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Dear AT&T Customers: How You are Being Screwed Over Texting Plans

Updated on May 30, 2012

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Effective August 21st, 2011 AT&T Mobility has removed all texting plans accept for Unlimited Text Messaging and pay-per-use. At $0.20 per text (SMS) and $0.30 per picture message (MMS) that equals an extremely high cost if you send only a hundred or so messages a month. But this move by AT&T doesn't seem so evil until you realize the mechanics behind the move.

The Mechanics

Sending texts is something that a lot of us use and even enjoy, but what few of us realize is that this service cost almost nothing to the wireless carriers. The reason texts are limited to 160 characters is because each character is one byte. Just to give you an idea of what this means, it takes about that much data for the phone to check to make sure it is getting a signal. This is such a small amount of data it is almost unthinkably small. Just to give you scale one megabyte (MB) is 1,048,576 bytes. AT&T has recently changed their data plans so that they have a specific limit. The plans are $2 per MB for pay-per-use (only availible for non-smart phones), $15 for 200 MB, $25 for 2 GB or $45 for 4 GB. To break down this further, the most expensive the amount of data allowed for 1 cent was 10,485.76 bytes (1,048,576x2/200=10,485.76). That single cent would mean that you could sent 65..536 texts. Assuming that AT&T was selling that service at cost (which the company is not) that means that the cost for a single text is over inflated by over 1,300 times. Now, I am in favor of for profit business, but I am not in favor of gouging customers the way AT&T has made it a habit of doing. Don't get me wrong, I am no Verizon fan and I feel that all of the mobile phone industry is just a little inflated in pricing. That being said, I think that ALL AT&T customer should let the company know what an outrage this is! Don't call customer service as this will do nothing accept make some hard working people's live more miserable. Rather email or mail a letter to:
AT&T Corporate Office Headquarters
208 South Akard Street
Dallas, TX 75202 .

As a former AT&T customer and a person who has family who are currently stuck in contracts with AT&T, I am outraged at the way AT&T keeps gouging customers at every chance they can get. If AT&T wishes to stay in business, I think it would be wise if the company leaders consider very seriously stop pushing their customers around like this.


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