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iPhone Users Angry Over AT&T Upgrade Policy

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the fair's-fair-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder dept.

Cellphones 789

All is not sweetness and light in the wake of the Apple WWDC kickoff announcements, especially concerning the evolution of the iPhone. Reader Hugh Pickens writes: "AT&T will offer the new iPhone 3G S when it debuts later this month at a cost of $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB models, but only to new customers and those who qualify for the discounted price. AT&T subscribers with an iPhone 3G who are not eligible for an upgrade — those not near the end of their two-year contracts — will have to pay $200 more — $399 for the 16GB model and $499 for the 32GB model. 'This is ridiculous and slap in the face to long-time loyal iPhone customers like me who switched from T-Mobile and the only reason was the iPhone,' writes one unhappy iPhone customer. 'We have to mount a vigorous campaign to change this policy. Call your local AT&T and ask for the manager and complain. Send e-mails and post in forums everywhere.' The issue is spurring heavy debate on support discussion forums, with some customers supporting AT&T. 'The option you have is to honor the contract you freely committed yourself to,' says one forum member. 'If you want to upgrade early then you will have to pay full price with no subsidy discount. You can't blame anyone but yourself for your predicament.'"

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789 comments

anonymous coward angry over first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259181)

drink my frosty piss, fag!

BooHoo (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259197)

You know Apple releases a new phone every year, and you know AT&T makes you sign a 2-year contract. Either pay the higher price for the upgrade or live through the horror of not having the latest shiny product until your contract runs out.

Re:BooHoo (4, Informative)

puck01 (207782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259325)

I have to agree. I'm not a cell phone guru by any measure, but only offering the discount rate every two years seems to be a fairly standard term in my experience.

Re:BooHoo (5, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259349)

Or you could boycott the particularly onerous terms of your contract by paying your ETF and not giving AT&T your money any longer. You and I both know it doesn't cost them even remotely close to 95$ a month for your service - their profit margins are obscene. It's absolutely their right to request you pay that amount each month, and if you were suckered into a contract, that's a blow to you. Learn by your mistake by terminating the contract in the legal manner (and if that means waiting until they change the terms of the contract, so be it) and don't fucking enter another one like it again. Until you tell them you're not interesting in paying obscene costs or entering into their service with any contract (even forgoing your precious ball and chain for a while), they'll keep bending you over and blasting your asshole repeatedly. If you want to just lay there and take it, that's your prerogative, but kindly have the decency to shut the fuck up about how you're not receiving a perceived fair bargain from the entity you willfully signed your custom away to.

Re:BooHoo (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259497)

All well and good to posture, but those having an iPhone under the only contract terms available have sunk costs and can't do a thing to recover them.

The phone is locked to ATT.

ATT subsidized the iPhone heavily and wants to recover their costs. Its understandable.

Yes, ATT should allow you to pay off your ETF (which by the way should ONLY include what they owe Apple for the phone) and let you start a new contract with a new phone.

What could be more fair?

Re:BooHoo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259503)

Yeah if you are paying $95 bucks a month then you really need all those extra minutes! That's $35/month more than I pay for my iPhone BTW

Re:BooHoo (5, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259413)

You know Apple releases a new phone every year, and you know AT&T makes you sign a 2-year contract. Either pay the higher price for the upgrade or live through the horror of not having the latest shiny product until your contract runs out.

Absolutely. Besides, early adopters always get the shaft. That's the price you pay for being an early adopter.

Me, I bought a G1 a few months ago, and the G2 is coming out this month, I understand. I'll have to wait to see if I do, in fact, end up feeling screwed. If so ... I screwed myself and I did it willingly because I didn't want to wait.

Bunch of crybabies.

Re:BooHoo (1)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259467)

No shit. This isn't exactly news in cell phone land. I guess they thought the iPhone didn't fall under the normal rules?

Re:BooHoo (4, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259523)

This is genius.

1) Apple culture heavily weighted towards having latest shiny object

2) AT&T contract requires 2 year ownership or pay $200 penalty

3) Apple maintains 1 year design cycle

4) Profit!!

Whoa! ATT sucks balls? (5, Funny)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259199)

This is totally out of left field. It's a good thing the US is chock-a-block with better wireless carriers and the iPhone is portable between them.

Re:Whoa! ATT sucks balls? (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259427)

This is totally out of left field. It's a good thing the US is chock-a-block with better wireless carriers and the iPhone is portable between them.

Very funny, and for some reason it makes me want to throw up.

Re:Whoa! ATT sucks balls? (-1, Redundant)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259449)

Hello, you obviously don't live here. There is ONE other national GSM carrier in the US besides AT&T, that is T-Mobile and their 3G network is weak at best (or at least is vastly less mature).

Nextly, that doesn't matter much if you want a subsidy from the sole official provider of the iPhone in the US.

Re:Whoa! ATT sucks balls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259525)

T-mobile's network rocks, get your facts straight.

Apple lemmings. I just picked up a G1 for $98 - does more than the iphone can do, no lock in, a swappable battery (hello 2300!) and memory expansion.

Have fun being locked into the worst network in the country with a sub-standard phone that cost 4x's too much.

Re:Whoa! ATT sucks balls? (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259543)

I do live in the US, and formerly worked in the wireless communications industry. I've seen the soft, shitty underbelly of the national carriers first hand, and it's an awful and very depressing sight indeed.

But once LTE takes off, then there'll finally be an even playing field for competition between carriers and the consumers will reap the benefits.

*chortle*

Re:Whoa! ATT sucks balls? (1)

musicalwoods (1115347) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259557)

Hello, you obviously don't live here. There is ONE other national GSM carrier in the US besides AT&T, that is T-Mobile and their 3G network is weak at best (or at least is vastly less mature).

Nextly, that doesn't matter much if you want a subsidy from the sole official provider of the iPhone in the US.

Woosh!

Re:Whoa! ATT sucks balls? (1)

biased_estimator (1222498) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259565)

WHOOOOOoooooo.....ooooooOOOOOOOSHHHHHHHH.....

never should have given the retro price cut (4, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259201)

So the issue is that a new model has been released and only people who are eligible for a new phone can get it at a discount? Apple never should have caved on the iphone price change retroactivity, now they can't improve anything without the existing users demanding free upgrades for life.

Re:never should have given the retro price cut (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259483)

Yeah, I don't really get the complaint here. I've complained before when cell phone carriers wouldn't give me the same deal as "new customers" even after I've completed my contract-- not so much because I think that they're obligated to offer me those deals, but more because I think it's stupid and it's caused me to switch from a carrier I was otherwise happy with in order to get a better "free" phone.

However, the $199/$299 prices for the iPhones are their subsidized prices. The real prices are $200 more, but you're essentially getting $200 cash-back for locking yourself into a t 2 year deal. If you're already in your 2 year deal, then you're not in a position to sign on for another 2 years.

Or.. (3, Insightful)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259203)

How every other carrier and every other phone works. Just because they were generous when the 3G came out, does not obligate them to do so again.

Bingo! (3, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259511)

Honestly, given the current state of our economy, I'm surprised more people aren't ashamed to post such nonsense.... Even though we don't yet know exactly what will be in the latest revision of the iPhone, all indications point to a few relatively minor tweaks, like a built in compass and ability to use the faster tier of 3G cellular data network. Oh, and likely a faster graphics processor, which is nice -- but did anyone honestly have issues with it updating too slowly before? This will only matter for some games that want to push the envelope a little further with how much you can do on a phone. FAR from a necessity, especially for those of us who'd rather play "real" games on a home computer or console system anyway!

Heck, I bought one of the very early 1st. gen. iPhones, and I didn't WANT to go to the 3G model. The version using the slower EDGE network was about $10 cheaper per month to keep a contract on, and I thought it had a more "solid" feel to it than the plastic-backed, sloped wedge shape of the current model. But finally, when mine started acting up, outside the warranty period, it just made more sense to buy a new phone.

If you can get past the pointless "keeping up with the Jones'" attitude for a minute, I fail to see why a 3G iPhone owner would be that compelled to rush out and upgrade at all? Those that have that irrational need to "show off" by having one first? Well, let them pay full retail price!

iPhone Users? (5, Insightful)

sthomas (132075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259213)

Looks like only one user was upset in that forum. The rest all saw the logic and understood what a subsidy is used for.

Re:iPhone Users? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259269)

Really, I just bought an iPhone in February, and will be amazed if I can get a discount beginning February 2010 or even August 2010, and I understand completely. I could sell my phone right now for $400 easy, so it wouldn't make any sense for AT&T to sell me the better version of my phone for $200.

Stuff like this makes Slashdot look silly too, a massive jump to conclusions over a small minority shouldn't be news.

Re:iPhone Users? (0, Troll)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259339)

I think the real news here is that Apple fans are all whiny little twerps... except, that's not really news to those who already think so.

Me? Just playing devil's advocate. I'm not an apple fan, by any means; but, to each, his own.

Re:iPhone Users? (2, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259513)

No, you can't sell your iPhone right now for $400.

Sorry, take a look at the current prices for locked iPhones on Ebay. Falling like rocks.

no no NO!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259333)

This is Slashdot. We have to complain about how Apple "Fanbois" are whiny and never satisfied. How DARE you introduce facts into this discussion? How DARE you destroy the dream?!???

Re:no no NO!!!! (1, Flamebait)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259507)

We have to complain about how Apple "Fanbois" are whiny and never satisfied.

Yeah, well, that's pretty much the truth. Just watch my karma disappear for making that remark. I wonder what would happen if someone were to publish a cartoon making fun of Apple owners? They'd probably issue a fatwa against the poor devil.

Re:iPhone Users? (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259343)

You'll have to excuse them, the people who are freaking out about this are all in the midst of the Five Stages of Acquisition [memory-alpha.org] . They've long since reached Infatuation, and are now having trouble with the Justification step. Swing a piece of gold-pressed latinum in front of their faces, and like any Ferengi they'll get over it.

Re:iPhone Users? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259459)

You'll have to excuse them, the people who are freaking out about this are all in the midst of the Five Stages of Acquisition [memory-alpha.org].

Actually, I think they're all still drooling on their bibs. Grow up people, the U.S. cell phone business is a crock, and it doesn't matter what carrier you deal with. Well, of course there's Sprint, but they're in a category all by themselves.

Re:iPhone Users? (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259423)

Dear Ferrari, I bought a brand new Ferrari last year and this year you have a new model available, but I'm still stuck paying for the old one! Waaah! ... what a bunch of spoilt little brats some apple users must be.

Re:iPhone Users? (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259439)

I totally understand why they do it... however what upsets me is that they treat new customers (who potentially could be really crappy customers) better than customers that have been with them for years. There's no points for loyalty with AT&T anymore; that seems to have gone out the window around the same time they originally merged with Cingular. I've got stories, but this isn't the place for that.

Luckily I haven't purchased new hardware from AT&T in about 2 years. My first gen iPhone was given to me through work (from the boss when he upgraded to his 3G), so I qualified for reduced pricing.

Don't forget is it a cell phone provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259219)

How is it different from any other phone?

Pay uuuuup, shut uuuuup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259221)

Pay them dammit, pay them now!

Steve "Da Skinny Bopper" Jobs

Really? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259229)

'We have to mount a vigorous campaign to change this policy.'

A vigorous campaign? Really? I'm sorry, but in this context, the author simply sounds pathetic.

Re:Really? (2, Insightful)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259259)

It does seem a tad late to mount a vigorous campaign against the entire US Cell Phone Industry.... What are we wll going to do, switch to Boost?

Re:Really? (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259371)

Pathetic? definitely. On Slashdot? Unfortunately.

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

sthomas (132075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259541)

"vigorous" made me laugh. For once I'd like to see someone launch a lackadaisical campaign. In fact, this is a call to arms - let's launch a lethargic campaign to create a new era of de-energized campaigns!

Who cares 1st thing to mind, 2nd boo-hoo (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259231)

It's standard cell carrier policy, only give discounts when your contract is either expired, or close to expired, in order to bait you into extending it.

They make up for the *loss* (note, there is NO loss, it's just a reduced markup / profit on the phone) in their overpriced charging model, for minutes used, data transmitted, text-messages sent/received, etc.. drekcetera...

The end of the posting says it pretty well...

READ THE ARTICLE, FOOL! (-1, Troll)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259293)

You like many others did NOT read the article.

You missed the part where Apple said they would NOT give the discount to existing people EVEN when their contract expired.

I.E. You have a current Iphone your contract is expiring tomorrow and you still don't get the new one at a discount. You have to pay the full price. The only way to get the discount is if you did NOT already have an AT&T account. They basically are taking their existing customers and saying screw you. It's kind of like if Chrysler said "Hey, we are going to give people that trade in a Toyota a car for 50% off, but if you trade it a Chrysler, we are giving you book value only).

Re:READ THE ARTICLE, FOOL! (4, Informative)

jchawk (127686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259329)

They are absolutely not doing this. I am an existing AT&T customer who has an iphone. I am no longer under a current contract as I have been waiting for the new iPhone. I just double checked before posting and I qualify for an upgrade to the new iPhone if at the discount pricing if I am willing to sign a 2 year agreement with AT&T.

Apple doesn't subsidize these phones the phone carriers do.

Nothing to see here but confused forum posters and bloggers move along please.

You bought your 1st gen before it was released? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259579)

It hasn't been 365 x 2 days since the iPhone went on sale. How is your contract ALREADY up?

Re:READ THE ARTICLE, FOOL! (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259355)

Apple wrote their legalease in a somewhat confusing manner, but no they did not say what you wrote in bold.

Re:READ THE ARTICLE, FOOL! (1)

puck01 (207782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259409)

I read the article. I did not see that part having read it now several time It said that new customers and those that qualify will get the discount. The 'those that qualify' it implied were the people at the end of their contract. I'm not sure how this is any different then other cell phone providers.

how do US phone plans work? (1)

quenda (644621) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259471)

I.E. You have a current Iphone your contract is expiring tomorrow and you still don't get the new one at a discount. You have to pay the full price.

Is that the full outright unlocked price, or just a not-so-subsidised and still locked price?
How does this stuff work in the US? I thought the basic idea is you get a new free/cheap phone every two years by signing or extending a contract.

Other countries have competition laws to stop blatant abuse, e.g. requiring a contract and locking the handset. (no proper reason for both).

Re:READ THE ARTICLE, FOOL! (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259555)

You funny boy, learn to read maybe!

Stop Whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259235)

ATT SUBSIDIZED your first phone on the basis that you would keep it for 2 years before they SUBSIDIZE another one. Just because you are a apple FANBOY does not entitle you to extra subsidies.

I am incredibly upset about this. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259237)

Things I'm also upset about:

No more free lunches.
Gas costing more than $0.05 a gallon.
Having to walk more than three feet from my car to my local superstore.
The fact that I wasn't born in a time where peace was on earth, everything is free, and we're all immortal.

I'm so angry that I'm punching a wall and hoping someone will pay for its repair as we speak.

Re:I am incredibly upset about this. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259445)

Things I'm also upset about:

No more free lunches.
Gas costing more than $0.05 a gallon.
Having to walk more than three feet from my car to my local superstore.
The fact that I wasn't born in a time where peace was on earth, everything is free, and we're all immortal.

Don't worry dude, this is all five years away.
As is the cure for the common cold.

LINUX IS SHIT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259245)

Can't even install usb wifi without going through a bunch of command line bullshit that doesn't even work

Fuck this shit. Going back to Windows.

wat (0)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259247)

Not getting a discount is

ridiculous and a slap in the face

Slap in the face? WTF? (2, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259253)

AT&T and Apple are trying to get new customers by lowering the initial cost and subsidizing the remainder on a 2 yr plan. If you already have an iPhone, you don't qualify, plain and simple. Why is this a slap in the face? When did we as a society get our collective sense of entitlement?

Re:Slap in the face? WTF? (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259475)

When did we as a society get our collective sense of entitlement?

It started sometime back in the mid-sixties, and it's been all downhill ever since.

Re:Slap in the face? WTF? (5, Insightful)

Bloopie (991306) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259549)

How does one user [att.com] complaining about upgrade policies on a forum, with almost all the other users thinking the policies aren't so bad, qualify as a "collective sense of entitlement"?

Am I missing something? (1, Insightful)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259255)

They have a policy that says that if you're a new customer, you get a discount...

They also have a policy that allows you to upgrade your phone at a discounted price after a certain amount of time.

If I'm not mistaken, they've done this for a while, now... and so does Verizon. How does the iPhone have anything to do over this? Sounds to me like someone is just mad that they'll have to wait for their upgrade.

Not saying that longtime customers shouldn't get a discount or anything... just that this shouldn't surprise anyone.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259477)

I especially love how he's a 'long-time loyal iPhone customer' though, when he switched from T-mobile, 'the only reason was the iPhone'. Not even 2 and a half years on the market, which means not even a 2 and a half year customer, who received an early upgrade when the 3G came out in July of '08, less than 12 months ago. I get 18 month upgrades after 8 and a half years as an AT&T customer; you don't hear me bitching, do you? No, even though I had to wait a few extra months to get the Bold when it came out, you don't hear me bitching.

It's going to be said a thousand times (1, Insightful)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259261)

You sign a contract for 24 months to receive a reduced price on your handset. You're not eligible for a discount until a good portion of that commitment has passed (usually 18 months). Owners of the first Gen iPhone got a discount because they bought their phone at full price. 2nd gen iPhone owners who paid full non-contract price are eligible for a discount. People who got a handset (ANY handset) at a discount and are within their contract time won't see one until their time expires. I just bought a new Macbook Pro 11 months ago; should I go to the Apple store and whine because they've improved the design, and I can't buy one for half price?

This is nothing new. (4, Informative)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259265)

If you had an Original Motorola RAZR and you wanted a new one, you had to pay full price.

I fail to see the issue here.

Re:This is nothing new. (1)

Milkyfresh (1041360) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259415)

I fail to see the issue here.

Same here. It is all spelled out in the contract. It is like this with any piece of new, 'cutting edge' hardware for cell phones. You want the latest and greatest? You'll be stuck with it for at least a year, probably two. I've never understood wanting to be on the bleeding edge of cell phone technology. I want my phone to make calls first, do the fancy stuff second

Re:This is nothing new. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259539)

If you had an Original Motorola RAZR and you wanted a new one, you had to pay full price.

I fail to see the issue here.

I think that's primarily because there isn't one. An issue, I mean. Besides, these people are dealing with a. SBC (yes, yes, I know it's still called "AT&T" but we all know what it really is and b. Apple Computer. Neither of those two companies has ever been particularly trustworthy with regards to their customers.

Wow (1)

anonymousNR (1254032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259279)

Looking at the first set of comments I am getting a de ja vu of being in youtube.

SUCKERS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259281)

What, you thought buying an iphone made you something special? You're just another cell phone customer in the revenue machine, willing to spend more for something shiny.

They Subsidized the Old Phone (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259285)

They subsidized the old phone on the condition of a two-year contract. Before those terms are up, which you agreed to, you want them to subsidize a new phone?

Well, if you are breaking the contract cough up the money from the last contract. That would be fair. And probably about $200 anyway.

free upgrades???? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259289)

So you have an iPhone, and you loaded some apps on it, and you text your friends, and sit in Starbucks and look cool... and AT&T comes out with a cooler one, and you want a freebie or discount upgrade, because ...... why ?

Unsubsidized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259297)

'If you want to upgrade early then you will have to pay full price with no subsidy discount. You can't blame anyone but yourself for your predicament.'

Yeah, that would make sense if paying the 'unsubsidized' $400 didn't extend the contract by 2 years. I have an iPhone 3G with a broken screen, but I'm not paying $400 and giving AT&T my nutsack as well.

Not even P.T. Barnum predicted this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259305)

Not only did people waste money once on an overpriced cell phone, but now those same people are complaining that they can't now throw away their phone for the priveledge of wasting another couple hundred on a slighly newer version of the same phone.

Steve Jobs is a genius.
So was L. Ron Hubbard.

No sympathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259309)

No sympathy from me... Apple fanboys deserve to be slapped, especially so by Apple itself....

keep up the face slapping

Re:No sympathy (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259327)

Except of course apple has nothing to do with it and no one had their face slapped. Besides that. Great post. Unless of course AT&T following the same contracts every other US carrier uses is Apple slapping people in the face.

Let them wait a year.. (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259317)

Seriously. The oldest iphone out there is just now turning 2 years old. This new ones an improvement, but not a world changing compared to last years.

People have so little patience, plus they may change the policy anyway.
 

Waaa Waaaa Waaaaa get a life whiners. (0)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259331)

Get over it this is how all the providers work, its a subsidized phone and they have to be sure the hardware gets paid for. I just got a 16G iphone last month for my wife and mine three months ago, I've been with AT&T since they landed in Phoenix maybe they should upgrade me for free? Hardly.

Re:Waaa Waaaa Waaaaa get a life whiners. (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259395)

How did I read that article and screw up it's implications so badly? Well I guess my Dad is going to cancel out of my family plan (his part of the contract ended last year) and then re-up, take my phone and I'll get the new iPhone so SCREW UP AT&T I'm going to beat your system!

A discounted iPhone upgrade at a higher price (1)

tniermann (1394985) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259341)

This is a quote from the AT&T site when upgrading from the original IPhone non3G "As a valued AT&T customer, we can offer you a discounted iPhone upgrade at a higher price, along with a 2-year commitment and an $18 upgrade fee. Please proceed with the online upgrade process for pricing details. You may qualify for a full discount on a standard iPhone upgrade on 07/23/2009
I then try to select the single line to upgrade and the site tells me only select a single line. They seem to not want to sell to existing customers till 7/23.

Re:A discounted iPhone upgrade at a higher price (1)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259455)

There may be some supply manipulation going on. Either they expect a greater demand from "qualified" users holding out for this new phone than Apple can supply, or they are trying to limit the number of used 3G phones dumped into the marketplace that might tempt people looking at the cheap 8GB 3G phone otherwise.

what is the issue? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259353)

I don't understand what the issue is. The great majority of new features can be had by flashing your current iphone to 3.0, and then opening the little door and putting in a bigger...micro...sd...card... Oh, I forgot. Never mind.

Phone subsidies hurt many things (1)

btempleton (149110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259363)

The U.S. market is dominated by subsidized phones. Get $200 off a phone, agree to a contract (2 years in US, 3 in Canada) where you pay back a lot more than the $200 credit you were given. From a business standpoint, of course they are not going to subsidize you faster, at least not as a rule.

However, this system has hurt the phone market. It creates higher margins in cell phone retailing (that's why you see so many cell phone stores everywhere) and for handset vendors, but it also requires that phones have annoying subsidy locks that stop you from going easily to other carriers, or putting in other SIMs when overseas -- enabling huge roaming charges.

It would be better if you could say, "Look, instead of $200 off a phone, if I bring my own phone, will you give me $10/month off my plan if I commit to 2 years?" Costs the carrier the same, approximately.

Then we would get more competition in handsets, and less carrier control of handsets too.

Re:Phone subsidies hurt many things (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259453)

In most countries if you bring your own phone there's no commitment other than the month by month payment (far less than the subsidised contracts of course).

OTOH in the US they get it good - they let you terminate legally binding contracts early by paying $200. And you still complain. Everyone else has to pay all the remaining months of their contract to buy out of it.

Holy Shit (5, Insightful)

yerktoader (413167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259381)

The general consensus here on Slashdot so far:

1)"tsfroggy"(RTA) agreed to his/her terms in a contract and has to deal with the pricing like everyone else.

2)A past discount is not an obligation for a future discount.

3)"tsfroggy" is a whiner.

4)AT&T is clearly in the right on this, even if the pricing is too high.

I must say, Congrats gentlemen. I'll be interested in seeing how long this lasts in this particular thread.

just cancel and renew? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259383)

couldn't you just cancel your two year contract, pay the ETF, and start anew?

Cry me a river (1, Insightful)

L4m3rthanyou (1015323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259389)

Stop the presses, customers are being price-gouged by AT&T and Apple! Oh, the horror!

Who is going to expect sympathy over the fact that they have to pay $200 more to upgrade their iPhone?

Why is this even on the front page? Does Slashdot really worship the iPhone this much?

how about this (1)

beattie (594287) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259393)

If you don't like the product they are offering at the price they are offering it at, don't buy it.

That's Terrible (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259407)

I have wanted an iPhone since they came out, but I have a corporate plan so I'm not eligible, ever, for an upgrade the way our company handles it. I have to buy one outright to get it too, so stop whining. One of these days I may actually buy one as a gift to myself, but until then I'm in the same boat. Just be glad you have one and not some generic blackberry.

Do not complain...do something about it (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259443)

Why don't you and your colleagues in the same situation band up and start up a non-profit phone company? This company will not have a shortage of subscribers as the number of people being ripped off by these phone companies is not in short supply.

It reminds me of the town of Wilson that Time Warner refused internet service and they (the town), did something [greenlightnc.com] about it.

Re:Do not complain...do something about it (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259597)

That's pretty cool! I am honestly surprised that didn't spark the interest of Time Warner and force a fight between them and Wilson. I've often thought about doing that in response to the absolute crap that companies like Time Warner, COX, Comcast, and Qwest force you to put up with. The tiered service and nickle and dime garbage. In fact, I looked into starting my own internet with some friends because I was sick of the politics of IANA, ICANN, etc.

Whine all you want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259447)

You know you will pay it.. You'll bitch the entire time.. BUT you will still give them money.

Wont you. at&t knows it too. bitch bitch bitch bitch and still pay the hugely inflated price for a PHONE.. they've got you pegged dead on. you trendy little yuppie geek.

Now stfu and go get your checkbook.

Here's what I do. (2, Interesting)

reidiq (1434945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259461)

I've had the iPhone 3G for almost a year now. AT&T prorates their termination fee by $5 per month. That means after one year $5 * 12 = $60 off the fee. $175 - 60 = $115 that I pay to cancel my contract. Buy the new iPhone 3GS for whatever model you want at the new 2 year agreement and voila! You got a new iPhone for $199/$299 + 115 = $314/$414. Save money but you'll lose your number more than likely. Not sure if I feel the need to upgrade the phone. The firmware update is sexy in itself. I do like the 2x faster loading speeds for going into apps but I think I can hold out till next year for the iPhone 4G 2 turbo dubs edition. I hope iPhone can break of the exclusivity to AT&T, AT&T is horrid. Last and not least, TOMTOM WOOOOOOO!!

Why not just add to your term (1)

Plug (14127) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259465)

Why not work it like this:

  • 2008: you buy a phone on a 2 year contract (expiring in 2010)
  • 2009: you want a new phone, they still need a 2 year billing commitment. So, add that time to your current contract. Now you have two phones and a contractual obligation until 2012.

Rinse, renew, add another two years every time. They could even make you trade the old phone in.

Alas, companies are so much more interested in new customers than keeping the current ones happy.

Re:Why not just add to your term (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259499)

I think there a couple of reasons:

Your original phone has almost no value. Refurbs of current models are ok, refurbs of previous models are worthless.
You are asking them to defer their revenue, potentially out forever. It reduces their real income and significantly increases their risk.

There were a lot of things to be annoyed with AT&T about today, this was just not one of them.

Just what we need. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259489)

Great, now we'll see hippies smokin pot in protest.

AT&T is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259495)

it's fucked up because of how short sighted they are. instead of eating $200 and letting me buy a new one and signing a NEW 2-year contract, they are trying to fuck existing users in the ass. of course that's how subsidies work, people aren't pissed about that you fucking retards. what they are pissed about is the total lack of customer loyalty AT&T is showing, which is especially infuriating because their services SUCKS DONKEY ASSHOLE. Providers make their money from services, they should just extend existing users contracts by two years. I'm speaking with my wallet and telling AT&T to go fuck themselves, no new iPhone for me and time to cancel my shitty service, in Los Angeles of all places I can't use my phone. It's ridiculous.

Re:AT&T is stupid (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259509)

I am sure they will miss your winning personaliy.

-1 Flamebait (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259519)

So, I know I am inviting trouble here but I honestly don't mean to start a flame war so much as vent. I am no fan of AT&T whatsoever as they were/are complicit in illegal wiretapping. They have a direct feed to Big Brother and this is something that I do not like at all. The iPhone is just another "bling, bling" gadget and you can really do without it. I admit, I had withdrawal when I gave up my Blackberry but it freed up more personal time and I began to enjoy life outside of work. Whatever happened to simplicity in communications? I have two prepaid phones and still pay "much less" than 1 iPhone plan. One of the prepaid phones is a house phone for guests to use, the other is mine.

Re:-1 Flamebait (2, Informative)

Wovel (964431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259561)

It is much more than a fancy phone or even a blackberry. You are not really comparing apples to apples. (sorry). Yes it is a gadget and no it is not necessary, but no phone is really necessary. Some people want to have one device they can use for phone, email, scheduling, music, games and whatever the other thousands of apps do.

Having said that, this whole thing is silly. Whole world is turning in to a bunch of entitlement addicts not willing to live up to their obligations.

The real issue is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259531)

The real issue at hand is the policy of greed-over-retention.

I'll never understand why a company doesn't it reward its current customers first. I've been with AT&T for years now. I actually have AT&T DSL service (no choice) and I have DISH satellite, billed through AT&T. I write three separate checks to AT&T each month. Instead, however, of being thanked for being a loyal, longtime customer, I'm told that to have the latest and greatest, I have to pay more than a new customer would. Seems wrong somehow.

I understand every company needs to turn a profit. AT&T by overcharging us for the iPhone and Apple by overcharging AT&T for the iPhone.

Mis-set expectations (2, Insightful)

fullfactorial (1338749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259533)

2G cost $599 at launch because it did not require a contract.
3G cost $199 at launch because it required a contract.
3GS will cost $199 at launch because it requires a contract.

Existing iPhone 3G owners can't upgrade for free because they're still paying off their subsidized phone.

Apple didn't realize the bease they were creating when they asked AT&T to try a non-subsidized model for the initial launch. Now everyone remembers the "free" upgrade to the 3G, but somehow forgets paying $599 for a 2G on launch day.

Registered developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259545)

Apple and the various carriers should (but won't) make an exception for registered developers, since the choice to upgrade is often not optional (as it is for regular consumers). It is commonly the case that we MUST upgrade in order to verify correct performance across multiple hardware iterations.

My carrier in Canada (FIDO) apparently won't allow upgrades for subscribers until their contract runs out. This may be as much as two or three years in the future. How can I develop for new hardware or operating system if I'm not allowed to purchase the device?

Why is this an apple problem.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259551)

Are people really this stupid. This problem has existed for YEARS. The problem is that now phone upgrades are more desirable because of Apple.

As an iPhone and AT&T customer I would be FAR more pissed they still do not offer the same insurance services that are offered for every other device that AT&T promotes, including equally expensive HTC devices.

The Cell phone industry is a racket, how people have not caught on by now is amazing, but hardly anyone's fault but their own.

It's a good thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259559)

I use Tracfone, a prepaid phone. Oh, and I am a PC.

This is Apple's selling strategy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259569)

I have to say this is Apple's fault to advertise iphone at "wrong" price. I think as many posters here says, ATT has its right to decide who is eligible for the upgrade price, but Apple shouldn't advertise the phone based on the "upgrade" price. Instead, it should say it gonna cost $599/$699 and if you are eligible for upgrade, you can get it for $199/$299. That's more like the normal way any major phone company will do. I think Apple is smart enough to pass the anger to ATT. Quite smart move but honestly, it's kinda shame on them to make their business partner ATT to suffer the "fault."

And that is why I continue to wait.... (2, Interesting)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259575)

For some people, the IPhone as currently configured is just huge. They travel, or they do work that doesn't involve a computer....

Me, I am in front of a computer all day. Sure there are time when having access to email when out and about would be nice, but seriously, it isn't something that is killing me.

So I use a three or four year old phone. It can do messaging, and I can play a game or two, and use some Star Trek ring tones.

I will buy a Smart phone. But only when that 1) doesn't lock me into a single provider, and 2) all this kind of crap has settled out, and 3) when such a phone isn't locked into one vertical change of command (Apple).

I don't want to spend huge dollars on a phone only to have to spend huge dollars to get the next iteration. I will wait until the delta between iterations isn't so vast.

So one of these years I think smart phones will let me run applications I get from third parties. They will interface with my computers as well as with the Internet. And I will be able to reasonably make a phone call. And that phone will not break the bank.

Our contracts are UP! Why Renew Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28259577)

This could be bad for both Apple and AT&T. Id wager that most people (like me) bought the original phone and stuck with it. Now, 2 years later our ATT contracts are FINALLY expiring- why should we lock ourselves into another long term contract just as other mobile communications platforms are really starting to look attractive (Palm PRE)?

Slap in the face, perhaps not. (1)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259591)

I'm not thrilled about not have a subsidy but I see the rationale. They don't want people dumping their suddenly displaced iP3G on eBay for $200, since people would lap that up without a contract because the current 3G phone is "good enough" for most people.

However, this move will hurt number of units moved, which in the end, I think Apple cares about more than the kickbacks they're getting from AT&T for contracts. This is probably just more AT&T dickery. There has been plenty of that today with the MMS and Tethering issues.

Customers? (3, Informative)

aaandre (526056) | more than 5 years ago | (#28259593)

The shareholders are the customers. Service subscribers (you) are the product. Your only power is to vote with your dollar, by the numbers.

Know your place, know your options.

Oh, and apple product update cycles are pretty predictable.

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