I have been an AT&T customer for about 9 or 10 years and truly think they were the bees-knees. The roll-over minutes that I could pool and use were awesome (no other domestic carrier has those). Their phone selection was always top notch.
When the iPhone 2G came out, I was the first in line... OK - not the first...I was the 60th person in line and was an 'early adopter'. I had no problems at all with my 2G. Then about 17 months later, I dropped my phone from a height of 6 feet and cracked the screen (in the corner) and broke the vibrate function. Time to upgrade. I waffled for a bit trying other phones from AT&T and found that the iPhone 3G would be the best fit. So I got that in December 08. Our relationship started out good enough. I got all my apps and tunes transferred over and it literally stepped right into the role of my 2G phone.
But the honeymoon was drawing to a close as I started feeling the shortcomings of the service and the phone. I experienced signal loss and data drops... occasionally a complete lack of network responsiveness from the phone (either the phone OS or the network) which required hard boots to restart. The battery life of the 3G was (in my opinion) worse than that of the 2G.
Now comes today - to add fuel to this already burning conflagration. AT&T announces (to paraphrase) that we are all idiots and as such we will be charged for our data usage now on our phones. Ralph de la vega (in a MacWorld article) stated that "We need to educate the customer..." and that "We've got to get them to understand what represents a megabyte of data. We're improving all our systems to let consumers get real-time information on their data usage."
What does this mean? AT&T is going to start charging us for data usage on our iPhone 2G, 3G and 3GS phones to help 'Protect AT&T's Network'. How shitty can you get? Forget ever thinking about TETHERING your device now... If AT&T is going to CHARGE it's users on unlimited data plans, their is no way TETHERING is going to be a feasible option.
This is what I have been railing against for the past year. AT&T appears to not have the capacity to handle the popularity of the iPhone device. The iPhone is a truly game-changing personal data assistant - it is a computer. The problem is that AT&T did not anticipate the popularity and wide-spread usage of such a device. The 3G/3GS are causing other network disruptions on the AT&T network, and this is why they want to change our 'unlimited' data plans to something more crippling while still giving them a better bottom line.
NOTE TO APPLE: Get off your butts and get with Verizon!
I, for one, will not put up with the Gestapo like customer service of AT&T much longer. You network has been horrible for me over the past year... and now you are blaming me for it. Nice.
NOTE TO AT&T: I have a new Verizon phone... ready to activate and I think I will pull that trigger today.
What a sad day for Apple (who will lose customers over this) and AT&T (who deserves to lose customers over this).