Fuckin AT&T

OK I couldn’t figure out how to embed this sucker, but here’s the link:

https://www.ispot.tv/share/tUj5

And here are the highlights.

Guy walks into AT&T store: “Hey Lily, I need a new wireless plan for my business but all of my employees need something different.”

Lily: “OK. We can help with that. IMAGINE THIS.

Your mover, Rob. He’s on the scene and needs a plan with a mobile hotspot.

We cut to downtown. Your sales rep, Lisa, has to send some files. Like, ASAP!”

Okay. Let’s pause there, because that’s where most of the good stuff happened. First of all what different features do you fucking need for each employee in your moving business? What even ARE different features you can get on a plan? Don’t plans just come with like X amount of data or some shit? I admit I’m not an expert on business wireless plans, but how much can you really customize? And second, all companies these days are into the whole “only pay for whatcha need” shtick, like…do you really expect the customers to think “oh, well all these other providers are going to make me pay for a bunch of expensive features I don’t need”…well, actually maybe. I could see providers doing that.

All right. Let’s get back to what these features actually are. Rob needs a plan with a mobile hotspot. I…I think most plans let you use your device as a mobile hotspot? I’m not even really sure why Rob needs it. But OK, sure, your mover needs a mobile hotspot. Now Lisa, the sales rep…needs to send some files. Like, ASAP! Ok…so she needs a plan that…lets you send files. Which would be…every plan. Sounds like Rob and Lisa really just need a plan that includes the internet. I’m not super convinced, AT&T. Do you have a third example?

Oh. No, actually. The customer interrupts Lily at this point. Because frankly they DON’T have a third example, and even two was a stretch. Like we didn’t even really learn what feature Lisa has that lets her send files ASAP. As a viewer, am I gonna say “oh wow, yeah, my sales reps sitting at a random table in midtown Manhattan (it’s midtown, not downtown, jesus fuck I know where it was filmed) without laptops or anything are totally gonna need to send some files immediately and most plans just…don’t…let you…?”

All right, you know what…let’s fucking find out!

So I did some research.

At the bottom are the small business plans AT&T offers. I don’t want to bore you, so here’s the scoop.

— Each plan costs $5 / month more than the previous one, and offers basically the exact same thing. Blah blah unlimited calling in Mexico and Canada, blah blah useless features, blah blah 5G.

— Notable differences include… CallerID (oooh) comes with the “advanced” security thing, because nobody has CallerID on their phones these days (???) and oh yeah only if you install their apps anyway so OK basically that one’s useless.

— AT&T will throttle your data less with each upgrade.

— Basically everything is subject to having compatible devices and/or having their apps and/or availability of features and/or AT&T being in a good mood that day and/or the Sun being in Capricorn.

— EACH ONE REQUIRES 6 LINES. AND A MAX OF 10. HOW IS THAT LETTING YOU CHOOSE FOR EACH EMPLOYEE?

— DID I MENTION MOST OF THE ‘FEATURES’ ARE JUST AT&T LITERALLY SAYING WE’LL THROTTLE YOU LESS? Like the whole mobile hotspot thing. All three of the plans offer mobile hotspot. Just, AT&T reserves the right to throttle you more if you didn’t buy a fancy one. Or they could just throttle you anyway and what you are going to do, sue them? How are you even going to know let alone prove it? If your data speeds suck for long enough, maybe you just switch providers? So…let’s just skip the middle man and go to a different provider, right?

— Everything has a footnote saying “other restrictions apply.” That could be anything. How does it not even say it ON THE WEBSITE? LIKE WHERE CAN I FIND THIS INFORMATION? OH I CAN’T? AWESOME.

— Who the fuck needs UHD 4K streaming? Who even has a device let alone content to stream that can DO that? Also what the fuck is “Stream Saver” no don’t answer that I already know what it is it’s a way for AT&T to find yet another way to throttle a lot of their customers without them even realizing it.

OK, so we’ve confirmed that there are, in fact, pretty much no fucking features to care about, and most services these days probably let you customize, and oh yeah turns out you can’t really even customize it anyway, and most of these things are subject to ridiculous conditions and/or throttling and/or suck. Whose idea was this fucking marketing campaign? I guess there wasn’t a lot they could advertise.

Like…”Hey Lily, I need a new business wireless plan which lets my employees stream in 4K UHD at my mover business.” Hmm, no. “Hey Lily, I need a new business wireless plan which doesn’t throttle my data.” Mmmmm, we don’t offer that. “Hey Lily, I need a new business wireless plan which offers complimentary circus tickets.” Mmmmmm. “Hey Lily, I need a new business wireless plan which comes with a blue logo.” OH! THAT’S US! OH MY GOD. VERIZON IS RED AND T-MOBILE IS PURPLE AND SPRINT IS PART OF T-MOBILE BUT THEY WERE YELLOW AND CRICKET IS GREEN AND OH MY GOD WE’RE THE BLUE ONE HOLY SHIT FEATURES.

Finally, I’m gonna leave you with this:

  1. AT&T Business Unlimited Starter

    $30/month per line when you get 6 lines.

    Plan includes:
    > Standard mobile security. Includes spam and fraud call blocking.
    (You must have an eligible device and install certain apps before you can even get whatever services they purport to be offering.)
    > Standard-Definition video streaming. Streaming video is limited to a max of 1.5 mbps (about 480p).
    > Access to AT&T 5G low band spectrum (5G) and 5G mmWave (5G+) services, where available, for compatible devices.

    >Max 10 lines per Unlimited Your Way plan group
    > Unlimited domestic data, talk and text
    (AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy)
    > Unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada, and no roaming charges in Mexico and Canada.

OK. Spam and fraud call blocking, cool cool. Oh, but not really, when you read the fine print. Cool.
Video streaming – yeah, I see why they skipped that one. Don’t think the guy’s moving business needs that on the go.
OK, unlimited domestic data, talk and text. Nice.
Aaaand AT&T can slow your data speeds if they feel like it. Got it.

2. AT&T Business Unlimited Performance

$35/month per line when you get 6 lines.

Plan includes:
> Advanced Mobile Security. Includes spam and fraud call blocking, CallerID, identity monitoring and more.
> High-definition video streaming, with Stream Saver turned off
> Access to AT&T 5G low band spectrum (5G) and 5G mmWave (5G+) services, where available, for compatible devices.
> 30GB mobile hotspot data per line

> Max 10 lines per Unlimited Your Way plan group
> Unlimited domestic data, talk and text
(After 50 GB, AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy)
> Unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada, and no roaming charges in Mexico and Canada.


3) AT&T Business Unlimited Elite
$40 / month per line when you get 6 lines.
Plan includes AT&T Business Fast Track. Assigns a higher priority to your eligible business data originating on and traversing the AT&T-owned domestic 4G LTE network, benefiting you during times of congestion. (Wow, thanks for gutting Net Neutrality, Ajit Pai!)
Advanced Mobile Security. Includes spam and fraud call blocking, CallerID, identity monitoring and more.
High-definition (HD) and 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) video streaming, if available.
Access to AT&T 5G low band spectrum (5G) and 5G mmWave (5G+) services, where available, for compatible devices
100GB mobile hotspot data per line
Max 10 lines per Unlimited Your Way plan group
Unlimited domestic data, talk and text
Unlimited talk and text to Mexico and Canada, and no roaming charges in Mexico and Canada

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