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AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

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AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

I went to Radio Shack today hoping to upgrade my iPhone 3G to a 4.  Everything was going fine, until cashier said I've never seen this message - says you can't upgrade due to excessive out of network useage.  No one there understood it, so I called AT&T.

 

They told me it was correct, I was inelgible for an upgrade.  They claimed I had too many calls that were off network.  I explained that I used my cell phone primarily as a business phone from my home - I'm self employed.  Plus my phone always says "AT&T" on the screen and I'd never had any communication from AT&T telling me my use pattern was going to impact my upgrade elegibility.  I asked two seperate customer service reps if this policy could be waived, given that I had been an AT&T Wirelelss customer since Sept 2006 and my current plan was well past the 2 year cut off.  No dice.  They told me no one at AT&T could authorize me for an upgrade!

 

I pointed out that I was paying AT&T nearly $1,000/year in fees for my iPhone voice and data plans and asked if they were willing to lose me as a customer.  Didn't phase them.  Their only offer was to put an application on my phone that would tell me specifically when I was using out of network service.  I explained this isn't going to help me since most of my mobile use is from my home - I'm not going to move just to meet some AT&T policy.  Plus I pointed out their online coverage map still shows my home as being within their coverage area.  But they were not going to compromise with me, no matter what I said. 

 

So, AT&T, this is thanks I get for persevering with you.  Well, I guess you leave me no choice.  I'll be shopping for a phone on another network.  Too bad - I was prepared to sign another 2 year contract with you today, but you blew it.

 

One Very Unhappy Customer

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Message 1 of 24
Professor

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/articles-resources/wireless-terms.jsp

 

It's right here: http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/legal/index.jsp?q_termsKey=wirelessCustomerAgreement&...

 

"If your use of minutes (including unlimited Services) on other carrier networks ("off-net voice usage") during any two consecutive months exceed your off-net voice usage allowance, AT&T may, at its option, terminate your Services, deny your continued use of other carriers' coverage or change your plan to one imposing usage charges for off-net voice usage. Your off-net voice usage allowance is equal to the lesser of 750 minutes or 40% of the Anytime Minutes included with your plan."

 

You agreed to this contract when you signed it.

 

And we all pay AT&T ~ $1000/yr - we have iPhones Smiley Tongue

 

 

AT&T is willing to lose you, because you cost them more money due to your roaming than they make off you. I'm suprised you weren't terminated as a subscriber, they can and do do that often.

 

 

Message 2 of 24
Master

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

Unfortunately, that is AT&T's policy.  There is a formula they use to determine the maximum amount of off-network usage they will tolerate.  Typically phones won't display when they're roaming off network unless the 4EON indicator is placed on the account.

 

Ultimately, this is a business and not a personal decision.  They're not saying that they don't value you as a customer, but that your continued business costs them money in roaming fees they have to pay to coverage partners.  I'm not sure where you're located, but if you see a lot of what's called "Partner" coverage in your coverage map (and I'm talking the general area around you, not just your little spot on the map), then you're not in an AT&T-covered area.

Message 3 of 24
Scholar

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

Go buy you an iPhone on eBay and forget the upgrade!  Force them to keep you as a customer.

Message 4 of 24
Tutor

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

I realize this clause is in contract.  My beef is their coverage maps show me as living within their coverage area and there is no way to determine if you are going out of network.  So in absence of any communication from AT&T, how do you know you are hitting this level of off net usage?  I certainly didn't.

 

I recognize they're obviously willing to let me go.  Given the way they've treated me, I'm not really too unhappy to leave.

Message 5 of 24
Tutor

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

Think I'll go get a Droid phone on either US Cellular or Verizon instead.  Or wait a month or two to see if rumors of Verizon iPhone early in 2011 pan out.

 

I really don't care to be AT&T's customer much longer.

Message 6 of 24
Master

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

Call ATT and ask them to enable the feature on your SIM that will show you when you are roaming.  I forget what that feature code is.  They show ATT for all to avoid confussion but in this case, you do need to see when you are off network.

 

Keep in mind the coverage maps are only estimates and you might be in a coverage hole where the other carriers tower provides significantly better signal strength and you would not know you switched networks.

 

 

_____________________

For service or support questions including existing order status, call:
Customer Support: 1-800-331-0500

Information on iPhone unlocking can be found here by copying this link into your browser:
https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/
Message 7 of 24
Tutor

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

I suspect you are right that I must be in a weak spot that get's covered by other carriers towers a high % of time.

 

Unfortunately, knowing I'm roaming really won't help me.  I use my cell phone from my home as my primary business line - I'm self employed.  So the only way for me to avoid off network voice use would be to not use my phone - kind of counterproductive to my business.  Seems like I'm in a Catch 22 situation - I need to use my cell for business from home, but if I do, I end up roaming off network too much for AT&T.

 

I know US Cellular coverage is good at my home.  I'm going to check out Verizon as well and then pick the best plan/phone from one of these carriers and drop AT&T.

Message 8 of 24
Professor

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

If you got one of those microcells you'd be on-network at home.

Message 9 of 24
Professor

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

Its funny, i love seeing the complaints about the MRC that people pay, IM an employee and pay over 2600.00  per year (thats 220.00 per month) and thats after my discount....

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 10 of 24
Tutor

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

I discussed microcell option with customer service.  Unfortunately, they couldn't guarantee it would address the off network usage problem.  Only thing they could suggest was try it and see.  I'm not sure I want to spend $150 to see if it works.  I've got to think about it.

Message 11 of 24
Tutor

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

You totally missed the point of my message.  My beef is that I can't upgrade and I was never notified by AT&T that my off network use was excessive.  I've been a customer for over 4 years - can't believe this has been the case all that time. 

 

Also, absolutely no solution offered by AT&T customer service.  I had to suggest option of microcell (based on suggestion by someone on this thread), and the customer service rep clearly had limited training or knowledge on the microcell or if it would address off network usage successfully.

 

Message 12 of 24
Guru

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

So much for "more bars in more places"... Smiley Wink

 

Or is it just the OP's poor luck that he just happens to live in an area that's not part of the 98% (or whatever the figure may be) of the country that AT&T claims to have coverage throughout?

Message 13 of 24
Master

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

 


Mtrimmer wrote:

I discussed microcell option with customer service.  Unfortunately, they couldn't guarantee it would address the off network usage problem.  Only thing they could suggest was try it and see.  I'm not sure I want to spend $150 to see if it works.  I've got to think about it.


You should have 30 days to try it.......

 

_____________________

For service or support questions including existing order status, call:
Customer Support: 1-800-331-0500

Information on iPhone unlocking can be found here by copying this link into your browser:
https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/
Message 14 of 24

Re: AT&T Refuses iPhone Upgrade

Customer Care might be able to turn off roaming for your line.  I know international roaming can be disabled, and I think domestic roaming can be, as well.  If it can be done, that would prevent the issue of excessive off-network calls.  If you're in (or frequently travel to) an area with only partner coverage, disabling roaming probably isn't worthwhile; but if you have decent AT&T (not partner) coverage, it may have a negligible impact.

 

If you use a microcell, you're on AT&T's network if the phone connects to the microcell rather than to the external tower.  If you have a strong signal from a tower, the phone may connect to it rather than to the microcell.  You may want to take a look at the microcell board of this forum before making a decision, particularly if you're using an iPhone.  Still, as mentioned previously, you should have 30 days to evaluate it.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Message 15 of 24
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