Current Status: -posted

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

AT&T. We giveth and we taketh away.

Well folks it looks like cellular/wireless services are going to continue to charge you more and give you less for your money. As you may or may not know, I've been a customer of Cingular Wireless since they first started in 2001. Now of course, they are 'the new AT&T'. I now have what they call a 'grandfather plan.' I guess that means it's just old -- kind of like me. Anyway, this grandfather plan, as they call it, is really nice. It comes with 325 anytime minutes, 1000 night and weekend minutes that start at 8pm (not 9pm like most), free text messaging, and several other nice features. And it's only $29.99!

Well, a few months back I received a text message that tells me that I am no longer going to be getting free text messaging. So I call them. I even email the assistant to the president of Cingular. He calls me back. I'm outraged that they're going to take away a feature I've been getting for six years. Wouldn't you be? I mean, why cut it off after six years? How odd.

So I now pay $14.99 extra to add 1500 text messages and 5MB of data to my plan (for internet). Text messages which I was previously receiving for free. Obviously my bickering and complaining didn't do any good. So now I'm up to around $45 per month.

Well, I'll be derned if the story doesn't end there. Recently I called them because I was having trouble sending photos with text messages. Some go through, and some do not. Now 'the new AT&T' is telling me that I don't have the right plan for my phone, my Treo 650 (smartphone). Even though this is the plan that THEY recommended. They tell me that AT ANY TIME my internet, messaging and all features could cease to function (even though they're working just fine now), just because I'm on the wrong plan for my phone. So what's the right plan I ask?

Well here it gets kind of confusing. I've spoken to three different AT&T representatives and they all have slight variations in what they offer me. The first lady I spoke to said that my phone should keep on working just fine. The second lady said I need to upgrade to a $39.99 add-on that would include 1500 text messages and unlimited internet. The third person I spoke with said I would need to upgrade to a $69.99 add-on that would include only unlimited internet, but no text messaging. That's $100 a month to get less service than I'm getting now for $45! Next, the guy puts me on hold and says he has found some 'conflicting information.' Then he comes back and tells me the same thing the second lady told me. Good grief.

So basically from my understanding, the kind of deal you get with AT&T depends on what representative you speak to at the time you call. So if you want a nice new iPhone, feel free to call back a few times until you get a good deal. That or just avoid this silly company altogether.

So why don't I just switch companies, you ask? Well, I called Alltel today. My girlfriend highly recommends them. Turns out that in order to move my service to them, and get all of the features I currently have. I would have to pay about $69 for a new plan. Plus, I would have to re-purchase my nice Treo 650 cell phone, since cellular carriers can't seem to agree on a single compatible cellular technology. I'll stay on the lookout for a better plan. If you have any recommendations, feel free to leave a comment on this post, and I'll be more than happy to check with your carrier!

AT&T Wireless Users Sue Cingular, Say Service Sucks
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