AT&T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

AT&T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

Summary: It should come as a surprise to no one that AT&T is quietly offering iPhone customers its (previously discontinued) unlimited data for $30/month. The move is an effort to avert a possible wide-scale defection to Verizon when its iPhone arrives on the market.

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It should come as a surprise to no one that AT&T is quietly offering iPhone customers its (previously discontinued) unlimited data for $30/month. The move is an effort to avert a possible wide-scale defection to Verizon when its iPhone arrives on the market.

The move isn't an official rate change and no statement has been made by AT&T, but the AP reports that off-contract iPhone owners that call and complain can have their accounts switched back to AT&T's unlimited data plan.

If you had an AT&T unlimited data plan on your iPhone prior to June 2010 you can probably switch back to it by calling and threatening to defect. It only works if you've been an AT&T customer since before June 2010 though, and loyalty can be a factor in AT&T's decision.

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel would only say:

"We handle customers and their situations individually, and we're not going to discuss specifics"

Pay attention to that part about the contract, too. If you're still bound by AT&T's two-year agreeement you've basically got no leg to stand on. You might as well set an alarm in your calendar for the day that your contract expires -- unless you want to pony up AT&T's Early Termination Fee, that is.

I wonder what will happen to in-contract AT&T iPhone customers, willing to pay the Early Termination Fee, that call and threaten to defect? Will AT&T cave then too? If not, it probably should.

AT&T has no choice.

When AT&T loses its iPhone exclusivity next week (two weeks for non-Verizon customers) it has a gun to its head. To remain competitive AT&T will have to match VZW's two biggest advantages: unlimited data and personal hotspot.

It's time for AT&T to get creative and bang out a few press releases...

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, iPhone, Smartphones, AT&T

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32 comments
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  • RE: AT&T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

    I knew this was coming. I am a recent "in-contract" iPhone 4 user on ATT as of 3 or 4 months ago. It certainly doesn't hurt anything to try, so I'll give them a call in the morning under the guise of simply "needing to know how much I need to set aside for my ETF as I'm planning to switch to Verizon on launch day" and see how they approach it. I love my corporate discount so the truth is it would take a lot for me to leave, but it's worth a shot anyway.<br><br>By the way, considering that Gazelle, as of 5 minutes ago is still offering $360.00 for a mint iPhone 4 16GB (which makes Verizon's 200.00 Visa gift card look like pocket change), the 375.00 ATT ETF is really of little deterrance to someone still in contract who really wants to defect. ATT better be prepared for the fact that ETF or not, the very device most of their in-contract customers are about to abandon is as good as cash in their pocket if they really want to leave.
    Playdrv4me
  • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

    Interesting... fortunately I kept my unlimited data plan so I'm good but it is nice to know AT&T has at least temporarily come to their senses.
    athynz
  • Coverage matters most

    If you live or work in an area where AT&T service sucks, then it doesn't matter what AT&T offers. Those customers will jump ship just to have coverage that works... I am hoping AT&T pulls their heads out of their rears and offers personal hotspot at the same price. AT&T is and has allways been horrible on on mobile data plans. This is exactly what we need to b-slap them into reality.
    i8thecat
    • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

      @i8thecat Agreed. Fortunately I live in an area where AT&T service is excellent but even so I don't want to have to pay an additional fee for a hotspot plan when it's using data I'm already paying for.
      athynz
  • Here is why competition is good

    NT
    Tigertank
  • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

    I had voluntarily given up my unlimited data to save $15/mo but I found I was to often going over the 200MB limit on my data plan. I called AT&T yesterday and asked to have my unlimited data plan back for $30/mo. At first they did not want to make the switch but once I said I would go to VZW and get unlimited data, they came to their senses and made the switch for me!
    sbalun
  • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

    I hope AT&T does better than Verizon. Verizon gives you the tripple jab. First they charge you extra for a phone that is capable of data, then $30 a month for data plan and then another $20 a month to use it as a hot spot. WOW what a friggin deal.
    psivert@...
    • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

      @psivert@...

      Uh, AT&T nickel and dimes exactly the same way, except that oh, yeah, they don't offer hotspot at all! Oh, and for six months, they didn't offer unlimited data, either.
      tkejlboom
    • I don't know what you're talking about....

      @psivert@... I have a palm pre plus I have the $30 per month unlimited data plan, and I can use my phone as a hotspot for up to 5GB cap of hotspot data.
      Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
  • VZW's unlimited plan will end; voice plan is costly

    Verizon's "unlimited data for $30" is only temporary; the company has conceded that it will end but won't say when. In any case, have you seen what Verizon is charging for an iPhone voice plan? Prices start at $40 a month! Is that what the company charges for voice on an Android? I was paying $10 a month for voice on my Windows Mobile 6 smartphone. Then again, I was on a family plan.
    paul613
    • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

      @paul613

      It will end when the next version of the iPhone comes out. Presumably it will be 4G capable and Verizon will take away the unlimited plan for anyone wanting 4G. This is simply a marketing ploy to get customer to switch so they can lock you in and screw you over.
      Masari.Jones
      • RE: AT&T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

        @Masari.Jones Do you have any evidence for your first statement? Otherwise everyone else can speculate just as well. Do you have any evidence for your second statement? Do you have any evidence for your third statement?
        steveanderson1357@...
    • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

      @paul613

      I think it's probably the other way around. Verizon wanted to retain the option of taking it away, but if it takes away AT&T's customers, they won't risk someone else pulling the same crap on them.

      AT&T only tried that BS in the first place right after they got to keep ETFs, which they were in real danger of having regulated away. See how Verizon is promoting getting around that, and maybe we'll finally see a competitive phone industry in this country for the first time in ten years.
      tkejlboom
      • RE: maybe we'll finally see a competitive phone industry

        @tkejlboom

        It will not happen. Carriers and handset manufacturers will play all kinds of games to keep the `status quo`.

        A truly <b>competitive phone industry</b> would be <u>any and all</u> phones on <b>any carrier</b>.

        But, thanks to the <b>Best Government Money Can Buy</b>, it will never happen.

        Competition, <b>real competition</b> is NOT in the financial interests of the telco monopoly members.
        fatman65535
    • RE: AT&T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

      @paul613 If you paid only $10/mo for your phone, then you didn't have your own account and you probably never saw the bill. You were only paying the account holder for the phone you were using. AT&T and VZW voice plans are the same $40 and have been for a long time. The data prices will not be offered at the same price "forever" on new contracts. This has always been the case at every company. No one changes your price mid-term.
      steveanderson1357@...
  • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

    This article seems like crap to me - I just spent 33 Minutes on the phone with them and got nothing other than their response claiming these articles on ZDnet, Engadget, etc. are rumors and that AT&T is not adding on Unlimited Data Plans - As a matter of fact, she offered to remove my iphone data 2gb + tethering and replace it with the 2gb Data (no tethering) for a reduced cost of $30 p/month! - I'm 99% sure that should be $25 and they were trying to charge me $30! - Thoughts or Tips from anyone appreciated.
    DJs4Less
    • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

      @DJs4Less

      Ask for a manager, and as the volume of people demanding goes up, expect it to get harder until the iPhone 4 comes out on Verizon and people actually start switching.
      tkejlboom
    • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

      @DJs4Less, If AT&T is like the cable companies they might have a "Retention Dept.". Threatening to switch gets you transfered to someone with the authority to make a deal.
      MajorlyCool
  • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

    "AT&T spokesman Mark Siege" should be advised that treating individual customers differently may run afoul of State and Federal consumer laws. This could be lawsuit city for AT&T.
    Ray Burne
  • RE: AT&amp;T quietly matching VZW's unlimited data plan for iPhone

    I have good phone service with my iPhone 4 on AT&T and I like the ability to talk on the phone AND run data related programs at the same time. Verizon cannot do this with their version of the iPhone.
    I also do not understand how someone can use over 200MB let alone 2GB of data consistently every month and therefore needs an unlimited plan at $30 per month.
    lstaub