While the vast majority of iPhone customers opt for all-inclusive (but expensive) contracts, those miserly pay as you go customers that depend on the $20 MEdia Net unlimited data add-on to save money in the long term will be upset to find that, as of November 12th, they won't have that option. AT&T has decided to end the service, which — though never intended for use with the iPhone — was the sole reason that many people could justify paying the full unsubsidized price (or breaking their contract), because it was relatively unpopular. The announcement was made in a text sent to MEdia Net users:
AT&T Free Msg: Unlimited MEdia Net Packages will no longer be available as of 11/12. 1 MB and 5 MB MEdia Net packages still available. Call 611 for details
Hey, at least the message was free. The 1Mb and 5MB options will be little consolation to iPhone users, who can easily pass the 5MB barrier during a day of casual browsing and will then incur a hilarious $480 per gigabyte rate for data transfer. Is this punishment for not heeding AT&T's spooky warnings last month? Reader Cyber Llama relates his situation, in which he's got lots of company:
Like many other iPhone users, I'm far, far too cheap to actually pay for the iPhone Plan. At the 25 cents a minute rate, I only manage to do about 10 dollars worth of talking per month (most of my calls are probably a minute long on average) so with unlimited MEdia Net I get by at ~$30 a month. I'm quite sure I'm not a alone — lots of people don't want to pay for thousands of unused talk minutes and unlimited text messages that they will never use. With that in mind, it's easy to see why AT&T's decision fills me with more rage than a sack full of hungry badgers. To make matters worse, I called 611 and the customer service representative had the balls to say that the reason AT&T was doing away with the unlimited package was because "no one used it" and it "didn't make sense to have it".
I'm sure we'll hear more about this, as people tend to respond kind of seriously when you effectively brick their expensive new iPhone (or Palm, or Blackberry), even if the plan wasn't necessarily meant for their device. Strangely enough the AT&T website doesn't yet reflect this change, but Ars corroborates. UPDATE: A point of clarification: this change will only affect customers who are using a pay as you go plan not originally intended for the iPhone. Customers who purchase the (slightly more expensive) iPhone Pick Your Plan options will not be affected. -Thanks, Cyber Llama