In Contract=Early Termination Fees

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slipperypete

New Member
Bronze
May 20, 2007
205
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0
#1
Sorry for the title, but I knew it would grab some attention. I would like people the weigh in on how clueless AT&T and their customer service employees are and about the misinformation they provide.

A little background:

I am not eligible for an upgrade(in contract) until 1/08. I was worried at 1st, but over the last several weeks I have called AT&T and visited a few corporate stores and have gotten a consistent message about being eligible to buy an iPhone on 6/29. Each time I was told yes, you can buy one at full retail price and would have to extend my contract for 2 years.

Over the last couple of days a few people people have posted info about customers being in contract not eligible or would have to pay some "early termination fee". I thought I would e-mail AT&T just to get confirmation once again.

I e-mailed the same question twice yesterday. Here is the question- Will I be able to purchase an iPhone on 6/29 by extending my contract
for 2 years and paying full price(either $499 or $599 depending on
model)? Currently, I am not eligible for an upgrade until 1/08. Please
advise

Same question, but here are the responses I got:

#1

Dear Mr. slipperypete,

Thank you for taking the time to e-mail AT&T regarding your eligibility
to purchase the iPhone since you are not eligible for an equipment
upgrade. I am happy to help you with your inquiry.

I regret to inform that, at this time we are unaware of how our
customers, currenlty under contract, will be affected as far as
purchasing the iPhone. This information will not be released to us
until 06/29/2007 after 6:00PM. I do apologize for any inconvenience
this may cause.

Please visit our website at http://www.att.com/wireless for the latest
pricing plans, phones and promotions.

If we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us
via email. We know you have a choice in the wireless industry and thank
you for choosing AT&T!

Sincerely,

XXXX XXXXX
AT&T
Online Customer Care Professional

Pretty basic response, they are not sure yet. Here is the 2nd response:

#2
Dear Mr. slipperpete,

Thank you for contacting AT&T concerning the Apple iPhone. I do
apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced in this regard
and am happy to help.

I understand that your phone number XXX XXX XXXX will be eligible to
upgrade in January 2008. You would like to know if you will be able to
purchase an iPhone on 6/29 by extending your contract for 2 years and
paying the full price of $499 or $599.

At this point in time the iPhone will only be available with a 2 year
contract (either new service or those eligible to upgrade) at the
discounted price of either $499 or $599. If you are not eligible to
upgrade, you would need to get an additional line of service for the new
phone, and pay early termination fees for your current line if you
choose to cancel it.

I hope that the information provided has been helpful and has resolved
all of your questions. If you need further assistance, feel free to
reply to this e-mail or contact customer service at 1-800-331-0500 or
611 from your wireless phone.

I encourage you to visit our web site (www.att.com/wireless) often to
view current and previous monthly statements, make payments and to shop
for new product and service offerings. Thank you for allowing AT&T to
serve as your wireless company. We will do our best to ensure that your
wireless experience is a success.


Sincerely,

XXXX XXXXX
AT&T
Online Customer Care Professional

2 different answers. So I call customer service, who once again tell me I will be able to get one on 6/29. I respond this to e-mail #2

Thank you for getting back to me. I guess I am confused. I e-mailed the
same question to At&t twice, but got 2 different answers. I wanted to
insure I had the correct answer so I called your customer service
number and got a 3rd answer. I am not sure what answer is correct. Can
you help with that?

Here is their response to my follow up question:
Dear Mr. slipperypete,

Thank you for contacting AT&T concerning your options to purchase an
iPhone for your wireless phone number XXX XXX XXXX. I do apologize for
any inconvenience or confusion you may have experienced in this regard
and am happy to help.

I understand that you have received conflicting information about your
options to purchase the iPhone, as you will not be eligible to upgrade
the above phone number until January 2008.

At this time, we know that a 2 year contract will be required for anyone
wishing to purchase the iPhone. However, we have very limited
information prior to the release of the phone on Friday, June 29 at 6 pm
local time.

More information should be available at the time of release. I do
apologize that I can be no more explicit than that.

I hope that the information provided has been helpful and has resolved
all of your questions. If you need further assistance, feel free to
reply to this e-mail or contact customer service at 1-800-331-0500 or
611 from your wireless phone.

I encourage you to visit our web site (www.att.com/wireless) often to
view current and previous monthly statements, make payments and to shop
for new product and service offerings. Thank you for allowing AT&T to
serve as your wireless company. We will do our best to ensure that your
wireless experience is a success.


Sincerely,

XXXX XXXX
AT&T
Online Customer Care Professional


OK, now the At&T associate comes back with the "we have no info" response. At this point, I felt the need to respond out of principle. I mean at 1st you say I can't get one and now they are saying we don't know. I responded with the following question:

I guess I am still confused. If I am reading and understanding your
response, you originally said I will not be able to purchase an iPhone
but now you are not sure?

When I call customer service, they have told me anybody can buy one
(including people not eligible for an upgrade). I have called several
times and get the same answer. Do they have information that you might
not have?

Is there anyway you can check with a manager/supervisor to get an
answer? I mean, I am pretty sure I am not the only At&T customer in
this situation with the same question.

Here is their response to that(My personal favorite):

Dear Mr. slipperypete,

Thank you for your reply to AT&T with questions about upgrading to the
iPhone on your wireless phone number XXX XXX XXXX. I do apologize for
any inconvenience or confusion you may have experienced in this regard
and am happy to help.

I understand you have been given slightly different information
concerning who can buy the iPhone. I have discussed this with
management to get some clarification.

Please understand that we do have very limited information on the phone
due to the privacy agreement with Apple.

At this point in time, we do know that a 2 year contract will be
required. Yes, anyone can purchase the phone with a 2 year contract.
We do not know if you will be required to pay early termination fees on
your current contract in order to add this new 2 year contract (to the
same phone number). Unfortunately, due to the privacy agreement with
Apple we will not receive more in-depth information regarding this phone
until June 29 when it is released.

I hope that the information provided has been helpful and has resolved
all of your questions. If you need further assistance, feel free to
reply to this e-mail or contact customer service at 1-800-331-0500 or
611 from your wireless phone.

I encourage you to visit our web site (www.att.com/wireless) often to
view current and previous monthly statements, make payments and to shop
for new product and service offerings. Thank you for allowing AT&T to
serve as your wireless company. We will do our best to ensure that your
wireless experience is a success.


Sincerely,

XXX XXXXX
AT&T
Online Customer Care Professional

The associate went from, no you can't have one, to I don't know if you can have one to you can have one but might have to pay a fee.

Early termination fee? I am not cancelling my service, I am actually extending it for 2 years and they want to charge me a fee to do that? Wow AT&T, thanks for the deal.

Mind you, this is all going on today. Same day all the plan info was released and on the Apple site it talks about existing customers keeping their current plan and paying an additional $20.

2 days before the release and AT&T associates have no clue. Gotta love it.
 

Draven

Member
Bronze
Jun 5, 2007
83
0
6
#2
I'll give a response to this, even though I'm not an actual AT&T representative. However, I am a Wireless salesperson at Best Buy. You are able to upgrade you phone whenever you want, regardless of when your current contract is due to expire. But, of course, you would have to pay full retail price on whatever phone you were looking to get, and your contract would be extended another 2 years. I really don't see this being any different with the iPhone. From reading the E-mails you received, it seems like the majority of the confusion is being caused by the listed $99, $599, price of the iPhone. Seems to me that this price, at least according to the e-mails you've received, are kind of up-in-the-air as to whether the $499 and $599 prices are subsidized prices, or full retail prices. If they were subsidized prices, then no, you wouldn't be able to upgrade for those prices until January. However, what I've been reading on EI here, seems to point all the way to these are the full retail prices. I myself am not worried about being ineligible to purchase the iPhone, even though I'm not eligible for an upgrade until July '08. On top of that, I really don't see AT&T/Apple completely boning non-upgrade-eligible people in that fashion. Just my 2 cents. I hope, heh.



Hmm, sorry for the block of text; that's definitely not how I wrote it out.
 

Ranged30

New Member
Bronze
Jun 13, 2007
362
0
0
#3
No subsidies as we all know. I have upgraded paying full price numerous times and my contract was never extended when doing this. You only have to extend your contract if you take a subsidized price or as we all know....If you buy an iPhone.
 

slipperypete

New Member
Bronze
May 20, 2007
205
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0
#4
No subsidies as we all know. I have upgraded paying full price numerous times and my contract was never extended when doing this. You only have to extend your contract if you take a subsidized price or as we all know....If you buy an iPhone.
Good point. I am pretty confident I'll be able to buy one on 6/29 without having to the the "early termination fee" they are referring to.
 

emerrill

New Member
Bronze
Jun 14, 2007
126
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0
#5
You are able to upgrade you phone whenever you want, regardless of when your current contract is due to expire. But, of course, you would have to pay full retail price on whatever phone you were looking to get, and your contract would be extended another 2 years.
That little bit is not true/makes no sense. If you pay full retail price for a phone, nothing happens to your contract. Ive done it before (bought a WM phone at full price) and nothing happened to my contract. They even told me I could get my SIM unlock code immediately because it wasn't subsidized.

According to at least one site, who says they talked to the AT&T spokesperson, you can get the iPhone at any time in your contract, and it resets your 2 years to that point.
 

Ranged30

New Member
Bronze
Jun 13, 2007
362
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0
#6
Good point. I am pretty confident I'll be able to buy one on 6/29 without having to the the "early termination fee" they are referring to.
I 100% guarantee you will be able to buy it. This is not even worth worrying about. If you feel like you have to worry just go to an Apple store instead and buy the phone there where they will not even look up your contract info.
 

slipperypete

New Member
Bronze
May 20, 2007
205
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0
#7
That little bit is not true/makes no sense. If you pay full retail price for a phone, nothing happens to your contract. Ive done it before (bought a WM phone at full price) and nothing happened to my contract. They even told me I could get my SIM unlock code immediately because it wasn't subsidized.

According to at least one site, who says they talked to the AT&T spokesperson, you can get the iPhone at any time in your contract, and it resets your 2 years to that point.
Yeah I saw that. Just thought it was funny how At&T associates have no clue
 

Ranged30

New Member
Bronze
Jun 13, 2007
362
0
0
#8
That little bit is not true/makes no sense. If you pay full retail price for a phone, nothing happens to your contract. Ive done it before (bought a WM phone at full price) and nothing happened to my contract. They even told me I could get my SIM unlock code immediately because it wasn't subsidized.

According to at least one site, who says they talked to the AT&T spokesperson, you can get the iPhone at any time in your contract, and it resets your 2 years to that point.
Exactly my point above and you are exactly right anyone can get the iPhone that is willing to get a new 2 yr. contract or extend their existing one an additional 2 yrs.
 

emerrill

New Member
Bronze
Jun 14, 2007
126
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0
#9
It doesn't even extend it, it resets it, at least according to the AT&T spokesperson (not a sales rep, no, the corporate spokes person)
 

mcnearcj

New Member
Bronze
Jun 21, 2007
55
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0
#11
I'm currently out of contract (contract expired in april 07) What's stopping me from starting a new contract and taking the free phone then going in on the 29th and getting the iPhone. For this reason I think they will charge a ETF.
 

emerrill

New Member
Bronze
Jun 14, 2007
126
0
0
#12
I'm currently out of contract (contract expired in april 07) What's stopping me from starting a new contract and taking the free phone then going in on the 29th and getting the iPhone. For this reason I think they will charge a ETF.
If it's not subsidized, then why would they care, they still get you for 2yrs.
 

slipperypete

New Member
Bronze
May 20, 2007
205
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0
#13
I'm currently out of contract (contract expired in april 07) What's stopping me from starting a new contract and taking the free phone then going in on the 29th and getting the iPhone. For this reason I think they will charge a ETF.
Ok. So you get a free phone today and sign a 2 year contract. Friday comes you get iPhone and sign a new 2 year contract. Does it matter to At&T that they gave a free phone 2 days ago? Nope because they make their $$ off the plan. The reason cell phones give aways phones is 2 fold. 1) Want the 2 year contract 2) They are giving the phone away because there is a pretty good chance the phone has been sitting on their shelves or is going to be replaced by a newer model. You don't see phone companies really giving away a Blackberry Pearl or a Treo, it is usually a phone that is way behind technically and soon to be replaced by a new model.

ok, maybe I am want to believe AT&T will do the right thing.
 

Draven

Member
Bronze
Jun 5, 2007
83
0
6
#14
That little bit is not true/makes no sense. If you pay full retail price for a phone, nothing happens to your contract. Ive done it before (bought a WM phone at full price) and nothing happened to my contract. They even told me I could get my SIM unlock code immediately because it wasn't subsidized.

According to at least one site, who says they talked to the AT&T spokesperson, you can get the iPhone at any time in your contract, and it resets your 2 years to that point.
Aah, you're right. Sorry, I misspoke on that point. Buying a new phone full retail won't reset the contract. Doing anything to change the contract itself will. That's where I was confusing myself.
 

TrippalHealicks

New Member
Gold
Mar 2, 2007
1,341
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#15
I'm actually starting to worry about a 700-800$ charge going on my Check card tomorrow.....i hope there isn't some sort of spending limit on my bank card, that I haven't known about, until tomorrow evening. I will SCREAM.