O2 speaks: Upgrade to iPhone 3G S six months early

You may, in fact, be able to upgrade to the new iPhone 3G S early. Also, we speak to O2 to get the network's response to the outrage over customer upgrades

You bought a new iPhone a few months ago, and you're stuck in your O2 contract. That iPhone 3G S, announced this week, is begging you, on its knees pleading you, "Upgrade to me! Upgrade to me!" But all you can do is turn your back and wipe away an angry tear. Well, perhaps not. For let it be known: some of you will be able to upgrade early.

In fact, if you're on O2's Platinum Priority List, you can upgrade six months before your current contract is supposed to end. If you're on the next tier down, the Gold Priority List, you can upgrade three months early. And if you're on the Silver List, one month early.

"So how, pray tell, does one get on to these so-called 'Priority Lists'?" you ask. O2 told us this morning, "Every Pay Monthly customer can be on the lists -- they just need to have opted in to receive marketing information."

Is that all? Hell no, don't be a fool -- you're being a crazy fool -- there are tiers, remember. O2 explains, "[Tiers] are based on your monthly spend, so not all iPhone customers are guaranteed to be on the highest band."

So, if you're loaded and spend £80 per month on your iPhone contract (which can include additional calls, insurance and whatnot), and you let O2 send you marketing promotions, you can upgrade six months early. To be on the Gold List (a three-month-early upgrade, among other perks) you need to spend between £50.01 and £80 per month. Being on the Silver List requires you to spend between £35.01 and £50 per month, and you'll be able to upgrade one month early.

For more info and to get yourself on the Priority Lists, hit up your account on My O2. Or, y'know, give O2 a call or something.

What's O2 got to say about the upgrade anger?

Over the last few days, CNET UK has been plastered with comments from angry customers, fuming that they're not able to upgrade early without incurring a significant expense to end their contract. So we asked O2, once and for all, to explain what's going on.

O2's Steve Alder, general manager of devices, UK, told CNET UK this afternoon, "Contract and upgrade terms for iPhone are exactly the same as contract and upgrade terms for any other O2 device."

He continues: "Having subsidised much (or all -- depending on tariff) of the price of a customer's iPhone 3G, we simply cannot justify invalidating that contract and subsidise a second device for the same customer. Much as we understand the desire of many customers to have the latest version, this would be a loss-making deal for O2 and would be a distinct set of business terms for iPhone customers that don't apply to our other customers."

Feel free to leave your thoughts below.

 

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