Alltel Merger Forces Verizon Customer To Have AT&T… What?

If you’re an Alltel or Verizon customer you may have read that the companies are merging. In order for Verizon to acquire Alltel it had to agree to sell some of its assets to AT&T. That means that reader Scott now has a contract with AT&T. He hates AT&T.

Scott says:

Around two months ago we switched from Alltel to Verizon after our contract ran out and we figured we should just go ahead and get Verizon because of the eventual switch anyways. So, I recently went to go do a little online shopping for some accessories for my wife’s cell phone and went to log in to our account, once I did that a pop-up…ummm, popped up, and told me that my service was being switched to AT&T. Looking at their ever so helpful FAQs section I noticed that I was being forced to honor my contract that I signed with Verizon. Apparently around 1.5 million people are being forced to do the same thing.

So all that brings me to my question, is there anyway I can get out of this? I despise AT&T with just about every section of my being and would rather go back to Alltel if I could.

Are you stuck with AT&T? That’s not entirely clear to us, but it seems that the worst that’s going to happen to you is that you’ll get a free comparable GSM phone sometime in the future and have AT&T until your current contract is up.

Here’s AT&T’s FAQ:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will my service move to AT&T?
A. We will roll out service on a market-by-market basis as our network launches occur over the next year. Your service will transition to AT&T after the network launches in your area. We will contact you in advance of your transition date with more information.

Q. Do I need to do anything at this time?
A. Your current wireless service will continue to work as it does today. At the appropriate time, we will contact you with further information and notify you of anything you need to do.
To ensure that you receive important information in the future, please make sure that your current billing address is up to date. If you have recently had a change in address, please contact your carrier and update it.

Q. Will my current coverage change?
A. No. During the transition period your current coverage will not change.
Once the transition is complete, your coverage area will be similar to what you have today and you will be on the nation’s fastest 3G network. In addition, when you move outside of your home area, you will be using the AT&T network, which covers over 97 percent of all Americans.

Q. Will I need a different phone due to the transition to AT&T?
A. During the transition period, you should continue using your current phone or data device. However, in advance of your service transitioning to AT&T, we will contact you and provide you with a choice of phones and data devices, comparable to what you have today, at no additional cost.

Q. Is my contract still valid as a result of this merger?
A. Yes. Your current terms and conditions apply.

Q. Can I switch to another carrier without paying an Early Termination Fee before my service transitions to AT&T?
A. Your current contract terms and conditions apply, including those provisions related to Early Termination Fees. If you are no longer subject to a contract, there would be no Early Termination Fee to disconnect.

Q. Can I still make changes to my current rate plan, service, and features?
A. Yes, for the time being, you can still make changes to your account via your current Customer Service contacts.

Q. Are there any changes to my bill statement or how I make my payments?
A. There are no changes to your bill statement or your bill due date at this time. Please continue to make payments as you do today. After your service transitions, you will receive bill statements from, and make payments to, AT&T.

Q. Who do I contact if I need help?
A. During the transition period, please continue to contact Customer Service as you do today.

Here’s a map of the area being acquired by AT&T.

Anyone have any more info?

FAQ [AT&T]
Verizon to Sell Some Alltel Assets to AT&T [WSJ]