Category: The Basics
We here at PhoneCan talk a lot about phones and wireless devices. We talk a lot about policies. We cover several angles about the wireless business that other sites don’t bother - or can’t - cover. Our efforts are designed to empower and educate the customer with good sense and an understanding of why things are the way they are.
One thing we’ve neglected to spend much time on, however, are the people who work for cell phone companies within the stores and call centers where real people work with real customers.
Follow with us as we help bring some insight into the life of a wireless industry employee.
From the person who just checks their email to the other who streams Pandora eight hours a day, we all have need of our data plans. ï¿½Data plans give us access to a world of information on our phones or tablets. ï¿½But just what is a byte, and why should we care? ï¿½And what’s the deal with tiered data plans?
We explore the data plan as it is today, look at what’s changed in the last couple years, and where the future may or may not end up.
Despite the best efforts by carriers to simplify their billing, wireless bills can be confusing. To make matters worse, no bill is more likely to fluctuate than your wireless bill. Extra charges can be caused by a variety of things but primarily they come from overages, fees or proration.
Join Phonecan as we tackle AT&T’s wireless billing. We’ll break down how usage, service, fees and taxes appear on your monthly statement and explain the terminology that AT&T uses in their billing.
Almost every one signs them, virtually no one reads them. That’s right, contracts. Many people think that they’re agreeing to have service with their carrier for two years and their carrier is agreeing to provide them with service for 2 years. A glance over your contract will tell you that your carrier is actually agreeing to very little. You’re agreeing to a lot.
Although you may not see it mentioned in the agreement itself, the main thing you get out of the contract is subsidized pricing on a phone.
So what did you agree to? What did your carrier agree to for that matter?
Read on to get the less-boring-almost-as-good-as-reading-the-real-thing overview of the main points of the standard wireless customer agreement.
I’m a little perplexed by AT&T’s press release on early upgrade policy. The reason I’m perplexed is because early upgrades aren’t really a part of upgrade policy. If you’re trying to do an upgrade on the website and you’re not eligible, there is no option to select “early upgrade.” A manager is able to offer them in situations where a customer needs a phone but other options aren’t available.
So if it’s an exception that can be made that’s not available in general, why is AT&T putting out press releases that they’re raising prices for early upgrades? This creates a couple of problems. Firstly it’s going to confuse people. Secondly it’s going to draw all kinds of flames from confused customers who don’t like to see the words “price increase” in any article about their cell phone service.
It is to a certain extent the nature of the wireless industry that things change frequently. This, I think, is going to be a year that things change very frequently.
Upgrade eligibility for all lines, regardless of cost, will now be 20 months.
As stated in the original article on the upgrade policy update, AT&T followed suit with Verizon and eliminated the extra discounts available for upgrades on higher cost lines. They didn’t follow suit with changing how quickly those more expensive lines became eligible and kept 13 and 18 month renewals for the more expensive lines. Well, now they have followed suit. Mirroring Verizon’s policy change from 2 months ago, all lines become eligible at 20 months no matter what plan they’re on.
Early upgrade policy is also changing.
An early upgrade is something that may be offered to you if you need a phone but aren’t eligible. Early upgrades aren’t a regular part of upgrade policy. Prior to the change you would pay $200 more than the upgrade price for a smartphone or $75 more for a nonsmartphone. Those amounts have now risen to $250 and $85.
Of all the questions and search keywords we come across on this site, there’s one that rises above all the rest: help me understand a Verizon Wireless upgrade.
This question is understandable, really, seeing as how Verizon’s upgrade policy has been rewritten a bit over the past couple months. But even before the changes, people were asking us for help.
Upgrades are really quite simple, but because of the recent changes, we’re going to split this answer into two sections: customers who signed their last contract in 2010 or earlier, and those who signed their contract in 2011. New customers will want to pay attention to the second section, as this will pertain to them as well.
Come along with us as we tackle the complexity of a Verizon Wireless upgrade.
On many occasions, we’ve been witness to confusion concerning the type of technology used by Verizon Wireless - some of which is also used by Sprint, MetroPCS, and regional wireless service providers. Of this site’s internal visitor statistics, we often see people searching for information about the wireless technology being used by Verizon. The information is actually rather simple, but the common consumer is probably confused by terms such as “1X” and “EVDO.”
Follow us after the break to better understand the technology that Verizon (and others) use, and what some of the technical jargon really means.
Ready for a new phone? Are you eligible? How does all this eligibility stuff work anyway?
Everyone knows that you get a good deal on a phone when you start service with a company and sign a two year agreement. Every so often that same company your with will do the same thing for an existing customer. This is called an “upgrade.”
Just when a line is able be upgraded varies on a line-by-line basis, but in all cases it will either be 13, 18, or 20 months since you signed your last contract. (all lines are now 20 months)
Read on to learn about the basics of AT&T’s upgrade policy…