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AT&T Goes Nuts – Raises Messaging Plans, Fees, Pricing, and Drops Discounts

Screen shot 2011-01-20 at 12.17.14 AM It seems like January 2011 will be known as “Screw the Wireless Customer Month.” We have Sprint raising data fees for smartphones by $10/month and then Verizon decided to more or less kill their new phone every two years program. Now we have AT&T with the same news. AT&T simply decided to rip off the bandaid with a whole slew of bad news that take effect on Sunday January 23rd.

Here are the highlights:

  • The shmucks are killing off the $5/month 200 text messages plan in favor of a $10/month 1000 messages plan. Personally I am already on the $5 a month plan only because if I am not on the plan I pay $5 for the 20 morons who still send me messages. Seems like AT&T is getting greedy…
  • The $50 and $100 discounts on top of subsidized prices for upgrades is out though if you are currently eligible you can get in on it until July 23rd
  • In a bizarre move they are raising the 3G MicroCell price from $149.99 to $199.99. Are these guys crazy? Paying more to fix their own network?

It gets even better with AT&T raising fees like family plan line addon activations going to $36 from $10 and calls to Canada going from 29 cents to 39 cents. All around it seems like AT&T is aiming on squeezing out every penny they can from customers. You can catch a little more of the blood letting details at Engadget.

13 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Damn! Feeling your pain up here in Canada too.

    According to the chart linked, we pay the highest cellphone bills in the world. US isn’t much better at #3.

    Fortunately, our government has finally let some competitors in the market, after being monopolized by three big carriers for years. So there’s actually some choice for consumers.

    That being said, Rogers (or as we affectionately call it up here “Robbers”) just raised the txt message charge also from 15cents to 20cents, HATE that company.

    Looks like the same game in both countries.. one company raises prices, and others will follow with their own price hikes to “even” out their rates. Bunk.

  2. Oh wow! Have I mentioned that I dislike att? I should cancel my one line before they raise those prices, as well. Att is a joke. This is a sign of true desperation. That’s what I see.

    Now if only verizon can get the iphone5 with LTE fast enough. *sigh*.

  3. Man, and I was considering leaving Tmo for AT&T. Well I have 1 more yr on my contract w/Tmo to see what happens with them.

    • That’s new. Haha. All I heard was att to other telcos.. 😡

      Anyway what’s with this? Cost cutting measures?

  4. I guess we aren’t that bad in Canada then but still these guys are too greedy.

  5. I don’t have much of a problem with the texting. I’m on a family plan with 4 people so we just went with the $30 for unlimited.

    If you never text but have a cheap plan because of the occasion texts, you can ask AT&T to block your phone from receiving them. I done that with both texting and data, just go to a store and talk to one of the reps.

    The 3G microsoft will not personally affect me but maybe it will lead people to look for cheaper solutions online. Don’t know, can you buy them on ebay or is it exclusive AT&T?

    And as for the raise in activation fees, I imagine it will be a turnoff for new customers but we’ll see. Wonder if it will apply to renewals? Will my siblings and I be paying an additional $100+ next time our contract expire and we renew or is that not considered an “activation”?

  6. someone needs to get their facts straight before they start “reporting”. Family line plan add-ons are not going from $10 to $36. The add-on price is still $10. The activation fee is goinf from $26 to $36.
    Also, if you still have $5 messaging you dont have to change it, but its not being offered anymore for new customers. The old plan gave you 40 messages per dollar, now you get 100 messages per dollar. Im not a math teacher, but I think the new plan is a better deal.

    • Good point on clarifying about the activations instead of the monthly fee.
      About the price of text messages going down in bulk that was always the case. There were always higher plans but many people do not need more than 200 text messages. Both my wife and I only really need about 50 but we are forced to pay for 200 because of the stupid per message fee. Now AT&T wants to raise that to $10 to screw their new customers.
      Think of it this way. Say your cable company just doubled the price of your minimum cable fee from $50 to $100 you would still feel shafted if you did not have a choice even if they offered more channels for $100.

      • All the carriers are screwing the customers. At&t isnt screwing anybody any more that Verizon, Sprint & Tmobile….they all find a way to screw us. Whether is by price, service or product.

  7. I thought AT&T rates are very high as it were!
    I only moved to them from T-Mobile in order to get the original Bold. Have regretted it ever since.
    I use Google Voice for sending text messages. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a way to avoid charges for incoming texts.

  8. I have a legacy blackberry plan with t-mobile that is dirt cheap compared to today’s rates. No provider is perfect but I have always had good to great customer service with t-mobile and would rather save up to buy a phone outright than ever switch. I don’t understand why people stay and struggle with at&t and the others.

  9. I just went and added the $5 / 200 msg plan while it’s still there. The one good thing about it is that they let you set the activation date to an earlier date in the current billing cycle if you want to. It worked very well for me, since I already had 20 messages which equates $4.
    So, now I could try and feel better by applying the strange logic of some people and pretend that I’m getting an incredible deal. 180 messages for a dollar! Try beating this deal, suckers!
    Unfortunately, I’m one of many people who find even 200 texts per month a bit excessive.
    Therefore, I think Ronen has a very good point in his rant.
    All this is a classic case of forcing people into paying for something they’ll never use, and at the same time proclaiming how good of a deal you’re getting.

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