Monday, October 4, 2010

No More “Miss Smarty-Pants”

For about the past 10 months I’ve read some blog posts where mention was made of a monthly online usage limit of 5gb.  What?  We didn’t have that.  We had signed up for unlimited usage several years ago, and when we checked into it (several times over the 10 months) we were always assured we still had the unlimited service.  We have AT&T wireless and although many people claim better service with Verizon, we weren’t planning to change our service plan.

OK, you know what’s coming now, don’t you?  Last week we got an e-mail from AT&T that said we were very close to going over our online usage limits.  Bruce called the service number and talked with some idiot (aren’t most of them?).  He didn’t get very good information, so he called again about 30 minutes later to get a new idiot on the line. 

        Bougainvillea shrub we see on our morning walks.  This shrub grows well in warm, coastal areas.DSCF6952 

This tech-support person was better informed.  We learned that our 2-year contract was going to expire on October 2 (e-mail date was Sept. 30) and that they had now discontinued the “unlimited” usage plan.  Up to Sept. 30 we had used 4gb of our 5gb limit, so it didn’t seem likely we’d use 1gb in one day until we got to our monthly roll-over date of Oct. 2. 

                            Bougainvillea have thorny, woody vines and are used as ornamental plants.DSCF6950 

My days of being a silent “Smarty-Pants” for the past 10 months are over.  I’d been thinking we somehow had escaped the imposed usage limit for some reason….wrong!  AT&T just waited patiently until our contract was up and then let the axe fall.  Are we going to cancel AT&T and go with something else?  No.  They all seem to have usage limits now and we have a package with wireless/cell phone service that has been working fine for us.  Our kids all have the AT&T cell phone service, so we can talk to them any time, any day for free.  We don’t use the phone enough with other calls to go over our monthly calling minutes, plus roll-over minutes. 

                                                The flowers feel papery to the touch.DSCF6951

I don’t think we’ll have too much trouble staying within the 5gb usage limit.  I don’t download videos on Youtube, via e-mails, etc.  I think those use up a lot of that bandwidth stuff I don’t even totally understand.  I Googled “what is bandwidth” and they explained it as a multi-lane highway with each of the lanes representing bandwidth.  As you use up the bandwidth you lose lanes of usage bit by bit.  If this explanation is incorrect, I’m sure there are enough techies out there to set me straight.  Feel free.

The most annoying part is that when we check our account online it always shows “unlimited”.  Every category listed says “unlimited”.  And yet, it is not.  Yep, it’s always something! 


Until next time… long for now!


Gypsy said...

Unlike you I've had horrible service from AT&T. My cell phone barely worked in North Carolina, and here I am in Sacramento and have to run outdoors to answer or make a call. The air card is even worse. Every time I am in the middle of something I get a failure notice - "the connection was reset while loading--try again". I am so fed up with AT&T I am chomping at the bit to cancel it and get MiFi from Verizon, although it will probably be only minimally better.

I mostly read blogs but never get to view the pictures on many of them - they load so slowly and I'm very aware of using bandwidth. I also rarely look at uTube or any other videos, and it irritates me that some news items are only available in video, and that is occurring more often.

I come close to my 5GB limit lately as I often listen to an hour or two of Pandora radio. I firmly believe you can't beat a good cable broadband connection, and whatever we have in our RV's will never compare. Some may disagree, but that's how I've always found it.

Dennis and Donna said...

It's almost like a "bait and switch" isn't it?? If you are looking for a techie...I suggest Rick...He is the best tech support I have gotten..(HI RICK)

Margie and Roger said...

I've had AT&T for years and currently have the data plan for my iPhone with "unlimited data usage". I'm well past my 2-year contract. When we were traveling this summer, I got an email about going out of the AT&T coverage area for my data usage. I told the lady that I had "unlimited" and she said that I wouldn't be charged anything, but they just wanted to let me know I was using a lot of data out of their network. If I have unlimited, why bother telling me that? Anyway, they haven't charged me anything extra. It's all rather confusing to me.

Judy and Emma said...

What a fantastic header photo with the light coming from behind you!

Thanks for the encouraging words about going out to take some photos. Believe me, if there was anything left to take pictures of in this parking lot, I would. :)

Good luck with your internet service. They all stink!

Rick and Paulette said...

You sure have to watch out for those 'idiot' techies!

Bandwidth is simply the amount of data that you transfer up and down between the Internet and your computer. For instance, 1 email is typically 10KB, so you could send 500,000 emails in a month. A 300KB picture equals 17,655 per month; and, a 1MB pic would allow you to upload or download 5,120 pics in a month.

So, you do have a lot of leeway and unless you are involved in watching movies online or Youtube videos you should be o.k.

Rick and Paulette said...

Forgot to add - that's a great new header picture!!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Yup, Sprint did the same thing to me last year. Went from my *unlimited* into a 5GB plan whether I liked it or not. AND to top it off, where my house was located, it turns out I was *roaming* most of the time so they didn't even want me as a regular Sprint customer anymore. I was costing them money to roam off another tower's signal when at my own home. So they let me outta my contract.

I had to change to AT&T which is the signal over my home. Same thing, 5GB contract. I think they all are. If you find one that isn't, let us know!

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Sue and Doug said...

yes it is a great picture!..nice to switch them up once in a while..keeps the blogging fresh!!..too bad about your AT&T..too good to be true I guess!!

Carol K said...

Sorry to hear that you are now limited to 5G on your aircard. That seems to be the way all the new ones are, despite what they advertise.

Great new header picture! I liked your pictures of the bouganvillea, too. We used to have some bouganvillea bushes when we lived in Riverside. It was a favorite of mine because of the brilliant colors.

Randy and Pam Warner said...

I hate that sort of reduction in services.

Looks like you are handling it well. I have a pretty good deal with Autonet mobile. It is only $29/month for 1 GB and although I have gone over a few times, I have never been charged the next higher rate of $59/month for 5 GB but I am waiting for the other shoe to drop...

Hope things work out for you with the new parameters.

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Try to use free Wi-Fi as much as you can and you should be more than okay.The only advantage to Verizon is the bigger coverage area, they all will rip you as much as they can.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.


We blew through our 5GB every month last winter despite downsizing my pics. We are not You Tube, Video, or on-line music people with our Verizon. Always very careful how we use it. I am convinced there are skims & scams going on all the time & those companies have software in place to sneakily eat up bandwidth on the unknown public. Name of the game is greed & companies are not in business to lose money...ever!! And it's a real turkey shoot calling for tech support. Some kids know their stuff & most of the others are still in the diaper stage.

Cruzin2some said...

Love the new photo header. I want to be there right now.

Stay Safe

Freely Living Life said...

Love the header picture and the sand dollar is priceless! =0)

Using FREE WiFi solves ALL of those "idiot" problems. We have been had by all of the gimmicks and scams of the Internet world. Never again. When there is no WiFi available we simply don't use the computer. =0)

I hope you get the AT&T issue straightened out.


Jerry and Suzy said...

Your Pismo Beach picture is deightful! Early morning sun hitting the massive rocks, the color warmth is spledid, and your photographer's eye keeps you in tip-top shape!

pidge said...

I have been with ATT for years, but did have problems with their air card. I am like Freely Living, I just use the free wifi at the parks and if there isn't any, I don't go online. That also soothes my frugal mind. Our kids have att also, so we all call as much as we want.

Love the new header.

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