When he upgraded his AT&T phone to a Samsung Galaxy S II, Matthew was under the impression that he would get to keep his old unlimited data plan from his iPhone. That would be a good reason to upgrade to a newer, snappier phone. The problem is that it was not, strictly speaking, true.
T-Mobile has announced a new unlimited plan for cellphone customers. For $80 per month, subscribers can sign up for an Even More two-year contract that offers unlimited voice, text, and data for any smartphone in its stable. But there is one slight catch.
Starting January 30, Sprint is raising data rates by $10 a month for new phone activations. The rate increase will not apply to existing customer unless they upgrade or activate another smartphone.
If you’re on one of AT&T’s limited data plans, you’d better start carefully monitoring the data usage, because some customers are noticing unexplainable daily hits on their accounts. The support forums at Apple are filled with pages of theories and complaints from frustrated customers, but our tipster David got the following admission directly from an AT&T rep: “She told me that most, if not all, 3g-capable iPhones were being charged erroneously like I had been experiencing. She told me AT&T was unaware of why the data was being charged, and where it was coming from.”
Last week Chris told us about how Verizon victimized his dad by nailing him with a $500 data charge for 35 megabytes of usage. The charges were based on an outdated plan from the Stone Age, and today’s data rates wouldn’t have approached anything near that amount. Verizon wasn’t in the mood to respond to his case until we posted the story Friday. By the end of the weekend, the company issued Chris’s dad a $440 credit.
Simple Mobile, a reseller of T-Mobile cellphone service, offers a $60 “unlimited everything” plan that includes unlimited data. To no one’s surprise, there is a hard cap on the unlimited data according to Howard Forums and our tipster Eric. Naturally you can’t find that limit anywhere on their website, and if you exceed it you’re asked to pay $10 for an additional 100 MB of data.
Stacey says while she was on vacation with her family in Cancun for a week recently, she checked her Facebook page from her Evo phone “maybe 5 minutes a day,” but never uploaded or sent any photos, “only a handful of texts.” Sprint says she managed to burn through either 600 MB or 4.7 GB of data during that period, and now owes them $11,667.73. (Note: Stacey doesn’ t specify whether the 4,918,228 kb of data is in kilobits or kilobytes, so I don’t know which number is accurate.)
Jonathan is angry that Verizon requires a $10-a-month data package for his wife’s lower-end flip phone, which she has no intention of using to web surf.
One month ago, Verizon Wireless’s CFO hinted in an interview that the company might follow AT&T’s lead and replace unlimited data plans with tiered ones. Now Engadget is reporting that the switch might come on July 29th. Because this is just a rumor so far, there’s no word yet on whether Verizon will offer the same 200 MB / 2 GB split as AT&T or whether it will grandfather in existing unlimited customers.
BillShrink compared the new iPhone 4 to the Droid Incredible, the Evo 4G, and the Nexus One to see which one is the cheapest in total cost of ownership, and the results were somewhat surprising given the iPhone’s reputation as a money gobbler. If you opt for the cheapest data plan AT&T offers, the TCO for the iPhone 4 is the only one of the four devices that comes in under the $2,000 mark. But beware! That “cheapest data plan” conditional is a pretty tricky one.
When Verizon Wireless begins to introduce plans for its next generation data network later this year, don’t expect to see any all-you-can-eat unlimited offerings. In an interview with BusinessWeek, the company’s CFO said the company will likely have to change how it bills for data consumption as more data-hungry smartphones and apps enter the marketplace–and that means tiered data plans similar to the ones AT&T has introduced to help control data consumption.
Globe-trotting movie blogger Jeffrey Wells describes how he carefully negotiated his iPhone data plans as he hit the Cannes film festival, but was humbled by a $3,200 bill when all was said and done. The grizzled writer half expected the nonsense and calmly talked AT&T down from the ridiculous demand.
Say you’ve got one of the 1st gen iPhones that operates on the EDGE network, and you want to upgrade to that fancy new model that was just announced. Can your unlimited data plan be grandfathered even though it was never 3G? That’s what Consumerist reader and 1st gen iPhone owner thecrazypnut wanted to know, so he contacted AT&T for an answer.