AT&T’s New Offers a Reaction to the Verizon iPhone?
If you are currently one of AT&T’s 90+ million subscribers I might have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that there is a chance that AT&T will be sending you a coupon for a free MicroCell. A MicroCell is, simply put, a local signal booster for the home or office. The bad news is, if you get one of these coupons it’s because AT&T has determined that you live in an area where their service is even more horrible than normal. To be exact, you live in the worst 7.5% of their coverage map.
The “free” MicroCell comes with several strings attached. The biggest one is that you have to sign a one year contract exclusive of your phone’s contract. Should you cancel your account with AT&T before the year is up you have to either return the device or pay a $199.99 cancelation fee plus $16.67 for every month that you used the device.
Rumors are also swirling that AT&T will roll out a phone trade in program, where customers can trade in their old cell phones for cash. According to said rumors, AT&T will accept phones from any carrier. No word on how much payola you can get, and the smart assumption is that the cash can only be used towards the purchase of an AT&T phone. But again, this is all just rumor right now.
All of this is however an interesting turn of events. Perhaps AT&T is worried a bit about their loss of exclusivity with Apple and are firing a few preemptive shots in an attempt to retain customers generally unhappy with AT&T’s service – rated as the worst by a country mile by Consumer Reports. Or perhaps these new programs are mutually exclusive. But we doubt that.