Congrats, AT&T, you've convinced me to seek a new carrier: A Short Open Letter
Dear Denizens of AT&T,
I've been a loyal customer of AT&T for several years, in spite of you being more expensive than others for the services you provide. I've even regularly chosen to pay you more than my monthly service commitment in the form of free gifts; simply by choosing to put off paying my bill. You're welcome for that, by the way.
As a professional, I understand the need to cut-off service for delinquent accounts. At one point in my life, doing so was my job for one of your competitors. Sometimes I even appreciate it as a not-subtle reminder that I haven't paid for service in a while.
That being said, your new policy of cutting off all network access to devices when the account goes delinquent completely crosses the line for me. After years performing customer service and technical support, I've developed a very strong aversion to talking on the phone. The prospect of talking to a debt collector makes this aversion even worse.
In the past, when I've received my friendly reminder service suspension, I've simply connected to a nearby Wi-Fi access point and paid my bill immediately. Again, you're welcome for the late-fee gift. Now that you've prevented me from connecting to Wi-Fi when service is suspended, you've put me in a very uncomfortable situation. This situation is made exponentially worse if I happen to be in an area with spotty or no coverage, and my only access is the free Wi-Fi at the hotel I’m staying in.
Beyond the situation you put me in, there is another important facet here, and this is perhaps the most infuriating of all: this device is mine. I own it. I purchased it independently, directly from the manufacturer. You’ve overstepped your bounds when you presume to disable my device, and my property when I don’t pay you for the service you provide. That is what I’ve been paying you for, a service. It’s completely acceptable and expected for you to cut-off service when said service isn’t paid for. It is unacceptable for you to damage (even temporarily) and render unusable something that belongs to me.
You’ve gone too far.
It takes me a while to select a provider for such an important service in my life. I’m discerning, so I’ll be making comparisons and shopping around. Remedy this oversight and you may still retain me as a customer. May, because you’ve left me feeling violated, and not in a good way.