Arnie and his wife have a fever, and the only cure is more iPhones. A shiny new iPhone 3G S to replace the clunky old 3G iPhones they’ve been forced to use, to be precise. Frustrated that the cell phone business insists on subsidizing the gadgets by only offering a sane price to new customers, or customers willing to upgrade, Arnie called AT&T. That’s when he stumbled on a solution that’s almost hilarious in its simplicity.
They canceled their AT&T contracts, since paying an ETF was cheaper than paying the non-upgrade price for new iPhones.
My wife and I have been loyal AT&T customers since 1997. We bought the first iPhone, and we were standing in line the night the iPhone 3Gs came out, but now for both of us to upgrade we have to pay a $400 penalty for being a customer already.
However in calling an AT&T CSR I found a cheaper way to upgrade: CANCEL YOUR PHONE. That’s right, not cancel and deal with the Early Termination Fees which you can often get reduced or waived with service problems, which we have had many of. But even if we were to pay the ETF in full it would save us a total of $150 over paying the $200 per phone “upgrade fee” AT&T is demanding.
What’s best is that the CSR we spoke with actually SUGGESTED that we cancel and then sign up with new phones. And she worked at the account save desk.
A AT&T Save CSR suggesting we cancel our AT&T account. Hah! I’m sure Ralph de la Vega would be interested to know that is going on.
Is this ethical? Is it clever, or just colossally stupid? iPhone and Apple probably should have suspected that their more gadget-crazed customers would resort to things like this, but for the sake of efficiency, this probably shouldn’t be the cheapest option. That’s all I’m saying, Apple and AT&T.