WTF AT&T? - "Early Upgrade" Option Misleading!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rittchard, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    I just spoke with an A&T rep. In spite of what's posted on their website and the little flyer I've seen posted, the "Early Upgrade" option (that's $200 off instead of the full $400) is actually set on some byzantine timeline. The website makes no mention of a date/timeline, which leads you to believe that (like last year), all previous customers would be eligible.

    I've been an iPhone day one purchaser since the original, so my last 2-yr contract started in June of last year. For whatever reason, I'm not eligible for "early" pricing until November, and then for full upgrade pricing in February. Huh? I suppose I should be "grateful" they cut down the original dates, but it still seems rather arbitrary. Someone who bought in 12/08 can get a full discount. I bought only 6 months later and qualify for NO discount. So presumably there's only a select group who bought between 1/09 and 5/09 that qualify for "early upgrade"?? WTF?

    In any case, if this is what AT&T intends, it's their loss. I'll be on no-commitment and will have the option to drop them for Verizon or T-Mobile next year if the rumors hold. Idiots.

    Edit: this link is the flyer that was posted in an earlier thread, which clearly implies people in my situation should get early upgrade pricing. I'm not sure where it came from but it looks legitimate.
  2. JonboyDC macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2004
    They specifically said that they were extending the subsidized upgrade price only to people who would have otherwise been eligible for an upgrade sometime in 2010. That was pretty clear on the date they made the announcement, and seems like a pretty easy rule to understand.
  3. christyn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2009
    Salt Lake
    I think he's talking about the press release that stated that all iPhone customers that weren't eligible for a full upgrade could upgrade for the $399/$499 pricing.

    And yes, it was very misleading. Several people have gotten reps to change their dates as a result.
  4. matt550 macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2008
    I too have bought every iPhone at launch and got the the "upgrade" on this one. If I understood you correctly you got a 3GS in June of 2009?
  5. dojoman macrumors 65816

    Apr 8, 2010
    I have the same eligible date as you. Early upgrade eligible in (Nov/Dec) Apple's eligibility is giving me 3 different dates, kind of strange. Anyway technically we should be at least eligible for early upgrade. But it seems like definitely YMMV since Att is a bit stingy with early upgrade especially with hot iPhone 4. Wait a few months and go to Att stores when all dust have settled, you might be able to get iPhone 4 with 399/499.
  6. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    Are you on a family plan? It sounds like you are and NOT the primary line.
  7. dojoman macrumors 65816

    Apr 8, 2010
    Are you on a family plan and how much monthly bill are you paying? I've been upgrading every year since Original iPhone, but this one I can't.
  8. bufo macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2009
    I thought your contract had to end anytime in 2010 to be eligible for an upgrade. If you bought yours last June, then you're not eligible since your contract will end in 2011. I bought mine Jan 5 2009... too bad I didn't buy it in Dec. :mad:
  9. matt550 macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2008
    No family plan here, just me. I pay $87.95 a month or something like that. 32gb iPhone 4 cost me $299. Thats weird it wont let you do it. The first iPhone I got the first week it was out, not launch day, then 3G and 3GS where on both on launch day.
  10. rittchard thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    I'm not talking about the full subsidized pricing ($199/$299). This is regarding the secondary option called "Early upgrade" ($399/$499):

    I guess they do say "if eligibile" but it's still a strange policy. Last year they clearly created this exact same option for people who had bought the 3G the year prior. This year I guess it's a more select group that will benefit from this.

    Either way, one would think it benefits them most to lock anyone and everyone they can to more 2-year contracts. By holding back a $200 discount now, they are risking my leaving in a year - a minimum of $840 in monthly fees, or the early term fee of $375 (or whatever it is now). Either way from a numerical standpoint it's a win-win for them to keep me contracted as long as possible.
  11. rittchard thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    I'm not on a family plan at the moment, I am the sole primary user. I've been paying the minimum minutes/data plan, so about $70/month for the past 3 years since the original iPhone debuted. I was actually debating adding another person but that's a separate issue. I guess my $70/month is not attractive enough to them.
  12. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Unfortunately you have answered your own question.

    Your $39.99 plus $30 data (AT&T excludes texting from it's calculations) means you get shoved to the end of the line.

    I knew AT&T would pull this a few months ago. So I told my co-worker 4 months ago (AT&T counts on a 3 monthly rolling basis) so I told my coworker to up his voice plan up to $59.99. In doing do he got his upgrade date moved from 02/2011 to 11/2009. Since AT&T was generous with moving up everyones upgrade by 6 months, my coworker is now fully eligible for a $199/299 discount.

    You need to sound more money with AT&T. The more money you spend, the better your upgrade potential.

    Since it's been more than 12 months since your last upgrade you need to manually call AT&T or go to the store and have the manager give you an "exemption" for early upgrade of $399/499. I did this last year with the 3GS launch and paid $399 after the preordering system kept on forcing me to try to pay $599 full price.

    So your best bet us go to AT&T Corp store. They should give you the exemption upgrade.
  13. Telecacher macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2010
    I bought my iPhone in August of last year, and was able to pre-order the iPhone 4 at the early upgrade price (and will have it on the 24th). Also, I've been hanging onto my grandfathered $29.99 voice plan since 2005.

    Maybe because I been a customer that long? <shrug>
  14. rittchard thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    Interesting - I'm looking at my contract and the ETF is $175 - $5/month, and I've been on it a full year.

    Is there any reason I shouldn't just terminate this contract for ~$110 and start a brand new one (with presumably the full discount)? I could care less about the phone number.
  15. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2009
    Chicago, IL area

    I was in the same boat as you with the same dates and all. I went into an ATT core store and asked to speak to the store manager. After a discussion with her she told me I was eligible for the early upgrade. I had to pre-order there in the store though.
  16. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    Why is everyone cry when they cannot get their iphones on launch day. There is no way you can get a new phone every year unless your bill is at least 100 dollars per month on your voice + Data plan alone. Stop complaining. Just sell your iphone 3GS and you will get around 300-400 or even 450 if you are lucky. You should be able to buy iphone at 200 dollars more and you got yourself a new iphone 4.
  17. BlondeBuddhist macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2010
    And boy am I glad... I was originally eligible in the 2nd week of December 2010, then BAM. AT&T gives me 6 extra months. Very grateful I didn't have to use my 3rd and final line available to upgrade at full subsidy.

    Blonde Buddhist
  18. bombtrack macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2007
    You guys are missing the point ...

    It's not a matter of fairness or people "crying" as hcho3 tried to say with his poor grammar, it is a simple matter of AT&T having documentation that they are apparently refusing to follow--something from their own website. The "iPhone 4 Device Pricing, New and Upgrading Customers" one-pager is definitive. Further, Apple is apparently willing to sell me a phone for $699 (that's my current reserved price) but they are also going to extend my contract for another 2 years ... which is more bullsh** from AT&T! I might actually be willing to pay the $699 knowing I'll get the lowest price next year--but I apparently can't even do that. Those of us in this situation only feel we deserve the early upgrade price because AT&T's website says we should get it.
  19. rittchard thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    Your argument is pointless; I can sell my 3GS regardless of what I pay for the 4. Many others are benefiting from the 6-month shift and getting the full $400 subsidy pricing. I'm not asking for that, just the so-called intermediate "early upgrade" discount.

    I'm annoyed because this is a stupid and unclear policy that affects only a select group of people, and is inconsistent with what worked as a fine compromise last year. It doesn't benefit AT&T and it clearly doesn't benefit me to create a bizarre subset category, all it does is waste everyone's time.

    Think about it. If I terminate my contract (I realize I'll lose my "unlimited data" privilege) and pay about $130, I can start a new one and save $400, so net I'll be saving $270! Even if they made the "early upgrade" available to me, I'd *still* save about $70 by terminating. I did the math last year too but decided it wasn't worth the energy. In other words they've created a system in which it's actually beneficial for their customers to break their contracts and start new ones, it doesn't make sense. Unless of course it's a deliberate way to generate more work for themselves lol.
  20. AbjectEvolution macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2009
    Ok so how do I check my upgradability again? I remember checking and it said I could upgrade with an $18 charge. Does that mean I get my 32g for $299?
  21. uiop. macrumors 68020


    Jul 22, 2008
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I'd suggest talking to an AT&T rep. When I text *NEW# to AT&T, it says I can upgrade for full retail pricing. I talked to a rep today about it and she looked up my account info and said I'd only have to pay $400/$500. Instead of the full $600/$700. Who knows.
  22. Goldfrapp macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2005
    I'm in exactly the same situation as the OP.

    Personally, I'm printing 100 copies of that f****g PDF and bringing them with me to an AT&T store. I'm raising hell if I don't get the 399/499 pricing. I couldn't care less about my monthly bill (cheapest; paid always on time) because they should not have posted that Pricing Fact Sheet in the first place!!!!!!!!!! :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

    It clearly states that all current iPhone users are eligible for at least an early upgrade. No mention of 'once in 18 months' rule whatsoever. I demand the 399/499 pricing!!!!!!!!!! You hear me, AT-effin-T!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
  23. rittchard thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    LOL I love it!!!!
  24. rittchard thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2007
    Quick question that just occurred to me: is it even possible for me to start a completely brand new account with AT&T (while my existing one is still active) or do they only allow one per name/SSN?
  25. macfanrutler macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2010
    I do wonder how they decide who gets to upgrade since I bought my first iPhone, and switched to AT&T last June for the 3GS launch. I got the full upgrade pricing at $299.

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