It isn’t a secret that SMS messaging has always been a ripoff since cellular companies charge excessive fees to transport a tiny insignificant amount of data on their network. Now AT&T is going for your money by killing off their $10 messaging plan that includes 1,000 text messages and what do you get? You get the shaft.
AT&T will stick it to you by allowing you to choose from AT&T’s new “streamlined” messaging plans: $20 for unlimited messaging or go without a plan and pay $0.20 per SMS message. We’d like to call it what it is — a big scam and one you should refuse to accept.
It all starts next week when AT&T will begin to offer the $20 unlimited messaging plan and the pay as you text plan. It is plain crazy when you look at the numbers involved and Gizmodo laid those out perfectly and according to them it basically breaks down like this:
You can spend $25 for 2GB of mobile data which they claim ends up being about 80MB per dollar which then translates to 500,000 text messages each 160 characters long. We’ll bet you seldom hit the 160 character mark which makes this even worse. Now take that dollar and divide it by the number of texts and each one probably costs $0.000002 or two ten thousandths of a cent. That isn’t very much. If you send 5,000 texts in month then those texts cost about $0.01 – a penny.
If you go with the pay as you text plan your 5,000 text messages end up costing you $1,000. That’s a serious amount of cash and obviously what AT&T really wants is all of it’s customers on the $20 plan. Gravy train for them, but their customer’s end up paying more or not getting any real value out of their $20.
In all fairness there isn’t a carrier that doesn’t over charge for text messaging, but unlike AT&T many of these other carriers offer tiered plans to meet their customer’s budgets. It will be interesting to see if the other companies follow AT&T and change the text message plans they offer.
The bottom-line is that AT&T is charging you 100,000 times more when you don’t have a messaging plan and that is a rip off. The only thing to do about that is to fight back. Call AT&T and let them know that you are not interested in text message plans that probably came out of Mordor.
Updated 08/19/2011 at 05:50AM PDT: These new plan changes mainly affect new customers, since existing customers can keep their current plans. However, the changes still limit choice for all customers and that is just plain bad.