Hello MaxPC Editors and Fellow Enthusiast,
Long time reader, first time writer. After reading George's editorial/comments regarding "Unlimited Data Plans" with AT&T in your August edition and his experience plus other readers going back to June, I felt obligated to provide the latest information to your readers as it relates to this issue.
While I can appreciate AT&T public relation's department reaching out to the "Editor in Chief" of MaximumPC to get his unlimited data plan reinstated, it is not the information that is being relaid to the general public from AT&T's Customer Relations/Retention Department unless you are informed, off contract, and tell them you are considering leaving to another carrier (as of July 1st 2011).
My experience: (now stay with me here as I provide a little background) I am out of contract on my 2+ year old IPhone 3G as of 2 months ago. I have had the unlimited data plan for the last 2 years. Long story short, I moved from a rural area N. of Seattle closer in. When I moved to my new location (which is 200 feet from the I-90 highway that reaches from the West Coast to the East Coast where you would assume there are plenty of towers), I lost all 3G coverage and fluctuate between one and two bars on their EDGE network. I got the run around for the last 5 days about towers being down and such and now they are fixed as of yesterday according to AT&T, my IPhone phone service hasn't changed. Since I don't use a land line and use my cell phone exclusively for business/personal use, this is a big problem!
So yesterday (07/01/11) I called AT&T again and after 2 hours was finally escalated up to their Customer Relations/Retention Department. I wanted a new dual core Andriod phone with the exact "UNLIMITED DATA PLAN" that I have had for the last two years on my 3G. I was told by a representative (which I will not name) in the department that I would have to upgrade with a new 2 year contract and get another IPhone (3GS or 4) if I wanted to keep my "unlimited data plan". Here is the important part for everyone!
I said, "I am sorry, but based on my research I am "grandfathered in" to the unlimited data plan if I stay with AT&T as my carrier regardless of what phone I want, are you sure you want to stand by your last statement?"
. Silence...."hold one for one second and let me check"
, 5 min. later, "I am sorry, I stand corrected, you can have the unlimited data plan on your new Andriod phone. We are not suppose to mention it or promote it."
Long and short of it, I got a new Android phone coming express, free shipping, and for $25. So I will try it out for their 30 day "remorse period" and see if it can pull down a decent signal or switch to another carrier.
What really got me interested and caught AT&T attention was that the day before, I had the great tech folks from Comcast
over and he had two phone's on him. One with Verizon service and one with TMobile. Both had their bars maxed out at four to five each while I stood next to him with my 3G with 1 bar on EDGE...too funny although the AT&T folks didn't think so. I hope this helps someone because it is a real time experience from a regular AT&T customer. Stay tuned, see if this new Andriod phone will work, TBD.