How I Got a Free Upgrade from 300MB to 3GB Data (AT&T)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by agroundw, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. agroundw macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2012
    Long-time reader, first-time poster here.

    I've had the 3G, 4, and now 5 on AT&T. Regrettably, I downgraded from unlimited to the cheapest data plan 2 years ago to save money. With LTE, I wanted that to change.

    I had no intention of canceling, but I called AT&T and went directly to cancellation support. All I said I said was the following:

    "I've been a loyal customer and like AT&T, but I wish I hadn't gotten rid of my unlimited plan. Given that Straight Talk uses your network and costs $45/mth for unlimited everything, why wouldn't I either return the phone and buy an unlocked one or pay the ETF and move to ST?"

    "I have a hidden promotional plan that will never expire for you since you don't use all of your 450 anytime minutes. If we downgrade you to 300 minutes, I could cut your voice plan by $10 to offset an upgrade to 3GB for an extra $10. Therefore, no change to your monthly bill." Boom: 3GB for $20 forever.

    If you haven't requested a refund for your upgrade fee as well, I'd encourage you to read that thread. Very simple as I did it over AT&T chat. I also got them to waive a data overage charge.

  2. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    Well that is a win-win for you - they get to keep you as a customer and you get 3GB of data instead of 300MB.

    But, to be fair, the data upgrade is not free. They will still be charging you $30 per month, the standard cost, for 3GB of data. However as you say that cost is offset for you by reducing your voice minutes, and associated voice minutes cost.
  3. agroundw thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2012
    True, free may be a bit of a misnomer, but I know there are others out there who use data more than voice. To me, it's free, but YMMV. Grandfathered unlimited users dominate the boards here, but hopefully it can help someone else who has seen their data usage spike with LTE. I imagine they can work a discount for 3GB --> 5GB as well.
  4. Derek87 macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2009
    i am encouraged by your post and wonder if this is a widely available thing: a much smaller voice plan. i have a 450 plan right now which i use about 100 minutes of each month.

    does your new plan have rollover minutes? do you have a FAN discount?

    i'm just trying to see how to approach this for my situation as i would love to cut down on my voice plan which i hardly use to either save a few bucks or increase my data allocation.
  5. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    Are you not paying the same as anyone else for 3gb of data?

    No deal here that I can see.
  6. agroundw thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2012
    I do already get a 20% discount off voice, so a flat $10 is pretty solid.

    They clearly have a standard protocol. She asked if the intent of the call was to keep my bill the same, implying that there was a way to lower it if necessary. I said yes, but to get more data. I bet you can get the $10 off and not increase data to shave your bill. As noted earlier, I still have to pay $10 more for the increase to 3GB.


    The deal is I get $10 off the cheapest voice plan available to the public. I chose to apply that to a data upgrade.

    There's some confusion over the word "free" here. Perhaps, I should have said I got $10 off the cheapest voice plan.
  7. Derek87 macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2009
    thanks for the explanation.

    so, you, like me (although my discount is 18%) were paying 39.99 - 20% for your voice before, and now they are giving you a 29.99 -20% plan for your voice?

    thanks for the clarification!


    one more question ;) ...

    if you look at your account now, what is your voice plan "called"?

    that might be helpful ammunition for folks like me to use when talking with AT&T folks.
  8. waa1futs macrumors 6502

    Oct 2, 2012
    Shouldn't the title read "how I downgraded my AT&T voice plan for $10 less per month" for clarity sake?
  9. tymaster50 macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2012
    New Jersey
    300mb a month on a smartphone? Sheesh that's like a day or 2 of usage for me, do you like only check email or something?
  10. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    Some people have access to WiFi everywhere, so they don't use a lot of data. My mom is on my family plan and I only allot her 300MB since she has WiFi at her house and places she usually goes. She only ends up using ~75MB per month. Myself, I have WiFi at home, work, and friends' houses. I still have my 3GB plan, but rarely get above 300MB. I should probably downgrade, but I can't stand the thought of having to keep that close of an eye on my data.
  11. agroundw thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2012
    $40 less 20% = $32 less $10 = $22.

    I won't know until the billing cycle ends in 6 days. I imagine it will be "Nation 300."
  12. Derek87 macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2009
    Thank you! please keep us posted if you have the time as this is helpful. i'm going to try to contact AT&T to see if i can get something similar.

    finally, do you know if you get to keep rollover minutes with your new plan? (i have about 4000 in the bank!)
  13. tymaster50 macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2012
    New Jersey
    I wish I had WiFi everywhere, only at home do I have somewhat reliable internet but even then sometimes it goes out and I have to use my phone, or I'm not home and I want to use the internet. I don't want to feel like I have to use Wi-Fi all the time, I would have just gotten an iPod Touch then.
  14. chakraj macrumors 65816


    Feb 6, 2008
    So Cal
    Hold on, he didnt do you any favor, you are just getting a smaller plan....

    You got nothing for free.
  15. agroundw thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2012
    Yes rollover, but fewer nights/weekend, I think 500.
  16. agroundw thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2012
    Yeah, I got screwed. Interesting crowd here.

    I'm happy to be paying ~$20 for a voice plan that isn't accessible to the public. It was pretty clear from the conversation that I didn't have to upgrade data if that would prevent me from leaving. That was my choice. Feel free to keep your voice plan at current rates.

    You know, since I'm paying full price for data, I could always downgrade data later through the myATT app without raising flags...

    I understand now that the thread title is causing confusion, but it doesn't look like I can change it unless I'm missing something. Oops.
  17. Derek87 macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2009
    man, i hope i can convince them to get me something like this. that would be perfect for my needs!
  18. Derek87, Oct 5, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012

    Derek87 macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2009
    i just got off the phone with them and no dice. they said that the 300min plan was only good for basic phones and not the iphone, and also doesn't qualify for FAN discounts. the rep i spoke with talked to 3 supervisors who gave her the same response. sorry, you need a minimum $39.99/mo voice plan on the iphone. end of story.

    the only suggested recourse i had was to call back *after* my 30 day window was up, and to retain me, they would consider some one time credit which could be 30-60 bucks.

    not super satisfying and i wish the original poster luck in this being maintained. the rep stated emphatically that such an offer would be a mistake that the computer would eventually bump back to $39.99/mo. i don't know if i believe that, and i hope that's not true.
  19. agroundw thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2012
    Be respectful, but also assertive that your intent is to leave. Also, make sure you're on the termination line. I probably wouldn't have brought up a 300 min plan name, just that you don't use your voice and want more data, so why not go to Straight Talk. I didn't bring up Sprint b/c we all know their data speeds suck and are in few cities, so that would've been an easy counter argument.

    Good luck!
  20. Derek87 macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2009
    hi, thanks for the follow-up. i was indeed on the termination line (i selected "cancel my service" from the phone menu.)

    i appreciate your following up. i'm assuming that since you have an iphone 5, you must still be within the 30 day window to return your phone/cancel the contract.

    the rep said that they couldn't do anything else for me unless i was beyond that window, which i told her was ironic since that means i'm locked in and would have to pay an ETF fee.

    i did bring up straight talk at $45, and they understood that was indeed available to me and the rep sympathized and said if she were in my shoes, she would jump ship, too.


    sadly, i realized that it may not help me to go to another rep since she already noted my displeasure in my file...but i might try calling again just to try when i have a spare moment.

    agroundw: i'd love to have you follow-up once you get your first bill. i presume you do see something when you login to your account now indicator your new plan, or does it not kick in until the next billing cycle.

    Everyone else: if someone else has success, please post here. it would be good to get more than one data point.
  21. kthnxshwn macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    If the standard price for 3GB is 20 and you're paying that, how is this free? You can change you plan via myAT&T and get the same result.
  22. agroundw thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2012
    Sorry to hear that. I would try another rep later since we know it's possible. Luck of the draw. I'll try to come back next week, but nothing is reflected online until next bill cycle.

    Hope this works for others too, but doesn't seem like too many are in our situation.

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