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When is an Unlimited AT&T Aircard not Unlimited?? We may never know.

Fulltime living in an RV is all about limits most of the time.  Unless you are parked at Big Time  Nirvana RV Park, there are limitations.  Either the water is limited and you have to worry if there is enough water to get the soap off when you take a shower or the waste tanks are filling and you don’t have a septic outlet — will the next visit to the WC see the black tank at the max?  Or there is no electricity and you are watching that Tri-Metric and bitchin’ at your blondie better half about using that extra amp from the battery banks.

I used to think the only thing I could fatcat on was my Unlimited Aircard account with AT&T.    Then, while I was enjoying myself to no end on the recent West Texas Odyssey – To Terlingua and Back Again – AT&T had to step in and mess up my party. The jist of the whole thing is that AT&T can modify my service agreement whenever they want — just because.  Well, the just because is the iPhone.   Every internet nerd/cell phone techie / yuppie poser / metro dwelling citizen has got them some of that iPhone.  My better half included.   To tell you the truth I like it.  Miss Kathy can tell me where the cheapest gas is, the closest Wal-mart is or Google/GPS an address at will.   I would never own one on a bet.  There are limits to being a slave to the technology.

So here is what happened on the QT.   The iPhone came out.  AT&T got exclusive rights to it (for awhile).  The techno/nerdite masses embraced the iPhone in unprecedented and unexpected numbers.  The bandwidth demands overwhelmed/inundated/maxxed out the already marginal AT&T network. AT&T formed an Excessive Usage Department (for real, I have spoken to them in person) and these jackbooted robotrons started pouring over usage records.  After all, that is what they are paid for.  And sometime in September 2011, one of the robotrons happened across a set of records for a guy in an old worn out and near-antique RV out in the wilds of Texas who was sucking up copious amounts of iPhone preferred bandwidth.  The bastard!  Disregard the fact that this nefarious bandwidth hog had been a loyal AT&T customer since 2005.   Disregard the fact that his account said Unlimited .  Sometimes Unlimited is Limited.  It just depends on how much you pay your lawyers.

Well, just today I get a comment on my original post.

I have received the same letter, I am also a “grandfathered” air card user, and my average is usually ~7-8 Gig per month (high usage was 10). I live in a rural area, and these cards were pushed heavily because there is NO broadband solutions in my area (not even a clear view of the ol’ southern sky). I have invested a substantial amount in my home network, I have a router and amplifier and a 35′ antenna at my residence to get that precious signal and AT&T could not give a flying pig over my situation. I will either pay for the extra data or I will live in a arbitrary data limbo until the next pay period starts.
It is interesting that your letter also said August was when the letter was sent, but I receive my bill electronically, so I never received any such letter until today, via e-mail…

It compelled me to update the previous post because it coincided with my bill being finalized for the past 30 days. The letter/email warnings I received from AT&T said I would be data locked if I exceeded the limits of 5gb. When that happened, I would be afforded the opportunity to adjust my current data usage plan. Meaning, of course, my Unlimited Plan was history. So I exceeded the 5gb limit and sure enough, I got data locked. I did the 611 on my cell and was connected to a nice young lady. My plan of the day was the ‘dumb as a rock scenario.’

me: ” My account is locked and I have an Unlimited Data Account.”

nice young lady: “I apologize sir. Let me check your records. (short pause) I am so sorry. I am re-activating your account as we speak. I am so sorry for the inconvenience.”

Me: (sitting in my hands, going Hell yeah!) ” Thank you ma’am”

I had to wait for the billing to come out to make sure it was not an underhanded ploy to subvert my account. Sure enough, no extra billing. So Unlimited is still Unlimited–albeit with some extra input from me. How long will the ‘honeymoon’ last? Who the ‘F’ knows?

End Note: New Travels By Scott Miller from the Acoustic Latte Cd.  Scott Miller is a genuine person,  a talented artist and little noticed in the overall schemo of every day crap.  Do yourself a favor and step up to some Scott Miller.

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