AT&T urging pre-paid iPhone users to sign contract plans | iLounge News

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AT&T urging pre-paid iPhone users to sign contract plans

AT&T plans to drop support for all Pay As You Go iPhone users, in an effort to move all pre-paid iPhone users onto contract plans ahead of the iPhone 3.0 release. Erica Sadun of TUAW writes that she called AT&T after receiving a screenshot of an official AT&T text message sent to a pre-paid iPhone user, which stated that the upgrade may affect data service. The message asked the user to call AT&T; he was told that if he downloads the software without being on “an approved iPhone data plan,” his data service would be interrupted. According to Sadun’s phone communications with AT&T, it appears that the company will be deliberately downgrading the data services offered to GoPhone users to get them to move to contract plans. As this online memo states, GoPhone plans are no longer available for either the iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS, and only original iPhone Pick Your Plan customers with the unlimited data plan for iPhone will be safe from service interruptions. Sadun was also told that original iPhone users on GoPhone plans would be unable to move to a postpaid plan without signing a two-year contract, despite their full ownership of their current equipment, adding, “all prepaid customers should transfer into a contract plan for the iPhone.”

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Comments

1

Seriously - If I’d bought an iPhone with such a GoPhone prepaid card, i’d sue them - hopefully some does!

Posted by Josh on June 16, 2009 at 10:59 AM (CDT)

2

GREED PERSONIFIED

People need to just BOYCOTT AT$T until Apple WAKES UP and gives it to another carrier

Posted by terryzx on June 16, 2009 at 11:14 AM (CDT)

3

Do these people get a lower contract price?  Do they have to pay a subsidy for a product they already own?  I am fine with buy a new phone that I know is subsidized.  But to have to pay full contract price would be wrong.

Posted by Sccoter on June 16, 2009 at 11:40 AM (CDT)

4

That’s why I’d never buy an iPhone.  I’ll stick with my iPod touch and my Tracfone prepaid cell phone.

Posted by Mike Polinske on June 16, 2009 at 11:52 AM (CDT)

5

Here’s another spin - shouldn’t the 2 year contracts on the original iphones be ending this month(ish)?  That usually means you continue on your same plan, but are month-by-month and can cancel any time you want. 

Are these non-contract customers going to get the same treatment??

Posted by John Mc on June 16, 2009 at 12:10 PM (CDT)

6

I think original plan iPhone 2G owners will continue month-to-month, and their original plan didn’t really have a subsidy built in.

Posted by amy! on June 16, 2009 at 2:16 PM (CDT)

7

Buyers and customers should simply send messages with their wallets.  That’s what drives business decisions.  Someone on the AT&T;side calculated that there would be uproar but nothing posing serious financial risk.  Apple’s not innocent either because it could have intro’d the new model with other carriers, or at least threatened to do so, to make these issues more consumer-friendly.  What both fail to realize is that the competition is just using these gaffs to fill needs and get converts.

I also wish more consumers would simply know that subsidized phones with more expensive and contract-dependent pricing plans are still result in consumers paying more.

Seriously, imagine if home phone service providers said you could only use their service if you bought phones from them.  That didn’t last forever, and now look at the number of options available that work regardless of carrier or type of service (digital vs traditional).

I hope more of the unlocked but compatible options continue to grow and become cheaper.  But then again, the longer it takes for this economy to regain steam to the point of prosperity, the more buyers will be willing to pass on stick-it-to-you plans and gadgets.

Sadly, I have passed over the original iPhone, iP3G, and now iP3G-S because of the contract pricing and inflated cost for a non-contract phone.  I’ve been with AT&T;for over 10 years, but it seems like loyalty like mine (strictly due to me not having coverage or roaming issues) is likely never to be rewarded.

Oh well, see what happens when I actually need a new phone.  That’s the other thing too, I only buy new phones when there’s something critical that I need on a newer set - not something just a little snazzier or a little faster.  Of course, I use a phone primarily as a phone, which is probably also not the norm these days.

Posted by D-man on June 17, 2009 at 9:21 AM (CDT)

8

Really people?  Stop trying to beat the system and get around the 30.00 data plan and the 2yr contract of the iphones.  As for any service problems or “we didn’t know?” crap, it says plain and simple if some of you would read the small print when purchasing an iphone OR on the att contract that you sign, EVERTHING is covered. Att makes sure to cover their ass and everyone needs to stop whining about stuff that they should already be doing instead of complaining that att isn’t making it easy to cheat.

Posted by Jorge on June 26, 2009 at 2:07 AM (CDT)

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