Apple to AT&T “Hey, tell your subscribers to cancel and renew service, kthxbye!”

June 24th, 2009
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

WTF? Apple wouldn’t seriously say that to AT&T would they?!

I’m sure you’ve all seen this chart by now!

iPhone 3G S iPhone 3G New and Qualified Customers $199 (16GB) $299 (32GB) $99 (8GB) $149 (16GB) Early Upgrade	$399 (16GB) $499 (32GB)	$299 (8GB) $349 (16GB) No Commitment	$599 (16GB) $699 (32GB)	$499 (8GB) $549 (16GB)

What they don’t share with you though, is this particular version of the Chart

iPhone 3G S iPhone 3G New and Qualified Customers $199 (16GB) $299 (32GB) $99 (8GB) $149 (16GB) Early Upgrade	$399 (16GB) $499 (32GB)	$299 (8GB) $349 (16GB) No Commitment	$599 (16GB) $699 (32GB)	$499 (8GB) $549 (16GB) Cancel and obtain new service	$175 Cancel + New Cost (374, 474)	$175 Cancel + New Cost (274, 324)

Wait a minute, I don’t agree with that chart at all! It’s not $175 to cancel if you have existing service, it can’t be cheaper than it is to “Upgrade” as Apple has supplied pricing, can it be?

You’re right, I’m absolutely sorry for misleading you.  You are correct, AT&T recently introduced Prorating Cancellation Fees! “AT&T to prorate cancellation fees” So yes, for me at the moment it only costs $150 to cancel which means I have even GREATER Incentive to cancel and obtain new service.

All of this assumes you’d be willing to go so far as to cancel your service in order to obtain the latest and greatest at a lower price.  Yes, that is absolutely correct.  Because I don’t feel I should be penalized to upgrade to the latest hardware by being not only an early adopter/innovator but also by having brand loyalty to Apple and AT&T.

Furthermore, to have ‘paths’ which exist such as making it cheaper to cancel or to have you ‘transfer of service’ to someone else are just ridiculous.

Allow me to elaborate on your “other option”

I recently spoke with the AT&T Retention team and they said that Apple really put the screws to them, putting them in this position whereby it IS in fact cheaper to cancel and get new service than it is to simply provide an honorable upgrade path, so they do have as a semi-out the “Transfer of Service” plan as detailed below. (Taken from Pg13 of Reference Guide)

Transfer of Service
Under certain circumstances you can transfer the billing responsibility on an account from the business customer to an End User and vice versa. This transfer of service usually requires that the line move to a new BAN# and a new FAN#.
Key Contacts call the Key Contact Center at:
866-ATT-SMBZ or
Mon-Fri 7 am – 12 am Eastern
Sat: 9 am – 8 pm Eastern

And all of the naysayers who say that I shouldn’t go so far as to waste AT&T’s resources well beyond the extra $$ so as while the ‘front-end’ cost appears lower, in the long-term as person after person would opt to cancel instead of pony up the $200, that AT&T’s operational costs would well exceed the $200? Well, I say “suck it up, and allow me the upgrade as a Qualified Customer” because frankly I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops, and neither should AT&T.

So to sum it up, what I’m seeing is very clearly this.   Apple (not AT&T) is making me cancel my service in the effort to upgrade to the new Apple 3GS iPhone.  Infact, the incentives to cancel are clearly far better than the reasons to perform an “Early” upgrade.  I’m sorry, but the “Qualified” customers option should include people who are loyal to the brand, to the solution and to the industry; instead of simply saying “Hey you guy who buys our products? Suck on this and pay an extra $200, kthxbye!”

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Christopher Kusek, Geek, Technology | Comments (1)

  • Daniel Nerenberg

    Hi, welcome to the telecom industry land of the non logical. If they could just hurry up and adapt the PC model of doing things that would be great.

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