Back in late 2009
both AT&T and Verizon decided to make it mandatory that smartphone owners must
have a data plan, even if you have no interest or never actually use data. We've long noted that this was rather obnoxious on the part of AT&T and Verizon, and annoying to those who'd like to save a buck by just using Wi-Fi for data.
For the last three years users have tried unsuccessfully to skirt the mandatory data plan, getting first surprised, then pissed off
when AT&T hunts them down and automatically enrolls them in a more expensive plan. Techdirt
directs us to only the latest example of a user being suddenly shocked when AT&T hunts them down and signs them up for a new data plan without asking permission. Joel Runyan shares his experience
with AT&T's mandatory data goon squad, and tries to capture AT&T's convoluted logic after some quality time with AT&T phone support:
They can opt me into a contract that I didn't agree to because I was using a phone that I didn't buy from them because it had the ability to use data that I wasn't using (and was turned off). To top it all off, they got the privilege of charging me for it because I bought a differently categorized device – even though the actual usage of their network did not change at all and I never reconstituted a new agreement with them.
Whether it's this policy, bizarre new troll tolls
or waging war on unlimited users
, AT&T has long made it clear that revenue gleaned by being obnoxious trumps caring about public perception of the AT&T brand. That's of course why AT&T traditionally ranks last in nearly every consumer satisfaction study, and until there's an executive mindset shift caused by something massive (like a rupture in time space), that's simply not going to change. Now enjoy that expensive data plan you didn't want and shut up.