While many, many AT&T wireless customers with so-called unlimited plans are justifiably furious at the company for throttling data speeds after a subscriber uses 3GB in one month, the results of a new survey show that nearly half of people with unlimited plans aren’t even using 300MB each month.
According to the numbers from a study conducted by Validas for our kin at Consumer Reports, 48.6% of people with unlimited AT&T accounts are actually giving the Death Star free money every billing cycle because these customers could switch to a 300MB/month plan and save $10.
Of course, there are a lot of caveats with advising someone to switch. First, since current unlimited plans are grandfathered in, you’re likely to lose that status. So if you ever decide to become a data hog, you’ll have to select from one of AT&T’s tiered plans.
There is also the fact that as network speeds continue to improve and more data-heavy content becomes available, it’s likely that the average person will eventually begin using more data than they are now.
And if you’re one of the around 9% of customers whose data usage is just south of that 300MB/month line, switching can be a risky proposition, as you could get slammed with a $20 charge for going over your limit.
However, Consumer Reports says there is anecdotal evidence that customers have been able call AT&T, temporarily switch to the 3GB plan for one month, and only be out $10.
AT&T is supposed to blast out text warnings to customers as they approach their data limits, but this system has not yet been perfected so if you’re on a tiered data plan, be sure to occasionally check your usage just to make sure you don’t get stung by overage charges.