As previously mentioned, AT&T has started selling Acer, Dell, and LG netbooks for as cheap as $99 and $149. There’ s just one catch. Like their cell phones, these AT&T netbooks have to be purchased in conjunction with two year data plan contracts. Monthly data plans range from $40 to $60, accumulating anywhere from $960 to $1,440 for two years.
While the data plans are relatively pricey, these netbooks are highly convenient; they are very lightweight and allow continuous connection to a wireless network. One disadvantage though, is that users must keep the same netbook for the duration of the two year contract.
If you distrust cell phone companies as much as I do you know that, at times, it can be excessively difficult to deal with your provider. However, most of us can say we’re luckier than one Oklahoma woman who, upon paying for her first monthly bill for the $100 RadioShack netbook plan, was charged over $5000 by AT&T for going over her 5 GB monthly data cap.
From what we can tell, this woman’s plan works a lot like the $60/month two-year DataConnect plan also offered by AT&T Mobility. For every GB you go over the limit, you’re charged $480 and a pound of human flesh. From this we can divine that the poor Oklahoma soul went over her limit by at least nine or ten GB.
Email sure won’t burn your data usage that hard, so we can only wonder at what she could have possibly used her netbook for. Even if her usage was blatantly out of line with what you’d expect out of a netbook, you have to wonder – why didn’t anybody step in and tell her what hole she was digging? As mentioned by the Consumerist, we still don’t know “why AT&T Mobility wouldn’t contact her as soon as she exceeded her 5GB limit, or disable access since she’s a new customer who might not understand the intricacies of overage billing.”
The lawsuit’s specific language charges both AT&T and Radioshack with:
“…common law fraud and violation of state consumer protection acts in connection with allegedly false, misleading and inaccurate advertising of the netbook DataConnect plan.”
Netbooking is getting bigger and the new lawsuits seem like they’re popping up even faster than sales of the machines. We can only wonder where this is going next.
Via The Consumerist.
This isn’t the first time Dell has involved the Mini 9 netbook in some interesting deals, including the $99 AT&T netbook deal we covered on January 12th.
The model comes in Alpine White or Obsidian black. The machine runs a 1.6 GHz Atom processor, has 512 MB Ram, and comes with a 4 GB SSD drive. That isn’t huge, but at $178 you’re necessarily going to hit the low end. It runs Ubuntu Linux.
CNet’s instructions are concise and useful:
Once you land at the outlet store page, click Outlet Laptops, then Inspiron & Mini Laptops, and then Inspiron Mini. Under Inspiron Mini 9, click Continue, then Check Availability and Prices. In the ginormous list of recertified models that appears, click the Price column to sort low-to-high. You should see the aforementioned Mini 9 models for $209. Add the one you want to your cart, then apply coupon code $C$TXXP1CT3BLC to bring the price down to $177.65.
Amazingly, the refurbished netbook will get the year warranty that new models have.
There have already been reports of the coupon losing and regaining functionality, so get there fast and see what you can do. You may just end up with a super-cheap netbook!