If you're an AT&T unlimited data customer that's been using your now-extinct plan with an unauthorized tethering program, you'd better watch out because AT&T's comin' for you. The carrier confirmed today that it'll soon begin removing the $30 unlimited data plans from users that it catches using unofficial tethering software and signing them up for one of its $45 tiered DataPro/tethering combo options. This news comes following a letter sent to unlimited data users to AT&T earlier this year that gave the offending customers three options: stop tethering and keep unlimited data, switch to a tethering plan yourself, or do nothing and let AT&T add the tethering plan on its own. A report out of 9to5 Mac claims that AT&T will begin switching unauthorized tetherers to a tiered data plan on August 11th, but AT&T neither confirmed nor denied that date. You can find the full statement from AT&T below.
While there are likely going to be disagreements about whether it's fair for AT&T to automatically move unauthorized tethering users to a tiered data plan, the AT&T's actions shouldn't come as much of a surprise. After all, I'm sure that it'd like that extra $15 per month that comes with the 2GB DataPro plan and 2GB tethering add-on compared to the $30 unlimited plan. What do you all make of AT&T's decision? Do you think it's fair for it to automatically switch customers to tiered data and charge them an additional $20 per month for the privilege of tethering devices to their phone?
UPDATE: AT&T reached out to us to say that that rumored August 11th date isn't set for every single customer, just the one that got in contact with 9to5 Mac. Other customers are being given different schedules and different cutoff dates. The carrier also reiterated the fact that its goal is to be fair to all customers and that this move only affects a small number of smartphone users. AT&T's original statement is still available below.
"Earlier this year, we began sending letters, emails, and text messages to a small number of smartphone customers who use their devices for tethering but aren’t on our required tethering plan. Our goal here is fairness for all of our customers. (This impacts a only small percentage of our smartphone customer base.)
The letters outline three choices:
Stop tethering and keep their current plan (including grandfathered unlimited plan)
Proactively call AT&T or visit our stores and move to the required tethering plan
Do nothing and we’ll go ahead and add the tethering plan on their behalf — after the dated noted in their customer notification"