Sorry AT&T, But I Refuse To Give Up My Unlimited Data Plan
If I was being shipped to a desert island and could only bring three things, my AT&T unlimited data plan would probably be one of them.
All joking aside, I hold onto this thing like someone is out to steal it from me—and the truth is, that someone is AT&T. Like many mobile users who still have the coveted "unlimited data plan" I was "grandfathered in" when they did away with it back in 2010.
But since doing away with it, AT&T has literally tried everything under the sun to get me and the rest of the Unlimited Data OGs to give up the plan for one of their alternative options. Everything from upgrades, to plans that were all but required in order to purchase new phones, to waiving early termination fees—and now raising the price.
Yesterday, I got an email from AT&T letting me know about the "upcoming changes" to my unlimited data plan. Basically, they're going up $5 and once again they are low key suggesting that I pick another plan.
Full disclosure: Until this morning, I had no clue how much data I was using per month—and to be honest, I didn't really care to know. I assumed it was a lot, and whatever the number, I was covered by my UNLIMITED DATA PLAN.
Isn't that the reason for having it in the first place?
I've heard tech experts compare unlimited data plans to your hometown buffet.
It's like paying slightly more to have a buffet lunch instead of a slightly cheaper two-course meal. The unlimited data buffet is for those who generally have larger appetites and don't want to worry about running out of bytes.
Other studies show that the majority of people with unlimited data plans on their smartphones don't really need it.
Then—there is the throttling.
AT&T slows your speeds after you hit 22GB, while Sprint and T-Mobile throttle after 23GB. Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T told us that throttling occurs after an unlimited subscriber goes over that limit during a billing cycle and then only in areas where there's network congestion.
So why do we fight so hard to keep our unlimited data plans? Is it pride? Do we feel that the minute we get rid of it, insane amounts of data will be needed to survive in this world?
Well, I can personally say that after digging through my data usage, I'll definitely be holding on to my coveted unlimited data plan.
I use somewhere around 11GB of data on average with some months going higher than others. The best "deal" for me outside of my unlimited data plan is the current unlimited data plan that comes with a subscription to U-Verse or DirecTV—which I have no plans of purchasing.
Outside of that deal, the packages that make the most sense for my usages would be the 16GB or 25GB plan which is well over what I currently pay—so until AT&T raises the price beyond $150, I plan on holding on to my grandfathered unlimited data.
I honestly believe that with the direction we are heading in terms of streaming content (audio and video), communication, social media and app-based programs on our smartphones, these carriers will have to offer some type of flat rate on unlimited data within the next 3-5 years.
I could be wrong, but until we know for sure I plan on holding on to my precious unlimited data plan for dear life.
Do you still have one of the grandfathered unlimited data plans? Will you ever give it up? If so, what would it take? Did you give yours up by mistake in exchange for a new contract or promotion offered by AT&T? Are they really worth it?
Share your unlimited data plan stories in the comments below!