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AT&T rethinks iPhone 3G S upgrade fee

For some, but not others

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Apparently, the howls of hurt from early iPhone 3G buyers reached the heights of AT&T's bean-counting management. The company announced Wednesday that it would let iPhone 3G owners buy into new two-year iPhone 3G S contracts at a less punitive rate.

Well, some iPhone 3G owners.

In an open letter released on Wednesday, Big Phone announced that "We’re now pleased to offer our iPhone 3G customers who are upgrade eligible in July, August or September 2009 our best upgrade pricing, beginning Thursday, June 18."

The reason for the change? AT&T claims that "We’ve been listening to our customers. And since many of our iPhone 3G customers are early adopters and literally weeks shy of being upgrade eligible due to iPhone 3G S launching 11 months after iPhone 3G, we’re extending the window of upgrade eligibility for a limited time."

However, exactly what Big Phone's "best upgrade pricing" amounts to isn't specifically explained. And "upgrade eligibility" is a bit mushy, as well.

The open letter explains the philosophy behind upgrade eligibility, if not the exact dates and dollars: "In general, the more a customer spends with us, the quicker they become eligible for a price break on a new device. For example, iPhone customers who spend more than $99 a month per line with us generally are eligible for an upgrade between 12 and 18 months into their contract."

Gotta love the tap-dancing two-step of "In general" and "generally".

The open letter goes on to note that the company's "upgrade eligibility tools" will be tuned up to reflect the new policy by tomorrow, June 18th.

Log onto AT&T's Online Account Management site tomorrow, then, to find out if your "upgrade eligibility" warrants AT&T's "best upgrade pricing". ®

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