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AT&T has a gift for wireless subscribers on many of its old Mobile Share Value data plans: it gives them an additional 15 GB of "bonus" data – and makes them pay an extra $ 10 per month for that "bonus".

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Her almost as if the company are forcing people to go to a more expensive plan, only AT&T has come up with a way not to technically true. Instead, it is formulated to suggest that the company offers you a surprise benefit that costs you money! It is quite literally an offer that you cannot refuse.

One e-mail subject line provided to The edge by a tipster: "We have added 15 GB of data to your subscription and increased your monthly rate by $ 10."


"Feels like a complete cash grab," writes our informer, who claims that he never reaches his data cover.

But it's the wording on the company's support document explaining the change that really gets my goat (bragging mine):

Enjoy more data. From your October 2019 invoice, you will receive 15 GB of extra data for your Mobile Share subscription. This bonus information comes with a price increase of $ 10.

AT&T attached to The edge that there is no way to unsubscribe from this "bonus". This is the statement of the company:

“We communicate with some customers about changes to their mobile plans. Customers have the choice to change their plan at any time and can always contact us with questions or to understand their options. "

This probably won't surprise AT&T customers with one iota – this is the company that was just before And last but not least took a $ 60 million fine for limiting what are known as & # 39; unlimited & # 39; plans were in 2011, and the company now has an additional $ 800 million in & # 39; handling fees & # 39; after more than doubling that inexplicable allowance last June. This is the company so you now pay property taxes on your business internet bill, while repeatedly raising the rates of his few remaining grandfather unlimited mobile plans.

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In fact, AT&T already drew such a move in March with another group of Mobile Share Value data plans – only that time some customers only had to pay $ 5 extra to double the data on their subscription, while others received 30 GB of extra data for $ 10 more.

It is quite possible that many of these Mobile Share Value customers would be better off with one of AT & T & # 39; s new unlimited plans, which are not unlimited at all for a whole range of reasons, but power costs quite a bit less than the Mobile Share Value plans, which are also not unlimited. That is probably what AT&T is hoping for.

But we would probably all be better off if the wireless industry got the word & # 39; unlimited & # 39; not unrecognizable, if it had more and no less competition and if net neutrality was discussed on common sense instead of washing machines making phone calls.