New data plan/phone before contract up

Tutor

New data plan/phone before contract up

I have used ATT for everything since about 1978; I have had a cell phone through Cingular/SBC/ATT since about 1995.  I don't change things very often.

 

I currently have a Samsung phone and the contract will be up 5/2012.  I want to upgrade to an iphone with an upgraded data plan.  So, I stopped in the ATT store.  Very nice young man helped me decide what I wanted.  Apparently - even tho I want to give ATT more money -- they cannot change my plan/phone for another 6 weeks.  A long time customer, have my internet through ATT, landline, cell.  Cannot upgrade - to give ATT more money - until 5/2012!!  I mean, really?  Really?  I have never any any thought to cancel my service; works fine for me, just want an upgrade. 

 

I'm sorry but I think this is very poor customer service and does your longtime customers a HUGE disservice.  What is our motivation to stay with a company that has no desire to be a little more accommodating.  If this were my first wireless plan or had not been a customer for a long time, that is somewhat understandable.  But that is NOT the case.

 

I'm very unhappy right now.  I don't beg people to take my money, I prefer to find someone who will ask for it. 

 

I would very much appreciate a comment/answer as to why this is the case. 

 

Goodness knows, I have people fawning all over me to sign up for U-verse which I am not at all interested and will not be interested in, but can't get a little satisfaction on this question. 

 

I would like to upgrade my phone and service package/data plan ASAP.  Is that possible without having to pay penalties?

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Message 1 of 13
Professor

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up

Out of curiosity, when did you upgrade to your current phone? Typically, when you upgrade you sign a two year contract, which AT&T could hold you to. However, they usually allow a full discount upgrade after 20 months. And, they've been allowing upgrades on the first of the month that you become eligible rather than making you wait until the exact day. I upgraded to my last phone in July 2010. Two weeks ago, my upgrade date was around March 20th. On March 1st I checked again and I was eligible.

 

Seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Message 2 of 13
Contributor

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up

I think At&t has very poor customer service.  Like you am a long time customer, when I lost my phone almost two years ago I discovered I wasn't in a contract.  Apparently it had expired and I was paying month to month.  However when I went in to replace the phone I lost, not only did I have to sign a 2 year contract to get a phone but it cost me almost $200.  Then when I asked for a similar phone I discovered I was somewhat mislead by the rep at the store.  When I tried to return it they wanted to charge me an ADDITIONAL fee to re-stock it, are you kidding me??  I've tried to upgrade twice (as in give them more money) and been advised I can't because my contract isn't up until June.  My friend is Verizon and not only did they let her upgrade 6 mos BEFORE her contract expired but they also waived the fee for upgrading.  She got an Iphone, the whole thing cost her the same that I paid.  When my contract is up I'll probably switch carriers.  I think AT&T has extremely POOR customer service.

Message 3 of 13
Tutor

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up

I don't remember exactly when I upgraded my last one but I assume it was 2 years ago in May or so.  They won't let me upgrade now - without spending a fortune - until May/2012.  I mean, it's the middle of March; we're talking about 6 weeks, and they would be getting more money from me.  That's what bugs the heck out of me.  I'm trying to give them money and they won't give any concessions!

 

Surely, surely there is some way or someone to talk to about this.   I wanted to send an email to a higher up in corporate or something, but for the life of me can't find out how you do that.  Any suggestions? 

Message 4 of 13
Professor

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up

This same issue has been discussed before. It's more fair to have a set upgrade date and stick to it for everyone. Otherwise, everyone can make the same argument. Once they let someone upgrade 1 month early, someone else will say, if they do for 1 month early, why not 6 weeks early, and then if they do that, then why not 2 months early, and so on. It never ends.

And it's always the same comment, AT&T doesn't want to keep me as a customer because they won't give me what I want.
Message 5 of 13
Expert

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up


actalon wrote:

I think At&t has very poor customer service.  Like you am a long time customer, when I lost my phone almost two years ago I discovered I wasn't in a contract.  Apparently it had expired and I was paying month to month.  However when I went in to replace the phone I lost, not only did I have to sign a 2 year contract to get a phone but it cost me almost $200.  Then when I asked for a similar phone I discovered I was somewhat mislead by the rep at the store.  When I tried to return it they wanted to charge me an ADDITIONAL fee to re-stock it, are you kidding me??  I've tried to upgrade twice (as in give them more money) and been advised I can't because my contract isn't up until June.  My friend is Verizon and not only did they let her upgrade 6 mos BEFORE her contract expired but they also waived the fee for upgrading.  She got an Iphone, the whole thing cost her the same that I paid.  When my contract is up I'll probably switch carriers.  I think AT&T has extremely POOR customer service.



interesting, they waived the upgrade cost? As was pointed out to me and verified they have no upgrade fee that is charged. "early upgrades" from verizon are a total hit or miss, corproate policy is no early upgrade but occasionally they do allow one for additional charges, all of their "new in two" and "1 year upgrade" periods have been recently discontinued. All carriers lose a substantial amount of money where ever they allow a early upgrade, they are already losing money on subsidizing a phone to start with.

Message 6 of 13
Tutor

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up

 

You know, I would probably agree with you if I hadn't ALWAYS been an ATT customer, for the past 30 years or so.  However, I think once someone has reached a certain milestone with a company they should be able to get at least the same consideration for their loyalty as a brand new customer who may jump from company to company just searching for deals.  I'm sorry, to me customer loyalty should count for something.  Maybe even just a one time thing or something.  A little good will from a business goes a long, long way.

Message 7 of 13
Professor

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up

You may feel entitled to a "loyalty discount", but AT&T apparently feels differently. Do any of the cell phone companies offer such specials to 10 or 20 or 30 or whatever year "loyal" customers? And what is the cutoff? If it's 10 years, people with only 9 1/2 years will be complaining, and so on. Someone is always just going to be under whatever arbitrary limit is set and feel sliighted.

Back to the original issue, is there some reason you can't just wait the 6 weeks until you are eligible?
Message 8 of 13
Tutor

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up

Mostly because I'm just getting started in a new small business and fundraising campaign, and would like to get a more powerful/reliable phone to use for swiping credit/debit cards on site.  I don't have internet access/web browsing on my current phone.  I don't know that it is reliable/safe enough for such transactions, and I would need to change the plan in any event.

 

I have two events coming up in May, the first one is the first weekend in May and I would like to be familiar with both the phone and the credit/debit card aspect before being thrown in the middle of a situation.

Message 9 of 13
Expert

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up


steswfw wrote:

 

You know, I would probably agree with you if I hadn't ALWAYS been an ATT customer, for the past 30 years or so.  However, I think once someone has reached a certain milestone with a company they should be able to get at least the same consideration for their loyalty as a brand new customer who may jump from company to company just searching for deals.  I'm sorry, to me customer loyalty should count for something.  Maybe even just a one time thing or something.  A little good will from a business goes a long, long way.



Have been with att in some way shape or form since all landlines where party lines, you counted the number of rings to determine if the call was for you  and you could listen in to anyone elses conversation by picking up the phone. Have att supplying the last mile of copper / fiber to some OC3's / T3's for my business locations and I don;t expect / demand any special treatment at all, if it is offered great, if not it goes on..

 

If the phone is used for primarily busiess buy it at full cost and have your accounted right off the usage on your tax return

 

 

Message 10 of 13
Tutor

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up

Perhaps you missed the part that it was a small start up business and a fundraising event.  I am my own accountant at this point and have not made enough money to qualify for any writeoff or anything, much less a tax return.

 

And, you know what, I get it; I'm not gonna get any helpful suggestions here.  I'm sorry I bothered ATT/y'all for a little help.  Maybe you'll remember the WMBTOPCIT,BWTNTALI days, (we may be the only phone company in town, but we try not to act like it).

 

 

Message 11 of 13
Professor

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up

What help were you expecting? You simply aren't eligible yet, that's all there is to it. There isn't any way around it.
Message 12 of 13
Expert

Re: New data plan/phone before contract up


steswfw wrote:

Perhaps you missed the part that it was a small start up business and a fundraising event.  I am my own accountant at this point and have not made enough money to qualify for any writeoff or anything, much less a tax return.

 

And, you know what, I get it; I'm not gonna get any helpful suggestions here.  I'm sorry I bothered ATT/y'all for a little help.  Maybe you'll remember the WMBTOPCIT,BWTNTALI days, (we may be the only phone company in town, but we try not to act like it).

 

 



did not miss it - it is still not a valid reason to expect a special dispensation from any company, in any form of business, small medium, large, noew or established contract agreements are the bottom line, they are just holding you up to the contrat you agreed to. The bank isn't going to forgive and forget being late, why should any other company?

 

Got another one that works well for business for you TANSTAAFL in business - There Ain't No Such Thing As a Free Lunch

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