Sean is having issues with his iPhone. It's demanding he activate it again. His carrier is AT&T. Leo's wondering if the SIM card has come loose, gone bad, or fallen out. Leo says to go to AT&T and ask them to replace the SIM.
Leo says there's an app called Pushbullet that will deliver phone notifications to his computer through the web. Ryan needs something that direct his voicemails to his email, though. He has tried Google Voice, and that works for voicemail but not necessarily text messages, because those would default to iMessages on his iPhone. If he can get people to text him to his Google Voice number, then he can check those texts on the web.
Mark still has the AT&T Unlimited data plan, but it's so expensive. Should he just keep it or downgrade to a smaller, more limited plan. Leo says that the CEO of AT&T is on record sharing his regret that he ever offered that option. But they've now incentivized enough to get people to give it up. It may be you can save money by giving it up, but they don't want to make it easy to give you the best deal. Leo advises going to the AT&T store and asking a salesmen to walk you through the options because you're thinking of jumping ship.
Sharon has a Verizon cellphone but wants to get her old AT&T iPhone 4S added to the plan. Verizon said they can't add that phone to their network, though. Leo says back then, AT&T and Verizon phones only worked with either GSM or CDMA technology. If the phone was newer, like an iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, she could do it because they are called "world phones." She may need to unlock it. But the 4S predates the era of iPhone world phones, and it won't work.
Soup is ready to get his first smartphone. Leo says the number one thing to decide is which carrier he wants. Then choose the phone from there. He'll want the carrier that offers the best coverage in his area. Service-wise, they're all horrible in some way. But coverage is better for some than others.
Jason has a landline that he uses for calls, but AT&T is now giving him uVerse and they didn't tell him. He's really not happy and wants to change carriers. Leo says that they probably disconnected his copper phone line as well. In fact, they probably cut the copper line. That's dangerous because only landline phones work during an emergency, and VOIP won't.
The FCC is looking into this practice for that reason. 911 will stop working when the power goes out. Jason should file a complaint with the Public Utilities Commission about it.
Jason wants to get a new Galaxy Note 4, but he doesn't want to lose his unlimited data plan. Leo says that AT&T is always looking for a reason to take unlimited data away from those who are left using it. And frankly, most people who have it don't use that much data and they're really paying for what they don't use. Either Jason could get a plan that would cover the data he uses, or he could go to T-Mobile and get unlimited. Most of their plans are unlimited, but would throttle his speeds after he reaches a certain limit.
Rick says that he hears that with Sprint, if they upgrade to the new iPhone, they won't be able to talk and surf at the same time. Leo says that he can on AT&T and Verizon, though. Verizon moved over to Voice Over LTE and Leo thought Sprint was moving that way too, but apparently they haven't. T-Mobile will also work. Any GSM network will do it, and Leo suspects that Sprint will eventually go that way.
There isn't much competition among broadband providers in the United States. Most people only have a choice between a cable company and a phone company, and both act like monopolies; both have poor customer service. We know that the answer to protect net neutrality isn't government intervention, which carries potential risks, but in competition. If there were several internet service providers, there would be better prices and better service.
In their effort to replace their failed UVerse Internet and Entertainment packaging, AT&T wants to buy DirecTV. AT&T has also promised everyone that if the deal goes through, prices will drop. Leo says that would be a first. All too often, when there's less choice, prices go up. And with Comcast going after Time Warner and now AT&T going after DirecTV, he doesn't expect prices to drop any time soon. Quite the opposite, actually.