Those looking to nab a new smartphone from AT&T will be in for a bit of a downer, as an internal memo has revealed that a data plan will be required. This is par for course up here in Canada, but makes sense for carriers who need to guarantee a steady revenue flow, although their reasoning that data is required to have a satisfying experience is also reasonable. It boggles me every once in awhile when I hear about people who pick up a BlackBerry without a data plan… Those with an existing plan won’t need to worry since they’ll be grandfathered in – this is solely for those upgrading to a smartphone or activating new accounts. Here’s the e-mail detailing what’s up.
Beginning September 6, 2009, customers who activate or upgrade to a Smartphone will need to sign up for an appropriate data plan. Existing Smartphone customers active prior to September 6, 2009 will be grandfathered and exempt from the new policy.
Why we are making this change?
We want our customers to have the best possible experience with their Smartphones. 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.
How we will ensure an extraordinary customer experience?
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.
Sales Managers will review the Know the Facts, Job Aid, and FAQs (found under Related Links) with their sales teams and ensure all sales representatives fully understand the new policy and how to position the Smartphone data requirement to customers. A Sales Coaching Session will be available on September 5, 2009 (document to be distributed in advance).