Comments on: Some answers from AT&T on data pricing http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: BottyGuy http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15565 Mon, 07 Jun 2010 13:01:01 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4144#comment-15565 I definitely see the 200MB/mo plan as a marketing ploy to prey on mistakes, but that is the way cell phone service has always been run; going over in minutes, getting text messages without a text plan, etc.

I assume that the reason they give for this it to “better manage our data network”, even though they say the most users use less than 200MB/mo on average. They aren’t going to move the high bandwidth users to that plan. If the wanted to manage there network and help their customers they would allow MB sharing like they do minute sharing between phones on the same account. Then that 2GB rate looks pretty attractive for say a family of four.

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By: HBC http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15561 Sun, 06 Jun 2010 22:12:12 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4144#comment-15561 It’s a very bad service, coincidentally one with a stranglehold over large tracts of the communications market. While AT&T’s bottom line is skewed in its favor by immense public subsidy, nothing the cartel does is in the public interest – its every stratagem calibrated toward Empire.

http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm? fuseaction=ask_this.view&askthisid=00443

AT&T must be brought under control. Better yet, broken up once and for all.

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By: MarshalN http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15560 Sun, 06 Jun 2010 21:18:36 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4144#comment-15560 It’s bad service if the seller of said service is making it intentionally difficult to ascertain what is the correct level of service the buyer actually requires, and when wrong moves can result in excessive charges for identical service. The plan seems to be designed for no purpose other than to (sometimes) screw buyers over when they use 401MB of bandwidth. Otherwise, everyone should just be signed up for $25 when they go over 200MB a month and be done with it.

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By: Gaute http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15559 Sun, 06 Jun 2010 20:52:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4144#comment-15559 @spectre855: You have a valid point, but I never thought of marketing as a part of the service. I never expected a seller of services to help me lower his bottom line. And I still find it a bit hard to use “bad service” as a synonym for “evil marketing”, which it definitely seems to be. Maybe Felix actually is smart by using the “bad service” rhetoric, kind of calling the bluff of the seller in pretending to take care of the buyer?

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By: HBC http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15557 Sun, 06 Jun 2010 20:34:02 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4144#comment-15557 Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t look at 250MB or even 500MB as a lot of data in a month or even a bad day, but however low the break point may be, AT&T is already scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of strenuous overbilling and pathetically mealy-mouthed excuses.

http://www.ucan.org/blog/telecommunicati ons/wireless/att_needs_help_its_customer _service_legal_threats_and_new_data_plan s

Someday in the near future, Americans will look back and laugh about how AT&T persisted in trying to gouge customers over (what will by then be widely perceived as) relatively trivial chunks of data, and how arrogance and corporate greed led to AT&T’s ultimate demise. That’ll be something we can all celebrate.

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By: spectre855 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15556 Sun, 06 Jun 2010 17:31:15 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4144#comment-15556 @Gaute: You seem to be missing the point. I don’t think anyone is complaining about the price. After all, both new plans are still cheaper than the current $30 data plan.

The problem is the business model. These plans are clearly set up to profit on one thing and one thing alone: the customer making mistakes. There’s no other conclusion that can be made. There’s no other reason to charge a user $30 after using 201 MB of data and ABSOLUTELY no other reason to charge the user $45 at 401 MB when 2GB can be had for $25. Why would anybody choose these scenarios on purpose? NO ONE would unless they did it on accident.

It almost seems like AT&T would look LESS evil if they did not allow the user to change back and forth between plans so easily because as it is, they demonstrate that there is no cost to tracking complex plan scenarios. So it stands to reason that ex post pricing would cost them nothing as well.

To me, this is the hallmark of “evil” business. When your business model is to profit off of the customer making a mistake (hidden fees, major complexity, legalese, etc.) vs offering them a superior product, you are running an evil business.

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By: MarkWolfinger http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15555 Sun, 06 Jun 2010 16:27:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4144#comment-15555 Felix,

I appreciate your attempt to do something good. And I suppose there is that one in a billion chance of success.

But, in today.s world, business make money from ignorant customers. That is not going to change.

The banks earn huge profits from fees. Late payments, bounced checks, $35 fees for honoring a debit card that goes 10 cents over the limit etc. They claim these fees benefit the customer.

AT&T wants profits. They do not want happy customers. That’s the business style that works today.

Integrity? Honesty? Fair play? Pride in running a business or offering a service? That’s history.

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By: jon_bonanno http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15553 Sun, 06 Jun 2010 14:57:20 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4144#comment-15553 I have a question. How exactly is this top 1% of users sucking up so much data? (one commenter suggested that these users consume 1 terabyte/month.) I use my phone A LOT and I think I maxed out one month at 700 MB.

Is this jail-broken iPhones that have been tethered?

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By: Gaute http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15551 Sun, 06 Jun 2010 11:50:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4144#comment-15551 Felix’s message is “I want to pay less”, but the message is disguised in the rhetoric of “lack of service”.

I’m not sure if this is intentional or just lack of understanding. The price is what you pay, the service is what you get. You may argue that the service is low given a certain price, or that with a given level of service the price is too high. An argument that setting a high price is bad service is outside any logic.

And since this is a debate over USD5 pr month: We are very close to a subject where “rational ignorance” is the rational way for most of the readers of this blog.

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By: very-simple http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/06/06/some-answers-from-att-on-data-pricing/comment-page-1/#comment-15550 Sun, 06 Jun 2010 11:18:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=4144#comment-15550 glad I was right about #3. Not just because I like being right :) but because being able to switch plans retroactively mid-month combined with warning notifications is clearly preferable to the alternative of…not being able to do this.

I’m still with you that it should just be automatic, and the other stuff isn’t great, but this makes it somewhat easier to monitor at the very least.

My personal plan is (if I don’t just stick with the grandfathered unlimited plan I’ve got now) is to get the $15/month plan because I’m a pretty low data user (according to my records, I haven’t gone over 200MBs in the last year), but if I get an alert that I’m approaching my limit on anything other than the last day of my billing cycle, I’ll just retroactively switch for the month, and then immediately set up the following month for the lower plan again.

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