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AT&T upgrade period lengthened to two years

Posted: , by Alan F.

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AT&T upgrade period lengthened to two years
AT&T has some bad news for some of its customers. Starting on Sunday, AT&T customers with contracts expiring on March 1st, 2014 or later, will have to wait a full 24 months before being allowed to upgrade to a new phone paying the lower subsidized price for the device. The announcement by the carrier makes official what was rumored after a leaked AT&T memo revealed the change in policy.

Before the change in policy, AT&T had allowed those with a signed contract to purchase a subsidized phone after 20 months as long as they extended their contract for another 24 months. Like Verizon, which also eliminated the 20 month upgrade on a two-year contract back in April, AT&T said that it wanted to align the upgrade cycle with the two-year contracts that post-paid customers sign. Verizon's change takes affect this coming January, two months before AT&T's new rules start.

AT&T will stop allowing customers to update their phones before 24 months

AT&T will stop allowing customers to update their phones before 24 months


source: AppleInsider

26 Comments
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posted on 09 Jun 2013, 20:25 5

1. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6422; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Oh man that REALLY SUCKS. so glad I cancelled my CONTRACT LAST MONTH. I'm happy with my PRE PAID SIM CARD with my UNLOCKED XPERIA phone

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 20:41

4. Daftama (Posts: 563; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


They want ppl to get used to the 24 months first so eventually when they release what tmobile has ppl will have to pay full retail price.. $20 a month for 24 months

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 20:29 2

2. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


if this effects my contract I am gone

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 12:10

25. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1003; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


If your contracts ends after March 2014, it will be. my contract isnt up until December of 2014 so Id have to wait a full 2 years to upgrade BUT im not waiting that long to do that

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 20:31 7

3. Whateverman (Posts: 3196; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Typical, the twin tyrants strick again.

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 20:44 1

5. bulgyjj (Posts: 27; Member since: 08 Jun 2013)


I just took it as a favor that they allowed me to upgrade early.. Not really a biggie

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 20:56 8

6. ddarko18 (Posts: 3; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


So to make up for this they are going to stop charging that ridiculous $36 upgrade fee right?

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 21:03 4

7. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)


The idea of the upgrade before your contract expires was to keep the customers an additional two years so they wouldn't switch to another carrier. This makes people look into different carriers before upgrading on the same carrier. Especially since most carriers carry the same phones.

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 21:31 1

8. Sniggly (Posts: 6986; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Son. Of. A. Bitch.

SO glad that I'm soon to be on an employee line. We get to upgrade every 10 months.

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 22:00 1

9. max9777 (Posts: 71; Member since: 11 Dec 2011)


Lucky you, I am on sprints employee line and I dont get any upgrades, but if I still work there, they would of kept on giving me free phones.. =/

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 22:12 1

10. Sniggly (Posts: 6986; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Yeah, on ATT and Verizon's indirect employee lines they give you upgrades every ten months. Verizon even gives you a hundred dollars off the consumer contract price.

Now all I need is the Moto X, and I'll jump for that employee line. I'm counting the days.

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 22:41

11. Ruckus (Posts: 276; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


C'mon Sprint.. please don't follow suit!! First we have VZW pull this BS now AT&T.. Now Sprint will follow suit and T-Mobile's alleged 20 month No Contract (that's actually a contract)instead will be for 24 months -_-'.....

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 01:13

15. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2168; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


It is 24 months & while it may be a contract under the definition of the word, it's definitely not one in the same vein as the other carriers.

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 22:55 1

12. MartyK (Posts: 711; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


Sprint needs to have a plan like T-Mobile, once you pay off your phone your plan get cheaper per month..

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 07:00

20. Ruckus (Posts: 276; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


Marty, T-Mobile raises the price of their plan $20 for 20 months before lowering it for 4. I hope Sprint doesn't because id pay more. Do the math guys. T-mobiles plans aren't cheap anymore.

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 11:12

23. Lboogey6 (Posts: 266; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


Marty please listen to ruckus he ignores the same signs of lies that have been told to us for years. its per device ill keep it simple but keep up
$50 ultd talk text web(500 mb of 4g) + $10 (2g of 4g) = $60
" " + $20(ultd 4g) = $70
all that is just service so for one you already have more options
now the phone they can vary high end phones mostly yes $20
so your bill $80 or $90
or depending upon the other phones that can be between $2 and $17
you can be paying a variety of prices lg optimus L9 $48 down $8 a month your bill $68 or $78 then when the phone is paid off whether you go the full 24 or pay it off early your bill drops the phone so if you hang on to your phones for a while or bring in your own device its a huge benefit.
you do the math and logic before attempting to educate others

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 23:25 2

13. suneeboy (Posts: 162; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


Does anyone agree that this is another reason why prepaid is gaining so much ground on postpaid? I got out of my contract in 2012, and I'll never sign one again.

posted on 09 Jun 2013, 23:45 6

14. Sniggly (Posts: 6986; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well, with the Galaxy S3 coming to Boost and Boost and Virgin offering LTE supporting phones, I can definitely see why. If their coverage was better I'd recommend them more often.

*shrugs* ah well. If it gets bad enough the market will respond and the carriers will bow to market pressure. Why do you think carriers went nuts with free phones, shortened upgrade eligibility and extra incentives for upgrading in the first place?

I know I'll get booed for this, but I still maintain that the iPhone's popularity has a lot to do with the accelerated drying up of consumer benefits at the carriers. The pattern is as follows:

1. The iPhone reaches AT&T. Unlimited data, early upgrades, and premier customer extras disappear.
2. The iPhone reaches Verizon. Other high end phones shoot up to 300 dollars for a time, taking a year to come back down to non insane prices. Unlimited data disappears, with an aggressive program to kill grandfathered data features. New Every 2 disappears. Early upgrades disappear. Upgrade fees introduced. Contract length extended.
3. The iPhone reaches Sprint. Slow LTE rollout for major markets. Early upgrades disappear, then reappear, but are only offered after a 50 to 100 dollar payment. Upgrade fees doubled.
4. The iPhone reaches T-Mobile. Phone subsidies disappear entirely.
5. The iPhone reaches US Cellular. US Cellular sells off half its market to Sprint, displacing bewildered customers who were satisfied with their service with the carrier.

There are other indicators I'm forgetting, but I'm calling it: the iPhone is poison to consumers when it comes to the carriers.

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 01:40

16. suneeboy (Posts: 162; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


I don't agree with you, but the iPhone did change the smartphone market and carriers took advantage with higher pricing.

I just didn't foresee $80-$100+ a month for a single line.

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 10:12

22. Phoenity (Posts: 12; Member since: 12 Dec 2011)


I used to work for Radioshack in Target (3.5 years of BS) and I'll tell you right now why those indicators happened. It's good for an OS (and hardware manufacturer in the case of Apple) to be able to dictate what a carrier can do to a phone, because otherwise they'll strip it of everything good and make it a brand monster like Verizon has done with most of their android offerings, but the situation was flipped ALL the way in the other direction with Apple. They have always charged the carriers significantly more for their phones than any other handset maker, so profit margins are by far the lowest on every model of iphone. carriers don't make the money but NEED to carry the phone or they lose customers, so other things have to give. Every one of the things on your list were asked to my connections at the carrier level, and the answer was always the same; we have to balance against the iphone. We're losing too much money. SMDH.

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 14:58

26. Lboogey6 (Posts: 266; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


its all about money and since no one is putting a stop to apple they are going to get away with it

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 01:51

17. rcranium (Posts: 28; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Well, that sucks. Guess I'm not going to get the note 3 this Christmas.

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 02:01

18. Sniggly (Posts: 6986; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


You will if your contract ends before March 2014.

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 08:36 2

21. bittertruth247 (Posts: 31; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Totally agree with Sniggly! I work for Best Buy Mobile and I say everyday that the Iphone is the worse thing that ever happend to our company from the way we get paid for that phone to the way Iphone customers act! The Iphone did force other companies to redesign the smartphone BUT that phone is terrible! The reason why companies got rid of or are trying to get rid of unlimited data plans is because of the Iphone-their apps use more data bandwidth during idling that android and other os apps! I hate selling Iphones, I do my best to talk people into getting a real phone like android! Why would anyone want to sign up for a 2 year contract with an inferior device that can't multitask, add additional memory, allow for legal downloads of music, or customize the os? Iphone customers follow popularity instead of innovation which is what apple used to do! Apple should ask Blackberry what happens when you allow your name to sell you instead of keeping up with the competition! There's a reason apple lost 42% of their stock value in less than 9 months!!

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 11:15

24. Lboogey6 (Posts: 266; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


i just fell in love ...sorry if youre a guy lol but so true i used to work for best buy mobile and our pay structure went from getting something to getting nothing unless we sold black tie along with it. but for the hype of a phone thats an ipod touch that makes phone calls its ridiculous any time a show someone what other phones can do even if its not android they ask well why is the iphone so popular and when i see that they're baffled i know that they begin to see the inferiority.

posted on 10 Jun 2013, 19:52

27. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)


No biggy. I planned on sticking with unlocked phones anywho.

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