AT&T is making the rounds in the news again and today, it's for altering the meaning of the word "bonus" as we know it. After notifying its Mobile Share Value plan users of an upcoming addition of 15GB of "bonus" data to their plans, the company says members will have to pony up an additional $10 a month to enjoy the "gift." And the only way to refuse the gift is by leaving the party.
AT&T raising prices for its old grandfathered-in Mobile Share Value plan users is not new — it's done it before. And on the face of it, getting 15GB more data for $10 extra a month sounds reasonable. So what makes this instance so different from past price increase announcements that it has some people, such as Sean Hollister from the Verge, riled up? Let's take a look at AT&T's support document page that details the changes.
Note how AT&T writes that "this bonus data comes with a $10 price increase" (bold is my emphasis). Would this have been worded differently, or not using the word bonus at all, people's reaction to AT&T's price increase may have been less outrageous.
In a company statement provided to the Verge, AT&T claims that there won't be an option to opt out from this "bonus." Here is AT&T's statement in full:
“We are communicating with some customers regarding changes to their mobile plans. Customers have the choice to change their plan at any time and can always contact us with questions or to understand their options.”
Perhaps AT&T is hoping that its Mobile Share Value users will consider switching over to one of its new unlimited plans. Or it could be a way for the company to recoup its money lost after being fined $60 million by the FTC. Regardless of the reason, what it's doing is legal, and the subscribers to the old plans will have to decide for themselves what to do.