By Ed Oswald | Friday, August 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm
Verizon was the first major carrier to do it in November of last year, and now AT&T will join the list of carriers requiring data plans for its customers with smart phones. Judging from the nearly 150 comments on the Verizon post, I’m going to take a educated guess you guys won’t like this deal either.
Like Verizon, AT&T will grandfather in old smartphone customers in who still choose to not carry a data plan. But after September 6, any new customer will be required to sign up for one, as well as old customers upgrading their phones.
The reasoning for this is pretty much total crap, and I take this from a copy of an internal memo sent to employees (courtesy Boy Genius Report): “We want our customers to have the best possible experience with their Smartphones … Data plans let customers fully utilize their device, without the worry of bill shock.”
Oh come on, are customers that stupid? If they’re not carrying a data plan, chances are these folks are very cognizant that anytime they use data, they’re gonna get smacked with pretty high a la carte data fees. Let’s just call this for what it is: a rate increase.
Now, I should say again what I said in November, even though it may sound like it contradicts what I just said. If you have a smartphone, you shouldn’t be skimping out anyway. The whole purpose of these devices is the Internet connectivity itself. It’s a waste of money to buy a device like the iPhone or LG Dare, etc. and then not get the data plan with it.
But then again, after reading all your comments over the past nine months, I can see why some would be a little peeved that they’re getting pushed into spending more on their cell phone plans than they may have wanted to.