I’ve been an AT&T customer for years. And by years, I mean 12+ years. I was an old AT&T Wireless customer back in high school and early college, and then Southwestern Bell/Cingular, and now AT&T again. I’ve not had any complaints with them.. until now.
Flash back to two summers ago. I’m attending TBA/TODA/TCDA with Director’s Choice. Upon my return home, Monica has a surprise for me — the newly-released Apple iPhone. Such a great wife, isn’t she? 🙂
So for those keeping track, that was July 2007 — a month after the iPhone was released. So at that time, my contract was renewed for another two years.
Summer 2008 arrives and we move to the DFW Metroplex. Just like most people would, we head to our local AT&T store (company store, not an authorized retailer) to have our phone numbers changed. Turns out, AT&T tells us it’s not as simple as changing phone numbers. Reason being — we’re changing markets. So we can either keep our old Lubbock numbers or set up a new account in the new market. We opt to set up a new account so that our phone numbers can be local. In the process, the plan we were on at the time was no longer offered, so we were forced to change plans.. and conveniently, the price was $10 more per month. Frustrated but without options, we proceed.
June 2009 — Apple announces the iPhone 3GS. I would love to get one, and Monica says I can.. remember, I have a GREAT wife. 😉 I log into our AT&T account online and discover I’m not eligible for an upgrade. I realize this is because AT&T is considering Summer 2008 as when our contract started!
So let me get this straight.. First, AT&T made us open the new account to only change our phone numbers. Secondly, AT&T forced us to change plans and give them $120 more per year because our plan was no longer available. And now thirdly, AT&T is screwing me over by not honoring when my original iPhone was purchased. Hell no.
I’m not complaining about AT&T requiring early upgrade fees. I fully understand subsidizing and the costs associated with that. I have absolutely no problem with that.
But in my situation, I should not be punished for what AT&T forced upon me simply because I wanted to change my phone number. I’ve heard horror stories and experiences from friends and coworkers concerning AT&T, and I always came to AT&T’s defense. After this though, I’m not too sure I can do that anymore. AT&T has severely disillusioned me.
I have not yet contacted AT&T to see if anything could be done about the situation. If any AT&T employee reads this, I’d love nothing else to be able purchase an iPhone 3GS and extend my contract for another two years from now. I have no problems with that. But there’s no way in hell I’m paying an early upgrade fee when I do not feel it’s applicable to my specific situation.