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Author Topic: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan  (Read 3103 times)

brujomar

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Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« on: January 13, 2016, 06:59:37 PM »
I received two texts yesterday (Tuesday) from AT&T that unlimited data is available IF I am a Directv (or Uverse) customer.
Since we are mostly full time, my ATT  Iphone HOT SPOT has been our only internet access and I am a directv customer. So, I spent a LONG time on the phone with ATT reps, clarifying the new promotion...I talked with a total of three over four hours. Then, they require that the directv bill and ATT bill be combined into one monthly bill......fine with me, and they transfered me to another department to clarify my directv plan/rates.....(since they are going up), then transfered me to the billing department to combine bills.......New unlimited data plan total is LESS than I was paying for a grandfathered 30 gig/mo promo I had, which they said I couldn;'t get back if I switched, which was fine. This morning I used my laptop on my hot spot to access my online banking, then turned it off....this AFTERNOON my HOT SPOT disappeared from my Iphone.!!!!!!  I call customer service.....she tells me that HOT SPOTS can't be used with the unlimited package!!!! What??????
I made it very clear to EACH rep I talked to that my HOT SPOT was my ONLY internet used in my rv.....none said a thing about no hot spot available. I ended up with a supervisor whokept asking me what he could do to make me a satisfied customer.......argh!.
I got my 30 gig with hot spot back, but definitely am NOT  pleased....I was a previous Millenicom user as well...then they went under...I think I am destined NOT to use mobile internet I guess....lol.

Just a heads up if you are ATT and Directv and received the text.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 07:09:38 PM by brujomar »
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BillB3857

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2016, 07:09:25 PM »
I decided to go with UVERSE for my home service and when I inquired, was told that yes, my internet speed would be much higher than my current  ATT DSL since it would be run over fiber to my house.  SIGN ME UP!  Well, the installer shows up and I asked, "just how are you going to run fiber to my house?"  "What?", he says.  "We don't run fiber to your house.  The fiber stops about a mile down the road.  Your signals will just keep using the same copper that you have had all along.  In fact, you are so far out that you won't be able to get TV.  You will need to stay with DirecTV for that."  I sent him on his way and signed up for cable with much faster internet than UVERSE offered, TV with about the same package as I had with DirecTV, and phone service with unlimited long distance.  Did I mention that it was cheaper than my total ATT/DirecTV bill.  The only thing I did loose was the ability to carry my DirecTV with me when we go camping.

 Moral of the story... Whatever they tell you, they don't tell you the whole truth AND whatever you think they are talking about, the real subject is MONEY!
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BobNSam

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2016, 07:10:53 PM »
That is why I had to leave the original AT&T unlimited data plan. You couldn't tether or share with other devices. Sucked then and still sucks. Sounds like time to "talk" to them again...asking them to review their recordings re your need to use phone as hotspot.
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brujomar

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2016, 07:12:53 PM »
Yup....just fuming....I thought about having them go back and review the recorded calls......they probably are as they clearly didn't give me complete info....
I am tempted for spite just to dump them and go over to Verizon, but not so sure things will be any better.....

OH....and by the way BillB, you CAN use your existing directv receiver when you go camping.....just unplug it and get a tripod dish to carry in your rig. HD is a bit more problematic as you need the bigger dish and aiming is trickier, or get a auto portable dish
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 07:22:32 PM by brujomar »
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BillB3857

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 07:26:06 AM »
When I ditched ATT/DirecTV for home service, I went with Charter Cable.  Cheaper and faster.  Also, I can still watch TV when it is raining, which was a problem with DirecTV.  I had a used a tripod and portable dish for years while traveling, and had to give it up when I cancelled ATT/DirecTV.  I found that I really don't miss it much when out and about with the 5th wheel.
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Tinmania

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2016, 11:21:51 AM »
None of the four major mobile providers in the USA offer unlimited mobile data tethering (and the rest almost always resell the top four as an MVNO). This should not be a surprise. If they did, a large number of people would simply drop their home internet provider and just use tethering for internet, overloading the spectrum available for mobile data to the point everyone would suffer.

Do you have unlimited electric? No. Unlimited water? No. Even home internet plans are increasingly not unlimited: they are capped.

The issue, as I see it, is that we don't pay for our data: we pay for "maximum data." That would be akin to paying for x number of kilowatt hours of electricity whether you use it or not. Rollover is a good start but not a solution.


Mike

Sun2Retire

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2016, 11:55:02 AM »
Do you have unlimited electric? No. Unlimited water? No.

Cellular providers (and ISPs) love this analogy. Problem is that's a straw man argument - apples and oranges. Water and electricity are a resource that has to be gathered/created, bandwidth is not. Remember when we all paid exorbitant fees for long distance, believing that somehow or another AT&T was creating those electrons? Now we all presume that our plan will include unlimited long distance as we came to realize we were being ripped off paying for an imaginary product.

Now, someone has to build infrastructure certainly, to carry all that bandwidth. And someone has to build those cell towers. But that's already factored into your monthly charges. That said, it's true that the current wireless infrastructure will not support unlimited tethering, but someday it will and wires will become rare.

Comcast uses the "you don't have unlimited electricity" argument with glee. And the entire ISP lobby is still pushing to get money out of content providers such as Netflix, when in fact Netflix uses zero bandwidth - it's the users who use - and pay for - bandwidth. They want Netflix to pay, AND for us to pay.

Anytime I hear any type of monopoly (or near monopoly) utility argue they need to charge more because of the crush of business they have I am reminded of our local water company who unabashedly charges more (a LOT more) for higher water use, then raised everyone's base rate because people where conserving and using less water. ("Oh, you're using more, we have to charge you more. Now you're using less, we need to charge you more because now we can't cover our expenses.")

When I see the first cellular provider close the doors due to lack of revenue vs. expenses I'll start listening to their arguments. Until then, it's just the fox whining that he needs more chickens in the hen house.

Rant over.

Scott
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Tin man

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2016, 12:16:29 PM »
If the plan is so good, why are they offering it to us? Be wary of (GREEKS?) Bering a better plan.
Jim W
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SargeW

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2016, 02:55:06 PM »
Thanks for the heads up. I got the same letter in the mail a few days ago, as a Direct TV customer. It sounded a bit too good to be true.  And sure enough, it was too good to be true. 
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edjunior

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2016, 06:01:50 PM »
This is the exact reason I switched from AT&T.  I had the old unlimited data plan grandfathered from who knows how far back.  I used it for tethering "once and a while" usually when I was camping or lost my Internet at the house.  But they did not like that.  I now have T-Mobile on an unlimited plan, and it includes tethering.  That being said, I have not tried to use it "exclusively", but I have used it to stream a movie through Netflix, and a few times when I lost my home Internet.  Have not gotten a single nasty-gram from T-Mobile.

The down side is, the coverage is not quite as good as with AT&T.  I almost tried another, but have not has as much trouble lately.  I'm not sure why, but it seems to have "smoothed" out since my initial switch.
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Tin man

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2016, 06:20:07 PM »
If the plan is so good, why are they offering it to us? Be wary of (GREEKS?) Bering a better plan.
Jim W
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Tin man

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2016, 06:21:45 PM »
Hmmmmmmmmm how did that get posted twice? 
Jim W
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Larry N.

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2016, 09:05:35 AM »
 
Quote
Remember when we all paid exorbitant fees for long distance, believing that somehow or another AT&T was creating those electrons? Now we all presume that our plan will include unlimited long distance as we came to realize we were being ripped off paying for an imaginary product.

Not really imaginary -- Higher Long distance rates were used by the Bell System (and independents, too) to subsidize local service which was MUCH more expensive to provide. All carriers (and rates were completely government regulated) for a given telephone traffic route, pooled their money after expenses, then divied up the profits proportionally. Much service is now deregulated too.

Sure, long distance today is cheaper, even on landlines. And that makes local service higher (on landlines). It's more complex than it looks from the surface.

Now, with all that said, lots of cost cutting measures, as well as cheaper equipment (somewhat), and more reliable electronics have allowed them to provide more service with a LOT fewer people, which is one of the things that helps it be cheaper today. There's more, but I'll leave it there.
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Tinmania

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2016, 12:14:58 PM »
Cellular providers (and ISPs) love this analogy. Problem is that's a straw man argument - apples and oranges. Water and electricity are a resource that has to be gathered/created, bandwidth is not. Remember when we all paid exorbitant fees for long distance, believing that somehow or another AT&T was creating those electrons? Now we all presume that our plan will include unlimited long distance as we came to realize we were being ripped off paying for an imaginary product.
Wrong. Bandwidth is a licensed finite resource. That is not imaginary, it is real. You can think of it as a pie. Now if you charge people to eat as much pie as they want, and all eat--more or less--the same amount, it is all good. The issue is that by tethering it upsets that balance: it is akin to some people taking doggie bags and eating their share of pie and also taking some home.

That is exactly what happened with unlimited data plans several years ago: a small percentage of users were using a greatly disproportionate amount of the available bandwidth (which, again, is not infinite). It amounted to the rest of the users subsidizing the large data users. That ended with the end of unlimited data for most providers (or "unlimited" but with hard caps, or throttled caps). Back on topic that is exactly why tethering is verboten for all the major carriers in the US who still offer unlimited plans. Now if you pay for x number of gigabytes you are free to use it as you will. Until there is unlimited spectrum--and that is not going to happen anytime soon--there won't be unlimited data without restrictions.

As for RVs and internet: what is needed is better access at RV parks and campgrounds. Internet access should not be thought of as some kind of nuisance to provide, but rather a needed service similar to water and electricity. Hotels used to think similarly a decade or so ago, but now it is expected. If it was the same for RV parks and campgrounds mobile data would not be much of an issue for the average RV'er, and only needed while on the road (same as it is for non-RV'ers). Let's face it the average AT&T, Verizon, etc customer is not stuck night after night without wired or wifi internet. Ergo, 1-5 GB is enough.


 Mike
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 12:16:29 PM by Tinmania »

JiminDenver

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2016, 10:59:10 PM »
I used a MHL HDMI adapter on my Galaxy S4 before Cricket opened up the hotspots for $10 a month. With the adapter, a blue tooth mouse and keyboard and a 22 inch HD screen, I really didn't miss the computer even when streaming. I needed a computer to play pogo games so I was glad when they opened it up.

The Cricket pro plan is unlimited, they just throttle after 10 gigs. I'm getting a 4GAS hotspot on T-Mobile for $17 a month that has binge on and throttles after 5 gigs. (business account) So there are unlimited accounts that are up front about the throttling after a cap. They use it as a selling point, not hide it in the fine print.

patagoniadave

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2016, 08:17:28 AM »
For what it is worth

We travel full time, and telecommute for work. Lots of files are transfered, lots of research, I like to listen to Pandora or sports talk all day, and we usually netflix in the evenings. I also post a lot of high res pics to the blog. For the longest time, we were using a Verizon hotspot that had 20 gigs, and supplementing with rv parks wi-fi if they had it. The Verizon had been through a third party vendor, Millenicon I think, for a fair price, but Verizon took them over an upped the price. I think we are still paying less than if we gotten the plan originally, directly from Verizon, but it is still a lot.

This was not quite enough data, we were constantly monitoring it, and not doing things online towards the end of the month, so I broke down and bought a T-mobile plan. On the day I went in, they were offering unlimited data with a 14 gig tethering limit. They also had the plan where streaming video or radio did not count toward your data, and this supposedly applies to the tethering. All for 100 dollars a month, not to mention the unlimited phone calls and texting.

Now, I plug my headset directly into the phone, listen to online radio all day, and it even cuts out when calls come in. The laptop is tethered wirelessly, I upload the pictures directly from the phone, and my travel partner still uses the verizon. We have only been doing it for a month this way, and I have no idea how T-mobile works out west, but I am very happy with the setup. On top of that, they all act so nice at T-mobile. I hated Verizon tech support. I almost want to make up issues so I can call T-mobile.
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JiminDenver

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2016, 12:39:55 PM »
My T-Mobile account is through 4GAS, they are also extremely nice. I asked what would happen to the streaming on Binge On if I hit the data cap and was throttled. They said nothing. The Binge on will continue to run like normal, only my data would be throttled. So I can go through my allotment in one day and still stream the other 29.

As for T-Mobiles coverage out west. I use the carrier maps, sensorly user report maps and user accounts to see where the coverage will be. Places like the Q don't show any 4g for T-Mobile or Sprint. It's 2 and 3G only. AT&T and Verizon are the ways to go down there. Even then you may want something like a Wilson Sleek to pull the signal in.

It's the same issue we face in the mountains where even with all four carriers and a Sleek we may not get a signal at all. When we have a signal, it's nothing you are going to stream on. Loading this page can be a click and make a cup of coffee thing.

patagoniadave

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Re: Beware AT&T new unlimited data plan
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2016, 12:45:20 PM »


As for T-Mobiles coverage out west. I use the carrier maps, sensorly user report maps and user accounts to see where the coverage will be. Places like the Q don't show any 4g for T-Mobile or Sprint. It's 2 and 3G only. AT&T and Verizon are the ways to go down there. Even then you may want something like a Wilson Sleek to pull the signal in.



Some sort of booster or cell antenna is next on our list. We have been reading the http://www.technomadia.com/ blog trying to get up to speed
Dave & Kate
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