US MOBILE CARRIER AT&T has made itself even less popular with its mobile customers after a spectacular show of giving with one hand and taking away with another.
"Enjoy more data." burbles its support site. "Starting with your October 2019 bill, you'll get an additional 15GB of data on your Mobile Share plan. This bonus data comes with a $10 price increase."
Yes, 15GB for $10 (about £8 in post-Brexit Boris Bux) is a pretty sweet deal but that's not the point. AT&T is effectively putting customers on a higher price-plan, without consulting them, and apparently they're supposed to be happy about it.
The AT&T version of events is that the affected price plans have been withdrawn to new customers since 2013, and are now being withdrawn from every one, with customers moved on to the nearest equivalent plan, but simultaneously staying on the old one in name only.
Here's the thing. Tell them that. Don't try and make out that you're taking their money as some awesome favour when it is going to leave them out of pocket. It's a good way to make your customers' feel like they've been duped. Which depending on where on the fence you sit, they have.
It gets worse. There's no opt-out. If you're on one of the affected plans, this is happening. It's exactly the sort of thing that Ofcom tries to ensure UK carriers can't so.
Moreso, this is actually the second such incident this year when a different set of plans was grandfathered and AT&T pulled the same spin-con.
The hope is that disgruntled customers switch to one of the current AT&T plans - no-one is saying that's not an option - but no aspect of doing that will leave you better off - it seems everyone is going to be paying a bit more money, no matter what your plan is called afterwards.
Ofcom rules in the UK mean that carriers that raise prices mid-contract can only do so in line with inflation, which is normally no more than a couple of quid. If the hike is higher, customers can request an early release from their contract.
Meanwhile, AT&T can pretty much do what it likes - great for their shareholders' wallets. Not great for their already lousy reputation. µ
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