As of September 6, AT&T will require all subscribers who activate or upgrade to a smartphone to sign up for an appropriate data plan.
According to Boy Genius Report, which uncovered the internal AT&T email outlining the policy change, subscribers with smartphones purchased prior to September 6 will be grandfathered in and will not be required to upgrade their current plans.
“We want our customers to have the best possible experience with their smartphones,” the AT&T email reads.
“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.”
AT&T will rely on its sales managers to explain the smartphone data requirement to consumers: “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.”
After the Boy Genius Report article hit the web, InformationWeeksecured official confirmation of the change from AT&T.
“Smartphone users tend to consume a higher amount of data services, like advanced email, mobile web, applications and more,” the operator said in a prepared statement.
“Being able to take full advantage of these features without having to worry about a fluctuating or unusually high bill generally leads to greater customer satisfaction.”
Boy Genius Report