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AT&T does away with per-device data plans for new customers - Page 2

post #41 of 70

The thing I don't get with these shared data plans is that the baselines all include unlimited voice minutes.  If you go with prepaid or individual plans, the providers will typically list pricing tiers based on the number of talk minutes.  They provide the option for unlimited talk, but also less expensive options with fewer minutes. 

 

Before I finally went over to a smartphone, I had an AT&T GoPhone plan.  $25 for 90 days with $0.10/minute and $0.20/text.  I rarely used up my allotment within that three-month time frame.  Unlimited talk is something that I do not want or need, yet AT&T (as well as Verizon and Sprint) are trying to maneuver the customers into these bundled plans.  With a smartphone plan, I want data and not much else. 

 

After looking over all these options, I wound up on T-Mobile's $30 prepaid plan for my iPhone 5s.  It provides 100 voice minutes and unlimited text and data, which is exactly what I wanted.  Even though going prepaid requires that I pay the full cost for the phone up front, there overall costs are substantially lower across the board.  For example, the T-Mobile plan only charges $0.10/minute if you go over the voice allotment. 

 

Also, even though T-Mobile does not have true "unlimited" data because it limits the 4G data and throttles down to 2G afterwards, the $30 plan still provides a monthly allowance of 5 GB of 4G data.  And this is on an individual $30 plan.  My understanding of AT&T's plans is that once you exceed the monthly data allotment, they will charge for each additional bloc of data. 


Edited by Woochifer - 10/11/13 at 5:16pm
post #42 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.

Saying "being grandfathered in" is accurate. There is no implication in using that term that says AT&T is required to do so. 

post #43 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Saying "being grandfathered in" is accurate. There is no implication in using that term that says AT&T is required to do so. 

It's not. There is no grandfather clause with your contract that protects you. You are not protected from the carrier making changes to your plan after your contact is up or during your contract except for the aforementioned carrier forfeiting any early termination penalty if you then leave. This is legally quite distinct. If you still don't think so then you might as well call any normal duration of a service as somehow being a grandfathered clause.
post #44 of 70
If I switch my existing 4 line plan to the new Share plan at the level I use (the level I currently have is even worse). I pay an extra $50 per month with no added benefit. Thanks but no thanks ATT
post #45 of 70
Wow, skimming over those prices, that is some SERIOUS price-gouging.

They say no more "per-device" data plans, but, it's MORE expensive this way, and STILL adds a premium MONTHLY fee "per device".

No, I'm never going to use AT&T ever again.

Yet another reason for us to petition for good, PUBLIC ACCESS Wi-Fi nationwide.
post #46 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.

 

 

Quote:
 grandfather clause is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations, while a new rule will apply to all future cases.

 

Yes, I was grandfathered in when I purchased my iPhone 4 and was actually asked if I wanted to keep my unlimited or upgrade (cough) to their new plan. So by definition of grandfathered, I was, and still am, and will be for as long as they allow. 

post #47 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

Yes, I was grandfathered in when I purchased my iPhone 4 and was actually asked if I wanted to keep my unlimited or upgrade (cough) to their new plan. So by definition of grandfathered, I was, and still am, and will be for as long as they allow. 

The "they allow" is key. If you were truly grandfathered it would be like a rent controlled apartment but in this case it's just a landlord that has chosen not to raise your rent.
post #48 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post

The "they allow" is key. If you were truly grandfathered it would be like a rent controlled apartment but in this case it's just a landlord that has chosen not to raise your rent.

Do you just like to argue or something? Seriously, who really gives a crap.
post #49 of 70
My current T-mobile plan is just under $80/month after taxes and fees. On AT&T it would be over $140 after taxes & fees. And what happens if I run out of data transfer on AT&T: extra per MB fees, while T-Mobile would just throttle me to Edge speeds. I prefer the throttle over the $20%u2013$30 more I was hit with once which was the month just before my switch.
post #50 of 70

looks like Forums doesn’t like en-dashes… I wonder what it will do with this ellipsis?

post #51 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post

It's not. There is no grandfather clause with your contract that protects you. You are not protected from the carrier making changes to your plan after your contact is up or during your contract except for the aforementioned carrier forfeiting any early termination penalty if you then leave. This is legally quite distinct. If you still don't think so then you might as well call any normal duration of a service as somehow being a grandfathered clause.

As long as you pay your bill you're effectively 'extending' the contract past the date of expiration.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #52 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post


The "they allow" is key. If you were truly grandfathered it would be like a rent controlled apartment but in this case it's just a landlord that has chosen not to raise your rent.

 

Then you don't know what grandfathering is. Anyone can grandfather anything they want. Once again, the definition is: 

 

Quote:
  grandfather clause is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations, while a new rule will apply to all future cases.

 

If they had it before, and don't have it now, but allow those that did have it to remain on it, that's grandfathering. 

post #53 of 70

“Um… sir?”
“What is it now?! Can’t you see we’re colluding?”

“Sir… our data network is getting overtaxed.”
“I see. Well, starting tomorrow, we won’t offer unlimited data to anyone anymore. Just two giga thingies.”

“Gigabytes, sir.”
“That’s the one. After two, strangle them down…”

“Throttle, sir.”

“I like strangle… and charge overages for so much as a chew…”

“Byte, sir…”

“…over that limit. That should solve the problem.”

“Very good, sir. Shall we also remove the requirement of purchasing a data plan for certain phones?”
Gasps are heard from the other CEOs present; Verizon’s faints.

“ARE YOU INSANE?! WHAT SORT OF FOOL DO YOU TAKE ME FOR?!”
“But… but sir… if fewer devices are forced to use our network’s data, it wouldn’t be so overtaxed, and service could be better for everyone…”

“GET OUT OF MY SIGHT, YOU INCOMPETENT BUFFOON! I WON’T HAVE ANY TALK OF FEWER PHONES WITH DATA PLANS IN THIS OFFICE! DATA PLANS MEAN MONEY, BOY, MONEY! I DON’T CARE IF THEY CAN GET THEIR PRECIOUS DATA AS LONG AS THEY’RE PAYING ME FOR IT!”

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #54 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

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.

With the shared data plan on AT&T it is not $45 per phone straight.  It depends on how much data you have in the plan.  We have 4 on our shared data plan and it is $30 per phone.   Your 4GB shown above is $150 according to the AT&T website (looking at it now).  $70 + $40 per phone.   6GB would be $160 and 10GB would be $180 in your example.

 

We have the 10GB plan since it lowered the per phone price by $10 each with our 4 phones the difference between 4gb and 10gb is $10/month.  I switched form my unlimited grandfathered plan and my wife's 250mb plan (part of a family plan with 700 minutes) plus one dumb phone for my sister to this shared data 10gb plan (not that we usually use anywhere near  that amount but for $10 a month for 6gb more it was worth it for those times we might).  I got my sister to upgrade her dumb phone to an iPhone and added one for her husband (which made the 4).  I charge them $35/month I think for each one plus $15 per GB they use (combined) plus taxes so they are happy and I got my per phone costs down etc.  After taking off the money my sister and her husband pay for their part of the service, my monthly costs were almost the same to what I was playing before I get the tethering and stuff for free. 

 

Now if AT&T can follow T-Mobiles lead on the international I'll be a happy camper.  We don't travel that often :(  but will be in Japan in a few months for 3 weeks.  I have an unlocked 5 and 4S to use with local data prepaid SIMs my SILs will get for me while there.  1GB for about $32 of up to LTE speed data plus unlimited at 300kb for our MiFi device...  If AT&T can follow T-Mobiles lead it would save me some.

post #55 of 70

Just going through an attwireless.com sample purchase of some iPhones to get some actual cost estimates and it is still offering individual and family plans in addition to shared data plans, so, at least online, it has not gone away as an option quite yet.  Get it while you can if that is what you want.

post #56 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMonline View Post

If I switch my existing 4 line plan to the new Share plan at the level I use (the level I currently have is even worse). I pay an extra $50 per month with no added benefit. Thanks but no thanks ATT

That's what happened to me the last time they changed their plans when I was still using AT&T. No change in service, rate went up quite a bit ($30-40, IIRC).
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #57 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


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.

You do realize Straight Talk and Net10 now offer LTE via AT&T, right? You'll have to buy an updated SIM card for it to work. That's what I did with Net10 for my iPhone 5. I'll get to test it out within a week or so when I get to an LTE area. They also started allowing streaming with a clearly printed 2.5GB data allowance before being throttled to EDGE for both services. 

post #58 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.

Well I don't (although I just looked), as I don't care because I'm one of those people who are indeed "grandfathered" with an unlimited data plan, therefore it's not necessary to know.    I'm sure that there are months where I could have saved money with a capped plan because I didn't use all that much data, but I'd rather not take the chance because with the changes in technology and applications each year, I don't really know how I'll be using my phone in the future.    I don't really download movies to the phone now, but I might in the future, etc.   Looking at my usage for 2013, it varies tremendously from a low of 113MB to a high of 600MB.  I have no idea why it varied so much.  

 

The advantage for AT&T is that I don't drop them at the end of each contract period because I want to keep the unlimited plan.    Should they ever kill the ability to keep the unlimited plan, I'll be dropping them and switching to Verizon (who I had before the iPhone and actually worked much better in my apartment) or Sprint, which seems to offer better deals, but probably doesn't have as good coverage.

 

People obsess over the price of their phones, but they really should obsess over the price of these plans, which in my opinion are all vastly overpriced in spite of the capital costs necessary to expand/improve infrastructure.     

 

As I read the plan, 10GB with one phone costs $150 a month, with an additional Pad, $160 a month.   And fees probably add at least another $20.     I'm currently paying $70 + $10.40 in taxes and fees for the unlimited data plan with 450 phone minutes, 5000 night/weekend minutes and unlimited mobile/mobile.   Under that new fee structure, I'd be limited to 300MB per month of data in order to pay the same price.   Based on recent usage, I'd have to go to a $95 plan.     If I decided to add a Pad with phone carrier service, I'd be screwed because they'd probably force me to drop my unlimited plan and that would cost at least $105 + taxes and fees.      

 

AT&T claimed 95 million wireless customers in 2012.   At $1200 per year each, that's $114 billion per year.  How greedy do they need to be?   

post #59 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

AT&T claimed 95 million wireless customers in 2012.  At $1200 per year each, that's $114 billion per year.  How greedy do they need to be?   

How much of that do they take home? Why does Apple get a pass to make large amounts of money but nobody else does?
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #60 of 70

According to their 2012 report  http://www.att.com/Investor/ATT_Annual/2012/downloads/att_ar_2012_financials.pdf   they had about $127B in gross revenue and $114B in expenses.   The numbers are there to see in the report.  (I am not claiming they make too much money or are greedy).

post #61 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by akqies View Post

It's amazing that so many people use the word grandfathered incorrectly.

They are using the word correctly. In a broad common language sense. The issue is that you are not. You are restricting it to a very specific legal definition and implying that any other is wrong etc.

But you are correct that many folks think there is some legal requirement for ATT to continue it. There isn't. And they could do as Verizon did and say if you want a subsidy you have to sign a new contract with no more unlimited.

As for these plans I don't get why tablets etc should have any add on fee. It's not as if they are getting voice minuts etc. A one time $5-10 activation fee perhaps. To me it's still a bit silly when it's all computerized but whatever.

They should break it out and have it something like $20 subsidy pay back (until you pay it off) + $30 for unlimited calling and texts per phone line and then whatever you pick for data shared by up to say ten devices of any kind. The whole NEXT thing would be easy. You want to upgrade, you have to pay off any previous device fees on that line first. Whatever that amount is. Then you can 'finance' a new one. Including an option to trade in your device and have any value used to help cover that completion
Edited by charlituna - 10/12/13 at 12:22pm

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #62 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post
 

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.

 

Your usage sounds like ours. My provider, Rogers, has also come out with Data Sharing. They charge $10 for a tablet, but $55 for each smartphone.

 

Fortunately, I was able to get 2 corporate plans for $50/mth that provide enough voice and data. (5GB each) The plan they offer that is ideal for me is their tiered data-only plan for the iPad. The iPad Mini would is perfect for my use 95% of the time, but not so great when tracking running or cycling through Endomondo. So for now I'm stuck using a iPhone plan, and only using 20% of what I pay for.

post #63 of 70
@gqb: very similar to my situation.

So a year ago I bought iPhone 5 unlocked and use it with Consumer Cellular, an AT&T MVNO. Only $45 for low usage.

I had tried T-Mobile but their coverage wasn't good in this area (don't know if that may have changed).
post #64 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'm a lot like you, I think.

We have 2 iPhones with unlimited, 1 iPhone with 2GB and 2 dumb phones with the 700 minute family plan with no chance of going over on minutes.

We pay 90 +9.99 for the extra 4 lines for the plan and unlimited text and 30,30 and 25 for data. - that's $215 (before taxes & such)

 

If we go to sharing at 6GB (90) + 35/iPhone (105) and 30 per dumb phone(60) - that's $265 for the same service with the risk of going over 6GB (sometimes our 2 unlimited go over 2GB). If we kill that risk, it adds $15 (+30 for 10 GB, -$15 for phones) to our total.

 

How is it better for me to not have my unlimiteds (meant for those who say the unlimiteds are not worth it)?

post #65 of 70

In 2012 AT&T had total revenues of $127,434,000,000 and net profits of $7,264,000,000. So a net profit of about 6 percent. So not exactly gouging. We know the European plans are much cheaper than US plans. What drives the costs in the US so high? Are the companies just wasting money on gold plated faucets or are the cost of doing business, in wireless that much higher? The landline business accounts for about 30 percent of the profits, so it is not big sink of funds. I would love to see cheaper fuller featured phone plans, but that does not look likely given the current conditions.

post #66 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by wally626 View Post

In 2012 AT&T had total revenues of $127,434,000,000 and net profits of $7,264,000,000. So a net profit of about 6 percent. So not exactly gouging. We know the European plans are much cheaper than US plans. What drives the costs in the US so high? Are the companies just wasting money on gold plated faucets or are the cost of doing business, in wireless that much higher? The landline business accounts for about 30 percent of the profits, so it is not big sink of funds. I would love to see cheaper fuller featured phone plans, but that does not look likely given the current conditions.

Compare the land mass between countries. How much more does it cost to build a maintain a network in the US versus in Europe?
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #67 of 70

The former West Germany is about the size of Utah.  Add in the East and you get Utah and southern Idaho.  With that you get a potential 81 million customers (German population 2012).  The US has a population not quite 4x that but the landmass of the US is much more than 4x, so the cost to put a network up that covers a significant part of the population is much higher in the US.

 

And Germany is also less spread out for the given size of the country.  The towns and cities tend to be big clumps that drop off to nothing outside of the city boundaries.  So you can much more easily get good coverage due to the density of the cities and towns.   The US has much more "sprawl" and lesser density even in the cities and towns on average.  LA has a lot of people, but it is much more spread out than an equivalent city there.

post #68 of 70
Originally Posted by chadbag View Post
The former West Germany is about the size of Utah.

 

Frigging maps just don’t show that… 

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #69 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Frigging maps just don’t show that… 

Because West Germany doesn't exist any more. You'll need a pre 1990 map in order to see it.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #70 of 70
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Because West Germany doesn't exist any more. You'll need a pre 1990 map in order to see it.

 

*exhales* That was a good one. I approve of that one.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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