AT&T Causing iPhone Buyer's Remorse

Reader Stefan wants your advice:
I did it. I succumbed to the lure of an iPhone. I love Apple products, but I now get the distinct impression that they are forcing us to get into bed with the devil, also known as AT&T. After purchasing an iPhone (the 4GB leper version for $299) at an Apple Store, I took it home and attempted to get it working.

When the time came to dump Verizon (who I’ve been with for many years and have found to be a fairly good company) and sign up with AT&T, I followed the instructions and I entered my credit card information. Their website informed me that they could not accept my credit card information at this time (even though I have an excellent credit history) and I would have to go to an AT&T store to sign up.

BUT, until then I could set up a pre-paid account. Since I needed my phone for work in the morning and they had already ported my phone number from Verizon, I purchased a pre-paid plan right then and there.

Now every time I make a phone call a message pops up on my phone that says that call costs you $4.37 or $6.22 or whatever. This of course adds up quickly, so I went to the AT&T store right away to sign up for a monthly plan.

But they informed me that I would have to stay with the pre-paid plan for one (30 day) billing cycle and that there was no way to change that. They reiterated the phrase “no way” several times and went on to say that they have a parade of people everyday who complain bitterly about this.

This means that AT&T will most likely get more than twice(!) the amount from me that Apple got out of me for the phone, and it’s all profit. I’m now filled with hate for AT&T and can’t help but think that Apple is partly responsible for not giving us a choice of carriers. If I could, I’d go back to Verizon and my old inelegant phone in a heartbeat.

Does anyone know what can be done about this

Our instinct is to tell you to return the phone and port your number to the carrier that you can negotiate the best deal with using our cellphone shopping tips…

…but we’ve never heard the Apple siren song so we’ll turn this one over to the comments. What should Stefan do?


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