Feb 14 AT 1:28 PM Taylor Wimberly 84 Comments

Fox News’ Shepard Smith rants on AT&T “unlimited” plans


AT&T announced last year that they would start throttling the devices for their top 5% of data consumers, but the complaints keep coming in. AT&T has tried to justify this practice, but it’s clear they are trying to inconvenience subscribers who are on grandfathered unlimited plans, so they switch over to newer metered plans.

Cameron Summerson of Android Police spotted a video of Fox News’ Sheppard Smith that clearly shows the frustration that a percentage of AT&T customers are feeling. On his show this week Smith responded to AT&T by saying, “Remember the contract? And now the word is, we are going to charge you more. Your system is no good and you fibbed to me and I don’t appreciate it.”

The days of unlimited plans are nearing an end, but some carriers like Sprint and MetroPCS still offer truly unlimited plans to differentiate their service. I’m glad that the unlimited option still exists for those that want it, but I wonder how long they can keep it up.

I’ve never been an AT&T customer, but I understand how it must suck to sign a contract and then have the terms changed on you later.

Do you think we are being too hard on AT&T? What would you say if you were forced to give up your grandfathered unlimited data and switch to a metered plan?

Via: Android Police

Source: YouTube

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Chris

    I don’t really care for Fox news but Shepherd Smith seems like a straight shooter.

    • LukeT32

      Agreed. At&t customers really got the shaft. Nothing like pissing off your loyal long time customers.

    • Jeff Pan

      Poor iSheeps who were grandfathered in! AT said unlimited data for iSheeps … did they said at what speed?

      • ericl5112

        Quite a lot of us android users have unlimited as well…

        It was around the time of the iPhone 4 launch that AT&T cancelled unlimited data. There were (some) android phones on AT&T at that point, and more than a few iPhone users have switched. This affects android users as well.

        • Nick D

          Some of us came from Blackberry as well. Android for life, now, but still riding on the old unlimited plan.

      • http://genesischess.com/ MJM128

        Google Define: Unlimited – Not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent.

        That means that the company doesn’t put any restrictions like speed or amount. The only “limit” is the natural limit of their service.

    • aranea

      I normally don’t care or watch Fox news but it turns out even they can see ATT’s problem. I’m so glad ATT couldn’t buy T-Mo out. What would have happened if they were the only GSM service provider!!

    • mustybooks

      fox news is ridiculous

      • theTruthSquad

        You must watch MSNBC. I am sure you agree that Obama is the second coming who will right this wrong that ATT has placed on the down trodden. Oh, I forgot, Obama and ATT sleep in the same bed!

        • mustybooks

          No i’m just british and we don’t have this kind of news presenter.

          • mustybooks

            Great comedy value

      • james

        Obama is pretty messed up, but AT&T was screwing people LONG before anybody knew who Obama was. I know, I used to work in one of their wireless call centers. Grow up, Dude, next you’ll be trying to blame the sun tornadoes on Obama. You’re the ones making him appear omnipotent!

    • Not going to take it anymore!

      Question: When is unlimited not unlimited.
      Answer: When A T & T s a y s i t i s ! ! !

      Turn your your rage into action. Don’t let AT&T get away with fraud!

    • Not going to take it anymore!

      Question: When is unlimited not unlimited.
      Answer: When A.T..&…T……s….a…..y……s…………i…….t…………….i……….s…………!……………!…………….!

      Turn your your rage into action. Don’t let AT&T get away with fraud!

  • spazby

    Yea, what at&t is doing sucks and I have a feeling they will address it….not sure of the outcome though…

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    I’ve said it 50 times before and will continue saying it. If AT&T offered reasonable tiered data plans, it wouldn’t be so bad. But their current options are ridiculous. They should have a 750MB plan for $10, 2GB for $20, 5GB for $30, and 20GB for $50. 50GB for $80. THOSE are reasonable tiered prices (that should all include tethering and even be shared across multiple devices like a smartphone and a tablet) but their current options are not reasonable. Their current options are there only to screw their users out of more money. For as long as that is the case, then this practice is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. Once the tiered plans are reasonable, then it’s an understandable evil that we’ll have to suffer through.

    This goes with all carriers, not just AT&T.

    • ahodge007

      I agree with those data plans, I have been saying the same thing every since they changed it. I always thought the 200 MB for $15 was a rip off so, I like the sound of 750 MB for $10 but I was thinking $10 for 1GB either way its better than what they have now.

    • Greg Bulmash

      I’m sort of with you up through 20 for $50, but 50 for $80 really doesn’t scale.

      If you want AT&T to lower prices… leave them. If they lose so many customers that they’re desperate for business, they’ll lower prices and raise data allowances to win people back.

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

        I’m with Verizon on an unthrottled unlimited data plan. I left AT&T years ago.

        And the 50GB plan is just to offer some hugenormous plan for people who really want to pay for it. If you think 50 for $80 doesn’t scale, what would you propose?

    • baller status

      Why should the data be tiered at all? The cost to provide a bit of data doesn’t increase as you provide more bits. a thousand bits costs the same to provide as one bit. tiered data shouldn’t exist at all.

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

        If you’re providing data to one person, you’re correct. But when you’re providing data to millions of people, you’re incorrect.

        Some quick calculations show that with an LTE connection of ~15mbps (I tend to pull 20+ at Verizon), I could potentially pull nearly 5TB of data per month (60*60*24*30*15/8 = 4,860,000MB). And you know what? There are people who actually try to do this by using bittorrent clients to suck as much data down as possible. If you really think it would cost AT&T the same to provide 1 bit of data versus 5TB of data to millions of people per month, please think about that for a second. Let’s say there are 10,000 people on a node pulling 15mbps. That node then must support a 150gbps connection to the internet. Can you imagine what your monthly bill would have to be in order to fund a 150gbps connection to every AT&T tower? It would be astronomical! So to combat this, AT&T attempts to discourage you from downloading as much data as possible now that possible speeds are increasing so significantly with 4G/FauxG. Hence, tiered plans.

        Ultimately, tiered plans will make sense. “You pay for what you use” is how it really should be. If you download 5GB data each month and somebody else downloads 200MB, do you REALLY think it’s fair to make both of you pay the same amount? However, what’s unfair is how they jack rates up if you split that 5GB up across 4 different devices. If you buy 5GB, then you should be able to use 5GB however it’s split up. It doesn’t cost them more money to send that 5GB to 4 different devices than it does for it to go to 1 device. At least nothing significant (remember, they still make other profits on a per-device basis which more than make up for any insignificant cost here).

  • Rick

    I am glad that I am no longer on AT&T, their network suck prior to 1/2009.

    I really hope what fox did will force AT&T to fix the problem, or people jump ship.

  • oddball

    It would be one thing if At&t throttled people reasonably but the way they are doing this is just wrong. Throttling customers using less than 3gb is not acceptable and doing it for the rest of the billing cycle is just ridiculous. This is an obvious abuse of the system as they are not throttling the top 5% across the board just the top 5% of NON tiered consumers in congested areas. That means that if you are on an unlimited plan in a congested area and the top 5% is using 1gb if you are in that zone you are throttled and then they can move on to the next 5%. They could actually use this to throttle ALL unlimited customers if they simply kept throttling the top 5% every day as the former top users wouldn’t be able to use as much data at the lower speeds

  • ericl5112

    I’m an unlimited AT&T customer, and angry. My unlimited plan is the only thing keeping me on AT&T, and it looks like they are taking it away. I could switch to Sprint, but they are more expensive for me (work AT&T discount), worse reception, no LTE, etc. I think if they throttle me, I’m switching. However, so far I seem to be in a non-congested area, as even 3-4gb doesn’t throttle me.

    • iamXiV92a

      Right there with you – I too am grandfathered in and don’t wish to be throttled. Luckily I haven’t yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.

      Family plan = mfw

  • txbluesman

    I have had AT&T, about 2yrs. ago in the DFW area and I would drop about 50 calls a day. When you would talk to them, they did not really care. I use Verizon and Sprint. I am happy with both. After my time w/AT&T, I now know why Verizon and Sprint are No.1 and No.2 in customer service. I have been enjoying my mobile coverage and services with both. Keep it up Big Red and the Now Network.

  • KennyL

    Glad the regular media is starting to talk about this. Side note: I’m surprise he didn’t crack his phone will all the times he slammed it down.

  • http://alxrock.deviantart.com alxrock

    Am I the only one that cringed every time he slammed his phone on the desk?


    …. and what happens when you break your end of the deal? a fat fee! They break their end, they get paid… win win for them. We should make our mobile providers sign a contract to earn out business and loyalty… not the other way around!



  • George

    Ever notice how FOX NEWS anchors all look like they went to Hitler’s Youth camp?

    • CactusCat

      George (guest), are you really Forrest Gump? I was told you put your kindergarden diploma on the dashboard of your car so that you could park in the handicapped parking spots…. Sheesh, your statement is one of the dumbest I’ve ever seen.

  • jmon

    One of the reasons why I would NEVER be an AT&T customer. Right on Shep. Smith!

  • PatrickB

    I’ve been a loyal customer of at&t since the Cingular days, ma Bell before that. Enough is enough, I’m out. I pray that Tmo will be good.
    I can’t hate at&t if this is the way to want to make money but I’m glad I have a choice. My choice is not to put up with them any longer. Uverse is next. Holla!!!

  • wuzgudwitit

    Taylor, you’ve never been an att customer??? What were all those I’m switching to att for the Atrix posts last year? Did you not go through with it?

    • http://www.ndroidgamers.com B2L

      I was just thinking the same.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Nope never switched. I was impressed by the short Atrix demos I saw at CES, but when I got the review product I was extremely disappointed. I ended my T-Mobile contract with a Nexus S to switch to Verizon for the Galaxy Nexus.

  • Deeds

    How much do you want to bet he is the one being throttled

  • klotz

    Thats what you get Shep for getting a shitty Iphone,with shitty At&t, working with a shitty news Network and being too dumb to fix your Wi-fi.

  • Rodrigo Sepulveda

    This is why I switched to Simple Mobile! They offer unlimited service starting at $40/month and they have no contracts!


    anybody else cringe every time he slammed his phone?! he is full of it Fo covers his bill. Any your a major news anchor and your wifi at home is broken? I call BS on that too.. But kudos for bashing the carriers

    • Ricky

      No, i wish he was slamming it att ceo’s face. and instead of the phone it was a hammer.

  • Kim

    Just a year ago, 100% of the AT&T users had unlimited data.

    Even if a million new 2gb users signed up… AT&T *STILL* has 99% of their users as “unlimited”.

    Next year, if 2-3 million MORE 2gb users sign up… AT&T will *STILL* have >95% of their users as “limited”.

    In fact… it will be 5-10 YEARS before that “limiting data” will start to have any meaning.

  • David Livaccari

    Why do people still continue to use the word Unlimited when speaking about data plans from ATT or Verizon. They don’t offer unlimited data plans and never did. Wake up, when a plan says it is 250mg, 5G, or 10G, that means it is limited. Only Sprint offers a truly Unlimited data plan, no caps, no slow downs. I have been using Lightyear Wireless which is basically Sprint but at a price of $59.99 per mo. with Unlimited talk, text ,and data, this saves me $70.00 per month. You can call me for more information 985-400-0180

  • cjreedjr2

    T-mobile ftw!!! 230 a month for 5 high end smartphones with unlimited web messaging and text as well as shared 2000 mins…and free wi fi tethering from my cell for my tablet…awesomesauce :)

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I miss T-Mobile’s low prices, but I’m in love with Verizon’s 3G/4G LTE network.

      • TGeezy

        I’d switch to Verizon if I wasnt a big battery hog but I am, and I’m not up to buying extended batteries just to get my phone through the day. When LTE smooths that out then I’m in. But if you’ve ever had a HSPA42 device you’d know T-Mobile’s network is more than sufficient on the speed side…

  • Paul

    If I paid for my phone(s) and service I’d be upset if I was with AT&T. Luckily it’s company supplied. But getting the awesome Galaxy S II only to have the GS2 Skyrocket come out a month later was B.S; we got grandfathered in and have unlimited data on a corporate account but I imagine it’s only a matter of time ’til they find a way to maneuver the company into tiered access. But managing which employee gets how much data would be much more difficult when you have 200+ employees. AT&T, Verizon, etc. they’re all evil. I mean, from a business perspective it makes sense, they want more money. It’s only natural, it’s the nature of the beast. How can they get more money from their customers, increased profit. Business wise it’s understandable, from a “is it right” perspective it’s not.

  • BigCiX

    Takes about 3 mins to load a damn page because I was throttled at. 2 gigs!

  • glennw

    I’m glad I’m using truly unlimited with Sprint.

    The way that AT&T is throttling their users, the users should be within their rights to terminate their contracts early (if they’re still under contract).

  • Shawn Clark

    AT&T robbin people…evidence right there on video.

  • jus

    Holy crap Shep Smith does something right for once.

    Either way, its good the story final hit a major news outlet like Fox News.

    This certainly will get Congress to notice and do something about it.

  • Nathan D.

    Well now maybe lots of people will understand that att sucks compared to everyone else.

    • yankeesusa

      yes they do. They really do suck. Not only their mobile service but their internet dsl sucks too. Plus their customer service agents are idiots.

  • 420speedwagon

    first words out of my mouth would be, “Fvck that sh!t AT&T!! take your shitty network and plans and shove.”

  • Jack

    That dude looks like a proper dickhead.

    • me@mine.com

      … and you sound like one.

  • dave C.

    SPRINT IS THE BEST RIGHT NOW. TRULY UNLIMITED! cant wait for my Galaxy Nexus!!

    • Jozef I Del Mundo

      for now… lol

      • yankeesusa

        Yep. for now. But in the end sprint still does have unlimited and I will ride that train till they kick me off!

  • masterpfa

    It’s happening the world over, T-Mobile in the UK have recently changed their charging for data.
    I’ll have to see how this affects me when my contract is up in March.
    Looks like Giff-Gaff might be the way to go.

  • Max.Steel

    …or you can just leave the network. You are getting raped yet you open your asshole wider and say “keep going…”.

  • Ryan Phatbowler

    They are not taking away the unlimited plan, just throttling a selective group that abuse the system so much that regular users are having problems with their connectivity to the network. Even cable companies do the same thing

    • delinear

      How can you abuse “unlimited”? The word literally means without limit. The abuse is that companies get to use false advertising to win customers in the first place. If it’s subject to limits the law ought to say you categorically cannot call it unlimited. If it’s subject to fair use policy, call it a fair use tariff, not an unlimited tariff.

      When I subscribe to the XL package with my cable TV company, the cable company aren’t allowed to restrict how many shows a month I can watch if I have a heavy month of usage. If I buy an unlimited re-use season ticket for a museum they aren’t allowed to prevent me entering more than 5 times a month. Why should mobile networks be allowed to get away with advertising one thing and delivering something completely different?

    • yankeesusa

      Who is abusing the system? Since when was using 2gb abusing the system? Give me a break! I understand wireless data is different than landlines and companies are gonna have to do something to guarantee everyone fast speeds but 2gb and then they throttle you? I understand 5gb or even 4 but 2 is just outrageous. Cable companies do this but at around 250gb. You must really like getting it from these companies and not care what happens. good for you. Keep standing up for yourself… oh wait your not.

  • Eric Freeman

    The difference between AT&T and Verizon is that people that are on Verizon knowingly/acceptingly get screwed, of course in their judgement of a “good cause” but AT&T screws you in the back with out your consent and does not wear a condom while doing so. Why people are still on AT&T confuses me(unless your getting a discount)?

  • Gerry

    This is a big domino effect on many carriers, watch out carriers here comes the FCC

  • Richard Yarrell

    Oh well what can be said ”It is what it is….I am definately happy with my 10gb on Verizon for 50 dollars.

  • haterontherocks

    att is just crap.

  • Bryan

    Sprints unlimited data plans have some fine print. Its only unlimited when your on their network. And sprint has so many roaming partners that there’s a good chance your. roaming, they don’t charge to roam but your capped at 300mb for data while roaming.

    • glennw

      One should always check out the network coverage of the carriers where one frequent. For me, Sprint’s coverage is mostly good in the places that I’m at, so while I’ve had some roaming data usage, it never gets close to 300MB.

      For example, I’m a little over halfway through my current month’s billing period, and I’ve used this much data so far:

      Roaming: 134KB
      Sprint 3G: 188,699KB
      Sprint 4G: 2,837,056KB

      At this rate, I’m on track to use less than 0.1% of Sprint’s roaming data usage limit for the month. Ooh, scary.

      Besides, compared to AT&T, 300MB is very generous–That’s the same amount as AT&T’s lowest tiered data plan.

  • jonathan3579

    I wish someone would bring the house down on T-Mobile’s “unlimited” data plans.

    • Bryan

      I agree, T-Mobile claims to be “unlimited” but they throttle you as well at 2gb.

      • haterontherocks

        well at least tmobile has reasonable data plans 30 for 5gb for att 30 dollars is only getting you 3 gb. their network is pretty sorry more sorry then tmobile i mean yeah tmobile has some problems but i think tmobile got some heads up on att on some specs.

  • KevinN

    Wow wonder if he broke his cheap screen slaming it on the desk.

  • cb2000a

    Corporate ethics are at a all time low. ATT just reflects the fact that you can’t trust any corporation to honour their side of the deal these days. The best way to get your message across is to take your money elsewhere. Maybe someday they will get the message.

  • dafi81

    be a smartphone user in the US sucks you should move to Europe ;-)

  • RB

    Why have the AT&T shareholders not demanded the head of the CEO on a silver platter for getting into a stupid deal with an outrageous penalty if the deal fell through? A freshman business major would have known better than to engage in such a high risk strategy. Who knows what other dumb things the CEO and his management team may have done?

    Does anyone actually believe this ‘data hog’ business? It is a straw man argument intended to distract attention from their mismanagement.

  • jlschulz

    the reality is this. If manufacturers and cloud companies, aps like Pandora and others expect us to live our lives in the clouds, tyen there will have to be a fundamental change on the part of the providers. The consumer cannot be expected to pay continually higher and higher prices to stream what they already own as in cloud music services.They need to come up with an infrastructure that will allow for truely unlimited use or back off the cloud crap. I for one won’t buy a phone or tablet without an sdcard slot and refuse to use cloud services because I cannot and will nit pay for data service to use what I already own.

  • h0ruza

    The Son of Spock’s logic sits well with me.

    Alas this is the nature of business. I’ll bet AT&T are not the only carrier to take this approach.

  • yankeesusa

    Its great to see influential people talking about how frustrating this is. In the end this may not do anything. At this point att is no longer customer oriented, all they are focused on is making more money off a network they aren’t going to upgrade. I wish they would be fined for every user who has unlimited and now are getting this crap. They should not be allowed by law to say its unlimited unless it truly is. Oh well. I’m glad I have sprint which for now is staying truly unlimited. But its only a matter of time before they either cap the gb on the unlimited plan or switch to tiered data also.

  • AbusedTortoise

    I used 60 GB of data on my phone last month and from the 6th -12th of this month I was already at 16GB…. Man I love my sprint phone and their TRULY unlimited plan

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    I rarely go over 2 GB and I have unlimited data with Verizon. It’s just nice to know I won’t be charged for “going over.” If I had to use GPS a lot then man I would go through some GBs.

    On a side note, Shepherd Smith is wearing soooo much makeup that it’s toooooooo obvious!! I used to not mind him so much (compared to the rest of Fox News), but a while back he ranted about something I totally disagreed with, I wish I remember what it was about. I remember thinking, “how can he think like that?”