AT&T is doing away with the 1000 message plan @ $10.00 which applies to all users who text.
Here is what ATT is saying:
“Starting August 21, we’re streamlining our text messaging plans for new customers and will offer an unlimited plan for individuals for $20 per month and an unlimited plan for families of up to five lines for $30 per month. The vast majority of our messaging customers prefer unlimited plans and with text messaging growth stronger than ever, that number continues to climb among new customers. Existing customers don’t have to change any messaging plan they have today, even when changing handsets.”
From AT&T’s Newsletter
Here is an exerpt from an email newsletter AT&T sent out explaining the man
$10/1000 Messaging (MSG10) Expiration – Effective August 21, 2011
- The vast majority of our messaging customers prefer unlimited plans and with text messaging growth stronger than ever, that number continues to climb among new customers. In an attempt to simplify our messaging portfolio, the corporate direction is to eliminate our Messaging 1000 feature.
- Beginning effective 8-21-11, we will be implementing a company-wide messaging portfolio change. These changes will impact all customers including CRU, IRU, and Consumer.
- Messaging Plans will be simplified
- Messaging 1000 $10/1000 Message plan ($0.10 per additional message) will be eliminated Aug 21(MSG10)/Sept 7(DTXT) due to increased interest for unlimited plans.
- Both MSG10 (8-21)and DTXT (9-7) are impacted
- New Accounts: The messaging plan (MSG10 & DTXT) will NOT be available as of Aug 21(MSG10)/Sept 7(DTXT)
Existing Accounts – AT&T contractually obligated via MRC modifiers or National Account Credits in the 3 messaging families – Messaging 1000, Text messaging & Multimedia messaging: Those existing subscribers who currently have it as a feature will continue to have it after Aug 21(MSG10)/Sept 7(DTXT).
- New subscribers in this category adding this feature will continue have it available.
Existing Accounts ( No contractual obligation):
- Those existing subscribers who currently have it as a feature will continue to have it after Aug 21(MSG10)/Sept 7(DTXT).
- New subscribers in this category adding this feature will NOT have it available.
System updates from Premier will occur the evening on 8/20 due to the weekend impacting IT’s schedule. Customer Benefits:
- Simplification of messaging portfolio
- Remaining Unlimited messaging plan includes Mobile to Any Mobile
- Less concern over messaging overage charges
Questions We’d Like to Have Answered By AT&T
In an effort to better inform the general public (and our customers) about what’s going on, we would love to know a few things about their highlighted items below:
- First, where was the increased interest for unlimited plans? We would love to hear the data on this AND if there is data to support it, why not still continue to offer several options? Our business users use an average of about 534 text messages per month. This would have been addressed by the $10 plan. Why the increase for folks like this? Of course, besides increasing average revenue per unit?
- Second, it seems so perplexing that responding to interest in one thing results in the elimination of another. It is like Fords when they first came out: any color as long as its black. The difference is that Ford actually increased its color portfolio as time went on, not decreased its options.
- Third, the reason for the change is stated as “in an attempt to simplify our messaging portfolio, the corporate direction is to eliminate our messaging 1000 feature”. This is also listed as a Customer Benefit: “Simplification of messaging portfolio”. Simplify for who? Clearly the carriers historically have not been known for making things simple, so maybe this is the carriers turning over a new leaf. Hmm…
- The one thing that is good is that current customers who has access to this plan for now will be grandfathered and new subscribers for these customers will also have this feature available to them.
Digital Trends made a great point when they said, “We can think of no good reason for this hike, except to enhance profits. Though carriers routinely charge at least 20 cents per text, texting actually costs carriers next to nothing. In reality, sending a text is equivalent to sending a few bytes through the air. If carriers like AT&T wanted to be fair to customers, they would wrap this service right into their data plans, which have also been rising in priceas of late.
High Usage SMS Alerts?
The final interesting piece of information from AT&T on text plans is they will now offer High SMS Usage Alerts for their Corporate Customers:
High SMS Usage Alerts for our Corporate (CRU) Customers
Effective immediately, corporate services on select text messaging plans (Pay Per Use, 200/500/1000/1500 message plans) will now receive a high usage SMS and/or e-mail notifications at $50, $100 and $200 in un-billed text messaging charges. At $800, they will be sent SMS and/or e-mail notification advising that messaging service has been restricted.
- Prevents unexpected excessive messaging charges
- Enables TCMs to manage usage more effectively
- Identify users for unlimited messaging plan option
Does anyone else find this ironic?
Automatic Mobile-to-Mobile Minute Usage
And of course, every cloud has a silver lining: if you add the Unlimited Messaging plan, you will also have the enhancement feature of Mobile to Any Mobile (MTM) minutes being added. This means that as the unlimited plan is added, you will need to do nothing and the unlimited Mobile-to-any-mobile feature will be automatically added. This will allow you to call any other mobile carrier from your wireless device and it will pull the minutes from your MTM minutes instead of your peak minutes pool. This could lower your cost if managed properly.
Here’s a final excerpt from the newsletter:
Enhancement to Unlimited Messaging with Mobile to Any Mobile Calling
Beginning August 23, 2011, AT&T1 is enhancing our AT&T Messaging Unlimited with Mobile to Any Mobile Calling. Customers will no longer have to manually add this feature to get the benefits that this feature provides.
- Starting on August 23rd and continuing through October, Consumer, IRU, and CRU customers with certain messaging unlimited features will be part of a sweep to have their current feature replaced with one of the Messaging Unlimited with Mobile to Any Mobile (M2AM) features.
- There will be no price change and we are increasing the benefits we offer our customers by offering them messaging unlimited AND unlimited calling to any mobile number. The sweep will take place on the customer’s bill cycle date to prevent proration of any charges for the old and new feature. Customers will be notified of this change.
- MSG3 is the $20 unlimited messaging feature for individual and Pooled plans which will be replaced with MSGM2AMUN which is the Single Line $20 feature and gives the customer messaging unlimited AND M2AM. Customers must be on a rate plan $39.99 or higher to qualify for this change.
- MSG7 is the $20 expired unlimited messaging feature for iPhones and will be replaced with MSG7M2AM which is the Single Line $20 feature which gives the customer messaging unlimited AND M2AM. Customers must be on a rate plan $39.99 or higher to qualify for this change.
- MSG4 is the $30 Family Talk/BusinessTalk 1 to 5 user account level features and it will be replaced with MSGFTM2AM which gives the customer messaging unlimited AND M2AM. To qualify, the customer must be on a rate plan $69.99 or higher.
Restrictions include: BusinessTalk customers with MSG3 (the $20 single line feature) do not qualify for the sweep. They must have the BAN level feature to qualify for the sweep.
Customer can at anytime change their feature to the Messaging Unlimited with Mobile to Any Mobile feature by removing the single line feature and adding MSGFTM2AM FamilyTalk feature. This would allow all lines (BusinessTalk $60-$140) on the BusinessTalk account to take advantage of the Messaging Unlimited as well as M2AM.
When: Beginning August 23, 2011 through October 31, 2011.
Customer Benefits: BusinessTalk and Pooled customers will no longer need to manually change their messaging feature to obtain the benefits of Mobile to Any Mobile calling. For additional details please reach out to your AT&T Mobility – Mobility Service Manager.