WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED?
AT&T has decided that the cell phone model of billing is a good one to use for DSL Internet access. Effective May 1, 2011, you will be charged more when you go over the limits they have set -- 150GB per month. Now, from a competitive point of view, this might make sense in an urban area where AT&T offers U-verse TV, and they are competing head-on with services such as Netflix for eyeballs. But, clearly not here in rural California, where that option is not available, and won't be in the near future. Many rural customers are turning to services such as Netflix, as well as Hulu and ESPN3 to watch movies, documentaries, sporting events and television programming in the absence of other choices.
HOW IT WORKS
Every time you watch a video or send a photograph, you are sending data across the phone lines which is measurable. AT&T is now keeping track of how much of that data is being used by your account each month. Locally, many of us are transferring much more data because we have started to use streaming video services in replacement for the higher costs of satellite TV or the absence of cable TV.
SPIRAL DSL HAS NO LIMITS
We provide DSL service over the AT&T network. So, if you already have DSL with AT&T or another provider, it is easy to switch to us. But, what is even better is that we don’t monitor your data usage nor charge you extra. There is simply one price per month based on the speed of service you have with us, and no uncertainty about what might appear on your next bill.
WE ANSWER THE PHONE
Most of our customers appreciate the simple fact that we answer the phone. (Full disclosure: we make you "Press 1" first, to direct your call.)
Every once in a while, we call AT&T just for kicks to see how long it takes to get to a real person. Or a real person that can actually help. We are always pleased to see how long it takes.
AT&T offers one-year promotional pricing below what we pay them wholesale in order to provide our customers service. You would think they would treat us better. However, once that year is over, your monthly price could more than double with AT&T. Ours stays the same. After two years, you'll find that you will have paid less to us, then you will to them. And remember, there are those data limits they have now imposed.
YOUR SBCGLOBAL.NET OR PACBELL.NET EMAIL ADDRESS
AT&T’s recently re-written Terms of Service document (see item 5a.) indicates that they will allow customers to keep their legacy email addresses if they switch DSL providers, for a monthly charge (or not, depending on who you talk to at AT&T). In the past, this was not the case, as it was a way to keep you attached to them. If you want, we offer email services that are portable, or you can use Google’s gmail or Microsoft’s hotmail free email services as well.
SOME THINGS TO KNOW AND CONSIDER