att-wireless Technology

Opinion: AT&T, Where’s Our Rollover Data?

Unlimited data plans are dead, and it’s not because the consumers asked for it.  The carriers don’t want you on your unlimited data plan if you still are clinging onto yours for dear life.  But most people who are clinging on to their unlimited data plans, really don’t need unlimited data.  As much as I hate to say it, the carriers are right that most people with unlimited data plans use less data per month than the limits set by their capped data plans.

So what keeps these people on their unlimited plans, even though they can be so limiting?  It’s the fear of going over their data limits one month and then being forced to pay more for extra data when they just had a seldom busy month.  Also it’s the hassle of having to manage and remember to check their data usage, even though both Verizon and AT&T send warnings to users?

It wasn’t too long ago if we all think about it, that we felt the same way about how many voice minutes per month we were using.  Do you remember the fear that you talked one too many times to Mom and Dad  and now your bill will be doubled due to overage charges for your voice minutes.  How quickly we all forget.

But AT&T brought us a little relief and fairness with their rollover minutes, which they still offer to this day.  The problem is now nobody cares about voice minutes anymore.  But if you’re an AT&T subscriber, have you checked your rollover balance lately? Mine is well over 5,000 minutes.  And that gives me peace of mind that I’ll essentially never have to worry about going over my minutes ever again, especially when each month that balance keeps increasing.

Last week I did what some may think the unthinkable and switched from the unlimited plan to the 5GB capped data plan, for many reasons.  But one of the reasons I did it was I know that I will rarely, if ever, exceed my data cap.  My average data usage is about 2.5 to 3.5 GB per month.  But what about the other 1.5 to 2.5 GB’s I paid for AT&T?  Why can’t I keep this unused bandwith that I paid for?  Just like my minutes?

AT&T, where  is our rollover data?  It’s so simple.  It could be a boon for you.  It could be something that sets you apart from the competition.  Imagine being able to assure customers that you “understand” them and that life isn’t always predictable, and that you get rollover data for those months where you may have to travel more, or are catching up on the last season of your favorite TV show on Netflix.  AT&T, you could finally market your capped data plans as fair.  You have the billing infrastructure, and the history of using the term rollover.

AT&T, it’s time to realize it’s 2012 and nobody cares about rollover minutes anymore, but they sure as hell care about their internet.  Rollover Data AT&T, it really could help you get more customers to switch to your network, and help your crusade of getting existing users off their unlimited data plans.

If AT&T offered Rollover Data, would that be enough for you to dump your unlimited data plan and avoid all the limitations that come with it?  Let us know in the comments.

  • Reid

    I’m with Verizon right now and I agree whole heartedly. If they had rollover data.. I’d switch back.

  • Belinda_phan8798

    Agree ! I want rollover data

  • PacoBell

    If you google for “data rollover”, you’ll see that people have been clamoring for this feature ever since they axed unlimited data. That was in 2010. In two whole years there has not been much, if any, progress on this front, except perhaps with a partial nod toward family-pooled data plans. Let’s face it, AT&T would have done it already if they really wanted to. Now we see their true colors.

  • Geek_Reader

    When I switched from a G1 phone to a Nexus S AT&T said I HAVE TO have a data plan !
    The only times I need connectivity I use my WiFi or at my son’s house. I have turned data through Mobile off on the Nexus S but I still have to pay $15 / mo for a data plan, even though I do not use it  – Grrrr !  

  • Kage_

    The reason I don’t care about my voice mins any more is due to my rollover balance which like you is 2 – 3k in mins.  I also agree that AT&T could go a long way with customer relations and setting themselves apart from the other with roll over data.  It could easily work the same way as mins, you keep your unused data for 12 months.  Then when you have a bad month for data you pull from your pool and be done with it.  A lot of the yelling and screaming from people about the caps would slow go away as peoples balance builds up and in the end the data will be like the voice mins.  I have my monthly allotment, but I don’t care if I go over cause my roll over pool will take care of it.