Since I’ve been a loyal AT&T customer since 1998 I knew I needed to call their customer service and make sure there weren’t any surprises. And boy am I glad I did.
Not pictured here with Steve is the asterisk. You have to be a new customer or have an expired contract with AT&T to get this price. In the dozens of articles and videos I’d watched about the new iPhone I somehow missed this little detail. Stupid Adam, fooled again.
So, people like me who have been loyal to their wireless company are getting hosed. No love for us on the iPhone. The loyal customer price is $399. Even on the Apple site I can’t find $399 mentioned as the price, but that’s how AT&T has always treated loyal customers… horribly.
So, I talked to customer service. If you are like me and are looking to get an iPhone 3G for the advertised $199 instead of the loyal customer price of $399, here are a few tricks the customer service agent told me to try.
#1 Cancel your existing account. Yes, she told me that! After 10 years as a customer, I was told the best service I could get with AT&T was to cancel my account.
#2 Add lines, suspend lines. To get the $199 I could add 2 lines to my family plan for $10 per month and suspend my current 2 lines for free. Eh? She even told me I should just give away my other 2 lines “to anyone.”
#3 Keep calling AT&T until you get someone to agree to give you the upgrade price before your current contract expires. (Mine is in September)
#4 Open a new account under a new name. If you are like me and have a family plan, just close your account under one name and start a new account under the other.
Of course I am not going to do any of these. Next month we are moving across the country and I know from experience with AT&T that they’ll offer me a new two year contract than. This may also be our time to try a new company, like Verizon.
AT&T has always had the worst customer service in the mobile phone industry. I’ve long held that AT&T is a great company as long as you never call the 800 number and that is re-confirmed every time I talk to “customer care.”
Here I am, a customer of 10 years that would like to re-up his contract for 2 more years at a rate nearly double what he currently pays and I’m told I can do one of 4 “tricks?”