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  • AT&T Limiting New Customers to Unlimited Texting Plans or Pay Per Text


    If you don't want an unlimited text message plan and are planning to join the AT&T family, you had better get used to coughing up $0.20 per text (or more for pics and video texts). As of this Sunday, August 21st, new AT&T customers will only have two options for their texting plans: unlimited (starting at $20 per month) or pay per text.

    An AT&T representative confirmed the change this morning, telling me that the new lay of the land shouldn't shake up too many folks, particularly since the resounding majority of new customers opt for the unlimited plans regardless.

    Still, the vast sea of critics who believe mobile carriers like AT&T should offer more choices rather than dictate limited options are not pleased by the news.

    In case you're not keeping track, so far for 2011, this marks the second time AT&T has scaled back on its menu of text messaging plans. In January, you may recall AT&T bringing an end to the 200 messages for $5 per month plan. Also dumped was the 1500 messages for $15 per month plan. Existing customers, however, were allowed to maintain their plans.

    According to AT&T, the change in text plan offerings simply represents another "streamlining" effort in its text messaging plans.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Limiting New Customers to Unlimited Texting Plans or Pay Per Text started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 35 Comments
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Figures.

      This isn't a "streamlining" effort, it's an effort to maximize revenue by minimizing choices for customers. It doesn't cost AT&T anything extra to offer a 200/500/1000 messaging plan, they simply just won't do it in the interest of maximizing revenue.
    1. zubcut's Avatar
      zubcut -
      It's so kind of AT&T to "streamline" their messaging plans for me. My little pea brain was having a hard time wrapping itself around all those complicated messaging options from before.
    1. fbiryujin's Avatar
      fbiryujin -
      I'm surprised they didn't do away with unlimited texting like they did with unlimited data. Perhaps because the price markup is already ridiculous on texting that this is ok with the corporate big wigs.

      /negativity
    1. boxxa's Avatar
      boxxa -
      If ATT wanted to streamline, they should offer unlimited everything and not nickle and dime their customers with minutes, data, and then texts.
    1. fbiryujin's Avatar
      fbiryujin -
      Quote Originally Posted by boxxa View Post
      If ATT wanted to streamline, they should offer unlimited everything and not nickle and dime their customers with minutes, data, and then texts.
      ^^^^^^
      Yeah that.
    1. danielbonnells's Avatar
      danielbonnells -
      Seriously AT&T? This should only be a warning to all of us that the ATT & T-mobile merger should NOT occur. Competition is ESSENTIAL and there is barely any at this time. Even though I have the unlimited texting plan, I know there are people who only need a minimum. Choice is important.
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      I'm on the $5, 200 texts plan and never go over 150. My wife is on the $10, 1000 texts plan and has yet to go over 500.

      I know we'll be grandfathered in for now, but if they ever take this from us in the future we'll be jumping ship to a company that will give more options...especially now that AT&T doesn't have a monopoly on the iPhone.
    1. fbiryujin's Avatar
      fbiryujin -
      Quote Originally Posted by AUZambo View Post
      I'm on the $5, 200 texts plan and never go over 150. My wife is on the $10, 1000 texts plan and has yet to go over 500.

      I know we'll be grandfathered in for now, but if they ever take this from us in the future we'll be jumping ship to a company that will give more options...especially now that AT&T doesn't have a monopoly on the iPhone.
      If history repeats itself (as it often does) Verizon will also do this, just as they have adopted the same "no unlimited data" policy.
    1. Bluemoldycheeze88's Avatar
      Bluemoldycheeze88 -
      I pay $30 for Unlimited Family Texting which covers 3 Lines. I just hope they don't raise that plan.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      on the bright side, compared to the rest of american carriers $20 for unlimited texts isn't too bad
    1. manickbarry's Avatar
      manickbarry -
      Then they will say unlimited text are only valid to other iPhones
    1. PatrickGSR94's Avatar
      PatrickGSR94 -
      Quote Originally Posted by AUZambo View Post
      I'm on the $5, 200 texts plan and never go over 150. My wife is on the $10, 1000 texts plan and has yet to go over 500.

      I know we'll be grandfathered in for now, but if they ever take this from us in the future we'll be jumping ship to a company that will give more options...especially now that AT&T doesn't have a monopoly on the iPhone.
      I'm with you on this one. We're both on the $5 200 plan and never go over because we use 3rd party messaging apps to text each other (can't wait for iOS 5's built in messaging!). So that's $10/mo on our bill for texts. At the new pay per text plan, 200 would cost 40 BUCKS!!! And there's absolutely no way we could afford $40/mo for both of us to be on the unlimited plan.

      I swear they better not ever take away our $5 plan we currently have because we simply do not use and do not need more than a few hundred (total) per month.
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Mobile plans are so confusing in the U.S
    1. one_crazy_dude's Avatar
      one_crazy_dude -
      Don't go to crazy with you unlimited text plan because thy will accuse you of texting from another device and then throttle your text's if you go over there soft cap they don't tell you about.
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      Quote Originally Posted by fbiryujin View Post
      If history repeats itself (as it often does) Verizon will also do this, just as they have adopted the same "no unlimited data" policy.
      I know...that's my fear.
    1. burnsrbeef's Avatar
      burnsrbeef -
      I wish AT&T would let me scale back the $49 in minutes I barely use in exchange for keeping my unlimited data and text forever....
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      You know I am usually able to see the logic behind decisions like this. This certainly is the exception. It seems to me ATT is going to do more to hurt their profits with this. Those that were on a small text plan will likely drop the plan alltogether and use various other messaging services instead. I have the unlimited plan, because I text a ton, but if I didn't I don't see myself justifying doubling or quadrupling what I currently pay for texts.

      I think what is happening is that minutes are a dime a dozen. Nobody used their phones for actual voice communication anymore. People are IMing and texting all the time. Still, I don't see this as a smart move at all.
    1. Extremador's Avatar
      Extremador -
      That's where Textfree comes in. All these companies offering free texting services are going to be getting a lot more money probably. I've been texting for 2 months using Textfree, and it's basically the same as using regular texting.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Extremador View Post
      That's where Textfree comes in. All these companies offering free texting services are going to be getting a lot more money probably. I've been texting for 2 months using Textfree, and it's basically the same as using regular texting.
      The downside of these free texting companies is that you don't get texts to your actual number (that I have seen anyway). For those that use texts for social reasons, this is acceptable. For those who need it to stay in touch with coworkers, etc. this isn't the most convenient way to do things. I have a home number, and a mobile number. last thing people need is a texting number. Most people would likely just look at mobile number and shoot a text there anyway.
    1. CobraSVT's Avatar
      CobraSVT -
      Another way for AT&T to screw customers, texting isn't even done over the data network, it doesn't cost them anything extra.