If it seems like this is the season when every ISP out there is messing with its data caps, well, that’s because it is. Up today: AT&T, with its second shift in data cap policy in the last six months.
Have you received a card from your favorite cousin Chris Thomas lately? All humans are cousins if you go back far enough, after all, and Chris is the public face of DirecTV convincing customers to open mail by disguising it as a greeting card, or some kind of personal mail that you’d actually want to open. [More]
A major annual consumer satisfaction survey is out, and it’s a mixed bag for the cable and telecom sector and all of us who use it. The bad: pay-TV, broadband, phone, and wireless companies still pretty much really suck, and most of us are very dissatisfied with them. The good: year over year, most of them are finally starting to suck less than they used to!
When you sign up for telecom services — some combination of TV, broadband, and/or phone — from your cable company, you’re told you’ll pay something like $49 or $99 a month… and yet the price you actually pay can be as much as 40% or more on top of that, thanks to a heap of sometimes confusing charges and fees. Which ones should you blame the government for, and which are made up by your cable company? One cable company at a time, we’ve been using real customers’ bills to break it down. In previous installations we’ve gone through Comcast, DirecTV, Charter, TWC, and FiOS; now, it’s AT&T’s turn.
For a bunch of the big cable and satellite companies, it does indeed look like a very merry Christmas and a happy new year are on the horizon — but consumers can be forgiven for feeling a lot more grinchy about it. That’s because all the new nickels, dimes, and dollars that are going to line businesses’ big virtual pockets are coming directly from subscribers in the form of unasked-for price hikes.
AT&T and DirecTV are still hoping their mega-merger is on track for approval. While they wait, the FCC has been asking them to clarify some of their earlier statements about why this deal is a good idea for the public. And buried in those new answers is the nugget that post-merger, AT&T plans to bring fiber networks to almost 12 million customers… kind of.
In a nice change for consumers, a content company and a distribution company managed to save everyone the rigamarole of a blackout and a finger-pointing yell-a-thon when they instead settled their differences and negotiated a new contract hours after the old one expired.
In a move that could theoretically bring something like the actual first glimmering hint of real broadband competition to a couple million more consumers nationwide, AT&T today announced major plans for expansion to their “GigaPower” Uverse service. The expansion could potentially bring the gigabit fiber broadband network to as many as 25 major metropolitan areas.
Here it is, the final no-holds-barred death match of the WCIA Sweet 16! To finish off this round, we’ve got two companies that — until very recently — shared a death grip on the U.S. iPhone market.
It can be very useful to be grandfathered into an old plan that isn’t available anymore. What one Reddit poster and his mother have discovered, though, is that it creates some problems. Like when someone dies, and AT&T insists that they can’t make any changes to your DSL and landline account unless you upgrade to UVerse.