AT&T (and Verizon) Loosens Cell Contract Restricitons

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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
  2. samh004 macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    Why would it affect iPhone owners, everything else they've introduced since the iPhone launch hasn't been compatible :p
  3. theheadguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2005
    in other words...

    "cell phone companies loosen their grip around americans' necks"
  4. kayle12 macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2004
    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.

  5. ross.32 macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2007
    On ATT, you can use an iPhone.
  6. pmade macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2007
    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.
  7. artalliance macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2005
    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.
  8. miketcool macrumors 6502a


    Jun 24, 2003
    On T-Mobile you can do both, although one is technically not supported...
  9. artalliance macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2005
    In the cool neighborhood of LA
    And you won't get Visual Voicemail.
  10. CHROMEDOME macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2005
    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.
  11. firsttube macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2004
    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!
  12. bigandtasty macrumors 6502


    Dec 26, 2006
    =sell More Phones!

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

    And Sell More iPhones!:):):):D
  13. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    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.
    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."
  14. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a


    Aug 14, 2005
    The Hub of the Universe
    Well its about time someone does something about these absurd restrictions. I don't know how the cell phone industry got away with this for so long.
  15. marktesssing macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2007
    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
  16. jsetliffe macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2007
    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.
  17. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Never trust a man who thinks the internet is a series of tubes.
  18. BostonMJH macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2002
    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:
  19. Jdot macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Fairport Harbor, Ohio
    ...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.
  20. alexplore11 macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2007

    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!
  21. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2003
    RI -> CA -> ME
    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.
  22. nicholi macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2007
    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?
  23. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    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?
  24. majordude macrumors 68020


    Apr 28, 2007
    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.
  25. bamerican macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2007
    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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