My Life with AT&T: MediaNET for PDAs

AT&T Logo

AT&T Logo

I’m an AT&T wireless customer. After heart-ache after heart-ache, I’m still a PacBell Pacbell Wireless Cingular AT&T wireless customer. Not only am I an AT&T customer, but all of my family is too. Conveniently enough, we have a FamilyTalk plan. It works, I suppose. Why is it that multi-billion dollar communication companies don’t care about my business?

Earlier today, I was minding my own business while happily deleting SPAM from my inbox when I noticed an e-mail from the friendly people at AT&T wireless billing. My bill was ready for online viewing! “Splended,” I said to myself! I clicked through to investigate.

After spending a few quality moments with my bill, I noticed something odd about my media plan. Currently, I have an HTC Tilt. It’s a pretty phone with quirks, but (like the FamilyTalk plan) it works. I also have MediaNET.

Now, a crafty netizen would see the strangeness in a PDA/MediaNET combination (though that’s not the strangeness I noticed on my bill). I have a PDA phone with MediaNET. Yes, it is possible. AT&T likes to have everyone think it’s impossible.–but it’s not. Why not? Because I have a PDA phone with MediaNET. I’ve had it for years! In fact, I got my first unlimited MediaNET plan was while I had an HTC 8525 (also a PDA phone). No problems, until today.

Oddly, I noticed that the current MediaNET unlimited plan is $30. That’s $5 less than I’m paying now for the exact same thing. So, being the prudent pain-in-the-rear that I am, I promptly dialed 611; that’s customer service for those who are unaware. A seemingly friendly young man named Robert answered the phone. He seemed like he wanted to be helpful. I explained how I desired to switch to the cheaper plan. He explained how I could not.

Me: “What? Why not? I’ve had MediaNET for years.”

Robert: “The system won’t let me add the new plan to PDA phones. If I remove the plan you have, I’ll have no way of getting it back.”

Me: “Huh? I did this exact same transition from $40 to $35. They were able to do it then.”

Robert: “I’m sorry, sir. I can check.”

[... pause for typing...]

Robert: “No, there is no way for me to add the media unlimited plan to your PDA phone.”

I thanked him for his attempts and disconnected.

Me: “Huh?!”

It’s officially time for a rant.

What would happen if I “myseriously lost” my HTC Tilt and “magically recovered” my ancient four-phones-ago LG CU320? It’s definitely not a PDA phone. Will I get my $5 a month back? I could see paying the extra monthly charge for PDA service if I paired my laptop with my phone–which I do. I can also see paying for a services I receive–which I don’t.

If I pay for PDA services, the services that offer the exact same content/data as MediaNET, shouldn’t it work at the same cost? I barely get signal with MediaNET for what I pay now! Why should I pay more for a “MediaNET for PDAs” service just because I enjoy having Google Maps and a calendar?

If there were proper competition in the United States (or in the cell phone market in general), I would drop AT&T in an instant. At this point it isn’t about $5 a month: it’s about a multi-billion dollar company taking my money and not providing me with reliable, cost effective services.

AT&T, you suck. I’m stuck and I don’t like it.

7 comments to My Life with AT&T: MediaNET for PDAs

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  • rik

    haha i like the rant. i have similar feelings toward verizon. basically they’re all evil.

    and i think pain in the rear does describe you quite well :-p

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