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Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

Teacher

Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

I'm incredibly disappointed in AT&T.  In December, they sent me an email and a letter outlining the extra $5 a month charge and offering an early termination fee waiver if I cancel my unlimited data plan, not service but PLAN.  I went to AT&T to move all of my 5 lines to the Mobile Data Share plan.  This sounded like a good deal because the 3 lines I have under a 2 yr contract would only be $25/mo vs $40/mo.  Several AT&T customer service reps later I find out that this is really just a trick to lure unlimited data plan customers in and have them give up their plans.  I was offered to move my phones off my current plan and sometime in the future some rep somewhere was going to adjust my monthly bill according to the letter I received.  I asked the customer service rep to get someone on the phone and do that now.  2 phone reps later I'm told that the word "plan" is synomanous with the word "service", so there is no waiver of early termination fees if I want to cancel my unlimited plan and move to a Mobile Data Share plan.  This makes no sense at all.  No one interchanges the term "service" and "plan" in the industry.  Go to AT&T's website and try to find the menu where you change "service".  You won't find it.  It only gives you options to look at "plans" and change "plans". These corporate letters and emails are vetted through lawyers and words are chosen very carefully.  I can only conclude this is a case of bait and switch. 

 

Other than that glaring issue, the offer makes no sense whatsoever if AT&T really meant to say cancel "service".  So let's examine the options given to the customer:  Option 1: Pay an extra $5/mo for each line that has unlimited data.  Option 2: Move to a more expensive plan and get charged $40/mo for each phone under 2 yr contract.  Option 3: Leave AT&T with no termination fees and go to another carrier owning all 5 phones and get a lower rate.  I have been with AT&T for 10 years and there is absolutely no reward for customer loyalty.  

 

I changed my plans back to unlimited data and I'm weighing my options but it sure sounds like AT&T wants it loyal customers to move on to another carrier.

 

[Legal discussions are not permitted per the Guidelines]

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Message 1 of 41
Contributor

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

I filed a formal complaint with the FTC and the FCC...Nothing. The response by AT&T is to assign my complaint to a clerk (actually over the past 4 years a number of clerks) all claiming to be empowered and contacting me from the office of the President! All of them reading from the exact same ... script. Contacting me by phone message. I requested all contact be in hard copy writtenform...But they want to avoid that. Then urging me to use the contact on their website....Which does not function nor lead to contacting supervisors as I have requested my complauint be elevated to the President to resolve the matter. IT WAS A BAIT AND SWITCH.  As they have done everything to get me to quit. Denial of signal. Denial of service. Slowed data. Denial to allow me to tranfer data from my cellphone. I lost valuable irreplaceable data in attempt to transmit because of it.They just told me...Then go somewhere else. So they are evil. And the FCC and FTC are allowing them to run the show rewrite their contact and overbill us for it. As thy have each month escalated fees 10% alone this year stating after many years we are now raising the cost of your service. This was another attempt to get me to leave. Retaliation for continuing to complain and not go away quitly. I won't. But We need to contact our representatives in Washington relently until they act on our behalf. I have and they say it's not in their powers... AT&T is setting the rules as all other carriers are falling into line. Interpreting unlimited data in the same way...That... network management line used. That same after 3 or 5g throttling begins...Or pay much more that they won't throttle. So they should not falsely advertise as unlimited data. Overbilling using the mail service across state lines is a federal offense by the way. Unlimited means unlimited. And we can't let them get away with it.

 

[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

Message 16 of 41
Teacher

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

Since folks are still commenting on my post I thought I'd provide an update. I tested Sandblasters comment that I made a bad assumption that changing plans would put me out of the two year contract even though that is exactly what the letter stated. The sticking point here is the term "cancel your unlimited data plan". I still have no idea how anyone believes that means cancel service. Shaking my head from commentary here I went to 5 different AT&T stores and told them each I wished to cancel my unlimited data plan IAW the letter. Not one thought I meant cancel service. Not one. This letter was just a very stupid idea so I took advantage of it. I ended up leaving AT&T avoiding a $600 early termination fee and put all 5 phones on a competitors plan with 10 GB of data per phone for $126/mo vs $265 for AT&T. The bill is low because AT&T paid off all my phones on the way out. This was not a smart business move on their part. After a month of service with the new carrier everyone in my family is happy with it. Case closed. I really don't like being lied to or deceived AT&T. Good luck to everyone here.

Message 17 of 41
Mentor

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

Good luck with getting excellent cell service. I've tried 'em all but keep coming back to AT&T due to the competetor's service problems. (Dropped calls, calls going straight to voicemail without the party's phone ever ringing (especially during peak calling times), or frequent or lengthy outages. During a 12-year period I tried others but keep coming back to AT&T. I thought I'd get the same service for less money elsewhere, but I was wrong. I've always lived in major metropolitan areas, so coverage was never an issue, just other service problems that were unbearable enough to make me pay the higher AT&T costs. 

 

Message 18 of 41
Mentor

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

It says unlimited data, not unlimited the-highest-speed-we-can-possibly-provide data. 

Message 19 of 41
ACE - Sage

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

@unlimitedscam

You are NOT throttled, ever.  Unlimited plans are reprioritised after 22 GBs of data, not 3 or 5.  

If you are experiencing a slow down before 22 GBs then every other customer is also.

 

This would be why the FCC and FTC ignored your complaint, it's baseless.

If you are having trouble with service, getting a signal, then switch to a carrier that covers your area.  

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 20 of 41
Teacher

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

I'm glad that you found a solution, Tankman.  The disciples won't hear any dissent.

 

As I stated, REPEATEDLY, you folks qouted the website.  I quoted the TERMS OF SERVICE in the CONTRACT.  Which one are they held to in court?

oaktownlady, it depends entirely upon your location.  I have a family member that resides in an area with HORRIBLE coverage by AT&T.  He returned his phone within a week and went back to his previous carrier.

Sadly, in this area AT&T rules the towers.

Message 21 of 41
Employee

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

The terms do not have to mention a specific arbitrary limit at which the network management goes into effect because that is subject to change at the carrier's discretion.

 

The AT&T Wireless Customer Agreement applies to everyone, on any plan, using the network.

 

 

  • AT&T may engage in any reasonable network management practice to enhance customer service, to reduce network congestion, to adapt to advances and changes in technology, and/or to respond to the availability of wireless bandwidth and spectrum;
  • AT&T may reduce your data throughput speeds at any time or place if your data usage exceeds an applicable, identified usage threshold during any billing cycle. AT&T will provide you with advance notice of the usage threshold applicable to your data plan

When it changed (during the price increase) that was when everyone was notified. In the last case, it was increased, not decreased.

 

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 22 of 41
ACE - Sage

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

@sdarca22


@sdarca22 wrote:

I'm glad that you found a solution, Tankman.  The disciples won't hear any dissent.

 

 

As I stated, REPEATEDLY, you folks qouted the website.  I quoted the TERMS OF SERVICE in the CONTRACT.  Which one are they held to in court?

For a short time, there was an error in one area of the information for the unlimited plan that had not been corrected.  In all the many other areas where the information indicated service would be slowed had been updated the previous fall.  It was brought to ATT attention and fixed.  

 

It doesn't change the fact the ATTs current policy is to reprioritise unlimited plans at 22 GBs. Not 3 or 5.  None of the unlimited users is being held to 3 or 5.  

 

 

It also also doesn't change the fact that the OP didn't understand the letter and email, which billsite provided and clearly states.   'Should you decide to cancel your wireless service because of the $5/mo. increase, we will waive the early termination fees (ETFs) for the lines impacted by the price increase, so long as you cancel within 60 days after the price increase first appears on your bill. '

 

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 23 of 41
Contributor

Re still owe money on iPhone 7

If you quit At&t , and still owe a balance on the phone, I think he send you a bill for the whole thing do you have the option to make do a payment plan or do you have to pay the whole bill out front.? I was told by the BBBas long as you're paying them $10 a month they can I put you through collections
Message 24 of 41
Teacher

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

I completely agree that ATT can not be worse in their handling loyal customers. I have been a customer with ATT for more than eight years.  My wife and I share a family plan for voice and text. I have an  unlimited data plan but my wife has a limited plan. Before I decided to cancel my service with ATT, I contacted the customer service to ask about the ETF for my wife's line. I was told there will be no ETF her line will be also affected in a negative way. So I cancelled the service. But ATT decided to lock my phone and told us we need to wait for the credit for ETF to take effect. We wait for one month until the final bill. It turned out ATT still charges ETF for my wife's line. Now ATT said my wife's line has a limited plan which is ineligible for the ETF waiver.  My whole experience with ATT can not be worse. I think ATT is a greedy company with no respect and appreciation for its customers at all. The loyalty does not mean anything to them. A good example is that while everyone else is reducing the price for their data plan, ATT just wants to charge more for its most loyal customers.       

Message 25 of 41
Teacher

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

Be careful about the wording "we will waive the early termination fees (ETFs) for the lines impacted by the price increase". My personal experience says those lines must be the lines with unlimited data plan. A line, even if it will be negatively affected by the price increase, is ineligible if it does not include a unlimited data plan. I personally got charged for ETF because of  this confusing sentence ATT is using. By the way, leave ATT as soon as you can. There is no reason to stay with ATT considering what others are offering right now. 

Message 26 of 41
ACE - Sage

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

@john0120   How is that not clear?  

Lines without unlimited data are not increased in price by $5

Lines without unlimited data therefore are not effected

Lines without unlimited data are then subject to an ETF if you cancel early.

There is also no waiver for Next installments, which are not a service contract.

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 27 of 41
Teacher

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

My example proves even lines without unlimited data could be affected.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Before cancellation: 

$50 for limited voice/text + $10 access fee for the second line

$35 for unlimited data

$30 for 3GB data

 

Total: $125.00 for Two lines

 

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% 

After cancellation of the line with unlimited data

$50 for voice/text

$35 for 3 GB data

 

Total: $85 for a SINGLE line with only 3 GB data

 

It is clear the remaining line no longer makes any sense because its price is far worse than what is available in any carrier. So, it is also affected in a very negative way. By the way, it is ATT who said there will be no ETF for this line when I first contacted ATT before my cancellation. Second, if what ATT means is the line with unlimited data plan only, why not said it loudly and clearly at the first place? The wording ATT chose to use can only cause confusion, which has been proved by the numerous conversations I have had with various ATT representatives. I will file a FTC complaint regarding this. I hope ATT can eventually understand this issue.    

Message 28 of 41
ACE - Sage

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

@john0120  Sorry Charlie.  But the LINE  and its related fee still remains at $10.  The cost for the entire bill increased by $5 on the unlimited lines only.  The cost for the plan stays the same.   It was your choice to cancel the unlimited plan line.  

 You're being given a pass on the rest of your contract on the unlimited line only.  Trying to find a loop hole for non contract lines or lines not on unlimited data isn't going to happen. 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 29 of 41
Teacher

Re: Grandfathered unlimited data plan bait and switch

The number I put in my post is not something I made up. It is exactly what I saw from my account after I first canceled the line with unlimited data plan only. Nobody here is trying to exploit a loophole. It is ATT who causes such confusion.  The whole thing is not all about the money we are trying to save. It is more about the basic respect we all deserve. 

Message 30 of 41
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