Not all AT&T customers eligible for $199 iPhone 3G | iLounge News


Not all AT&T customers eligible for $199 iPhone 3G

After several conflicting reports, iLounge has confirmed with AT&T that the iPhone 3G will not be universally available to all customers at the previously announced $199/$299 price points. According to Mark Siegel, Executive Director of Media Relations with AT&T Mobility, only “[c]urrent iPhone customers, new customers, and current non-iPhone AT&T wireless customers who are upgrade eligible will get the iPhone 3G at the $199/$299 price points.” This description omits “upgrade ineligible” AT&T customers, a category that is explained on an AT&T upgrade eligibility requirements web page. In short, AT&T customers who have had their current phones and plans for at least two years, customers who have had a plan costing between $68.99 and $98.99 for at least 21 months, and customers who have had a plan costing over $99 for at least 12 months are all eligible; those who do not meet one of these standards are ineligible and will have to pay a higher price. Additionally, following speculative reports that it might be possible for some customers to activate their iPhone 3Gs at home using iTunes, Siegel reiterated that activations will “take place in the store.”

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What the hell is that about? If that turns out to be true I am going to be really pissed off. Like, pissed off enough to drop AT&T after almost 6 years of being a customer and telling each and every person I know to avoid them like the plague. They will earn lifelong enemy. Anytime the topic of cell phones, iPhones or AT&T comes up between now and the day I die, I will have nothing but terrible things to say about them and will gleefully slander them at every opportunity.

Hey, you can’t buy that kind of publicity. Or maybe you can.

It’s like telling a little kid that they get a puppy, and leading them around the corner only to punch them in the face. Nice job AT&T! Nice job Apple!

Posted by ort on June 17, 2008 at 4:23 PM (CDT)


“If I buy it at an Apple store, are they going to look up my account and say ok that $299 iPhone is going to cost you $499 (or more) because you didn’t sign a new contract the day you bought it?”

No, Scott, because you won’t be able to buy it at an Apple store at all. It will only be sold at AT&T retail locations. How else are they going to force you to activate a new 2-year AT&T contract at the point of purchase?

Posted by JTG on June 17, 2008 at 4:35 PM (CDT)


JTG- That can’t be correct. An Apple Store not selling the iPhone? Yeah right.

Posted by Jordan on June 17, 2008 at 4:51 PM (CDT)


What a crock.  Wireless carriers are beginning to resemble oil companies.

Posted by Greg on June 17, 2008 at 5:01 PM (CDT)


I suspect everyone will pay $199 or $299 at time of purchase but sign a 2 yr contract PLUS if you do not meet the “eligibility requirements” an additional $xxx will be added to your first bill.

There’s no way or enough time for Apple employees or AT&T employee to get all these info at time of purchase.  Their job that day is to sale you the phone and make you sign your life away.

Posted by Jakkie on June 17, 2008 at 5:32 PM (CDT)


I am currently with AT&T with a 2-year $39.99/month plan I signed up for in September ‘06, and have been waiting for the 3G iPhone. I got my current phone for $0.01 when I signed up. According to the above, I am not eligible for the subsidized pricing, but according to my account info, it says I AM eligible.

The exact wording:
“This line is eligible for equipment discount pricing when you sign up for a 2-year service agreement.”

Now I’m just confused.

Posted by Natrino on June 17, 2008 at 7:03 PM (CDT)


Ok i don’t get it. If you already own an iphone can you get the new iphone 3g for 200/300? Or do you have to pay more?

Posted by anthony______ on June 17, 2008 at 8:36 PM (CDT)


Well, the additional fee for those that don’t qualify can’t be anymore than the $175 early termination fee, otherwise just cancel your contract and sign up again as a new subscriber. How ridiculous would that be though to have to have to cancel your agreement with ATT and sign up again in order to get the 3G iPhone???

Posted by Jeff on June 17, 2008 at 11:02 PM (CDT)


As long as the fee isn’t too much, I’m probably going to bite the bullet and pay the $300 plus any fee involved.  I’ve been holding out for an iPod Touch so this would be the best decision. I just hope that the call quality and ringer loudness has been improved over the first iPhone.

Posted by Scott on June 17, 2008 at 11:33 PM (CDT)


1. You will have a certain amount of time from the purchase date of the iPhone 3G to activate it (meaning qualify) or else you will be charged the full retail price for the phone, charged to your credit card. This would probably mean an agreement that you will have to sign when purchasing through the Apple Store or Online.

2. When you cancel your contract with AT&T, you won’t be able to open a new account for at least a month, if not 3 months, therefore if you terminate your contract and pay the fee, you will still be locked out. This is due to fact that other charges might have been incurred prior to cancellation fee and the allotted months would be enough to clear out any and all outstanding balances.

3. The current subsidized price is per agreement of terms and conditions upon activation. This is to recoup the cost as well as price of the phone itself over the period of time through the contract, plus extra. The retail price is will most likely be determined by Apple.  AT&T will have to pay Apple a set amount of fee per each iPhone 3G sold. In order to recoup the cost per subsidized, AT&T will rely on the contract terms, pricing, etc.

4. If subsidized price is not agreeable, can be purchased at the retail price level, nothing different than when first generation iPhones were purchased.

Posted by AJ on June 18, 2008 at 4:28 AM (CDT)


“When you cancel your contract with AT&T, you won’t be able to open a new account for at least a month, if not 3 months, therefore if you terminate your contract and pay the fee, you will still be locked out.”

AJ, I don’t think that’s true. You could walk into the Apple or AT&T store on July 11 and just tell them you’re a new customer. Then, when you get back home, just call up AT&T and cancel your previous line. Right? Or am I missing something?

I, personally, am pissed off because I joined AT&T back in April specifically anticipating the iPhone. I called AT&T before I switched and told them this, and asked if I would have any trouble upgrading to the iPhone from my crappy free phone. Two reps both told me that the only additional fees I’d have to pay would be an $18 upgrade fee. Nobody said anything about subsidized/unsubsidized, etc. I even asked if I should wait until the phone came out to switch my service over, and of course was told, “No! Join us today!”

I called AT&T last week and talked to one rep who said that anyone would be able to buy the phone at the $199/$299 prices, but then I got an email the other day from another rep who said I’d have to pay full price. I emailed back asking what that price is, and of course never heard back.

Honestly, I don’t think AT&T knows its ass from a hole in the ground right now. I would encourage any current AT&T customers who are not eligible for an upgrade to call AT&T—specifically the retention department—and ask for answers. Don’t be mean or rude, just express your disappointment and ask for answers. The numbers I have for retention are 866-485-5238 or 888-289-8116 (option 4 for advanced solutions).

At least this will make it clear to them that their current customers are NOT happy. Especially the ones who joined AT&T specifically for the iPhone.

Posted by hiddenmuse on June 18, 2008 at 3:31 PM (CDT)


Here’s the part that’s not fair.  Supposedly the new iphone will require a 2 year contract.  I’m a current AT&T customer who won’t be eligible for an upgrade until February. 

If I decide to pay the non-subsidized price now, why should I have to sign up for 2 more years?  My contract should end in February, when my last subsidy is paid off.

Posted by chase on June 20, 2008 at 11:30 AM (CDT)


AT&T is insane in the membrane. It pisses me off that they don’t have their crap together. The new 3G iPhone is coming out this week already and still no one knows what the retail price is for non-eligible AT&T customers. I talked to AT&T and the rep said that I should be able to get the phone for $199 or $299 (I’m not eligible for an upgrade), depending on which size you want. I email AT&T about it and I get a totally different answer. I call Apple Store and they tell me that the retail price is $199 for the 8gb and $299 for the 16gb. I think I might be better off getting the phone from Apple. AT&T is messed up and money hungry right now.

Posted by muymalo on July 7, 2008 at 6:06 AM (CDT)


This sucks, Att and Apple are going to pay for screwing their customers.  First they make everyone wait for the all might iphone 3g release then they tell everyone to wait a month…that sucked…..then they say the phone is going to be subsidized then tell the existing customers you are not eligible for the lower price days before the release.  They suck all around, I was excited about the iphone but now have soured on it, go enjoy the new phone and standing in line for 20 hrs to get your phone activated and then pay the ridiculous rates and all those charges for a phone the just gives you a faster internet access…so what…do you really surf the net all day on a 3 inch screen?? They didnt do anything about the pathetic reception and no voice recognition,,thanks for screwing your customers Att…Im paying the 175 termination fee and going to another carrier….you suck att

Posted by Jim on July 8, 2008 at 8:58 PM (CDT)


AT&T can piss off.  As much as I’d like the iPhone, as a long-time (>3yrs) customer, with a good payment history I am listed as ‘not elligible without renewing another @#$ two year contract’  All of this to be charged through the nose ( calculate the $/byte on a text message some time ), EVERY month.  I think not.  Even they know how much their plans suck, hence the fearful, ‘gotta lock you in’ mentality.  My business is going elsewhere, I just don’t believe the hype.  You really CAN live without an iPhone, and retain a fulfilling sense of consumer pride while doing so.  Have fun waiting in line.

Posted by Dave Loomis on July 9, 2008 at 2:26 AM (CDT)


I think this is totally unfair. If you are a customer you get screwed how is that customer satisfaction! I am outraged. Plus if you switch from a non-data plan like I have to an iphone they even end up making more money off of you. I just dont understand.
What I did find out is that is cheaper for me to cancel my current account and come in as a new customer and get the iphone cheaper!!!!

What idiots!

Posted by red on July 10, 2008 at 1:33 PM (CDT)


This is such a joke.  I looked at both the AT&T and Apple websites leading up to yesterday.  I did not notice the “eligibility” requirements anywhere.  Even if I had I wouldn’t have understood them.  I have been a customer of AT&T’s for several years now, but I bought a new phone last year and took an upgrade them.  I waited in line yesterday from 6am just to get to the counter and then be told I was not eligible.  THEN not only can I can just pay more for the phone but that I could not buy the iPhone AT ALL! After waiting all that time I was turned away empty handed my only crime being I bought a new phone last year and am not eligible for a new one yet!  Disgraceful!

Posted by Shaun on July 12, 2008 at 11:10 AM (CDT)


Sat in line for 2 hours only to be told I have to pay an extra 100 because i’m an existing customer.  Are you f’ing kidding me!!!  My contract is up in 6 months and i’m switching carriers.  F the IPHONE.  Worst business model in the history of man.  Lets penalize our existing customers.  Brilliant folks…

Posted by leaving at&t on July 12, 2008 at 2:00 PM (CDT)


Just a warning. I waiting in line for 2 hours today at an ATT store in NYC. When I got to the sales person he told me I couldn’t buy an iphone because I have only had ATT for 3 months! I told him that’s right and I’m willing to pay the full price, $399 for 8g, and he said I had to wait till July 27th. What the hell!!!! I called AT&T and they told me the store was wrong. When I called the stores manager he said the AT&T operator was wrong and they are not allowed to sell the phones at full price yet. THEY SUCK!! I have apple stock and I want to sell it all. This launch was the shark that Apple and AT&T just jumped.

Posted by F' Apple and F' AT&T on July 12, 2008 at 2:49 PM (CDT)


I am a current at&t customer paying 59.00 a month with only 6 months left in my contract.

i was going to get the iphone and pay 95.00 a month for the next 2 years.

They said I was eligilble for the $199 iphone.

So AT&T is going to get 59 x 6 =  354 of my hard earned dollars the next six months and then I am switching over to a new carrier because of this garbage.

They could of gotten 95 x 24 = 2280.00 for the next 2 years.

But they wanted an extra 100 for the phone….

Do the math AT&T… you could of profiting $1900 off me but you wanted that extra $100.  Not everyone will fall for this crap and people like me won’t do business with you anymore.

Your business model is garbage.


Posted by at&t just lost a customer on July 13, 2008 at 1:50 PM (CDT)

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