There are so many options when picking a cellphone and cell plan, it can be overwhelming. But at least you have a choice and can call the shots. What you don’t have control over is the terms and conditions imposed on you by the cell company. Whether the terms have been clearly disclosed or not, they govern your use of the service.
AT&T’s terms and conditions statement is over 7,700 words!
Here are some of the little surprises they have tucked into the fine print:
1. Although most plans promise “roaming charges — $0.00”, the truth is you better not roam too much.
“Off-net Usage: If your minutes of use (including unlimited services) on other carrier networks (“off-net usage”) during any two consecutive months exceed your off-net usage allowance, AT&T may, at its option, terminate your service, deny your continued use of other carriers¿ coverage, or change your plan to one imposing usage charges for off-net usage. Your off-net usage allowance is equal to the lesser of 750 minutes or 40% of the Anytime Minutes included with your plan. AT&T will provide notice it intends to take any of the above actions, and you may terminate the agreement.”
Translation: If you roam more than 40% of the time, you will either be charged for roaming, or your account will be terminated.
2. You will be charged for unanswered calls:
“Unanswered outgoing calls of 30 seconds or longer incur airtime.”
3. You could be charged twice for one call.
“You may be charged for both an incoming and an outgoing call when incoming calls are routed to voicemail, even if no message is left.”
4. Seven thousand words of terms and conditions is not enough.
“See Wireless Service Agreement for additional conditions and restrictions”
Okay, AT&T, where did you hide that online? I really would like to read it.
5. Our telephone services are for talking only:
“If AT&T finds that you are using an unlimited voice service offering for other than live dialog between two individuals, AT&T may at its option terminate your service or change your plan to one with no unlimited usage components.”
6. Our unlimited data plan is not unlimited:
“AT&T reserves the right to (i) limit throughput or amount of data transferred, deny Service and/or terminate Service, without notice, to anyone it believes is using the Service in any manner prohibited above or whose usage adversely impacts its wireless network or service levels or hinders access to its wireless network “
Each carrier has its own set of one-sided terms and conditions, and many of AT&T’s restrictions are not unique just to that carrier. For additional consumer nasties in AT&T’s fine print, visit TeleTruth.