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AT&T Responds To Outcry Over iPhone Pricing

AT&T Responds To Outcry Over iPhone Pricing

Posted June 17, 2009 at 2:38pm by iClarified
AT&T has responded to the public outcry and lowered the upgrade pricing for the new iPhone 3G S.

Customers who purchased the iPhone 3G within its first three months of release may now be eligible for AT&T's best upgrade pricing. ie the $199 and $299 price points.

Unfortunately this seems be based on your account standing and monthly services; however, most early adopters should be able to receive the discount.

Below you can find AT&T's explaination of the changes...

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AT&T Responds To Outcry Over iPhone Pricing

Some customers have had questions about our plans and policies for iPhone 3G S, and we’d like to provide you with answers. We’d also like to announce a change to the date when some iPhone customers are eligible for our best upgrade pricing to iPhone 3G S.

Importantly, we want our customers to better understand our wireless device upgrade program. Like most U.S. carriers, we offer a variety of phones that we sell below our actual cost when customers agree to sign service agreements. In general, the more a customer spends with us, the quicker they become eligible for a price break on a new device. For example, iPhone customers who spend more than $99 a month per line with us generally are eligible for an upgrade between 12 and 18 months into their contract.

We also currently offer early upgrade pricing only for iPhone 3G S and iPhone 3G.

All of that said, we’ve been listening to our customers. And since many of our iPhone 3G customers are early adopters and literally weeks shy of being upgrade eligible due to iPhone 3G S launching 11 months after iPhone 3G, we’re extending the window of upgrade eligibility for a limited time.

We’re now pleased to offer our iPhone 3G customers who are upgrade eligible in July, August or September 2009 our best upgrade pricing, beginning Thursday, June 18.

If you’re one of the many customers who will benefit from this change, please note that our upgrade eligibility tools will reflect this change on Thursday, June 18.

We invite you to come to our stores beginning Friday during normal store hours, although please be aware that customer demand may exceed supply in some of our stores. You may also preorder online on June 18 at www.att.com/iPhone, and your iPhone 3G S will arrive in 7 — 14 days. Or you can purchase iPhone 3G S at Apple’s retail and online stores, as well as at other popular retailers.

If you’re one of the customers who benefits from this change, and you’ve already preordered from an AT&T store, we’ll adjust the price of the device when you pick it up. If you benefit from the change and you pre-ordered from AT&T online, we’ll send you an e-mail and issue you a credit.

If you pre-ordered an iPhone 3G S through Apple’s online store, your upgrade eligibility will be reassessed based on AT&T's new upgrade policy for iPhone 3G owners. If you are eligible for the lower price, Apple will issue you a credit for the difference as applicable.

So, what if you still aren’t eligible for our best upgrade pricing and you still want iPhone 3G S now? You do have options:

You may qualify for the iPhone 3G S early upgrade price of $399 (16GB) or $499 (32GB).
You can pay full retail — and not have to sign a 2-year contract — at $599 (16GB) or $699 (32GB).
You can wait until you’re eligible for our best upgrade pricing. We invite you to check your upgrade eligibility by visiting www.att.com/iphone, calling *NEW# (*639#) on your AT&T device (we’ll send you a text with upgrade information), or visiting any of our over 2,200 stores.
If you want more details on our pricing and upgrade policy, check out our FAQs. And as always, you may visit one of our stores to talk with a representative.

In Summary
We’ve listened to our customers — and hope our response helps answer some of your questions and concerns.

We are incredibly proud to be the U.S. carrier for the new iPhone 3G S and will work around the clock to be ready on June 19 to serve customers who are interested in the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet.
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Comments (16)
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Nick - June 18, 2009 at 5:31pm
Sorry to hear that man, it's a shame to hear a company even act like that to one customer. What ever happened to treating every single customer as if they were your biggest client? That's how you get repeat business and loyal customers, not by just having a great phone or a great service.
BRIKZ - June 18, 2009 at 1:04pm
So im no lawyer....Are there any lawyers out there..... Since ATT is basing this upgrade price on what you spend a month or your monthly plan can we say they are being prejudiced against poor people and that everyone should get to share in the price and not just those of means.... Or does paying $500 for a phone in the first place kind of shoot that argument in the foot...
Nick - June 18, 2009 at 5:29pm
They do that because they make the money they eat off of the initial purchase of the phone quicker on the people who spend more money, thus they don't mind letting you upgrade on a shorter interval. If they offered the subsidized price to someone only spending $40 a month on their phone bill they would be losing money by offering you a fully discounted phone every year.
Nick - June 18, 2009 at 11:33am
I bought my iPhone 3G on August 16 of last year and I'm eligible for the $299 32GB pricing. Why you ask? Because my monthly phone bill for my line is over $99 a month. I just checked this online an hour ago and it changed from yesterday's $399 to $499 pricing. So if I were you I would check again and see, because AT&T said they would be updating their upgrade eligibility and pricing today, and from what I saw it is currently working.
BRIKZ - June 18, 2009 at 11:25am
I bought mine about 10 days after launch and it says i am eligible for the $399-$499 (i will be getting the 32 gb) and b4 it said i couldn't until dec, so i think i got an upgrade? And my plan is only $39 a month 450 minutes. I mean after taxes and text and internet its $$96 but still under $99. What would it be if i had a higher plan? I think the $499 is a good deal. Thats with contract extension tho. But i like ATT. so no worries there.
BRIKZ - June 18, 2009 at 11:27am
oh, i see the $299 would be nice, damn...oh well. i should get to about even if i sell the 3g unlocked and jailbroke tho , hopefully.
Nick - June 17, 2009 at 10:00pm
I believe if your cell phone bill is over $99 for the line you are upgrading, then you will be eligible after 1 year. I would give AT&T a call tomorrow, I know I am, to find out the specifics.
Mike - June 17, 2009 at 11:40pm
How can my bill be over 100$ on a family plan my line is 10$ and my data plan is 30...so what do i do? take the data plan off and use lots of data with no plan and get a 5,000$ bill for internet usage?
djfelix - June 17, 2009 at 4:12pm
That's what I get for pre-ordering ... F@#$!
Nick - June 17, 2009 at 4:36pm
If you actually read the entire article they will be crediting your account the difference in the money if you qualify. So if you do qualify you don't have to be upset, swear, pull your hair out, etc (lol) because AT&T will be refunding you.
sean - June 17, 2009 at 3:23pm
Not sure if eveyone will get the reduced price. From teh email it says everyone who is eliglibe in july august and september. I bought my 3G on release day but I am not eligible for upgrade until December. Just a word of caution for those who may wait in line to be turned down.
Nick - June 17, 2009 at 3:26pm
You might want to give AT&T a call tomorrow or go online and see if you are eligible, because you probably will be after this goes into effect.
Mike - June 17, 2009 at 9:52pm
How can anybody who purchased the Iphone 3g the day it came out, July 11, 2008, be eligible for an upgrade in the months shown in this email? If we signed a 2 year contract then in 2 years we are eligible for an upgrade, right? Well on AT&T it says I can upgrade on 12/12/09 which is not even close to 2 years.My question is how can anybody who purchased an Iphone 3g less then 1 year ago be eligible for an upgrade?!?!
Nick - June 17, 2009 at 2:46pm
Wow, AT&T is taking a hit to please everyone who bought the iPhone 3G off the bat. Well looks like I'll be selling my iPhone 3g now for a 3G S since I'll get it for the $299 price!
Snowbro - June 17, 2009 at 3:12pm
OMG... they knew very well that they were going to do this... They know that all the die-hard fans (who already have the 3G) are now going to show up to stores in droves creating long lines and over-hyping the new iPhone 3G-S... The more hype they have, the better they sell... Genius marketing...
Bob - June 17, 2009 at 9:13pm
If you bought the iPhone 3g on launch you are not eligible as your cycle falls into December. It sounds like a big change but it's probably not going to change anything. It would only affect original iphone users who bought it 3 months before iPhone 3g came out, best that I can calculate.
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