UA-76843172-1

Unlimited data disaster with cell phone carriers

Photo Courtesy of flickr.com

Marie Mosca 

Opinion Editor

I happen to be a kid born into the age of unlimited data when I was first using a cell phone regularly. I started off with a cheap prepaid phone for emergencies when I was in middle school and was attending outside of school activities. When I ran out of messaging or calls, it just would simply not make any more. Simple as that. I later upgraded to an EnV2 slider phone, which I had to replace many times due to adventures of trying to text on a ski lift, and going swimming with it in my pocket. I sometimes still wonder if my old phone is sitting on the slopes somewhere thawing out after being dropped. I had an unlimited data plan for my first few phones, which allowed me to message, call, text, use the internet, however much I liked for only $30 a month. I believe this created a monster.
I had no idea how much I was relying on my phones data to communicate and surf the web at high speeds. When I eventually lost my unlimited data while upgrading to an IPhone 5s after killing a hand me down first gen DROID and two other IPhones, I was devastated. I was given six gigs per month, which I came close to reaching nearly a week or two before my cycle was up, only because I was now being more mindful about how I was using my data.
Previously, I had been using my data on my phone at work constantly to get reference images and ordering prices and many other things. Feeling like I have to limit my usage because the phone companies are deciding to finally make a buck, seems silly to me. Of course new apps and browsers are eating up more data than ever before, but the carriers have also been upgrading their coverage and servers to be able to handle this sort of jump in usage, so why are they asking for $30 a month when we are getting only two to six gigs now? Basically customers are paying to be limited in their usage. I find this unacceptable.
I have recently been shopping around for a new carrier to try and once again have unlimited data, but the prices are either too high, or they are just not offering it anymore. Some companies are allowing unlimited data for $95 per line, which is basically the equivalent of two weeks of groceries for me, so that is out of the question. Other companies are allowing unlimited data for extra fees and only if you sign up for their weird cable TV networking program too. I personally do not even watch that much TV anymore, so I would not see the need to be paying more for something I never even use. You can find shows online faster these days. Most carriers however have seen how much they are making off their customers by not offering unlimited data, and refuse to go back. I do not really blame them, but it is still pretty crappy of them to do.
I have resorted to deleting many apps, and turning data off completely for most of them. With the newer IPhones, even if you are connected to Wi-Fi, your phone may switch to data because the Wi-Fi connection is too slow to handle what you are trying to do. This has gotten me into a lot of trouble as of late, especially while surfing social media while supposedly being connected to the Millersville Wi-Fi. The only solution to this problem I have been able to come up with is to just wait until I reach my computer or laptop to read notifications or see what is going on in my other apps. It is truly a test of willpower, and at the same time heartbreaking. I hope that carriers begin to see the struggle of their customers and bring back the data we knew and loved for prices that will not break the bank. Otherwise, we are all in for some real lifestyle changes.

Learning Services