AT&T threw their hat into the shared data ring yesterday and instantly trumped it’s only serious contender Verizon. Shared data means that everyone on your contract shares the data, up to 10 devices in AT&Ts case. It’s just like a family plan sharing minutes but in this case it’s the bucket of data, some call it internet, some call it 3G but it’s how you access the web on your devices when you’re not on wifi. The offering is nice and in my case looks like it would save me some money which makes it well worth my time to look into it.
As soon as I read about this I got skeptical and shot off a text message to my world famous AT&T contact here in Los Angeles asking if this will renew a 2 year contract and I was informed it wouldn’t. No need to worry about signing up for the shared plans, you can sign up and still go get your subsidized HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy S 3 or even wait for the iPhone 5.
The thing to remember is that AT&T is giving all of it’s current and future customers this OPTION. It IS an option and not a mandatory change. Verizon is changing it’s entire pricing scheme and all new customers will have to go for the unlimited minutes and texts, then pick from the data buckets. AT&T is giving it to their customers as an option. Here’s a link to read about it more.
This is a sign that AT&T is moving in the right direction and humanizing themselves, trying to understand the needs of their customers. It’s a good first step that I hope will be followed up by even more changes. AT&T if you’re listening, divert premiere customers to a special help desk when they dial 611. Treat them as if they’d been with your customers for 10 years and give them access to special benefits. I know this will piss off some people and for the record I probably wouldn’t be one of these premiere customers. I just think that the corporate or hi spend customers will stick with your company if they get better treatment and more benefits.
For transparency I should point out I have an amazing AT&T PR contact here in LA that throws great parties. Yes that includes free food and drink as well as a branded t-shirt or towel every so often.