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Summary:

There’s a mild uproar spreading among AT&T iPhone 4S customers who are running into the apparent loss of their grandfathered unlimited data plans when upgrading to the iPhone 4S online. Don’t worry, it isn’t AT&T trying to screw you; it’s just isn’t great at UX design.

att-iphone4

There’s a mild uproar spreading among AT&T iPhone 4S customers who are running into what appears to be the loss of their grandfathered unlimited data plans when upgrading to the iPhone 4S. Don’t worry, it isn’t AT&T trying to screw you; it just isn’t great at designing an ordering process.

We’ve gotten tips and seen on Twitter that some folks are running into trouble using AT&T’s upgrader. Specifically, they’re seeing a message suggesting that their unlimited data plans won’t carry over with the purchase of an iPhone 4S. Luckily, that’s not true. If you ordered through Apple, you probably didn’t even run into any trouble; its site makes fairly clear that those upgrading can keep their unlimited data.

If, however, you went through AT&T’s site, you may have encountered a notice telling you you require a different Data Add-on Plan, as in the image below from tipster Chris Guthrie. You sort of do, but in name only. If you continue through the process on AT&T’s site, you’ll be fine. AT&T admits the site is a bit confusing, but are working on making it better.

It’s understandable that people would covet their unlimited data plans, since like an exotic species of rainforest flower, there might be a time soon when they go completely extinct. The iPhone 4S might be even more data-dependent too; new voice-activated personal assistant app Siri requires an active internet connection to do its thing, according to Apple promotional materials, and though it should only really sip data, a lot of sipping could add up.

If you’re still uncertain about whether or not your unlimited data plan will survive, feel free to give AT&T’s support department a call, but they’ll tell you the same thing: your plans are safe, mobile data fiends.

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  1. The story above is not completely accurate. I switched from a blackberry bold to the 4s today, and lost my unlimited domestic and international data plan. I didn’t use the mobile site, but worked with and AT&T rep for three hours. They finally got the domestic transferred, but not the international. It took another hour to get my Blackberry reactivated and the original data plans reinstated.

  2. This story also fails to point out that the mobile hot spot function of the phone will NOT work if you opt for keeping your unlimited data plan. Grandfathered? Not really.

  3. I just talked with an AT&T representative who told me I will not be able to keep my unlimited plan(oct 25, 2011)

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