I bought an iphone 3GS in an ATT&T store in January of 2010, and was told by the rep that when my contract was expired I could 're-up' the contract and get a new iphone at the discounted price. I just logged on and the site is telling me I have to wait until November 26 of 2012!
Why would I not just switch carriers? I really don't get this... other companies are offering a new phone with contract but ATT&T is saying I have to wait 9 more months? Am i missing something?
You're missing the fact that all cell phone carriers will give you a new phone at a discount price to switch carriers because they want to get your business away from your current company. However, once you switch, you get locked into a contract just like with AT&T and face the same situation.
Typical AT&T upgrade is offered at 20 months into a 24 month contract, so the latter part of 2012 sounds right. Why it's November 2012 instead of October 2012, you would have to ask AT&T as Max69 said.