Are You Ready to Save 25% On Your iPhone Plan? Pit Verizon vs. AT&T

by Darwin on January 12, 2011

With the worst kept secret in history finally coming to fruition in Verizon’s announcement that they will be a carrier for the iPhone, existing AT&T subscribers should start gearing up for their negotiation tactics – and get ready for some savings!  As a benefactor of the Verizon FIOS vs. Comcast battle in my neighborhood, (I’m virtually the last holdout on my entire block that still uses Comcast) –  my bill is half as much as everyone else’s.

Learn from the FIOS vs. Comcast Battle

See, a few years ago, Verizon FIOS launched with a massive ad campaign, claims of faster service, more channels and an overall better customer experience.  They offered attractive introductory pricing (which goes by really fast).  This coincided with years of customer complaints about terrible customer service from Comcast.  As a result, there was a mass exodus from Comcast to Verizon.  Check out this live chat session I recorded here (Comcast Price Saving Chat Session) where I captured the entire conversation on how to save hundreds of dollars per year on your services by simply threatening to leave.

This is the exact set of circumstances AT&T now find themselves in.  AT&T had the distinct honor of being named the worst carrier in tons of markets and surveys in this year’s Consumer Reports comparison.  They are routinely cited as the key reason people DON’T buy an iPhone.  They are hated.

Prepare to Save!

As a result, there are some very clear reasons I anticipate a massive savings opportunity by staying with AT&T: Acquisition Costs and Churn are High, Servicing a Customer is Cheap – Just like Comcast, it is much cheaper to just maintain an existing customer as opposed to letting one go and buying a new one with advertising or signup deals.  Unlike how you buy a car with a high cost of goods sold, the investment in infrastructure has already been made here.  Variable costs are low for a customer like me.  With Verizon taking millions of existing customers and a lion-share of the new ones, AT&T should rightly offer concessions to maintain customers.  Surely, they’d still be better off retaining me at a huge discount like 25%-50% compared to letting me go.  I would anticipate this will be an easy negotiation and easy savings.  And if not?  Well, I’ll go to Verizon!  But I don’t think a retention specialist wants to just keep letting people go that are willing to stay for a discount.

Why WOULD I Stay with AT&T???

The money! See, I don’t use my iPhone a ton.  I use it enough to make it worth having, but I don’t live on the thing.  Most of the day I’m busy working and most of the night, I’m at home with a Wi-Fi connection.  I use it when I have a brief break here and there or when out of the house.  I don’t talk on my phone much and when I do, it works well enough.  I’ve had a dropped call or two but what’s the big deal?  I call them back.  The data transfer is a little slow, but I don’t do a ton of web traffic on my iPhone.  I like to tweet, check my emails, check my stats and check news.  Most of this loads just fine.  Sure, Verizon may be a little quicker – but is it worth hundreds of dollars per year more to me?  Nah.  It ain’t exactly like getting a free cell phone – but for my needs – it’s a welcome discount!

If you like saving money, check out these other Money Saving Articles.

How Much Do You Think You’ll Save by Negotiating With AT&T?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan January 12, 2011 at 10:44 am

yeah you do this with cable companies because they don’t charge you an ETF when you want to switch. If you have a contract with AT&T you really don’t have much bargaining power.


Darwin January 12, 2011 at 10:51 am

My contract will be up soon. And in the end…everything’s negotiable. 🙂


Daniel January 12, 2011 at 10:51 am

I hope your prophecy comes true. I haven’t had the experience of constant dropped called with my iPhone, but having that happen often would be awful.

That being said, hopefully a lot of people switch over, the load on the AT&T system lessens, and there are fewer dropped called.

All in all, I think competition is a very good thing for consumers and they will battle for the lowest prices. I already have a great family plan ($130 for 5 lines, which includes the $30 iphone plan), but any extra concessions they can give would be welcome!


Jane Sanders January 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Wow, I wish I was closer to the end of my contract. I just got iphone 4 a few months ago, so that ETF is major barrier. Great advice though. It’s amazing what you can get when you threaten to walk.


retirebyforty January 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Hey, I already saved 100% on my iphone plan because I don’t have one. 😀


Darwin January 14, 2011 at 9:14 am

I can’t live without mine so I’m stuck :>


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