Friday, August 14, 2009
So I checked online a few days ago to see if I was available for any upgrades on my cell phone (I’ve had it a while and it’s starting to act up a bit). Normally when I have done this in the past, AT&T Wireless has offered all kind of phone upgrades, many free (with another 2 year contract). So I was a little perplexed when I saw that I was only eligible for one upgrade—an Iphone. Don’t get me wrong, I think Iphones are cool and would really like to have one, but I found it odd that that was the only phone they were offering me.
So I decided to go down to the local AT&T wireless store and see if things would work out differently for me there. Well, I quickly realized that there is no such thing as a “free” phone anymore, forget that I have been a loyal customer since 1997 (through all of its incarnations – Bellsouth Mobility which was bought out by AT&T which was bought out by Cingular which was then bought by AT&T – I’m not quite sure how all of that works but I’ve been a consistent customer the whole time!)
So I mention to the salesperson that I am eligible for an Iphone upgrade. She looks up my account on her computer and say, “Yes you are”. So I reply, “Wow a free Iphone?” She then proceeds to tell me that it wouldn’t be a free Iphone, in fact it could cost me a few hundred dollars depending on the Iphone I choose. So, still liking the idea of having an Iphone I asked here how much it would affect my monthly plan. She then told me that it would go up by thirty dollars a month but that it would include unlimited internet use on the phone. So I then ask her, “So that means text messaging too right?” She then proceeds to tell me that Text messaging packages would further increase the cost of my monthly plan.
So in summary my Iphone upgrade would cost me at least One Hundred dollars for the bottom of the line Iphone, plus 30 reconnect fee plus an extra 30 dollars a month to a plan that already costs me 80$ a month right now and that would be without a text messaging package for a grand total of extra expenses of $850 (for my 2-year contract).
So, I’m having a hard time understanding what the benefits of being eligible for a new phone really are.