AT&T Restricting Customers For Costing Them Too Much Money [Update: AT&T Comments]
As if AT&T’s comments accusing users for poor network quality weren’t absurd enough, AT&T is now terminating the accounts of two users for costing the company too much money. Penny Alexander and her husband John say they got a letter from AT&T in late November saying their accounts were being terminated because AT&T doesn’t have their own coverage in that area, and roaming costs were costing the company too much money.
“AT&T is firing us as iPhone users,” says Penny Alexander, who lives in Dadeville, Alabama, with her husband John.
“This situation is rare,” the letter said, “but when it happens, our operating costs increase significantly which makes it difficult for us to keep our rates affordable for all other customers.”
The letter has offered to help them transfer to another carrier or cancel their account without charging them any early termination fees. If they turn down both offers, then AT&T will cut off roaming on January 4th. “This means in areas not directly served by an AT&T-owned wireless network you will not be able to make or receive calls,” the letter said. This would mean that they would not be able to use their iPhones at home, but would still have to pay $140 in monthly service fees. What’s more is that AT&T has offered to reimburse the cost of her iPhone but not her husband’s older model.
An AT&T spokesperson noted that it is stated in the contract that new owners must live inside an AT&T-owned coverage area to avoid excessive fees. The problem with that is that the Alexanders have lived in the same house since they got their iPhones. “Why didn’t they tell us this when we signed up, before we invested time and money in all the software and devices?” she says.
“If AT&T took us a customer they should have to keep us as iPhone users,” she says. “We are both just really sick over the prospect of having to lose our iPhones.”
“If they don’t want our business then there should be some agreement that we can take our accounts and our iPhones to another carrier who is capable of servicing the area we live in,” she says. “This is just not fair to the consumer.”
AT&T hasn’t said specifically what they will do to help the Alexanders transition to another network.
[via Cult of Mac]