Why AT&T Pricing for the iPhone is Full of Deception

So, we’re still waiting to hear complete details from some of the carriers about pricing, plans, etc.. for the iPhone 4S. And I’m betting once we do things will be as murky and deceptive as they are at present.

I’m a current AT&T customer and at the moment see no reason to switch given how and where I use my iPhone. But, there seems to be a real glitch in the way AT&T and Apple are looking at this. OK, let’s be real. It’s not a glitch, AT&T is just being deceptive as hell.

According to AT&T I’m not eligible for an upgrade price until February  2012. But if I use the technique of pressing *639# on my phone to check eligibility, I get a message back that says I could buy a new phone

“at two year commitment pricing + $250 along with a new 2 yr commitment and an $18 upgrade fee.”

That’s a lot of text for an SMS. It’s also a lot of text to say, you’ll pay the full freight plus $18, You do the math.  $399 + $250 +$18 for a total of $667. So, essentially the cost of upgrading the phone is $667 and I get the joys of a new two year contract.

Apple’s website ,which allows you to check with AT&T for pricing is cleaner. It just says $649, but doesn’t mention the upgrade fee.

So, here’s the question. If I’m paying full freight for a new phone, why should I, or anyone else in the same circumstance, have to extend the contract? Of course we know the reason. AT&T’s chicanery here doesn’t hold water.