Cell Phone

AT&T Deceptive With Data Plan Promotion


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Good customer service, integrity and transparency in dealing with customers are important to me. If a company treats me right, they get my loyalty and my continued business. AT&T has been our mobile phone carrier for a little over two years now and I’ve been generally happy with the experience. Unfortunately, something this weekend made me question whether AT&T deserve my loyalty.

Late last year, we had consumed nearly our entire mobile phone data plan with almost two weeks left in the billing period. Instead of paying $15 per extra GB of data, I called AT&T to utilize my trick of bumping up to the 15GB data plan just for that month. The customer service representative told me about a promotion they were running in which I could permanently double my data plan to 30GB per month and pay only the 15GB data plan. It sounded good, but I wasn’t sure if it would be a wise use of an extra $30 a month since the 10GB plan usually worked find for us. The representative said that the promotion only ran through the end of the month, thus putting a little extra sales pressure on my decision. Reasoning with myself, I figured that as more and more content becomes HD it only makes sense that our data usage would go up in the future. I pulled the trigger and signed up.

Fast forward to this weekend.

I was reviewing some information online about my account, when I happened to notice that they were still advertising the promotional 30GB data plan for the 15GB data plan price. Since it had been weeks since upgrading my plan, I started an online chat with a representative.

What she told me had me shaking my head.

While they continue to call it the pricing a promotion, and have the words a limited time only splashed across the advertisement, she admitted that this is the current price structure. She went on to say that while it is a limited time only promotion, the ending date of the promotion was open ended.

Thinking back to my original conversation with the AT&T representative, I can’t help but feel like he just flat out lied to me. The promotion did NOT end at the end of the month. Furthermore, I feel the online documentation is misleading. The words a limited time only lead customers to believe that they need to act quickly, or they will lose an opportunity. The fact of the matter is, the current prices will remain in place until AT&T decides to change them. That could be tomorrow, next week, or even next year. When they do decide to change it, they have no idea what it will change to (or at least will not divulge that information).

This stinks of deceptive business practices for the purposes of forcing customers to move to a larger, more expensive data plan. This kind of customer care does not lend itself to gaining my trust, loyalty, or continued business.

AT&T, I’m watching you. I’ve got one eye on you, and the other looking for a better deal elsewhere.

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • I found this to be very true when dealing with them in the recent past. They seem to be willing to say whatever it takes in the call but I’ll often find that the promised adjustment or plan change etc would not be applied as promised and they’d waste my time in 2-3 follow up calls to complete the action.

    Good luck, there ARE better deals out there for less trouble.

  • Hate to point this out but after AT&T’s 30Gb for 15Gb “limited time” promo, you could have gotten what you originally called for (15Gb) for the same price you were paying for 10Gb. Shortly after the 30Gb offer was introduced, AT&T offered all customers 15Gb for the price of 10Gb. I considered and ultimately decided not to go for the 30Gb plan for the same reasons you mentioned, but I was able to get an extra 5Gb per month at no charge the following month due to the new promotion. Its hard not to feel bait and switch with some of the recent promotions from them.

  • @Revanche – It’s sad how often things like that happen. You make a change to save money, the company screws up your next bill, and it takes an extraordinary amount of fix it. My cable company is notorious for doing this!

  • What a whiner. They DID have a limited time promo, and they simply extended it. Then they cut it off, about two days before I was going to sign up, I believe in early February.

    Here we are in August, 2015 and you should feel lucky that you got in during that promo window. Why do you care that they extended the deal for several weeks past what they originally planned on? Anything to do with that German word schadenfreude?

  • @Peter – the point is, I don’t like being pressured into buying something. The phrases “limited time only” and the explicit words by the sales representative saying the promo was about to end forced me into a quick decision. Would I have made a different decision had I had more time? Probably not…..but the point is people tend to say “Yes” when they feel like they need to make a decision NOW or risk missing out. That’s the definition of a questionable business practice if you ask me. Also, just a friendly reminder, we like to keep it friendly here at the Dude. If you’d like to have a discussion regarding the post, great – that’s what the comment section is for. Name calling, however, is not tolerated.

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