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AT&T does away with per-device data plans for new customers

post #1 of 70
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AT&T does away with per-device data plans for new customers

By Shane Cole

In a nod to the increasing number of consumers who have more than one data-imbibing mobile device, AT&T on Thursday announced that it will no longer offer traditional capped-per-device data plans to new customers, instead steering them toward one of the company's Mobile Share plans.
 

AT&T Mobile Share plans


Rather than choosing individual voice or data plans for each device on a customer's account, Mobile Share offers consumers unlimited voice calling and text messaging alongside a pooled data allowance that applies to up to ten devices. AT&T introduced Mobile Share last year and says that they have quickly become the plan chosen most often by new customers, with more than 13 million connected devices.

Mobile Share plans are offered in 11 tiers ranging from 300 megabytes to 50 gigabytes for between $20 and $500 per month, and each connected device requires a separate monthly fee. Smartphones can be added to the plans for between $30 and $50 per month, while tablets, wireless home phones, laptops, and basic "dumb phones" are an additional $10, $20, $20, and $30 per month, respectively.

The carrier says that "the way customers use their phones and other devices has changed — a lot," and as a result, Mobile Share offers more amenities for the same or better price as discrete plans in 95 percent of new customer cases. The new plans can be a boon for iPhone and iPad owners, who are known to consume significantly more data than other smartphone users.

Existing customers will be grandfathered in and will not be required to change to a Mobile Share plan, even if they upgrade their device. While Mobile Share may shave a small percentage off of a customer's monthly bill, those with years-old unlimited data plans are often reluctant to trade them in for less costly metered plans.

post #2 of 70
"While Mobile Share may shave a small percentage off of a customer's monthly bill, those with years-old unlimited data plans are often reluctant to trade them in for less costly metered plans". - For me the shared plans are more expensive, depending on tier, much more expensive.
post #3 of 70
Thank god I am grandfathered into their unlimited data plan now LTE. Looks like I'm stuck with T for life!
 
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post #4 of 70
It's AT&T. There's only "expensive" options and "more expensive" options.
post #5 of 70
Too little data for too much money. Does AT&T not realize how much data is used just to download a movie? Forget streaming! I'll be sticking with my unlimited for as long as I possibly can. I don't have time to think of data budgeting.
post #6 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

It's AT&T. There's only "expensive" options and "more expensive" options.

Exactly. Well said.

 

I switched to Sprint, not because it was that much better than ATT, but I was fed up with the gouging ATT. Ugh! :)

 

I had the original iPhone with grandfathered in unlimited data...but when I was looking into tethering my iPad...ATT said not only would I have to an additional $40/mo., but I would also lose my unlimited plan, I switched to Sprint the next day! :) 

post #7 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Thank god I am grandfathered into their unlimited data plan now LTE. Looks like I'm stuck with T for life!

It's amazing that so many people use the word grandfathered incorrectly. There is absolutely no requirement for AT&T to give you unlimited data for life. They can drop your plan, your contract, and you any time they wish, just as you can drop them as you wish. The only difference is if they alter the plan you are not required to pay the ETF fee since it was them who broke the contact. So why do they continue to let you use an unlimited data plan? Because it's currently in their best interest. I bet you don't even know how much data you use per month.
post #8 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post


It's amazing that so many people use the word grandfathered incorrectly. There is absolutely no requirement for AT&T to give you unlimited data for life. They can drop your plan, your contract, and you any time they wish, just as you can drop them as you wish. The only difference is if they alter the plan you are not required to pay the ETF fee since it was them who broke the contact. So why do they continue to let you use an unlimited data plan? Because it's currently in their best interest. I bet you don't even know how much data you use per month.

I bet the vast majority of commenters on AI know pretty well how much data they use each month.

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post #9 of 70

So what is the deal with AT&T's new Unlimited Voice offering -- I have not seen it mentioned anywhere else, but it was an option when buying the iPhone 5s via the Apple Store app -- wonder if it has anything to do with those who have an Unlimited Data plan already?!  

 


Edited by libertyforall - 10/11/13 at 1:50pm
post #10 of 70

Our problem is that our family uses so few voice minutes and relatively little data use (100 min/3Gb between the 3 of us) that AT&T doesn't offer a shared data plan that makes any sense at all for us. I take the lion's share, using 2/3 of that data.)

We have 2 unlimited and 1 2Gb plans and we pay ~$160/mo. (before corp discount.)

Any changes we make immediately take us up to almost $200. 

 

Insane.

post #11 of 70
Does this mean the limited talk-time family voice plans such as Nation 550 and Nation 700 will no longer be an option for smartphones?
post #12 of 70
I thought Apple had a monopoly on printing money but it looks like AT&T completely surpassed that. These are really outrageous prices! It would be ok if they wouldn't charge you for the first step. The prices in the second step are more or less what Europeans pay. Not unlimited data mind you, but gees, talk about greed.

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post #13 of 70

I'm not sure why they make these plans so tough to figure out. I might be better off with a shared plan, but I can't really tell easily.  I currently have 5 lines, a shared 700 minutes + a ridiculous amount of rollover minutes, unlimited texting, and a range of data plans from low end 200MB ($15/month) to 3GB and unlimited ($30/month). My total is about $265/month.

 

By my math, the best I could do with the shared plans is $270/month to get a shared 10GB for all 5 phones.  That's probably enough data for our usage, but it's still more expensive and then it means worrying about if one of my kids is going to use up the entire family's shared data in a YouTube binge.  Sure, they could possibly do that now -- but with the current system, at least I can point to the bill and say "cough up another $30 to pay for that".

 

For new customers, this might be great -- but for people with grandfathered plans (we have 4 grandfathered data plans on our phones), this doesn't sound nearly as good.

post #14 of 70
And the constant squeeze on their customers continue. I use 300MB/mo average mobile (most of my data is through wifi), and so does my wife (she's usu 200MB). My parents who are lines #3 and #4, use close to zero.

At t-mobile, I'd be paying $50 $30 $10 10 = $100/mo if I bring my own devices. Each line gets 500MB at 4G/LTE speeds and then steps down to unlimited 2G speeds%u2026 or for $10 extra, 2GB at high speed.

At AT&T I'm looking at $20 $50 $50 $50 $50 just for the base 300MB *shared* plan. WTF kind of sense does this make.

I can tell you my call quality and no-drop rates have improved since moving to TMO. Still have no idea why anyone puts up with the constantly anti-consumer AT&T anymore. My wife would have 3-4 months every year where she went over her meagre 250MB allotment at AT&T and got charged an additional $15 for that month.
post #15 of 70

Overages are now billed at $15 per GB ($20 per GB on the low-end 300 MB plan). Unbelievable!!!!!

 

Enjoy, T-Mobile, you're going to see a lot of new customers!

post #16 of 70
For some of us this can be a better deal. I have 6 iPhones, 3 had unlimited data, 3 with 2 Gb limits. 5 of these were on an old FamilyTalk plan offering 1450 minutes and one on individual plan offering 450 minutes. Text messaging plans added more. I reviewed our data use over 6 months, and it never went over 8 GB in total, and this was higher than it should have been because a couple if my kids were using cellular data at home when they could have been on Wifi. Changing to 10 GB MobileShare will bring my bill down by 100$ a month. It also gives all of us unlimited talk and text, and access to all AT&T hotspots.
post #17 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post

It's amazing that so many people use the word grandfathered incorrectly. There is absolutely no requirement for AT&T to give you unlimited data for life. They can drop your plan, your contract, and you any time they wish, just as you can drop them as you wish. The only difference is if they alter the plan you are not required to pay the ETF fee since it was them who broke the contact. So why do they continue to let you use an unlimited data plan? Because it's currently in their best interest. I bet you don't even know how much data you use per month.

I don't know nor do I care as long as I use it, at my will, and don't get charged an extra penny. And yes I am grandfathered into AT&T- when I renewed from my iPhone 4S (3G) to an iPhone 5s (LTE), it kept the same terms- UNLIMITED. If T decides to end it- I will end them.
 
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post #18 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

I don't know nor do I care as long as I use it, at my will, and don't get charged an extra penny. And yes I am grandfathered into AT&T- when I renewed from my iPhone 4S (3G) to an iPhone5s (LTE), it kept the same terms- UNLIMITED. If T decides to end it- I will end them.

That's not grandfathered, that just your plan being carried over to a new device. Again, they have no legal requirement, as you stated, to allow you to continue to have an unlimited plan forever.

BTW, from my anecdotal experience the people that are most stubborn about keeping their unlimited plans tend to only average between 200-500MB per month which means they were paying AT&T extra money than was needed. These low-data using suckers that have no clue of their usage are the ones that carriers love.
post #19 of 70

This sucks. The mobile share plan is more than my "grandfathered" plan. The rep went through the numbers with me trying to get me to switch to mobile share and when the numbers showed the mobile share was going to be another $40+ she still asked me if I wanted to switch. I guess I am stuck with ATT also. Unfortunately all the cell carriers do (or will be doing) the same crap. 

post #20 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by focher View Post

It's AT&T. There's only "expensive" options and "more expensive" options.

That's exactly why I switched from AT&T to Straight Talk over a year ago. I've been completely happy with the change. I lose visual voice mail and have to settle for 3G data speeds, but considering that my monthly bill was cut in half, I'm OK with that.
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post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post

That's not grandfathered, that just your plan being carried over to a new device. Again, they have no legal requirement, as you stated, to allow you to continue to have an unlimited plan forever.

BTW, from my anecdotal experience the people that are most stubborn about keeping their unlimited plans tend to only average between 200-500MB per month which means they were paying AT&T extra money than was needed. These low-data using suckers that have no clue of their usage are the ones that carriers love.

I'm definitely not one of them but thanks for the info.

It behooves T not to end their unlimited plans as we are the base that built them. We will leave in droves and they know it. I am not afraid.
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post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

I'm definitely not one of them but thanks for the info.

It behooves T not to end their unlimited plans as we are the base that built them. We will leave in droves and they know it. I am not afraid.
We are one.

At some point it'll likely end but I think you have at least a few more years.
post #23 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post
 

I bet the vast majority of commenters on AI know pretty well how much data they use each month.

 

...but don't seem to understand how the 'Grandfathered "unlimited"' plan works or why they think it's so important to hold on to. Once you use 3gb of data in a billing cycle, your speed is throttled to the point of being unusable. At least with the new plans, you have an option to pay extra for additional data use.

 

Currently it works out in my favor to keep my three iPhones (and one feature phone) on a legacy family plan. Once we add a couple of new iPad Minis, I'll probably move them all to a mobile share plan. It will be cheaper (not by much) and will allow for more data use (plus tethering).

 

I'm not arguing that it's not gouging all around, I'm just saying that these so-called unlimited plans we're grandfathered to (yes, two of the iPhones on my family plan have them) aren't really anything to be so excited about.

post #24 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post


It's amazing that so many people use the word grandfathered incorrectly. There is absolutely no requirement for AT&T to give you unlimited data for life. They can drop your plan, your contract, and you any time they wish, just as you can drop them as you wish. The only difference is if they alter the plan you are not required to pay the ETF fee since it was them who broke the contact. So why do they continue to let you use an unlimited data plan? Because it's currently in their best interest. I bet you don't even know how much data you use per month.

I am almost certain that most months I could save money using shared data. Right now I have four iPhones on my plan,two of them still have unlimited (initially all did, but two weren't using it so I lowered them, and of course I am now paying the old price with a cap on their data). My son, who is now in college has downloaded as much as 9 gigs in a month, and now that LTE is faster than the wifi at his school, I'm sure he won't be letting up. If they end it, then we will find a way to live with it, but until then, I can download that!

post #25 of 70
AT&T now forcing the stupid plans, when I first heard them, I assumed a fee lets say $50 2gb and no matter how many devices you have its same, but no $45 for each. So for two devices it's $130-1gb, $140-2gb, $160-4gb, come on AT&T drop your prices, If they had this, it would be good with mobile share unlimited the $30-50 per extra device, but the share is just to expensive.
post #26 of 70

300mb?! 300 megabytes! I can fart that much in a day. Where the hell did that come up with such a stupid number? Automobile manufacturers with their 36 Month or 36,000 mile warranties?

post #27 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

...but don't seem to understand how the 'Grandfathered "unlimited"' plan works or why they think it's so important to hold on to. Once you use 3gb of data in a billing cycle, your speed is throttled to the point of being unusable. At least with the new plans, you have an option to pay extra for additional data use.

Currently it works out in my favor to keep my three iPhones (and one feature phone) on a legacy family plan. Once we add a couple of new iPad Minis, I'll probably move them all to a mobile share plan. It will be cheaper (not by much) and will allow for more data use (plus tethering).

I'm not arguing that it's not gouging all around, I'm just saying that these so-called unlimited plans we're grandfathered to (yes, two of the iPhones on my family plan have them) aren't really anything to be so excited about.

Firstly- It's never been proven that everyone gets throttled. You all must be data hogs if you get throttled and need mobile share plans for iPad Mini's too with the amount of Wifi out there.
Secondly- If you have a consistent bill every month without any slowdown- that a great thing.
 
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post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by WisdomSeed View Post
 

I am almost certain that most months I could save money using shared data. Right now I have four iPhones on my plan,two of them still have unlimited (initially all did, but two weren't using it so I lowered them, and of course I am now paying the old price with a cap on their data). My son, who is now in college has downloaded as much as 9 gigs in a month, and now that LTE is faster than the wifi at his school, I'm sure he won't be letting up. If they end it, then we will find a way to live with it, but until then, I can download that!

 

9g in a month? Isn't he getting throttled? One of our phones hit 3gb a few months ago and we got a text message saying that if it happened again, we'd get throttled...

post #29 of 70

He did get throttled once in the last year. Before that though, I'd check the data and I've seen him do 9 and 7 gigs in a month. When he got the 5 and it was choosing LTE over wifi, he downloaded half of the internet that month too.

post #30 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post


Firstly- It's never been proven that everyone gets throttled. You all must be data hogs if you get throttled and need mobile share plans for iPad Mini's too with the amount of Wifi out there.
Secondly- If you have a consistent bill every month without any slowdown- that a great thing.

 

If I'm misinformed, then I stand corrected. I thought it had been reported that people were getting throttled for going over that hidden 3gb 'cap' and so I assumed it was everyone. And as I mentioned in my last post, we got hit with a warning and assumed we'd also get throttled if it happened again. If it's not really happening, then I'll not worry about it so much :)

 

As for the iPads, I've got a wifi-only Mini and we've also got a 3G-enabled iPad 2 in the house that had service for awhile but we turned it off because it was hard to justify. I just know when the new Minis come out, we'll get them both LTE-enabled and I figure we'll switch to a mobile share for the flexibility of having data available wherever. You're right though, most of the time I don't miss not having it on my Mini. I download the newspaper before I leave the house and any books and magazines I want to have when traveling. And I have a PlexPass for downloading video content for offline viewing. I just figure it'd be nice to have sometimes.

post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Thank god I am grandfathered into their unlimited data plan now LTE. Looks like I'm stuck with T for life!

I used to be "grandfathered" into "unlimited" when AT&T decided that "unlimited" to them meant 2GB, after which they throttled to "dial-up speeds" (in practice, so slow that you couldn't even get your email or browse simple pages without timeouts).

I started looking into alternatives. I'm now with MetroPCS and I pay a lot less for 2 lines of FULL UNLIMITED LTE SERVICE (yes, talk, SMS and DATA) than I paid for a single line with AT&T (for 1400 minutes talk, 200 SMS and 2GB data). Oh, and not a single dropped call in 3 months, compared to 3 dropped calls per day with AT&T. I'm so glad AT&T pushed me away with their throttling. I would have never realized how much they were ripping me off. Screw them. I will never, ever do business with this bunch of lousy rip-off artists again. Losers.

post #32 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post
 

I used to be "grandfathered" into "unlimited" when AT&T decided that "unlimited" to them meant 2GB, after which they throttled to "dial-up speeds" (in practice, so slow that you couldn't even get your email or browse simple pages without timeouts).

I started looking into alternatives. I'm now with MetroPCS and I pay a lot less for 2 lines of FULL UNLIMITED LTE SERVICE (yes, talk, SMS and DATA) than I paid for a single line with AT&T (for 1400 minutes talk, 200 SMS and 2GB data). Oh, and not a single dropped call in 3 months, compared to 3 dropped calls per day with AT&T. I'm so glad AT&T pushed me away with their throttling. I would have never realized how much they were ripping me off. Screw them. I will never, ever do business with this bunch of lousy rip-off artists again. Losers.

 

Does it not work out to cost about the same though because you're buying phones off-contract and paying full price? I'm looking at their plans and it looks like it's honestly about the same price. If I take the three iPhones on my plan now, I'm paying about $195. MetroPCS would charge $135 (for their 2.5gb data plan). Over a two-year contract that saves $480 per line. But I'd pay about that much more to buy a phone off-contract.

 

If I wanted unlimited data, my savings would go down to $240 per line so it would actually cost more over the two-year contract period. The only upshot would be unlimited everything. Since my first smartphone, the most data I've ever used in a month is 1.8gb. I'm on a 1400 minute plan, but never use that many and have nearly 6000 minutes banked.

 

Lastly, MetroPCS doesn't appear to offer data-only plans, so if I add any tablets or laptop cards I'm out of luck.

 

I'm not trying to defend AT&T's high prices, I'm just saying I'm not seeing how it costs "a lot less" to go with a reseller.

post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post


Firstly- It's never been proven that everyone gets throttled. You all must be data hogs if you get throttled and need mobile share plans for iPad Mini's too with the amount of Wifi out there.
Secondly- If you have a consistent bill every month without any slowdown- that a great thing.

Exactly. I was on ATT since about 1997, it switched to Cingular, and then went back to ATT. Since my iPhone 3G, I think, I've had unlimited data. I use over 3GB per month consistently-usually 3-5. I don't recall at all being throttled. I have friends also with unlimited that report no throttling despite using 5 or even 10 GBs per month. I'm sure throttling happens.

 

In my case, I have a $103.00 per month bill for unlimited data, unlimited voice, and unlimited text. My company discount lowers my bill by almost 20%, so that helps. Anyway, I like having a regular bill and have no need to download movies and music on cellular; I just download over wifi. What I do know is that I WILL be hot with an overage bill if I were not on unlimited.

 

My wife is on Sprint and I could switch to her plan to save about $20 bucks, but I'd rather not-still waiting to hear more about their network speed and coverage. We both have iPhone 4Ss and her data speeds are godawful.

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post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

Does it not work out to cost about the same though because you're buying phones off-contract and paying full price? I'm looking at their plans and it looks like it's honestly about the same price. If I take the three iPhones on my plan now, I'm paying about $195. MetroPCS would charge $135 (for their 2.5gb data plan). Over a two-year contract that saves $480 per line. But I'd pay about that much more to buy a phone off-contract.

If I wanted unlimited data, my savings would go down to $240 per line so it would actually cost more over the two-year contract period. The only upshot would be unlimited everything. Since my first smartphone, the most data I've ever used in a month is 1.8gb. I'm on a 1400 minute plan, but never use that many and have nearly 6000 minutes banked.

Lastly, MetroPCS doesn't appear to offer data-only plans, so if I add any tablets or laptop cards I'm out of luck.

I'm not trying to defend AT&T's high prices, I'm just saying I'm not seeing how it costs "a lot less" to go with a reseller.

I don't know about MetroPCS, but with Straight Talk, you pay $45 per month for unlimited text, voice calls and data (although the data can allegedly be throttled if you're a big user, but I've never noticed that). So your three phones would be $135 per month - or $60 less than you're paying. Over 2 years, that's $1440 per line - easily enough to buy a phone off contract and pocket quite a bit. Plus, you'd have unlimited data whereas your AT&T plan doesn't appear to be unlimited.

So, yes, it can make sense to use the resellers.
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post #35 of 70
My contract is up on Monday and I just got off the phone with AT&T. I use just a fraction of my minutes and data and I've accumulated 4100 rollover minutes, so I'm only looking to lower my monthly fee. The rep did her search and could not come up with anything like T Mobile's $50 unlimited talk, texts and 500 mb of data. AT$T is going to be in a world of hurt if they don't reinvent themselves. Now I'm looking forward to porting my number on Monday.
post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I don't know about MetroPCS, but with Straight Talk, you pay $45 per month for unlimited text, voice calls and data (although the data can allegedly be throttled if you're a big user, but I've never noticed that). So your three phones would be $135 per month - or $60 less than you're paying. Over 2 years, that's $1440 per line - easily enough to buy a phone off contract and pocket quite a bit. Plus, you'd have unlimited data whereas your AT&T plan doesn't appear to be unlimited.

So, yes, it can make sense to use the resellers.

 

Unless my math is off, it's $1440 for the account, $480 per line. I think that's still more than the difference (or close to it) in cost between a contract and off-contract phone. And you're right - it comes with unlimited data. Not as huge a savings as the original message (or yours) implied, but still it's a savings and true unlimited data.

 

And I guess it has the additional benefit of not requiring a contract. Sounds like a win-win :)

post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post
 

 

Does it not work out to cost about the same though because you're buying phones off-contract and paying full price? I'm looking at their plans and it looks like it's honestly about the same price. If I take the three iPhones on my plan now, I'm paying about $195. MetroPCS would charge $135 (for their 2.5gb data plan). Over a two-year contract that saves $480 per line. But I'd pay about that much more to buy a phone off-contract.

 

If I wanted unlimited data, my savings would go down to $240 per line so it would actually cost more over the two-year contract period. The only upshot would be unlimited everything. Since my first smartphone, the most data I've ever used in a month is 1.8gb. I'm on a 1400 minute plan, but never use that many and have nearly 6000 minutes banked.

 

Lastly, MetroPCS doesn't appear to offer data-only plans, so if I add any tablets or laptop cards I'm out of luck.

 

I'm not trying to defend AT&T's high prices, I'm just saying I'm not seeing how it costs "a lot less" to go with a reseller.

The upfront cost is higher, but you quickly make up for the subsidy. Essentially AT&T gives you $450 (the 16GB iPhone 5s is $200 with them instead of $650 unlocked) in exchange for a 2 year commitment. That's wonderful, until you realize that you're going to pay at least $50 more per month. Over the course of 2 years, that's $1200 more. In other words, by going with Metro you break even after 9 months, and after that you start saving. And I'm not even factoring in the overages, fees, and other pleasantries AT&T keeps coming up with to rip you off.

Oh, also Metro usually runs promotions. I got a $50 cash card for signing up with a new line and another $50 to transfer an existing number from another operator, which means my breakeven point is at 7 months. Buy a used phone off Craigslist or unlock your existing phone and you could be saving right away.

But somehow, lots of people balk at paying $600 up front -- they prefer getting slowly bled by the AT&T vampires.

post #38 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post

My contract is up on Monday and I just got off the phone with AT&T. I use just a fraction of my minutes and data and I've accumulated 4100 rollover minutes, so I'm only looking to lower my monthly fee. The rep did her search and could not come up with anything like T Mobile's $50 unlimited talk, texts and 500 mb of data. AT$T is going to be in a world of hurt if they don't reinvent themselves. Now I'm looking forward to porting my number on Monday.

 

Part of the reason I'm not switching to a mobile share is because I still have a feature phone on the account under contract. My Mom uses is about three times a year when she drives from California to Seattle. The rest of the time it sits in a drawer. Moving from a family plan to a shared data plan would up that phone from $10/month to $30/month. Just dumb. In November that phone is off contract. It looks like I can sign her up for a pre-paid account on T-Mobile for $10 for 30 minutes when she travels and save a bunch of cash.

post #39 of 70

I was on StraightTalk and switched to Metro. StraightTalk is $45/month + tax, Metro is $40/month including tax, and they give you extra discounts for family plan (4 lines all unlimited = $100 including tax).

The benefit of StraightTalk is that you can choose which network you want (AT&T or T-Mo) when you buy the SIM card; if you have an iPhone 4S or earlier, StraightTalk on AT&T is your best option. If you have an iPhone 5c, or an AT&T iPhone 5 with the right serial number for T-Mo (google it), MetroPCS is the best choice (assuming T-mo has good coverage in your area)

post #40 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post
 

The upfront cost is higher, but you quickly make up for the subsidy. Essentially AT&T gives you $450 (the 16GB iPhone 5s is $200 with them instead of $650 unlocked) in exchange for a 2 year commitment. That's wonderful, until you realize that you're going to pay at least $50 more per month. Over the course of 2 years, that's $1200 more. In other words, by going with Metro you break even after 9 months, and after that you start saving. And I'm not even factoring in the overages, fees, and other pleasantries AT&T keeps coming up with to rip you off.

Oh, also Metro usually runs promotions. I got a $50 cash card for signing up with a new line and another $50 to transfer an existing number from another operator, which means my breakeven point is at 7 months. Buy a used phone off Craigslist or unlock your existing phone and you could be saving right away.

But somehow, lots of people balk at paying $600 up front -- they prefer getting slowly bled by the AT&T vampires.

 

I think what makes me more frustrated (and all the major carriers do this) is that that subsidy is allegedly built-in to the monthly service charge. Over the two-year contract, you pay off that subsidy (and as you noted, and then some...). I kept my iPhone 4 for a year extra after the contract was over, yet I still paid that same monthly charge. The carriers should lower the monthly service charge after the contract is up in an attempt to retain their customers!

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