AT&T Grandfathers Unlimited Data Plans with iPhone 5 [CONFIRMED]September 12th, 2012 by Scott Selikoff
Following the much anticipated announcement of Apple’s iPhone 5 today, a single unanswered question has been weighing on my mind. Will AT&T customers with existing unlimited data plans still be grandfathered in if they choose to purchase a new iPhone 5 at the subsidized prices ($199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, $399 for 64GB)? The answer is here, and it is a resounding “yes”!
CONFIRMED [9/12/2012]: According to today’s AT&T press release, users with unlimited plans will definitely be able to keep them:
Verizon’s Poor Customer Service Decision
Avid Apple enthusiasts may recall that Verizon nixed unlimited plans for subsidized upgrades back in May 2012, a poor customer service move indeed. While Verizon still allows users to keep the plans by purchasing the unsubsidized iPhone, it does not make a lot of sense to spend hundreds of extra dollars on what may amount to $5-$20 per month (or nothing at all) in savings on the tiered plans.
Two AT&T Representatives Confirm Grandfather Rule
I called AT&T (1-888-333-6651) and spoke with a woman named Patricia, who assured me that as long as I upgraded my phone to an iPhone 5 through an AT&T representative, I would be able to keep my plan. She did caution me against upgrading at the Apple Store, not because it was not allowed, but that because last year some less-educated customers accidentally signed up for a new data plan at the Apple Store, and as AT&T will tell you, “Once the unlimited data plan has been removed, it cannot be added again”.
I also used Live Chat support on AT&T’s website and spoke to a person name Andre who confirmed that information; the transcript is posted below:
Andre S.: Welcome to AT&T online Sales support. How may I assist you with placing your order today?
Scott: Hi Andre S. I currently have an unlimited Data plan for my iPhone 4. Will I lose this unlimited data plan if I choose to upgrade to an iPhone 5 at the subsidized price?
Andre S.: Hi Scott!! I’ll be happy to assist you today with your inquiry.
Andre S.: You will not lose your data plan if you upgrade to a new phone.
Scott: even the iPhone 5 with LTE?
Andre S.: No matter which phone you get.
Scott: does it matter if I order via the Apple Store or the AT&T store?
Andre S.: It would not matter you will still be keeping your old plan.
Scott: Thank you
Disclaimer: I do not work for AT&T and cannot guarantee that, even if AT&T has a company-wide policy of grandfathering plans, your particular representative will be able to upgrade your phone without accidentally losing your data plan. As always, buyer beware.