AT&T to phase out low-tier texting plan on August 21

A screenshot of AT&T's messaging plans reveals the American telecom giant is doing away with a messaging plan that offered customers to receive and send a thousand text messages per month for $10. The move will only affect new subscribers, and will take effect on August 21. Existing customers on "Messaging 1000" are grandfathered into the plan and will not be affected by this move.

The screenshot, provided by Engadget, lists the three options AT&T will offer to new customers: go for the unlimited messaging plan for $20 a month, pair up with family members and opt for the family unlimited plan for $30 a month, or pay 20 cents for each outgoing and incoming text (30 cents for messaging pictures and videos).

An AT&T spokesperson justified the "streamlining" of its offerings by claiming that the unlimited messaging plan is the most popular amongst its customers. They assured customers currently on the "Messaging 1000" plan that they may keep the plan even if they switch handsets.

This move won't affect text-happy subscribers on smartphones, but for people that send a few dozen texts per month, or those on feature phones may want to consider their options before taking the plunge with AT&T.

Image Credits: screenshot from Engadget, stock photo from sxc.hu

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I originally had the $30 unlimited plan for me and my wife. Then I switched her to the 1500 texts (for $15) and me to the 500 text plan (I think it was $5). So that was a savings of $10 a month. I went over 500 a few times so I bumped myself to the 1000 text plan for $10. We are saving $5 a month over the unlimited plan.

I guess I'm glad I'm grandfathered in because why would I want to spend the extra money if I don't have to? I rarely send more than 500 texts a month. It's just a ripoff to require unlimited. They're ripping off consumers with only 1 or 2 people in a plan.

This is what happens when a greedy corporate structure and a bought and paid for government combine to allow a systemic gouging of the public.

Don't you love how they make your phone "indispensable" and then all work together to charge you more for something that should be dropping in price. Don't think for a minute the industry doesn't coordinate on the big picture.

Wanna stop paying and really hit back to force change? Go ahead, that's why most have you locked in to contracts, they know you won't dare hurt your own credit or inconvenience yourself in any way, you are no threat until you get ****ed enough to act.

I already use Family Unlimited on my AT&T Family Plan, but this is just pure, unfettered, anti-consumerism. Dropping the only non-unlimited plan? The no-plan, $0.20 per-text "plan" charges for both incoming and outgoing text messages. That means that you can only send and receive 100 messages before exceeding the unlimited amount ($20, individually).

Compare that to the old, 1000 text message plan for $10. That's $0.01 per text message, but it's obviously guaranteed money to AT&T.

How does this help any consumer? Family unlimited makes sense, especially given that they now bundle that with unlimited mobile-to-mobile phone calls (across any US mobile network, such as Verizon), but as an individual I would definitely be going for the $10 plan. I send and receive around 250 text messages per billing cycle, which would put me at $50 on the per text plan, or $10 for the more reasonable 1000 text message plan (or $20 for the unlimited).

How in the hell is the simplest mechanism across these networks increasing in cost over time? Of course with the lobbyists, this will just go right over the politicians. In a down economy, AT&T is unreasonably and unnecessarily increasing the minimum cost of entry. The only new people that are going to buy phones are people switching networks (as existing people do not lose their plan), and previously cell phone-less young people that will be sending text messages.

This scam really has to end.

Why, in this day and age we should be paying for both data and messaging is beyond me, good profit margins, yes, but what's the point when we're already paying $30-50 for data, and an additional $10-30 for messaging.

Iian K said,
Why, in this day and age we should be paying for both data and messaging is beyond me, good profit margins, yes, but what's the point when we're already paying $30-50 for data, and an additional $10-30 for messaging.

Why should ANYONE be paying for text messaging. It's carried in the normal communication channels of ALL cell phones, for FREE, as part of their normal handshaking.

The biggest con ever perpetrated on cell phone users is charging them ANYTHING for text messages that cost precisely NOTHING to either carrier.

excalpius said,

Why should ANYONE be paying for text messaging. It's carried in the normal communication channels of ALL cell phones, for FREE, as part of their normal handshaking.

The biggest con ever perpetrated on cell phone users is charging them ANYTHING for text messages that cost precisely NOTHING to either carrier.

+1.
"Text Messaging is the closest thing to pure profit ever invented" - Sir Chris Gent (Founder of 'Vodafone')

Iian K said,
Why, in this day and age we should be paying for both data and messaging is beyond me, good profit margins, yes, but what's the point when we're already paying $30-50 for data, and an additional $10-30 for messaging.

Because people keep paying for it.

If someone said to you, "Do you want $20 a month for doing nothing?" Would you say no?

Messaging should be free if you have a data plan. Sooner or later people will go back to Lan lines. $100 a month for a phone....GTFO

Non-Active-Account said,
Messaging should be free if you have a data plan. Sooner or later people will go back to Lan lines. $100 a month for a phone....GTFO

Land lines? No way, people are way to attached to their devices to go back to leaving them at home.

Phil D said,

Land lines? No way, people are way to attached to their devices to go back to leaving them at home.

They will purchase extremely long cords for their land lines!

Non-Active-Account said,
Messaging should be free if you have a data plan. Sooner or later people will go back to Lan lines. $100 a month for a phone....GTFO

$100/m ? i knew a person who would text all the time. had something like 50,000 texts in a month. bill was way more than 100.

minutes and texts should be free.. its all the tards with iphones that are hogging up all the bandwidth. charge them !!

ShareShiz said,

its all the tards with iphones that are hogging up all the bandwidth. charge them !!

Oh, so I guess all these Android devices flooding the market don't hog any bandwidth?? Your statement would have been correct a couple years ago, but these days, you shouldn't single out one smartphone for taxing the the crappy data infrastructure that wireless providers have.