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AT&T has a schill? The issue that most people have is the extremely draconian caps. 200MB is ridiculous. I'm not using my iPhone to stream anything, only for emails and social networking, and my usage is at least 400-500MB a month. The 200MB cap is just there for show, as AT&T knows most will be forced to sign up for the 2GB tier. In comparison, in Singapore, even the cheapest iPhone plans have 12GB data allotment, tethering INCLUDED! Yet here, in the US, we are so backward that were actually going downwards with the cap from unlimited to 5GB to 2GB/200MB, and we have to pay extra for the luxury of tethering. Laughable. Of course, we in the US are still paying to receive SMS.
5GB cap always was, for data cards. They chopped unlimited for smart-phones to 2GB and 200MB. You can get with 200mb a month but not much. Some web browsing and emails without large attachments will go easily under 200 for a whole month. But with everyday mobile web browsing it would be hardly enough. Vzw even put lite plan for less - 150mb!
Its not too unusal for American consumers or public to get raped in many ways, more than most wealthy countries in the world.
We pay a lot more for healthcare and get less than others. Doctors, pharmacist, government benefit a lot but not unfortunate patients.
There is a lot of uninsured Americans but guess how many Americans are underinsured which media don't talk about?
My last small company I worked for, offered pathetic PPO plan with $2500 deductible. Not much better than my own individual with $5000 deductible. Now I don't have job and I don't know how I will continue to maintain my better health insurance. Cobra's expensive. And I need to some serious medical test and cannot wait too long.
no 529, no large scholarships and grants except first year as a freshmen and some small merit and need-based in the next years. Loosed some amount of scholarship during first quarter because I was ESL before I could enroll into undergraduate, even though I am permanent resident alien.
My parents could not afford to pay for my college at all.
So what do I do? After 4 years I get $70,000 in all student loans total. I don't wanna live with that much on my own, so I live with parents for a while to try to pay more than half of this off in few years. Of course now, I am unemployed and looking for a job again so I can only afford to make minimum payments for now.
In some countries, you just buy land for cheap, built your house and don't pay a dime for mortgage.
Unfortunately, here in the US and most western countries, mortgage is a main model. And you have to borrow $100-$300k to afford a decent housing. On top of that large property taxes. Thats quite a lot.
And of course we pay more for services such as cell phones, broadband but we are still more like in the middle of the bracket.
Loss Leaders [was: Re: AT&T has a schill?] Commenters who know how much data SHOULD cost seem to consistently use the loss leader pricing and assume it will be the stable price.
Lots of businesses hold grand opening sale events to attract attention and get customers habituated to (hooked on) shopping with them.
AT&T, we have to remember, gave Apple unprecedented freedom in the iPhone pricing and control. They had an obvious and serious customer retention and PR issue in 2006/2007, and wanted a hot new product to help turn it around. They could/did NOT predict how intensively iPhone users would slurp data, but apparently operated under the assumption that without unlimited data, potential new users would have held back. So they gambled a bit on unlimited, to build their image as a leader in this new era.
Lo and behold, by 2008, AT&T indeed had changed the rules of wireless, and Verizon, heretofore one of the most aggressive nickel-and-dime pricers e.g., you had to pay (25¢?) to send a low-rez phone from your phonefound themselves without the hot product and at risk of losing their growth to AT&T.
An aggressive partnership with Google followed, including EVEN MORE free data (tethering) as one part of its competitive offering, given that early Androids had a weak app set, a slower, clunkier OS interface, and then, no actual advantage from Open-iness or Flashiness.
Sprint (then hemorrhaging customers faster than AT&T) and T-Mo likewise tilted their data plans toward staying in the game. Sprint upped the ante recently with a heavy emphasis on 4G.
Sometimes introductory prices attract enough users that your fixed costs spread thinly and by getting all the new customers you can keep your competitive edge with them. But more often, businesses raise prices back to the profit margins they think they can get while still growing. It's hardly surprising that if AT&T and Verizon are pushing plans with capped data, that the others will, too.
I'm no fan of any of the wireless providersI think that they bust their tails mostly devising new anti-competitive tricks to prevent the free market competition that they cite as reasons why the FCC should be shut down. But commenters here making up imaginary pricing arguments doesn't help direct informed users to demand clear, straightforward, reasonable and fair pricing.
PS to an earlier commenter who claimed AT&T was under-investing in its network to goose short-term profits: is there anybody in the country who has not heard about AT&T capacity issues, and so is less likely to sign with (more likely to depart) AT&T, costing AT&T growth and revenue? AT&T may indeed be under-investing but it would be the stupidest strategy imaginable, too incompetent even for the firm that has earned so many Americans' disrespect. Something else must be up.
reply to chgo_man99
Re: AT&T has a schill? To the best of my knowledge, you would have been better off becoming a U.S. citizen before applying for loans/grants. Be happy you only have $70K in student loans- you know as well as I do that many of your peers have a lot more to pay back than that in addition to being either unemployed or still on mom & dad's health care/rent scenario.
I am getting us citizenship this year. In terms of grants/student loans there is no much difference between Green Card holder and U.S Citizen. The same rules still apply. Green Card holder can work anywhere for any employer except most government positions.