, 2009
1,962
465
Do the american thing and give em the bird by switching. Go to verizon. They're doubling data right now so you can get 4GB for $30/mo.

Verizon is expensive... yes... but my wife and I agree that it's worth every penny. (and I'm pretty cheap when it comes down to it :) )
The doubling data promo is only with LTE 4G devices and EXCLUDES the iPhone. As far as the OP leaving AT&T, go right ahead. I'm sure they'll care as that's one less unlimited user on their network.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,417
8,149
Austin, TX
AT&T has given me two warnings and throttled my unlimited plan to almost no 3G service. After dealing with customer "service" I was told that my 2888.1MB monthly (billing cycle ends on the 11th) I am not being punished, this is simply a "reaction to my action." Basically, anyone who goes over the 2GB data rate on an unlimited grandfathered data plan is subject to AT&T's "Top 5%" of data users and can be throttled. When asked how they determine the top 5% (friends have gone way over 3GB/mo and have not been throttled) I was given the run around.

SO I am reacting to their reaction by leaving and am considering Verizon or Sprint.

-Sprint: Unlimited data for $10, slowest network, ok calls
-Verizon: Best voice network, average data speeds, tiered plans (although Verizon doesn't throttle through billing cycles, speeds may increase as tower congestion decreases for accounts over their data limit, so I've been told).

Before I ditch I'd love to read anyone's suggestions/experiences. Thanks!
Well I would hold tight until 4G comes to iPhone, then jump ship to Verizon, as it is supposedly the fastest LTE technology.
 

MattMJB0188

macrumors 68000
Dec 28, 2009
1,962
465
Well I would hold tight until 4G comes to iPhone, then jump ship to Verizon, as it is supposedly the fastest LTE technology.
Once AT&T gets their LTE in more markets, theirs will be just as fast and when not in a 4G area, customers will still have HSPA+ (where its available of course).
 

kappaknight

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2009
1,577
79
Atlanta, GA
Right now all these companies are competing to be "who can suck the least" - unfortunately since having a phone is a necessity for most people, it's unlikely they change to the model of "who can be the best."

However, I do encourage you to vote with your wallet. Maybe have recently jumped ship from GoDaddy due to their stance on SOPA, myself included; so with some movements, it does work.

Also, while many won't say it - I do believe the more people that switch to Sprint, the better they will end up being. They're all in the business to make money... and with more support and more positive reactions, it will only motivate them to do more, better and faster than if no one switches to them at all.
 

Stealthipad

macrumors 68040
Apr 30, 2010
3,223
7
AT&T has given me two warnings and throttled my unlimited plan to almost no 3G service. After dealing with customer "service" I was told that my 2888.1MB monthly (billing cycle ends on the 11th) I am not being punished, this is simply a "reaction to my action." Basically, anyone who goes over the 2GB data rate on an unlimited grandfathered data plan is subject to AT&T's "Top 5%" of data users and can be throttled. When asked how they determine the top 5% (friends have gone way over 3GB/mo and have not been throttled) I was given the run around.

SO I am reacting to their reaction by leaving and am considering Verizon or Sprint.

-Sprint: Unlimited data for $10, slowest network, ok calls
-Verizon: Best voice network, average data speeds, tiered plans (although Verizon doesn't throttle through billing cycles, speeds may increase as tower congestion decreases for accounts over their data limit, so I've been told).

Before I ditch I'd love to read anyone's suggestions/experiences. Thanks!
Glad to see you GO!
 

max pl

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2010
180
3
Once AT&T gets their LTE in more markets, theirs will be just as fast and when not in a 4G area, customers will still have HSPA+ (where its available of course).
except that their HSPA+ areas are the ones that'll first get LTE. and HSPA+ deployment will likely slow or stop altogether as LTE deployment speeds up.

so hspa+ will basically be useless in a years time as all the covered area will be converted to lte.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,437
1,649
192.168.1.1
Right now all these companies are competing to be "who can suck the least" - unfortunately since having a phone is a necessity for most people, it's unlikely they change to the model of "who can be the best."

However, I do encourage you to vote with your wallet. Maybe have recently jumped ship from GoDaddy due to their stance on SOPA, myself included; so with some movements, it does work.

Also, while many won't say it - I do believe the more people that switch to Sprint, the better they will end up being. They're all in the business to make money... and with more support and more positive reactions, it will only motivate them to do more, better and faster than if no one switches to them at all.
Quoted for emphasis.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,894
3,417
Boston, MA
Unless you are having problems with ATT currently, you likely aren't going to be happier with Verizon. I say this from experience; our families has both (business lines). The only reason I would consider switching to Verizon is to get on their 4GB data package.

The doubling data promo is only with LTE 4G devices and EXCLUDES the iPhone. As far as the OP leaving AT&T, go right ahead. I'm sure they'll care as that's one less unlimited user on their network.
This is so easy to get around it's not even worth worrying about. Sign a contract and buy a GNEX. Sell the GNEX and buy an iPhone. Problem solved. It's a little more work, but doubling your monthly allotment is so SO worth it IMO.
 

MattMJB0188

macrumors 68000
Dec 28, 2009
1,962
465
Unless you are having problems with ATT currently, you likely aren't going to be happier with Verizon. I say this from experience; our families has both (business lines). The only reason I would consider switching to Verizon is to get on their 4GB data package.



This is so easy to get around it's not even worth worrying about. Sign a contract and buy a GNEX. Sell the GNEX and buy an iPhone. Problem solved. It's a little more work, but doubling your monthly allotment is so SO worth it IMO.
Yea, I guess you can do that. I know you can also still get unlimited on Verizon by adding a mobile hotspot or something then taking it off.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,894
3,417
Boston, MA
Yea, I guess you can do that. I know you can also still get unlimited on Verizon by adding a mobile hotspot or something then taking it off.
Yes, however VZW throttles too now, unfortunately. Whether it's as bad as ATT or not remains to be seen (by me at least).
 
Last edited:

Apple OC

macrumors 68040
Oct 14, 2010
3,582
2,367
Hogtown
As I said last year ... unlimited data for smartphones will be gone for everyone ... including Grandpa.

Everyone will be paying for the data they use.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
SO I am reacting to their reaction by leaving and am considering Verizon or Sprint.

Before you do that, make sure you aren't cutting off your nose to spite your face. Do a speediest of your throttled speed on AT&T. Then, see if you can borrow a friend's Sprint or Verizon phone and run speed tests on them, or do it in store. See what's fastest.


i don't know how slow AT&T's throttling is, but if it's equal to or faster than Sprint (which it might be) or Verizon, then it might not be worth the switch.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
12,894
3,417
Boston, MA
Before you do that, make sure you aren't cutting off your nose to spite your face. Do a speediest of your throttled speed on AT&T. Then, see if you can borrow a friend's Sprint or Verizon phone and run speed tests on them, or do it in store. See what's fastest.


i don't know how slow AT&T's throttling is, but if it's equal to or faster than Sprint (which it might be) or Verizon, then it might not be worth the switch.
They throttle you to the ground. That said, it STILL may be faster than Sprint depending on your location. ;)
 

mariotheotaku

macrumors regular
Apr 16, 2008
155
0
SPrint seems to be sticking to their guns ;)
Too early to call it. We have to wait a couple of years and see how they handle it.
Personally I would wait and see what the next iPhone has to offer (hoping for LTE) then base your decision on it. I regret having the iPhone with Sprint, I barely use 200mb a month since my 3g speeds are just as slow as ATT Edge speeds, possibly even slower.
 

MattMJB0188

macrumors 68000
Dec 28, 2009
1,962
465
Yes, however VZW throttles too now, unfortunately. Whether it's as bad as ATT or not remains to be seen (by me at least).
Looking at it from the Carrier's perspective, what are they suppose to do when people are using tons of gigabytes? I mean there is only so much spectrum right?
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
what are they suppose to do when people are using tons of gigabytes? I mean there is only so much spectrum right?
AT&T, for one, is sitting on the most unused spectrum of all the US carriers, a point they liked to boast about before the attempted T-Mobile purchase (at which point they had to try hard to make people forget that little fact).

Perhaps what AT&T should be doing is investing more to deploy that spectrum, as well as to shore up backhaul in places where there is spectrum in use but not enough backhaul at the sites to fully utilize it. They can certainly afford to spend that cash.
 

Mochi Hana

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2010
532
1
Texas
Like you said, I think the top 5% thing is a complete myth, otherwise their system and logistics would pin point every single user going over 2GB and warning/throttling them, which isn't happening and more so like their picking and choosing, and even if the top 5% was true how do they determine person A in the 5% should be throttled, and person B in the 5% shouldn't. Plenty of us use a lot of data and have no issues with unlimited, last month I was traveling and used over 6GB, and I always average at least 3-4GB month and have gone well over 6 quite a few times.

A few of us are thinking it primarily has to do with your GEO location, i.e. seems to usually be areas where AT&T network isn't the strongest already. I live in South FL for what it's worth, even few friends that still have GU as well, no warnings or throttling.
I would really like to know how they choose who to throttle. I'm on AT&T and use more than 2 GB some months, plus I live in a small town. You'd think that they'd throttle me but nothing of the sort has happened so far. Hopefully I don't jinx it with this post.
 

0000757

macrumors 68040
Dec 16, 2011
3,894
842
Verizon, Verizon all the way. Why?

1) Verizon does have the best network in the US.
2) Verizon has coverage literally everywhere. I was 300ft underground at Craighead Caverns and I had 2 bars and could easily send text messages (but phone calls were hard).
3) Sprint, from what I know, isn't as friendly as Verizon.
4) Sprint will sometimes throttle your data based on how much you use.
 
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