Pre paid since day one
I have been using prepaid minutes purchased as I needed them, since my first Motorola flip phone. bought online. Later I bought a better flip phone (GSM) directly from Motorola. It was all on Cingular for most of that time, but later became AT&T. The minutes could be used for phone, text, or data. Of course, using data on GSM was always slow, and frustrating with the tiny screen, but it was there.
Early last year, I finally upgraded to a smart phone bought off eBay, shortly after which, AT&T announced that smart phone users could no longer use pre paid minutes to access the Internet. A separate data plan was now required. I was a little upset, but that access had never been a big deal for me up to then, so I declined. With Wi Fi at home, at work and hundreds of places in between, I have had all the access I needed.
After reading this, I wonder if I am now going to be "hunted down" and forced into a data plan. If so, I may have to (now illegally) unlock my phone and switch carriers, or it might make Walmart's Straight Talk look very attractive.