We've been covering the AT&T unlimited data plan throttling debacle from the beginning, including early reports, egregious 2G speed drops, and the recent 2GB "trigger" they seem to be using as the enforcement point. We've also been keeping closer track of things in our AT&T Forum. And after weeks and weeks of complaints, from loyal, longtime AT&T customers, we've yet to hear word one back from AT&T. There's no end in sight.
We've created a poll in the forums and asked you exactly how much data you've used in your previous billing cycle, regardless of your carrier of choice. The results to date are as follows.
- 36% used 1GB or less
- 25% used between 1GB-2GB
- 10% used 2GB-3GB
- 27% used 3GB plus
We're obviously an enthusiast community, and not the average user base, so the results aren't surprising. They do show what AT&T is dealing with, however, among a segment of their customers.
To address it, AT&T could try using a carrot as well as a stick. Offer grandfathered AT&T unlimited plan users some incentive to move to a new, tiered plan. Free tethering (within the data limit), or a small discount on the plan. Anything, as a sign they're willing to return the good faith of their customers.
Or they could just be honest and cancel the unlimited plans, and force everyone to move to a tiered plan, take the consequences and be done with it. They way it is now, since the first time that I was throttled at 2GB, I've felt like one of those settlers in the movies, with an evildoer cutting off food and water, and sending thugs to harass me, trying to slowly break my will and drive me out.
Great way to treat your customers, isn't it? Especially with Verizon offering better LTE deployment, which will be important come iPhone 5, and Sprint still offering unlimited data, which could be important to some customers now.
AT&T needs to get out in front of this. Hiding behind passive aggressive warnings and deliberately trying to ruin the experience of their customers is shameful. Let unlimited customers use the unlimited data they signed up for, offer us a fair incentive to move to a tiered plan, or just force the move already.
Right now, the situation is intolerable.