Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Changes in the Wireless Contract Policies of AT&T

Many mobile phone service providers announced that they will pro rate the early termination fees they charge to customers who want to cancel their wireless contracts. It seems that they are starting to make good on those promises this year. AT&T recently announced that their subscribers will benefit from greater flexibility provided by the company's new approach to early termination fees.

Existing and new AT&T subscribers will not be charged with a flat early termination fee for canceling a service agreement, as long as they signed a one or two year wireless contract beginning on May 25, 2008. They will be charged with a rate that will decrease by "$5 during each month, every month, for the term of the contract."

However, the customers who have signed wireless contracts with AT&T before May 25 will still be charged with a single, flat ETF of $175. Well, I guess these customers will have to finish their contract. These pro rate policy is certainly more customer friendly then the flat rate ETF charged for terminating a wireless contract.

Customers who want no part of any wireless contracts also have new options. If you do not want to tangle with ETF's or other contract policies then you may:

- Choose to briung a compatible GSM device and purchase a SIM (subscriber identity module). You may then slip it into the back of the phone, and select a month-to-month service plan.

- Purchase a handset at full price and choose to go on a month-to-month service plan.

- Sign up for the GoPhone prepaid wireless plans offered by AT&T

The company also announced a few more customer friendly policies. For instance, AT&T now offers a 30-day return policy. This is a no-questions-asked grace period for service and equipment for customers who are unsatisfied with the equipment or service they have purchased.

AT&T Customers will also benefit from street-level coverage maps. They can use this online interactive mapping tool to view AT&T wireless coverage down to a neighborhood street level. This tool can even estimate the likelihood of coverage inside a building or a vehicle and outdoors to help subscribers.

These are just some of the customer friendly policies that have been launched by AT&T. I'm sure that others will follow. I have witnessed a lot of wireless contract complaints so I hope these changes will appease dissatisfied customers. These changes points towards a positive future for relations between wireless carriers and customers. I expect the other carriers to offer similar policies to make their own subscribers happy.

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