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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 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
  • Reply 2 of 33
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,491member
    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.
  • Reply 4 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



    Yeah hopefully competition will start to get these data plans in line. These data plan games are starting to get stupid.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,139member
    Now the fun starts! Competition at last
  • Reply 6 of 33
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    Let the battle begin ... ding, ding!
  • Reply 8 of 33
    azjayazjay Posts: 34member
    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!
  • Reply 9 of 33
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    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
  • Reply 11 of 33
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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 didn?t 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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    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
  • Reply 14 of 33
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    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?
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    I just called a customer service rep. and she told me they were not offering this again. Hmmm??
  • Reply 18 of 33
    dualiedualie Posts: 331member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,452member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    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.
Sign In or Register to comment.