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AT&T improves contract change policies

updated 09:15 am EDT, Tue October 16, 2007

AT&T Contract Changes

AT&T on Tuesday announced a pair of updates to its contract policies to bolster its reputation in the marketplace and match or exceed offerings from rival carriers, such as Verizon. For the first time, AT&T will allow subscribers to switch to a standard calling plan in mid term without being forced to prolong or restart their contract. This should let users adapt their cellular plans to their usage habits over time without an according penalty. The feature should take effect in November, though the company did not say that this would extend to data plans.

Cancelation policies are also set to receive an overhaul, AT&T adds. Rather than charge a flat rate, the carrier will adopt a policy similar to Verizon's which prorates the early cancellation fees. Subscribers who have signed a one- or two-year contract will see the cost of canceling their service decrease over time. Pricing for the change is uncertain but should be revealed by the time the change takes effect in early 2008.

Both changes may be in direct response to Senate legislation, which would have mandated more drastic changes. The proposed bill would potentially eliminate all cancellation fees for select customers and would have required providers to explain reasons behind service charges, which in some cases are alleged to hide artificial price increases. iPhone adoption is widely believed to have been partly hindered by a reluctance on the part of customers to sign up for a new plan without the ability to change the plan or cancel at a discount if they dislike the Apple device.

by MacNN Staff




  1. BelugaShark

    Joined: Dec 1969



    that's it?? that's all they can do?

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Partly hindered...?

    Would the numbers really be so bad if you took all the people who might have bought an iPhone or chosen to use AT&T voluntarily if the plans had been more flexible & the phone was unlocked & added them to the mix...?

    If the offering of virtual voicemail is a great as the marketeers would have you believe then massive voluntary adoption shouldn't be a problem - so why the ransom...?

    There are a ton of people in Canada right now who I think would pick one up, even without the VVM if the darn thing was unlocked & available with flexible plans like pay as you go... That could happen starting as early as today perhaps...???

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    when you have to actually make changes and 'improve' your service just to get it in line with Verizon. Can you imagine a computer company coming out and saying "Well, to improve our face in the market place, we're going to make these changes that should match or exceed Gateway!".

    And I do agree with everything bobolicious says.

    My only thinking on the VVM is that Apple wants to control who has it so other phone makers can't jump in and use the same API and such and hook it into their blackberries or the like. If Apple went the unlocked route, they'd have to either publish the spec or license it to companies.

    (And if anyone has an iPhone, does VVM remove your voicemail from AT&T's system when you download it, or just when you listen to it? That is, if someone forgets their phone at home, and its just downloading all your voice mail, can you call in to the voice mail system and get it, or are you screwed?)

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