*Update* An AT&T representative has said that customers can keep grandfathered texting plans if they call AT&T immediately after ordering the iPhone 4S.
Customers ordering the new iPhone 4S are running into a nasty little surprise from AT&T. AT&T is forcing customers with grandfathered texting plans (the now defunct plans of $5 for 200 messages, $10 for 1000 messages) to choose between AT&T’s two new plans:
- $0.20 per message
- $20 for unlimited messages
AT&T introduced their new text messaging plans in August 2011 in a move they called “streamlining” at the time, although some feel AT&T is making a money grab in response to Apple’s new iMessage feature. iMessage will allow free text messaging between iPhones and other iOS devices.
There were also some reports of AT&T and Verizon ending grandfathered-in unlimited data plans (AT&T and Verizon no longer offer unlimited data plans) of iPhone 4S customers, but that doesn’t appear to be their official stance. For example, I am an AT&T customer with a grandfathered-in unlimited data plan, and I was allowed to keep my plan in the buying process on Apple.com (screenshot seen below). Some websites are suggesting to use Apple’s site instead of AT&T’s and Verizon’s to avoid the problem.