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AT&T Wireless Chooses to Ignore the Original Terms of their Unlimited Data Connect Plans....

When we were on the Terlingua and Back Again trip in September of this year, I started getting emails from AT&T Wireless that the terms of my Unlimited Data Connect Plan had changed.  The email assured me that my  Data Connect Plan would be data locked at 5gb to ‘prevent’ me from running up additional charges on my plans.  Sure enough  -they did just that the end of September.  I called and the nice young lady apologized profusely for the problem and promptly removed the data lock.  Everything was good until the end of October and I again got the ominous email and my aircard was data locked as soon as I went over 5gb usage.  Oh well I thought.  A simple phone call would get it straightened out.  Well it took more than a simple phone call that time around.

I called 3 different times and every time it was the same.  AT&T Wireless no longer offered the Unlimited Data Connect Plan.  Even though I had been assured that my plan would be ‘grandfathered’ as long as I kept the plan, big corporations have a way of going back on their word.  You see, in the fine print, it says AT&T can change the terms and conditions of the contract as they see fit.  In my case (and many others apparently), They decided to just cancel the plan.  The data lock forces me to call them at which point I am given two choices.

AT&T  gives me the choice of opting out of my Unlimited Data Connect Plan and choosing their other plan which is a standard 5gb plan.
I can cancel my service with no penalty.

There is a third option which is arbitration.  I see little future in arbitrating a contract which was vetted by high dollar corporate lawyers to be bulletproof in favor of AT&T.

The end of October, I just kept calling until I got an AT&T service rep who didn’t  read the notes on my account past the first screen and she removed my data lock.

So the end of November is coming up and sure enough on Thanksgiving Eve I get the ‘data lock message’ once again.    I called 7x over the course of Wednesday evening and Thursday morning and got the same rote answer.  Evidently, my account had sufficient messages and red flags on it now that no one could miss the fact that the data lock was NOT to be removed.

At some point during all the phone calls, I spoke to a young lady with a soft spoken southern drawl.  She seemed genuinely sympathetic when I asked how could they just arbitrarily cancel a contract that had been in effect since 2005.  I was not ranting or raving; she was just doing her rather unsatisfying job at that point.  Everybody needs a job.

I asked her:
‘Does it not say Unlimited Data Connect Plan on my account?’
‘It  does.’  she replied.
‘Does it not say N/A (not applicable) under allowed usage  -meaning I have no data limit?’
‘It does.’
‘So, let me get this straight.  I have been a loyal AT&T Wireless customer for almost 7 years.  AT&T decided they were losing money on this plan and being a huge corporation whose main motivation is greed and not business integrity, they decided to do away with this plan.  But to prevent costly lawsuits and lenghty arbitration, they came up with this ‘data lock’ scheme which forces me to opt out or cancel the plan  “voluntarily”.  That is very, very shrewd.  Do you think it is good business?’
‘No Sir’
‘Why not?’
‘Because it is not fair, they are treating you badly.’
‘Young lady, if they are recording this, your job could be on the line with statements like that.’
‘Yes Sir.’
‘One thing you will learn as you get older is that life is tough and it is not fair.’
‘Yes Sir.  I am finding that out.’  — I could almost hear the tears welling up.
‘Are you cooking turkey tomorrow (Thursday)?’
A short pause– ‘I am fixing deviled eggs and going to my inlaw’s house.’
‘Do you make good deviled eggs?’
‘I don’t know. This is my first time.’   Thoughts of my daughter and of young exuberance crushed by harsh realities of a tough world washed over me.
‘I bet your deviled eggs will be everyone’s favorite tomorrow.   You have a good time with your relatives.’
‘Yes Sir. Thank you.’

My decision was not to choose any of the options offered by AT&T Wireless at this point.  I am without internet access via my aircard.  It is data locked until December 19th when the new billing period starts.  I see little hope of getting the data lock removed prior to that.   Even though it may not seem like it from this post,  I am absolutely seething with anger and the abject unfairness of the entire predicament.  Little good that will do.

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3 comments to AT&T Wireless Chooses to Ignore the Original Terms of their Unlimited Data Connect Plans….

  • DJ

    Have you checked with Millenicon.com? They have a 10gig plan for the same price as the phone companies 5gig. At least for Verizon; perhaps they do the same for AT&T?Still not unlimited but perhaps it is enough.

    Enjoy reading your real life blog.

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  • bob plaskon

    Andy, Take a look at http://www.millenicom.com and let me know what you think. They have an unlimited plan that I think might work for you. I came across this on another rv related blog recently and the person was very happy with it. Goog luck, Bob

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  • Marlene

    Maybe we all AT&T customers should start a petition and form a class action law suit. It is not right what they are doing. When I got the unlimited aircard, it did not mention anything about expiration. All of a sudden, AT&T just decided to get rid of unlimited access for their advantage.

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