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AT&T quietly offers unlimited data to potential Verizon iPhone switchers

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
AT&T is reportedly offering some customers unlimited iPhone data plans in an attempt to keep them from defecting to rival carrier Verizon, where Apple's handset will launch on Feb. 10.

According to The Associated Press, AT&T is employing an "unadvertised loophole" in an effort to retain some subscribers who contact customer service. The carrier is said to be quietly offering the option to customers who had a previous version of the iPhone prior to June 2010, when the carrier offered an unlimited data plan for $30.

Though AT&T wouldn't confirm the option, the report cited a resident of Brentwood, N.Y., who said he and a friend were switched back to an unlimited plan after they contacted the carrier's customer service and threatened to swtich. Both subscribers are iPhone 4 users who owned a previous version of the iPhone with an unlimited plan.

AT&T introduced tiered data plans with lower pricing in June 2010. New customers can receive 2GB of data for $25 per month, or 200MB for $15 per month.

Customers who signed a contract for $30-per-month unlimited 3G data prior to last June can keep the plan until their two-year contract expires. Those customers have been able to keep their unlimited plan when upgrading, but the ability to switch back to unlimited, after choosing tiered, has apparently been secret.

Claims that AT&T is offering some customers an unlimited option come as the iPhone 4 is just weeks away from going on sale for Verizon customers. This week, the carrier revealed it would offer unlimited data for iPhone customers for $30 per month.

Verizon Chief Operating Officer Lowell McAdam said Verizon hopes its unlimited offering will help the carrier attract more customers away from AT&T. He said canceling the company's unlimited plan would create a barrier for customers who might otherwise switch.

"I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot," McAdam said on Tuesday.

But Verizon's unlimited data plan will only be available for a limited time, as the carrier has indicated it intends to move to a tiered structure with caps on monthly data use, much like AT&T did last June. Verizon has not indicated when it will adopt tiered plans, but the company has expressed interest in making the change in the near future.

When AT&T capped its plans last year, the carrier noted that 65 percent of its smartphone customers use less than 200MB of data per month, and 98 percent use less than 2GB per month. To soften the blow, the tiered structure came with lower prices, as AT&T now charges $5 less per month for its high-end 2GB plan than it did for its unlimited plan.
post #2 of 33
2GB for $20 Unlimited for $30 would compete real well. I can't wait til these two need to need to compete with each other, maybe not today, but if the iPhone is sold unlocked, I think the gloves would come off
post #3 of 33
I would be interested if AT&T offer tethering (hotspot) and let me keep the unlimited plan on the iPhone similar to what Verizon is offering for the hotspot feature. I am not welling to give up my iPhone unlimited plan.
post #4 of 33
I can understand wanting the hotspot feature as I think that would be really good. But to expect that feature on an unlimited plan is just pushing it. Unlimited data on an iPhone is not as bad as what kind of bandwidth a laptop can suck up with tethered. Everyone here knows that. That would bring a metropolitan area network down to its knees.

If one is on a capped-plan, I'm all for it. Whatever device uses my allotment is irrelevant.

This will not happen on unlimited plans. It's unrealistic.
post #5 of 33
Now the fun starts! Competition at last
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post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I can understand wanting the hotspot feature as I think that would be really good. But to expect that feature on an unlimited plan is just pushing it. Unlimited data on an iPhone is not as bad as what kind of bandwidth a laptop can suck up with tethered. Everyone here knows that. That would bring a metropolitan area network down to its knees.

If one is on a capped-plan, I'm all for it. Whatever device uses my allotment is irrelevant.

This will not happen on unlimited plans. It's unrealistic.

As NasserAE notes Verizon has a clever solution for this. For the $20 tethering fee on devices with Unlimited plans you get 2GB of data specifically for tethering. I assume each additional 1GB is another $10.
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post #7 of 33
Let the battle begin ... ding, ding!
post #8 of 33
Is that fear I smell? Seriously though, it's going to be interesting to see how AT&T will try and retain its current iPhone subscribers. The way I see it, it can only mean good things for the customer. Maybe pricing will change (even if only by a few dollars), or little perks (like Sprint offers/used to). Verizon hasn't even released the iPhone yet and the fun has already begun!
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post #9 of 33
Well I already have unlimited data. So... *shrugs* Now if I can't get wifi hotspot then there will be a problem and i may have to consider verizon or someone else once Iphone 5 comes out.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Now the fun starts! Competition at last

YO BABY
we need a thread for best iphone deals

best approach to make the deal, face to face, manager, online rep ??????

also, can you get the deal for the plan THEN work best deal for the iphone itself????

someone told me its better to go online and talk the deal with a rep rather than face to face at att store

as i have said many times its the plan its the plan
if walmart on vz network can offer unlimited text, voice, data no fees $45

then vz and att can do 50-55, less than 60 month unlimited data and as a bonus 10 tethering or throw it in
what would make me happy: 1500 texts, unlimited data, 500 600 shared minutes tethering=<60/ month upgradable to iphone 5 this summer

my 3g is burning a hole in my otterbox cant wait till feb 9 (att sweats the day before) or wait a few days

lets get a best deal thread
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post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Well I already have unlimited data. So... *shrugs* Now if I can't get wifi hotspot then there will be a problem and i may have to consider verizon or someone else once Iphone 5 comes out.

There is relevant news for those of us on AT&T with unlimited data plans who plan to stick with AT&T. If AT&T didnt feel the need to retain customers by offering unlimited data plans then we may have had to fear that our unlimited plans would not be extended after we were off contract or if we try to get a new device on contract.
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post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

2GB for $20 Unlimited for $30 would compete real well. I can't wait til these two need to need to compete with each other, maybe not today, but if the iPhone is sold unlocked, I think the gloves would come off

Or even 1 Gig for $20. Good idea, I hope they have it too. I would go for that but not $30, not when I don't need unlimited data.
post #13 of 33
If you had a previous iPhone you were grandfathered into the unlimited plan until you chose to downgrade. I suspect that is what happened with these customers. Allowing someone a chance to reverse a bad decision isn't all that shocking.

ATT restoring the unlimited plan option, perhaps at $40 with tethering, now that would be news

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post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

If you had a previous iPhone you were grandfathered into the unlimited plan until you chose to downgrade. I suspect that is what happened with these customers. Allowing someone a chance to reverse a bad decision isn't all that shocking.

ATT restoring the unlimited plan option, perhaps at $40 with tethering, now that would be news

Does enabling internet tethering on the iPhone also take away the unlimited plan if you happened to have it?

And why the extra monthly fee for enabling internet tethering even on a capped data plan?
post #15 of 33
200MB should only be $10
2GB should be $20
Unlimited should be $30

Why is 200MB $15?... that's almost nothing... and for $5 more, you get way more than you need.
post #16 of 33
Nice, you guys get a price war. Here in Canada our price wars go the other way. One company charges more for less, the other telcos follow suit to the penny . . . then repeat a few months later.
post #17 of 33
I just called a customer service rep. and she told me they were not offering this again. Hmmm??
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Customers who signed a contract for $30-per-month unlimited 3G data prior to last June can keep the plan until their two-year contract expires.


That's awfully magnanimous of them.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Does enabling internet tethering on the iPhone also take away the unlimited plan if you happened to have it?

Yes. Calling AT&T to enable this feature will end the grandfathered unlimited. I started to go down the automated version on the attwireless.com account setup and saw that it required a change to my data plan. I smartly halted and phoned in the question.

I hear that the "Tethering" menu is removed in 4.3 replaced by the term Hotspot. The above applies to Hotspot feature as well.
post #20 of 33
This strikes me as a very weak response from ATT. Many (if not most) of the customers who downgraded to a tiered plan did so because they were not using much data and preferred to save the money. Why would these people - assuming their data use is about the same - now sign onto a higher-priced plan. Sure, offer it up for retention but do more.

A much more reasonable response from ATT would be to offer new subscribers the unlimited plan - just as Verizon is doing.
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Yes. Calling AT&T to enable this feature will end the grandfathered unlimited. I started to go down the automated version on the attwireless.com account setup and saw that it required a change to my data plan. I smartly halted and phoned in the question.

I hear that the "Tethering" menu is removed in 4.3 replaced by the term Hotspot. The above applies to Hotspot feature as well.

I wonder if the 4.3 hotspot feature works if you have AT&T tethering enabled!
post #22 of 33
If it was sold unlocked, I wouldn't need a data plan at all. Perfect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

2GB for $20 Unlimited for $30 would compete real well. I can't wait til these two need to need to compete with each other, maybe not today, but if the iPhone is sold unlocked, I think the gloves would come off
post #23 of 33
If I recall, if you upgraded the phone early the plan was changed to tiered. For those people, this would be a good way change back.

I do not think that is necessarily smarter. Verizon's has made it clear that it will be doing away with the unlimited plans. AT&T wouldn't look great if it announced a competing unlimited plan, just to end it soon thereafter.


[/B]
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

This strikes me as a very weak response from ATT. Many (if not most) of the customers who downgraded to a tiered plan did so because they were not using much data and preferred to save the money. Why would these people - assuming their data use is about the same - now sign onto a higher-priced plan. Sure, offer it up for retention but do more.

A much more reasonable response from ATT would be to offer new subscribers the unlimited plan - just as Verizon is doing.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I wonder if the 4.3 hotspot feature works if you have AT&T tethering enabled!

Reckon so.
post #25 of 33
I got switched to the new plan automatically when I tried tethering in October. I figured it wasn't worth asking to be reverted; with this news, I called in and got my unlimited data back.

Caveats: No going back a second time, so if I tether and get auto-switched, that's it. Ditto if I choose a cheaper data plan.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

I do not think that is necessarily smarter. Verizon's has made it clear that it will be doing away with the unlimited plans. AT&T wouldn't look great if it announced a competing unlimited plan, just to end it soon thereafter.

To me, it'd be no different than two markets putting Welch's grape juice on sale during the same week.

It might smack of a bit of desperation but ATT will need to do what it can to counter the Verizon offer even if only temporarily.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Does enabling internet tethering on the iPhone also take away the unlimited plan if you happened to have it?

And why the extra monthly fee for enabling internet tethering even on a capped data plan?

Yes - AFAIK, choose tethering=lose unlimited.
post #28 of 33
AT&T just needs to remind switchers that they have simultaneous voice and data.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

AT&T just needs to remind switchers that they have simultaneous voice and data.

Oh, it will take more than that. Wait... was that sarcasm w the laughing yellow face?
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

2GB for $20 Unlimited for $30 would compete real well. I can't wait til these two need to need to compete with each other, maybe not today, but if the iPhone is sold unlocked, I think the gloves would come off

I'm not sure how selling the iPhone unlocked would help in the AT&T vs. Verizon battle. A GSM iPhone won't work on a CDMA network and vice versa.
post #31 of 33
I would say face to face based on my experience. Right before the iPhone 4 launch I went to the ATT store. I said I was not happy with ATT reception as the area I live in is horrible.
My contract was up and I was free to go to Verizon and used that. Now I wasn't planing on switching as I love my iPhone 3GS at the time but they did not know that. So I asked if I bought 2 iPhone 4s would they give the microcell 3 g at no cost. I found out that ATT was giving away the microcell free to loyal ATT customers, but you had to receive a letter If you did not you could not get one I used that as well when i talked to the manager and it worked the manager said yes. I was like wow. Then decided to push the envelope a little further. I wanted to get unlimited data for my wife. I had an old iPhone but my wife did not. I had also the very first iPhone at home collecting dust. I asked if they could switch my wife to the first gen iPhone and to give her the unlimited data as I had a previous iPhone that had unlimited data. They went ahead and did it for me. Hopefully this helps if anyone wants better reception or trying to get the unlimited data.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

YO BABY
we need a thread for best iphone deals

best approach to make the deal, face to face, manager, online rep ??????

also, can you get the deal for the plan THEN work best deal for the iphone itself????

someone told me its better to go online and talk the deal with a rep rather than face to face at att store

as i have said many times its the plan its the plan
if walmart on vz network can offer unlimited text, voice, data no fees $45

then vz and att can do 50-55, less than 60 month unlimited data and as a bonus 10 tethering or throw it in
what would make me happy: 1500 texts, unlimited data, 500 600 shared minutes tethering=<60/ month upgradable to iphone 5 this summer

my 3g is burning a hole in my otterbox cant wait till feb 9 (att sweats the day before) or wait a few days

lets get a best deal thread
post #32 of 33
Our wifi is out at home and I was 22mb from my cap with 2 days left in the billing period. I called to verify all this and just to say I think 2gb, for me, is not enough. I think I told her 3gb would be much better allowing me to stream a couple of tv shows without stressing.

I didn't threaten to leave though. I find that kind of posturing annoying. I thought it though. Here in Denver reception is fine, as good as or better than T-Mobile. But the 2gb cap is really frustrating. I came to ATT the day the iPhone 4 was released so I have some time on my contract and was waiting to see what happens when the iPhone 5 is released. If Verison was still offering the unlimited plan I would consider, having the cash, dropping ATT and going to Verizon.

Oh yeah, I was on the phone with the ATT rep in a Home Depot parking lot. After we hung up, with her offering me unlimited data, I held up the iPhone and shouted "I LOVE COMPETITION!!!!". Not quiet at the top of my lungs but loud enough a couple people looked. Then I proceeded to gush about the positive aspects of competition in capitalism on both Twitter and Facebook hoping that this trend carries over to Comcast here in Denver.

tl;dr- I have no problem with ATT save for 2gb data cap. They hooked me up with unlimited. I swooned.

Thanks,
Dean
post #33 of 33
Hi, I am in my first no-contract month and I went to the MyWireless App on my AT&T iPhone and it says I have unlimited data.
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