One of my biggest complaints back when I used AT&T’s GoPhone prepaid service was the annoying service messages (image) that would constantly pop up and interfere with whatever I was doing. I was paying $20/month for unlimited data. But whenever I did anything with the browser or an app that consumed data like Google Maps or Nokia Email, an alert would pop up saying “The last transaction cost 0.00 USD…” I’d have to press the right soft key to dismiss the message before I could do anything else with the phone. The same thing happened to users with text bundles every time they sent or received an SMS or MMS. It was annoying and completely useless. In spite of numerous complaints on AT&T’s user forums and many calls to customer service, the opperator refused to shut the messages off. I tolerated it until the $20/month package went from unlimited to a paltry 100 MB when I left AT&T. I now make do with WiFi and the unlimited but slow data on Sprint’s prepaid Boost Mobile service.
According to reports on HowardForums, the balance message is no longer appearing for zero amounts. This is very good news indeed and will make using AT&T prepaid data services a lot more pleasant. I might even go back to AT&T. Of course, it’s still way overpriced at $20 for 100 MB. Not that U.S. GSM prepaid users have any choice. T-Mobile, the only other U.S. GSM provider, doesn’t offer any data at all on prepaid except for a free walled garden.