Help me beat AT&T
December 15, 2010 6:32 AM   Subscribe

I currently have the iPhone 4 with the $20/month unlimited texting and the old-school "unlimited" data plan. I no longer want the unlimited texting, yet I don't want to lose the old "grandfathered" data plan? Can this be done?

During a period of heavy dating I switched to the unlimited data plan to avoid an $80 overage fee. Since then I've switched to the iPhone4 and kept the grand-fathered "unlimited"plan (i often use in excess of 2 gig a month). My texting has tapered off considerably and I now no longer want to pay $20 a month for unused texts.

I fear that any change to my contract will disqualify me from keeping my old data plan, as it seems AT&T is working their ass off to funnel their customers into their low-use plans. Is this true? What knowledge should I have on hand when I call them? Any insider info? Legal precedent?

posted by sourwookie to Technology (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
As far as I know texting is independent of data. I'm on unlimited data and went from no text plan to the $5 for 200 plan recently, and that didn't seem to rock the boat any. I even did it entirely through the website, so no special maneuvers from an AT&T employee.

That said cutting back may be different than adding, so I'd call and ask first rather than risk side effects from the automated system. And if the first person says it'll mean losing your data plan, say "okay I guess I won't do that then," and then call back and see if you have better luck with the next person. Sometimes it's a matter of finding a sympathetic person who knows how to work the system.
posted by jedicus at 6:45 AM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yeah, these are independent things. They wont mess with your unlimited data plan if you just change your texting plan. In fact, this can be achieved without ever talking to a rep just by using the My Wireless Mobile App on your iPhone. In the Features tab, it gives you the option of changing what services apply to your account. They are all listed and handled separately - voice, text, data, etc.
posted by jph at 6:52 AM on December 15, 2010

I've changed my texting plan via their website and kept my grandfathered unlimited plan, so I don't think it will be a problem. It was only a month or so ago.
posted by advicepig at 7:08 AM on December 15, 2010

Yep, the data plan is independent of the other two parts of your plan, voice and texting. As long as you don't give up the unlimited data, its yours to keep. Feel free to change the other two parts of the plan as desired.
posted by bluloo at 7:21 AM on December 15, 2010

Thanks. I have the mobile app but was afraid to push the shiny red button.

They seemed so keen into shoving people into lower-tier data plans I'm honestly surprised their TOS doesn't have a clause buried in it that a change of billing address, marital status, or hair color doesn't automatically trigger a downgrade.
posted by sourwookie at 7:25 AM on December 15, 2010

Be careful that a downgrade doesn't reset your one- or two-year contract timing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:27 AM on December 15, 2010

You won't have this problem downgrading, but be wary when upgrading with the MyWireless app. I added unlimited messaging near the end of the month, and instead of prorating the charge, it applied the full charge with two days left on my monthly billing cycle.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:42 AM on December 15, 2010

Just adding to the consensus - I went from no text plan to the $5 plan (via my iPhone 4 purchase) and was able to keep my unlimited data with no trouble.

This surprised me too since I assumed the same as you - that AT&T would insist on pushing people into the new data plans whenever possible, but it turned out not to be the case a few months ago. Still might not hurt to confirm with someone as policies may have changed though.
posted by owls at 8:54 AM on December 15, 2010

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