Thank you for calling AT&T, now go fuck yourself

Update: 3 hours later, it’s working again. No thanks to AT&T.

I have a Palm Treo. I’ve had it for over 2 years, and all during that time I’ve had the same cell phone plan, one which includes “unlimited internet”. And all during that time, I’ve used it at least daily to check my email – and since my employer cut off my access to my home computer, I’ve used it even more like several times an hour while I’m at work I also use it to check weather, check Google maps, and other things that require an internet connection. This morning, I’ve been unable to get to the internet.

So I called “The New AT&T”. And once again, their “trouble shooting” involved me taking out the battery and sim, trying and failing to read the tiny little 20 digit number on the SIM card, reading the IMEI number from the back of the phone, and then putting it all together and getting exactly the same results as before. The “helpful” AT&T tech said that one reason for my problems might be that my data plan is incompatible with the Treo, and I needed to switch to a PDA data plan. Except that she couldn’t make changes to the plan unless I could remember my wife’s social security number. I tried to explain that there is nothing wrong with the data plan as I’d been using it on a daily basis for more than 2 years, but she insisted that she couldn’t do any more trouble shooting unless i gave her my wife’s social security number so she could switch my data plan. I shudder to think how much more a “PDA data plan” is going to cost.

So the question in my mind is: is this a temporary outage on their network that the tech wouldn’t admit, a problem with my phone, or did they just notice that I’ve had the wrong data plan after 2 years and suddenly cut me off? And how does this affect the probability of me buying a iPhone when the 3G ones come out?