AT&T (and Verizon) Loosens Cell Contract Restricitons

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
47,549
9,365


The Washington Post reports that AT&T and Verizon made some pre-emptive changes to their contract restrictions last week to try to appease U.S. lawmakers looking to reform the cellphone industry.

Specifically, AT&T said it would replace its $175 cancellation fee with a prorated system allowing customers to pay less towards the end of their contract. AT&T also said that customers would be able to change calling plans without automatically extending their two-year contract.

This should affect all U.S. iPhone owners under AT&T contract.

Article Link
 

samh004

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2004
2,211
87
Australia
Why would it affect iPhone owners, everything else they've introduced since the iPhone launch hasn't been compatible :p
 

kayle12

macrumors member
Aug 15, 2004
37
2
On Alltel, you can change you plan ANYTIME.

Even when you're in a contract.

Oh, you don't even have to have a contract.

Kayle
 

pmade

macrumors newbie
Jul 17, 2007
23
0
This is great news. Contract cancelation fines and automatic contract renewals seem so ridiculous to me.

Cell phone service providers are a perfect example of companies that can get away with silly things because everyone else in the industry is doing the same thing. When consumers can switch services freely, or at least with a reduced finical burden, I would hope that the industry as a whole will improve.

Maybe someone can speak to the negative aspects of reducing cancelation fees and the increased freedom of choice. I seem to be coming up empty handed.
 

artalliance

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2005
281
0
In the cool neighborhood of LA
Quote: "Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska), the committee's top Republican, said he worries consumers "would be forced into less attractive wireless plans" if Congress intervenes on companies' policies. "If Congress acts too rashly, the end result could be that consumer prices would go up," he said."


The lobbying by the cell phone industry worked at least on one committee member.
:rolleyes:
 

CHROMEDOME

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2005
181
0
Bay Area/LA
Does this apply to people just signing up or who are already on contract?

I have about 6 months left on my AT&T contract and I would break it if I could pay less with this new prorated system.
 

firsttube

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2004
196
0
On T-Mobile you can do both, although one is technically not supported...
I'm in fact doing just that. 8GB T-mobile iPhone, 1500 anytime mins, 400 texts and unlimited edge data aside from port for IMing, all for under 60.00 a month inlcuding taxes and b*llshit. Although I am using the 5.99 t-zones hack. Works like a charm! :D

hi at&t!
 

bigandtasty

macrumors 6502
Dec 26, 2006
424
221
=sell More Phones!

'This should affect all U.S. iPhone owners under AT&T contract."



And Sell More iPhones!:):):):D
 

Analog Kid

macrumors 601
Mar 4, 2003
4,937
3,039
I love these stories... Congress wakes up, listens to a story about what life is like outside the beltway, decides to ponder the situation and a whole industry sits up straight in their chairs and says "We'll be good, honest!"

The bummer is that Congress usually decides that this is evidence enough that the industry can self regulate and goes back to sleep.
Quote: "Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska), the committee's top Republican, said he worries consumers "would be forced into less attractive wireless plans" if Congress intervenes on companies' policies. "If Congress acts too rashly, the end result could be that consumer prices would go up," he said."


The lobbying by the cell phone industry worked at least on one committee member.
:rolleyes:
Ted Steven's was quoted as pleading with the committee, "C'mon guys, give these companies a break-- they helped build my house, fer cryin' out loud."
 

marktesssing

macrumors newbie
Feb 17, 2007
28
0
Does this apply to people just signing up or who are already on contract?

I have about 6 months left on my AT&T contract and I would break it if I could pay less with this new prorated system.
cingular use to have a $240 cancel policy on a two year contract and every month that $240 is reduced by $24. so with six months left you would pay $24 x 6 month to cancel the contract.

now if the cancel fee started at $175 that might work for all
 

jsetliffe

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2007
10
0
Liars, Liars, Liars

The article quotes Verizon as saying 'Verizon Wireless has prorated cancellation fees for nearly a year'. I call BS! I have 30 days left on my Verizon contract and I just called to see what my cancellation fee would be - $175......which is my normal fee for early cancellation. I'm not a math major but I don't see any pro-ration here.
 

DeaconGraves

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2007
1,291
0
Dallas, TX
Quote: "Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska), the committee's top Republican, said he worries consumers "would be forced into less attractive wireless plans" if Congress intervenes on companies' policies. "If Congress acts too rashly, the end result could be that consumer prices would go up," he said."


The lobbying by the cell phone industry worked at least on one committee member.
:rolleyes:
Never trust a man who thinks the internet is a series of tubes.
 

BostonMJH

macrumors newbie
Jul 24, 2002
12
0
Quote: "Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska), the committee's top Republican, said he worries consumers "would be forced into less attractive wireless plans" if Congress intervenes on companies' policies. "If Congress acts too rashly, the end result could be that consumer prices would go up," he said."


The lobbying by the cell phone industry worked at least on one committee member.
:rolleyes:
Funny I remember the same type of guys saying when Ed Markley was going cable industry. I remember Ed saying how much cheaper cable was going to be while others said the cost would go up. Years later more poeple than ever have cable and we are paying 3X as much.:mad:
 

Jdot

macrumors member
Oct 17, 2007
47
0
Fairport Harbor, Ohio
On Alltel, you can change you plan ANYTIME.

Even when you're in a contract.

Oh, you don't even have to have a contract.

Kayle
...and thats why they are so desperate for customers and are being gobbled up by sprint/verizon next year. You can't give away profit and expect to make profit they charge more money for there phones then any other carrier and have terrible roaming agreements.
 

alexplore11

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2007
4
0
MA
Awesome

These fees and crap have hit me a million times. It's great to see that the government is taking action against these "robberies" as I consider them!
SWEET!
 

jayb2000

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2003
748
0
RI -> CA -> ME
Does this apply to people just signing up or who are already on contract?

I have about 6 months left on my AT&T contract and I would break it if I could pay less with this new prorated system.
Since there are no subsidies with the iPhone contracts, I think you can just buy the iPhone and switch with no penalties.
The termination fee applies if you are canceling your service with AT&T, not switching phones.

Obviously, check with them first, but I have changed plans/phones many times with AT&T and never paid a fee.
 

nicholi

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2007
1
0
This addresses being released from AT&T's 2-year contract, but doesn't mention the fact that you're still locked down to AT&T and can't transfer to another service provider. Isn't that the whole issue in Congress right now?
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
So do these new rules mean that when/if I get a 3G iPhone before my original 2 year contract expires I won't be forced to get a new 2yr contract?
 

majordude

macrumors 68020
Apr 28, 2007
2,352
4
Hootersville
I don't know how they get away with contracts. The airwaves are the property of Americans. The FCC is in charge of regulating those airwaves so that I can't buy a ham radio and blast everyone off the grid with Kid Charlemagne.

The cell phone companies are restricting trade by not allowing us to buy competitors products for two year cycles.

Illegal on two counts if you ask me.
 

bamerican

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2007
28
0
Quote: "Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska), the committee's top Republican, said he worries consumers "would be forced into less attractive wireless plans" if Congress intervenes on companies' policies. "If Congress acts too rashly, the end result could be that consumer prices would go up," he said."


The lobbying by the cell phone industry worked at least on one committee member.
:rolleyes:
Yeah...well, if lobbying is going to work on anyone, it's Ted Stevens.

He's not being investigated for nothing...
 
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