Goodbye AT&T Gophone service

Contributor

Goodbye AT&T Gophone service

My phone has been swamped with incoming spam text messages costing me $0.20 a pop.  I have called customer service several times.  The first time, I was promised a credit to offset the charges but the credit was never applied.  My second two calls were a waste of time and an exercise in futility.  When I pointed out that the were service providers who offer lower per minute voice rates and free incoming texts, I was told that that was my decision to make.  So I have made it.  No more AT&T for me.  Anyone care to join me?

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Message 1 of 26
Professor

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service


ericpierotti wrote:

My phone has been swamped with incoming spam text messages costing me $0.20 a pop.  I have called customer service several times.  The first time, I was promised a credit to offset the charges but the credit was never applied.  My second two calls were a waste of time and an exercise in futility.  When I pointed out that the were service providers who offer lower per minute voice rates and free incoming texts, I was told that that was my decision to make.  So I have made it.  No more AT&T for me.  Anyone care to join me?


If I ever got spammed, I would ask for a new number. If I could not get a new number, I'd have to leave AT&T. That's why I keep my balance low so that if I wanted to leave, my loss would be small.

Message 2 of 26
Master

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service


ericpierotti wrote:

My phone has been swamped with incoming spam text messages costing me $0.20 a pop.  I have called customer service several times.  The first time, I was promised a credit to offset the charges but the credit was never applied.  My second two calls were a waste of time and an exercise in futility.  When I pointed out that the were service providers who offer lower per minute voice rates and free incoming texts, I was told that that was my decision to make.  So I have made it.  No more AT&T for me.  Anyone care to join me?


This was your decision to make. You could have either put up with the spam messages (I sure wouldn't want to, especially at $0.20 each!) or switched to a different service. Being a prepaid customer is a good thing because AT&T was not going to charge you anything for leaving. If you were on a post paid plan with a contract left uncompleted, you would have most likely needed to pay an early termination fee to leave their service.

I remember being on Verizon's prepaid service...yikes. My plan was way too expensive for me. And I was limited on phone choices and features. With my GoPhone service, I can utilize the features of a smartphone while paying a low monthly premium cost. Smiley Happy The only other carrier that beats AT&T in terms of pricing, I think, is Virgin Mobile. I used to have them as a provider as well.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Message 3 of 26
Guru

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service

Do the text messages give you the option that if you don't want to recieve them anymore just reply "STOP"?

Message 4 of 26
Scholar

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service


Wild Banchi wrote:
This was your decision to make. You could have either put up with the spam messages (I sure wouldn't want to, especially at $0.20 each!) or switched to a different service. Being a prepaid customer is a good thing because AT&T was not going to charge you anything for leaving. If you were on a post paid plan with a contract left uncompleted, you would have most likely needed to pay an early termination fee to leave their service.

I remember being on Verizon's prepaid service...yikes. My plan was way too expensive for me. And I was limited on phone choices and features. With my GoPhone service, I can utilize the features of a smartphone while paying a low monthly premium cost. Smiley Happy The only other carrier that beats AT&T in terms of pricing, I think, is Virgin Mobile. I used to have them as a provider as well.

Yep. Verizon prepaid is awfully expensive. T-Mobile is another inexpensive option for prepaid (if you only want a phone for emergencies, etc). What I find awesome about T-Mo PAYGO is once you've reached $100 worth of refills on your account, you reach Gold Rewards status and every subsequent refill will have an expiration date of 1 year. That means after the first year, you could keep your account active with as little as $10/year.

Message 5 of 26
Master

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service


Wild Banchi wrote:

ericpierotti wrote:

My phone has been swamped with incoming spam text messages costing me $0.20 a pop.  I have called customer service several times.  The first time, I was promised a credit to offset the charges but the credit was never applied.  My second two calls were a waste of time and an exercise in futility.  When I pointed out that the were service providers who offer lower per minute voice rates and free incoming texts, I was told that that was my decision to make.  So I have made it.  No more AT&T for me.  Anyone care to join me?


This was your decision to make. You could have either put up with the spam messages (I sure wouldn't want to, especially at $0.20 each!) or switched to a different service. Being a prepaid customer is a good thing because AT&T was not going to charge you anything for leaving. If you were on a post paid plan with a contract left uncompleted, you would have most likely needed to pay an early termination fee to leave their service.

I remember being on Verizon's prepaid service...yikes. My plan was way too expensive for me. And I was limited on phone choices and features. With my GoPhone service, I can utilize the features of a smartphone while paying a low monthly premium cost. Smiley Happy The only other carrier that beats AT&T in terms of pricing, I think, is Virgin Mobile. I used to have them as a provider as well.

While all that may be true it doesn't excuse the fact that at&t offers no solution for prepaid customers in dealing with this issue.  They refuse to block messaging on prepaid accounts (not an ideal solution as someone may want to use messaging, but it's better than allowing your account balance to be eaten away with unwanted spam SMS).  SmartLimits for Wireless (also not ideal as there is a $5/month fee) is not available for prepaid accounts, etc.., etc. 

 

When the basic concept of having prepaid service is that you actively make the choice to utilize the service and can pay for it on a PPU basis, the carrier should be required to have a way of preventing charges for unauthorized incoming activity.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 6 of 26
Scholar

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service


hme83 wrote:

While all that may be true it doesn't excuse the fact that at&t offers no solution for prepaid customers in dealing with this issue.  They refuse to block messaging on prepaid accounts (not an ideal solution as someone may want to use messaging, but it's better than allowing your account balance to be eaten away with unwanted spam SMS).  SmartLimits for Wireless (also not ideal as there is a $5/month fee) is not available for prepaid accounts, etc.., etc. 

 

When the basic concept of having prepaid service is that you actively make the choice to utilize the service and can pay for it on a PPU basis, the carrier should be required to have a way of preventing charges for unauthorized incoming activity.


Or, they can just change billing so it's in line with other countries - all incoming calls and messages are free, you only get charged for outgoing ones. When I moved to the US, I was actually surprised to learn that people get charged for both incoming and outgoing calls/messages.

Message 7 of 26
Professor

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service


hnzw_rui wrote:

hme83 wrote:

While all that may be true it doesn't excuse the fact that at&t offers no solution for prepaid customers in dealing with this issue.  They refuse to block messaging on prepaid accounts (not an ideal solution as someone may want to use messaging, but it's better than allowing your account balance to be eaten away with unwanted spam SMS).  SmartLimits for Wireless (also not ideal as there is a $5/month fee) is not available for prepaid accounts, etc.., etc. 

 

When the basic concept of having prepaid service is that you actively make the choice to utilize the service and can pay for it on a PPU basis, the carrier should be required to have a way of preventing charges for unauthorized incoming activity.


Or, they can just change billing so it's in line with other countries - all incoming calls and messages are free, you only get charged for outgoing ones. When I moved to the US, I was actually surprised to learn that people get charged for both incoming and outgoing calls/messages.


Absolutely it's the right thing to do for AT&T.

Message 8 of 26
Master

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service


hnzw_rui wrote:

Wild Banchi wrote:
This was your decision to make. You could have either put up with the spam messages (I sure wouldn't want to, especially at $0.20 each!) or switched to a different service. Being a prepaid customer is a good thing because AT&T was not going to charge you anything for leaving. If you were on a post paid plan with a contract left uncompleted, you would have most likely needed to pay an early termination fee to leave their service.

I remember being on Verizon's prepaid service...yikes. My plan was way too expensive for me. And I was limited on phone choices and features. With my GoPhone service, I can utilize the features of a smartphone while paying a low monthly premium cost. Smiley Happy The only other carrier that beats AT&T in terms of pricing, I think, is Virgin Mobile. I used to have them as a provider as well.

Yep. Verizon prepaid is awfully expensive. T-Mobile is another inexpensive option for prepaid (if you only want a phone for emergencies, etc). What I find awesome about T-Mo PAYGO is once you've reached $100 worth of refills on your account, you reach Gold Rewards status and every subsequent refill will have an expiration date of 1 year. That means after the first year, you could keep your account active with as little as $10/year.


I like that Gold Rewards option. I've seen a prepaid T-Mobile customer ask a question here if AT&T prepaid service had that feature a while back. I think it would be nice if AT&T were to do something like this.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Message 9 of 26
Master

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service


hme83 wrote:

Wild Banchi wrote:

ericpierotti wrote:

My phone has been swamped with incoming spam text messages costing me $0.20 a pop.  I have called customer service several times.  The first time, I was promised a credit to offset the charges but the credit was never applied.  My second two calls were a waste of time and an exercise in futility.  When I pointed out that the were service providers who offer lower per minute voice rates and free incoming texts, I was told that that was my decision to make.  So I have made it.  No more AT&T for me.  Anyone care to join me?


This was your decision to make. You could have either put up with the spam messages (I sure wouldn't want to, especially at $0.20 each!) or switched to a different service. Being a prepaid customer is a good thing because AT&T was not going to charge you anything for leaving. If you were on a post paid plan with a contract left uncompleted, you would have most likely needed to pay an early termination fee to leave their service.

I remember being on Verizon's prepaid service...yikes. My plan was way too expensive for me. And I was limited on phone choices and features. With my GoPhone service, I can utilize the features of a smartphone while paying a low monthly premium cost. Smiley Happy The only other carrier that beats AT&T in terms of pricing, I think, is Virgin Mobile. I used to have them as a provider as well.

While all that may be true it doesn't excuse the fact that at&t offers no solution for prepaid customers in dealing with this issue.  They refuse to block messaging on prepaid accounts (not an ideal solution as someone may want to use messaging, but it's better than allowing your account balance to be eaten away with unwanted spam SMS).  SmartLimits for Wireless (also not ideal as there is a $5/month fee) is not available for prepaid accounts, etc.., etc. 

 

When the basic concept of having prepaid service is that you actively make the choice to utilize the service and can pay for it on a PPU basis, the carrier should be required to have a way of preventing charges for unauthorized incoming activity.


I suppose you are right, hme83. I did not know that AT&T did not block messaging for prepaid customers that wanted the feature blocked. But carriers do have limitations, as I'm sure you know, that sometimes they fail to acknowledge and meet the needs for some of their customers, prepaid customers being in AT&T's case. I would truly like to know why prepaid customers cannot get some of the same features as post paid customers, but AT&T probably puts this policy in place in hopes that the prepaid customer will get an upgraded "luxury" plan so they can place more and more money in AT&T's pockets.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Message 10 of 26
Guru

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service

It's funny, in reading some of these posts I never knew how low prepaid customers were on the totem pole. For example I have often wondered why post paid coverage was more expansive compared to prepaid, maybe AT&T figured that if prepaid had the same perks then maybe there'd be no incentive to go post paid. 

Message 11 of 26
Professor

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service


Razr8 wrote:

It's funny, in reading some of these posts I never knew how low prepaid customers were on the totem pole. For example I have often wondered why post paid coverage was more expansive compared to prepaid, maybe AT&T figured that if prepaid had the same perks then maybe there'd be no incentive to go post paid. 


Nothing but the truth. That's why I educate myself on prepaid phones so that if I ever needed support, it would be the last resort. Thanks to forum members who helped to educate me on mobile phones.

 


 

Message 12 of 26
Guru

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service

Hi Ilikewireless, I agree with you as well, I did my homework before I took the Go Phone plunge and for my needs everything has worked out well, no complaints here.

Message 13 of 26
Master

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service


hnzw_rui wrote:

hme83 wrote:

While all that may be true it doesn't excuse the fact that at&t offers no solution for prepaid customers in dealing with this issue.  They refuse to block messaging on prepaid accounts (not an ideal solution as someone may want to use messaging, but it's better than allowing your account balance to be eaten away with unwanted spam SMS).  SmartLimits for Wireless (also not ideal as there is a $5/month fee) is not available for prepaid accounts, etc.., etc. 

 

When the basic concept of having prepaid service is that you actively make the choice to utilize the service and can pay for it on a PPU basis, the carrier should be required to have a way of preventing charges for unauthorized incoming activity.


Or, they can just change billing so it's in line with other countries - all incoming calls and messages are free, you only get charged for outgoing ones. When I moved to the US, I was actually surprised to learn that people get charged for both incoming and outgoing calls/messages.


That'd work too. Smiley Happy  But I think it would probably change the pricing schematic which users likely wouldn't be happy about on the flip side of things.  (I'm not saying there isn't room to make the change w/o it having to affect pricing somewhere in the carrier's service model; but it's not realistic to think that is going to happen, imo.) 

 

In other parts of the world, you don't pay for incoming calls/messages because the originating party is billed for the entire cost of the transaction - in the US it's divided between the originating/receiving parties.  I'm not really all that familiar with rates from the carriers in other parts of the world for the various services, but it's also my understanding that the charge can be different depending on whether you are calling a mobile phone vs. a landline.  It has the benefit of "free incoming", but overall it's a more complicated billing structure; and I'm not sure that Americans would adjust to it well if it meant a general increase in the rates they were paying in order to accomodate "free incoming". 

 

ATTWS - the old "Blue" customers - had free incoming SMS, but I don't know how their PPU rates compared to Cingular's rates at the time (ATTWS didn't offer any of the discounted feature "packages" to my knowledge), and I also don't know if that was even a good comparable in terms of long term viability since ATTWS was always said to have given away the farm to attract customers.  And is it US Cellular that currently has "free incoming"?  Again, I don't know how their rates compare to at&t's, and of course the smaller carriers have to offer additional perks to attract customers as their network/coverage typically doesn't offer what the primary carriers do.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 14 of 26
Scholar

Re: Goodbye AT&T Gophone service

I don't mind being charged for outgoing calls/messages. I think it's just fair since I'm the one who made the call/sent the message. Even if they don't implement it for calls, for text messaging, it evens out since the person you're texting will usually text you back, anyway. Besides, pay per use text messaging in the US is seriously overpriced. Given SMS only uses dregs in a network, it really shouldn't cost $0.20/msg in the first place.

 

I realize this system would probably make for more complicated billing. However, I don't think it'll be out of the realm of comprehension. Vonage already has a plan that gives you unlimited incoming calls and 300 minutes of outgoing calls for $11.99 with overage of $0.05/min. What I'm proposing is somewhat similar.

 

The change also shouldn't really affect postpaid much, what with unlimited nights & weekends, unlimited mobile to mobile calling (and on AT&T, unlimited mobile to any mobile calling with an unlimited messaging plan). Carriers can probably even keep their current rate plans/minutes allocation and just introduce unlimited incoming calls as a way to draw more users into their network. What could make implementation difficult is in the way carriers bill each other.

 

I know some service providers in other countries charge different rates for in-network and out of network calls and messages. This is a great draw for getting folks to use your network instead of the competition. The free mobile to mobile calling US carriers offer is a similar concept. Mobile to mobile is the reason we have AT&T service. Everyone we know is on AT&T that's why when we signed-up for cell service, we went with AT&T.

Message 15 of 26
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