AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has a gift for wireless subscribers on many of its old Mobile Share Value data plans, but it’s going to cost them. AT&T has been emailing customers to inform them that they are getting an additional 15GB of “bonus data” on their plans, which will come in conjunction with a $10 per month price hike. The change starts with the October 2019 billing cycle.
The communication about the change has been sparse. The email from AT&T simply says: “We’ve added 15GB of data to your plan and increased your monthly rate by $10.” A published support document says: “Enjoy more data. Starting with your October 2019 bill, you’ll get an additional 15GB of data on your Mobile Share plan. This bonus data comes with a $10 price increase.”
Critics say it’s almost like the company is forcing people to move to a more expensive plan. There appears to be no way to decline this “bonus data” and the associated upcharge. This means that some customers will be paying an additional $120 a year for data that they do not need. In a statement, AT&T explained that customers are always welcome to change their plan if they are unhappy with the changes.
For many, it is unsurprising that this change comes on the heels of AT&T being slapped with a $60 million fine for throttling what were supposedly “unlimited” plans back in 2011. The company doubled its “admin fees” last June, increasing its coffers by an extra $800 million every year. Business internet customers are now paying the company’s property taxes on their bills. This latest move appears to be just another money grab.