As if you need another reason to hate AT&T, the carrier is apparently planning to end its reasonable $10 texting plan for 1000 messages, forcing new customers to pay more for an unlimited plan or suffer through expensive per-message fees, Engadget reports.

AT&T has confirmed with Engadget that it will offer only a $20 unlimited texting plan, and a $30 unlimited plan for families with up to five lines, starting August 21. Existing subscribers of the $10 plan will be able to keep it for now, but just like AT&T’s defunct unlimited data plan, it will disappear if you ever leave AT&T and decide to come back.


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“The vast majority of our messaging customers prefer unlimited plans, and with text messaging growth stronger than ever, that number continues to climb among new customers,” AT&T said in a statement this morning.

AT&T says that it’s “streamlining” its text messaging plans with the changes, but clearly it’s just looking for a new way to force customers to pay more for aging SMS technology. The change could be a response to the rise of messaging apps like Kik and Facebook’s recently released Messenger app, which allow for text and media messaging over cellular data instead of SMS.

AT&T customers who don’t want to pay for unlimited texting can still opt to pay per-message. Plain texts cost $.20 each, and picture and video messages cost $.30.

The real losers in the new deal are middle-range texting users like myself who text too often to pay per message, but not often enough to justify a $20 unlimited plan. It’s also yet another ploy by AT&T to keep existing users onboard — now many customers could face losing both their unlimited data plan and $10 texting if they jump to Verizon or T-Mobile.

If anything, AT&T’s behavior has finally convinced me that I need to move all of my friends over to a messaging app. At some point, I’d like to get rid of my texting plan entirely and not give AT&T another cent for SMS.


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