AT&T Celebrates The Fact Almost No One Actually Signs Up For Cheaper Plans

from the upsell dept

We recently talked about how claims from various telcos and cable providers that “metered plans” are designed to help lower income types “save money” with cheaper plans was a bunch of bunk. The plans were pretty clearly designed to attract a bare minimum of consumers, so that the companies can claim cheaper plans in their advertising, but make the cheap plans almost impossible to use unless you upgrade. So it should come as little surprise to see AT&T hyping up how few people actually sign up for its “cheap” mobile broadband plans. This isn’t a surprise, as we made exactly this point a few months back, when some in the press started misinterpreting some research and claims from Nielsen that the AT&T plans were “a good deal.” What’s funny, though, is how different the message is depending who these companies are talking to. When it’s the press or politicians, it’s all about “cheap plans for low level users.” But when it’s investors the story is about how it’s actually resulted in customers paying more on average and they plan to keep ratcheting that up.

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Companies: at&t

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Comments on “AT&T Celebrates The Fact Almost No One Actually Signs Up For Cheaper Plans”

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15 Comments
Chris in Utah (profile) says:

Qwest “basic” phone

And I still remember the rigamaroll of 5 years ago with “basic long distance” which covered just your area code.

I moved and I asked for it and Covers just about anything in my city limits.

Except I remember on my parents “basic” plan it covered all of my area code.

Had to pick up long distance to dial my local area code.

Gee and I thought technology made things cheaper.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

A lot of it is the consumer's fault

When Cable companies moved into the voice market, all of their calling plans were flat rate and included long distance, which was clearly better than what the Telcos were offering.

The telcos were in a screwed up position because even thought they had competitive VoIP products they couldn’t give up their circuit switched voice customers who were paying through the nose. So they did their best to tell everyone how bad VoIP service was.

Now that consumers feel comfortable with the new services and the telcos are offering that bad VoIP service, they just changed the name from VoIP to “Digital Voice”. Once the Cable companies got all that extra voice business bundled with their TV and broadband, they decided to take a lesson from the telcos and start charging for local long distance. And now the telcos are going into the TV market and Im sure the Cable companies will talk about how bad IPTV is.

And yet with all these new services and faster pipes, both the Telcos and the Cable companies AND Wireless companies want us to believe there is a serious bandwidth shortage and so they need to start metered plans.

If we sit back and accept this as consumers then its our own fault. If your communications provider in the US charges you for local and long distance calls, then SWITCH. If your broadband provider insists on metering, then SWITCH. Send them a message.

Anonymous Coward says:

You are stupid if you even do business with AT&T. They have horrible service. Slow speed, lousy customer service (takes hours to resolve any real problem) and high prices. Even their DSL sucks. We know from experience. As long as you don’t travel you can get service. But try to drive up the California Coast and talk on the phone! HAH! Even Verizon can do it but not AT&T. They say they cover 97% of the US! Maybe the population but not the area.

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