Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.

Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.

I have a problem.

 

I've been an AT&T customer for more than a dozen years.  I was on the original AT&T, then Cingular, and I kept on being a customer with the new AT&T.  I very seldom complain, but each time I have complained about a problem, I've been helped, and the company has always done what was necessary to fix the issue.  That's one of the biggest reasons for my strong loyalty.  

 

I just purchased a new new phone and I was able to use 4G service for the first time.  It's fast, really fast, and I loved it.  I used it for everything, even when WiFi was available, because it was often faster than WiFi and I had a great experience.  

 

But yesterday I had a problem.  I got a text telling my I was about to go over my limit and my data was about to be slowed.  This caught me off guard.  Though I was later told I should have been notified, for whatever reason, whether there was no notice when I signed up for 4G service, or because there was no notice when I talked to a rep before purchasing the phone, or for whatever other reason, I honestly had no clue this was going to happen.  If I had a clue, I would have used the 4G service very differently, but I had no clue and I didn't' get this text until I had only 5% of my allotment left.

 

So I called AT&T and I talked to a rep.  She said she would give me a grace period until my next billing cycle.  I was grateful and chalked this up to the great service I had come to expect from AT&T.  But I was unhappy that this had blindsided me so I asked to have someone call so I could tell them all of the opportunities they had missed to let me know about this ahead of time (such as a text earlier than 95% or by putting better notice on the website where I selected by service level).  I wanted to let them know how this affected not only me, but their other customers as well.  She set up another call for someone to listen to my complaints.

 

When I got the call, I started telling the gentleman about my issues.  He appeared to be listening, but he kept wanting to put the problem back on me ("we sent you two emails back in 2011", etc).  I felt like I wasn't being heard, but that's not the biggest problem.  The biggest problem was when he told me that the other rep was wrong, that my service was indeed being slowed, and that there's nothing he could do about it.  

 

I lost my cool.  Livid does not cover it.  My billing cycle ends in mid June and I'm stuck using a fast phone that moves like molasses in January if I try to load up a map or go to a picture intensive website (nearly every news site these days).  And the guy told me over and over again, in every way possible, that there was nothing he could do at all to make this right.  

 

Well that's just wrong.  I'm not asking for the 5GB policy to be lifted.  I'm not asking AT&T to give me the world here.  I'm asking for one simple thing.  I had no idea about the policy, this is within the first month I've owned the phone, this is the first time I've gone over.  I just want another chance to use the phone as intended for this month while I work to change my usage patterns to prevent this from happening again.  Just that thing.  Someone help me.  I don't want to be so frustrated that I end up leaving.  I really don't think this should be so hard.  Could someone just please listen to my pleads and do what I thought the first rep had done, show me that AT&T takes care of its customers.

 

Thank you,

Paul

 

BTW, this is probably only my second time on this forum in over a dozen years.  As I said, I'm not much of a complainer.  If this is not the best place to put this, please let me know where it should go.

Message 1 of 14 (668 Views)
Professor

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.

I hear you Paul. I doubt if the CSR can do anything to unthrottle your speed. Basically you are stuck with WIFI for speed until the next billing cycle UNLESS someone smarter than I comes to your rescue.
Message 2 of 14 (639 Views)

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.

I am hoping a CSR sees this.  I've never seriously contemplated moving to another carrier, even when the internet was abuzz with talk about how bad AT&T was.  Their phone and network service has always been top notch for me and, this is critical, they always treated me right.  And over the last dozen years, things haven't always been perfect.  The one time I got a huge surprise bill when a rep. set up my plan wrong, it was no problem for them to ignore the charge for that first month and fix my plan.  The one time I got a phone I didn't care for, they cheerfully swapped it for another phone.  In other words, AT&T has always had the flexibility to make things right if there's a problem.  I find it so hard to believe their claim that there's no flexibility in this case.  There's effectively no downside for them to fix this.  It's not in their interest to leave me feeling like they just don't care anymore.

Message 3 of 14 (622 Views)
Expert

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.


Total_Wimp wrote:

I am hoping a CSR sees this.  I've never seriously contemplated moving to another carrier, even when the internet was abuzz with talk about how bad AT&T was.  Their phone and network service has always been top notch for me and, this is critical, they always treated me right.  And over the last dozen years, things haven't always been perfect.  The one time I got a huge surprise bill when a rep. set up my plan wrong, it was no problem for them to ignore the charge for that first month and fix my plan.  The one time I got a phone I didn't care for, they cheerfully swapped it for another phone.  In other words, AT&T has always had the flexibility to make things right if there's a problem.  I find it so hard to believe their claim that there's no flexibility in this case.  There's effectively no downside for them to fix this.  It's not in their interest to leave me feeling like they just don't care anymore.


throttleing has been in affect since November of 2011, the only people that are throtted are the one that used greater then 3GB for 3G and 5GB for LTE that are still on the grandfathered unlimited plan. If you don;t want to be throttled move to a tiered plan, you just pay for your overages.

 

The only carrier in the top 3 that still offer unlimited is sprint and their data speeds are not a lot to brag about, normally around edge speeds. Verzion discontinued the unlimited data when they got the iphone and now they have said that they are going to phase out the gransfathred unlimited plan, current reports state if you upgrade to a LTE phone you lose the unlimited, if you want to stay in the 3G world on your upgrade you get to keep unlimited only if you pay full retail price for the phone.

 

There is nothing to "make right" over this, the rule was imposed over 6 months ago, you have the options avaialable, the downside is the impact on the network. Would hazard a guess that ATT is going to be following in Verizon's foot steps regarding grandfathered unlimited plans.

Message 4 of 14 (615 Views)
Professor

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.

Paul, I may not have the answer you like. If you buy a prepaid GoPhone, and activate the GoPhone, you can buy prepaid data to use till the next billing cycle. Once past this billing cycle, your GoPhone can be your backup phone. In case you wonder, I have your interest in mind, though AT&T gets a benefit :-)
Message 5 of 14 (601 Views)

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.

WingRider01, that's exactly the attitude I dont understand.  I'm NOT asking them to change their policies, I'm just asking them to give me some wiggle room for a single month because I have a new phone and service and I clearly didn't understand the 5GB limit.  Both you and the rep I spoke with on the phone are acting like I should have known about this, yet at every point that I interacted with AT&T to upgrade my phone and service, no mention was made of the limit.  During those same junctions, with a rep and online, I saw or heard  the word "unlimited' about a half dozen time, including asking 3 times in one call to be absolutely sure I'd get unlimited data.  But at no point did the rep say, "you'll have unlimetd data, but you'll be slowed if you go over 5GB".  Not once.

 

I did upgrade my service and my phone.  I got something new.  These rules were not explained at that time.  I'm fine with living with the rules now that I know them, but there absolutely is somethign to "make right" when the rules were never explained to me ahead of time and they're causing me hardship now.

 

 

Message 6 of 14 (597 Views)
Expert

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.


Total_Wimp wrote:

WingRider01, that's exactly the attitude I dont understand.  I'm NOT asking them to change their policies, I'm just asking them to give me some wiggle room for a single month because I have a new phone and service and I clearly didn't understand the 5GB limit.  Both you and the rep I spoke with on the phone are acting like I should have known about this, yet at every point that I interacted with AT&T to upgrade my phone and service, no mention was made of the limit.  During those same junctions, with a rep and online, I saw or heard  the word "unlimited' about a half dozen time, including asking 3 times in one call to be absolutely sure I'd get unlimited data.  But at no point did the rep say, "you'll have unlimetd data, but you'll be slowed if you go over 5GB".  Not once.

 

I did upgrade my service and my phone.  I got something new.  These rules were not explained at that time.  I'm fine with living with the rules now that I know them, but there absolutely is somethign to "make right" when the rules were never explained to me ahead of time and they're causing me hardship now.

 

 



first off - I do not belong to att at all, I am a business user and a consumer. The data throttle policy was well documented and notified and complained about, really surprised you where not hit with it prior since it originally came out as the top 5 percent then was modified  to 3GB for 3G and 5GB for lte. It was splashed all over the net, some of the more well read newspapers, facebook, twitter to name a few

 

It is possible that the rep was not even aware of the current policies on unlimited data since the unlimited plan was grandfathered just under 2 years ago. Personally I expect reps to be conversent in current packages not in something that was canceled close to two years ago.  As a long standing reponse to this - even at throttle speed you are still recieving unlimited data, just not at the speed you want it to be at. The only "new" thing you got was the phone and if you upgraded your voice plan to a larger increment, the unlimited data was a previous feature that is current eligible for being grandfathered.

Message 7 of 14 (584 Views)

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.

" The only "new" thing you got was the phone and if you upgraded your voice plan to a larger increment, the unlimited data was a previous feature that is current eligible for being grandfathered."

 

Actually, that's not true.  I didn't have to upgrade my voice plan at all, but I did have to upgrade from 3G unlimited data to 4G unlimited data.  This was explained to me by the rep on the phone, and, sure enough, I had to manually select it (it wasn't automatic) in order to upgrade my phone online.  There was nothing in or around that selection box that said everything over 5GB would be slowed.  

 

Frankly, I'm a little offended by your insinuation that I should have "just known" about the policy.  Respectable companies don't require their customers to "just know" stuff that's in the news.  They're open with their customers at the time of the transaction.  Yeah, I understand that with something as complex as a cellular services transaction they can't spell out every little detail in giant red letters, but reasonable companies with long term customer relationships work with their client when there's a legitimate misunderstanding.  If I had a customer for more than a dozen years and he had a problem, I really wouldn't care what reason he might have for that problem, if I could spend a small amount to make him happy, I'd jump at the chance.  I'm pretty sure the cost of the reps time to tell me "no" was far in excess of any money it might cost AT&T to make me happy here.  The fact that they're not even trying is a very big problem for me.

 

Note:  The last time I asked them to do anything that cost them money was back around 2004-2005.  It was to swap a phone I didn't care for within the 30 day window.  I'm a wet dream of a customer with an expensive plan that's very lightly used (until this month), and very rare complaints.   In most companies that have long term clients this profitable, it's unthinkable to risk losing them over something as cheap to fix as this.

Message 8 of 14 (578 Views)
Expert

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.


Total_Wimp wrote:

" The only "new" thing you got was the phone and if you upgraded your voice plan to a larger increment, the unlimited data was a previous feature that is current eligible for being grandfathered."

 

Actually, that's not true.  I didn't have to upgrade my voice plan at all, but I did have to upgrade from 3G unlimited data to 4G unlimited data.  This was explained to me by the rep on the phone, and, sure enough, I had to manually select it (it wasn't automatic) in order to upgrade my phone online.  There was nothing in or around that selection box that said everything over 5GB would be slowed.  

 

Frankly, I'm a little offended by your insinuation that I should have "just known" about the policy.  Respectable companies don't require their customers to "just know" stuff that's in the news.  They're open with their customers at the time of the transaction.  Yeah, I understand that with something as complex as a cellular services transaction they can't spell out every little detail in giant red letters, but reasonable companies with long term customer relationships work with their client when there's a legitimate misunderstanding.  If I had a customer for more than a dozen years and he had a problem, I really wouldn't care what reason he might have for that problem, if I could spend a small amount to make him happy, I'd jump at the chance.  I'm pretty sure the cost of the reps time to tell me "no" was far in excess of any money it might cost AT&T to make me happy here.  The fact that they're not even trying is a very big problem for me.

 

Note:  The last time I asked them to do anything that cost them money was back around 2004-2005.  It was to swap a phone I didn't care for within the 30 day window.  I'm a wet dream of a customer with an expensive plan that's very lightly used (until this month), and very rare complaints.   In most companies that have long term clients this profitable, it's unthinkable to risk losing them over something as cheap to fix as this.



You are on the exact same data plan as you where prior, the only thing that changes was the feature code. As far as "swapping a phone in 30 days" that is part of the agreement,  if you obtain the phone through a ATT store or online you have a 30 day buyers remorse where you can return the phone or swap for a different one with no ETF penalties involved, try it on the 31st or 32 nd day and you pay the etf.

 

You can keep trying, you can PM  and ask her to have someone contact you, maybe you you get your repreive, maybe not. As far as "just know" - if you read the terms of service, and the other paper work that is supplied with the devices you will "just know" what the policy is, every littledetail is spelled out in all that paperwork.

Message 9 of 14 (562 Views)

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.

Thank you for sending the name of someone I could ask.  I'll be sure to PM  jamileh.

 

Nobody reads every detail of the small print contracts.  You know this is true because you don't either.  Telling people they should have read their cell service contract is just another brush off. 

Message 10 of 14 (553 Views)
Expert

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.


Total_Wimp wrote:

Thank you for sending the name of someone I could ask.  I'll be sure to PM  jamileh.

 

Nobody reads every detail of the small print contracts.  You know this is true because you don't either.  Telling people they should have read their cell service contract is just another brush off. 


don;t make assumptions, I read every single piece of paper that involves a contractual obligation, I have never and will never  put my signature on something that binds me to terms without understanding each and every line. Ths goes for my personal obligations and the obiligations and contracts I work with with for my business.

Message 11 of 14 (535 Views)

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.

Well, you're right, I shouldn't make assumptions.  But click through software licenses can be more than 10 pages long, single-spaced.  Terms of service, though legally binding, are often updated without your signature or even knowledge.  You have to seek them out.  If you read all that, kudos to you.  You're the first I've heard of.

Message 12 of 14 (530 Views)
Expert

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.


Total_Wimp wrote:

Well, you're right, I shouldn't make assumptions.  But click through software licenses can be more than 10 pages long, single-spaced.  Terms of service, though legally binding, are often updated without your signature or even knowledge.  You have to seek them out.  If you read all that, kudos to you.  You're the first I've heard of.


service terms are never modified without you being informed, recieve email and snail mail on everything that is contracturally binding when there is a change.

 

Would guess that I am the first you heard becasue normally the people that review the terms before they sign already know what the terms, requirements and conditions are and don't come to websites to post

Message 13 of 14 (513 Views)

Re: Data slowing caught me off guard. Please help.

Wingrider01, I'm going to drop this at this point as it's devolving into something I don't think either of us like, and it's definitely not prductive.  I hope you enjoy your long weekend.

Message 14 of 14 (510 Views)
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