We regularly post discoveries from what we call the Raiders of the Lost Walmart, usually obsolete technology that is still on the shelf at comically high prices. It’s fun to laugh at the ancient digital cameras, defunct multiplayer games, and indestructible classic phones on the shelf, but the electronics clearance shelf can be a hazardous place for people who don’t read fine print. [More]
You may remember just over a week ago when we learned about Verizon’s plans to raise activation fees for new lines or new phones for old lines for a wider variety of their customers. Someone over at AT&T Wireless apparently thought that sounded like a good idea, since the carrier will also raise its upgrade fee to $20. Worse: Verizon won’t impose the fee if you purchase your own phone elsewhere, but AT&T will. [More]
Open enrollment for insurance is the very special time of year when at your job or on a health insurance exchange, you are able to add or drop insurance or change plans for any reason or for no reason. It also exists for other kinds of insurance, like insurance on your mobile phone. AT&T is running an open enrollment period now, if you want phone insurance but failed to sign up within 30 days of buying yours. [More]
Tethering is using your smartphone as a mobile wi-fi hotspot. It’s a handy way to get online when you’re, say, stuck at the dentist’s office and need to turn in some work. It’s also against the rules for customers with legacy unlimited-data plans from AT&T, for obvious reasons. One customer who has one of these plans is currently fighting with AT&T: they want him to stop tethering, and he says that he isn’t. [More]
Here’s some exciting news if you’re in the market for both a new smartphone and a fitness-tracking wristband: AT&T has a deal right now where you can pay $99 for a shiny new Nokia Lumia 830, and with that get a Fitbit Flex wristband, which costs $99 by itself. That sounds like a great deal: unless you’re part of the team that just launched Microsoft’s own fitness-tracking wristband. [More]
When you see AT&T advertising the hottest new phones as being available for “$0 down,” that’s if you opt for the early upgrade/installment payments plan called AT&T Next. While stock analysts (and, we’re guessing, AT&T itself) expected the program to be a huge hit, the prospect of getting a $15/month discount and paying full sticker price for a smartphone just isn’t tempting to the average consumer. [More]
Over the weekend, AT&T announced a promotion on its biggest and priciest family plans for data: during October, they will double the amount of data that users on most expensive plans, starting at the 15 GB tier, get with their monthly plan. “Oh, yeah?” said competitor Sprint. “We’ll DOUBLE their double data!” [More]
Reader L. needed help from AT&T. Local stores refused him a warranty repair on his Samsung Galaxy S4, saying that he had obviously dropped it and cracked the screen. He insists that he did not, and escalated, drafting a letter to a few top AT&T executives. Within a day, he had a response, a new phone, and an apology.
No-contract plans for mobile phone service have been a hit for MVNO carriers like Virgin Mobile, and T-Mobile has made all of their plans (technically) contract-free. Now AT&T has joined the cool kids club with their own contract-free offering, called Aio Wireless. Could it be the right carrier for you? [More]
Sure, an employee might flirt with customers here and there, and maybe ask one out on occasion. When someone isn’t interested, though, it’s time to drop the matter. And when they remind you more than once that they’re under age, it’s really time to drop it. Such subtleties were not obvious to a 33-year-old AT&T store worker who wouldn’t stop texting a 16-year-old who came in one day to get his iPhone fixed. [More]
David brought his own unlocked iPhone with him when he joined AT&T nine months ago. He doesn’t use mobile data, so he didn’t sign up for a plan. So he’s not paying AT&T for the privilege of simply owning a smartphone that they didn’t subsidize, and that simply won’t do. Even if he turns off mobile data entirely and restricts all of the “smart” features of his phone to wifi. How unfair. [More]
Natalie called up AT&T Wireless yesterday to ask about a few relatively small charges on her bill. The customer service representative offered her a refund of two $36 activation fees due to phone upgrades, explaining that it was because Natalie was quite possibly the only person who had called AT&T that day who hadn’t complained about activation fees. (We’re paraphrasing and exaggerating slightly.) Then the representative gave her another credit, ostensibly for being a loyal customer of twelve years. Natalie was stunned, and couldn’t think of a way to repay the CSR…until she found our site. [More]
April has always been pleased with AT&T’s customer service, but a recent experience delighted her so much that she just had to write to us and share the love. She upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S3 from an iPhone 4S, and was very pleased with the new device, finding it vastly superior to the iPhone. One thing that the Galaxy isn’t better at, though, was staying out of her toilet. Her phone went “splash,” and she didn’t have $600 lying around to replace it. So she wrote to a selection of AT&T executives and made her case. [More]
It’s a truly blessed event when a couple decides to truly commit to each other and… join their mobile phone plans together. Kelly and her husband made this true commitment after they were already married, intending to save some money. Instead, they got a series of seemingly random four-figure bills from AT&T. The carrier insisted that Kelly and Mr. Kelly needed to put down deposits…despite being AT&T customers in good standing of a decade or so. They remain confused. By “they” we mean “pretty much everyone involved in this mess.”
Aaron has a terrifying story of two mobile cell phone companies, 4G LTE networks, and a data-slorping renegade iPhone. He had an unlimited AT&T plan, but got throttled when he ran through five gigabytes in just three days. They couldn’t find the data leak. He switched to Sprint for true “unlimited” access. He didn’t run up any overages, largely because Sprint’s connections are too slow for him to do so.
Last week, we asked whether anyone out there in Consumerland had experienced their new iPhones downloading huge amounts of data when the phone wasn’t supposed to be using any data at all. Yes, having a mobile device that uses the faster LTE network means you can use more data faster, but that’s not supposed to happen while you’re connected to wifi. Or driving. Or asleep. [More]
Josh doesn’t think that he’s using any more data with his new iPhone 5 than with his previous iPhone 4. In fact, he should be using less, because he isn’t streaming music anymore. Only that’s not the case. His phone gobbled 5 GB of data in only 22 days. He has an unlimited plan, but getting through 5 GB means he would be throttled for the rest of the month. Just like Verizon’s customer service, AT&T tried to convince Josh that he was using more data because he was using it faster on the LTE network. While that might be the case for some less savvy customers, Josh is an experienced smartphone owner and knows how to manage data.
Jonathan and his roommate both ditched AT&T at the same time in favor of Verizon. They’ve experienced years of spotty coverage and dropped calls nearly everywhere they went, and wanted Verizon’s famed ubiquitous rock-solid coverage. They brought home their new iPhones and discovered that instead of vastly superior coverage, they had incredibly craptastic coverage and even more dropped calls. Verizon representatives told them that was weird… their area is supposed to have great coverage. When Jonathan tried to wrangle a free femtocell out of Verizon for their trouble, Verizon wouldn’t budge. His roommate fled back to the less terrible coverage of AT&T, but Jonathan hasn’t made that leap.