AT&T cancels early upgrades, inviting Lumia 900 buyers to switch to Verizon
I missed this story by a couple weeks, but now that I know about it, am kind of ticked. AT&T has cancelled their early-upgrade policy for everyone with contracts that end after March 2014. Customers who had been counting on upgrading their phones at the 20 month mark are now forced to wait the full 24 months. For buyers of the Lumia 900, this amounts to some sour lemons.
Sour Lemons for Lumia 900 Buyers
I was one of the Lumia 900 launch day buyers, signing a new 2-year AT&T contract on April 4th 2012. Then, as all Lumia 900 buyers know, a mere seven months later, Windows Phone 8 was released, a brand new OS that the Lumia 900 could not upgrade to. Yes, Nokia and Microsoft have done a good job supporting the old hardware, but especially now, it is clear that any new app from popular app makers coming to Windows Phone will most likely be exclusive to Windows Phone 8. We Lumia 900 owners are more and more in the cold.
The only comfort we had was that after 20 months, we would be able to upgrade to a shiny new Windows Phone 8 device. At the time of our purchases, that was AT&T’s policy and we were relying on it. And with November right around the corner, I was very much looking forward to my upgrade.
By cancelling the early-upgrade policy for all buyers of Lumia 900s, AT&T has chosen to kick their customers while they’re down, and it is unfortunate. I would urge AT&T to provide some early upgrade accommodation for those buyers. If not for good will, then to prevent customer exodus.
Why Not Just Switch to Verizon and Get a Shiny New Windows Phone 8 Device Early?
Let me help AT&T with some math. If I were to walk away from my AT&T contract at the 20 month mark, I would owe them a $125 cancellation fee. ($325 minus $10 for every month of completed service). Guess what AT&T, Verizon is willing to give me a spanking new Lumia 928 now for $29.99 if I sign a contract with them). Maybe that price will be more like $0.01 around Black Friday, which will coincidentally be around the 20 month mark for launch day Lumia 900 buyers.
Considering that AT&T would have charged us $36.00 for an early upgrade anyway, moving to Verizon will only cost us $89.00 more than what we had already planned to pay. Not bad for snagging a Lumia 928 that costs $499 off contract.
Would I pay $125 out of pocket to upgrade to a new device four months early? Quite possibly. AT&T’s willingness to disrespect those who jumped on the Lumia 900 bandwagon definitely doesn’t compel those customers to stick around…
Send this around!
If you are a Lumia 900 buyer (or just emphasize with us), feel free to share this article on social media. The more it appears, the more likely AT&T will be to change their policies.