AT&T Smartphones Will Require Data Plan Starting Sept. 6

Posted Aug 21, 2009

Starting September 6, those that have a smartphone through AT&T will be required to have a smartphone data plan.  Fortunately Those who already have non-smartphone data plans will not be forced to upgrade their data plans.

The reason why AT&T is requiring this action is because they want to “ensure customers receive a predictable bill each month.”  After reading that, my b.s. meter went off.  I believe this is the company’s politically correct way of saying that they want to squeeze more money out of you.

Below is an e-mail that AT&T is circulating around internally:

Beginning September 6, 2009, customers who activate or upgrade to a Smartphone will need to sign up for an appropriate data plan. Existing Smartphone customers active prior to September 6, 2009 will be grandfathered and exempt from the new policy.

Why we are making this change?
We want our customers to have the best possible experience with their Smartphones. A predictable bill is a key factor in customer satisfaction, so effective September 6, 2009 Smartphone customers will need to subscribe to a data plan, as the vast majority of customers already do. Data plans let customers fully utilize their device, without the worry of bill shock.

How we will ensure an extraordinary customer experience?
The sales representative is the customer?s expert resource in helping select the right device for their needs. When a customer does not want a data plan, we will position other devices in our industry leading portfolio for the customer to choose from, as many devices do not require a data plan.

Action Required:
Sales Managers will review the Know the Facts, Job Aid, and FAQs (found under Related Links) with their sales teams and ensure all sales representatives fully understand the new policy and how to position the Smartphone data requirement to customers. A Sales Coaching Session will be available on September 5, 2009 (document to be distributed in advance).