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New Member

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4 Messages

Sunday, November 28th, 2021 2:00 AM

$10 LTE Smartwatch plan is a bait and switch scheme for corporate greed.

I recently got a Smartwatch with LTE capability. I had called AT&T to find out what the service would cost to add to my plan and was assured it would be an additional $10/month. 

I was having no luck trying to add this service to my plan on my own, so I went to store location for assistance. I was shocked to learn that I was not eligible for an LTE plan because I am a prepaid customer.  Only post-paid customers can have LTE service. 

Wait...what? Why?

I inquired about switching to a post-paid plan. They both auto draft so who cares what label it has, right? Well, keeping the same level of data/service that I have had for years as a prepaid customer   changing to a post-paid account label would increase my monthly bill approximately $20/month...before adding the additional $10 LTE service. I could get a post paid plan close to what I pay under my prepaid service, but my available data would decrease significantly, not rollover, and I would be the first customer to suffer slow service during high traffic areas. Only higher cost Elite plans promise not to slow your service. 

So if you are already paying for a more expensive post-paid plan, then yes, you can add LTE for $10. But those of us who are pre-paid are simply out of luck.  No $10 services for you!  Ok, there is one exception. I was offered a $10 stand alone plan for my watch, but it would have a separate phone number and would not sync to my cell. (Again, what?) So anyone trying to call or message would have to have both my contact numbers for my phone and watch separately and understand to call my watch if I happen to have left my phone on a charger farther away than bluetooth signals reach. Inconvenient for me and my tech friendly younger family and friends, but an impossible task for my elderly parents for whom I am primary caregiver. Being even more readily available to assist with their needs was the biggest appealing factor for me investing in an LTE in the first place. 

I have been an AT&T customer for cell service for 25 years and never made a late payment.

I also pay for 4 prepaid lines for family members. I even inquired about changing those 4 lines to a post paid family plan. Still more expensive for lesser services and I would have to change all the SIm cards. I left the at&t store feeling like I had been sold a bait and switch with no explanation other than corporate greed. The employees were as sympathetic and helpful as they could be, but no one could offer me a better explanation about why these costly hoops are necessary.

For the first time I am considering changing providers. 

ACE - Sage

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107.4K Messages

2 years ago

There is no bait and switch involved here and it has nothing to do with LTE and everything to do with whether or not you can add a watch to a prepaid plan, you can't.

If you want to keep your Prepaid Plan, you will have to use the watch the Bluetooth only device. The software programming (numbersync)  to connect your watch to your primary phone number to spoof the phone number and work as designed as a secondary device away from the phone, will not work on prepaid.

Verizon uses a similar program called number share. T-Mobile uses a similar program called digits.  

   The only prepaid option uses your watch as a standalone device, rather than as a companion device that works when you are away from your phone. 

You could have asked.  Anyone would have told you that watches are not permitted on prepaid because they don't work. 

ACE - Sage

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107.4K Messages

2 years ago

FYI, you can put 'watch on prepaid' in the search bar and read dozens of questions and answers on this.  

New Member

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4 Messages

2 years ago

I did ask. I called 611 before buying the watch to verify the cost. Nothing was mentioned about pre/post plans affecting service availability. I felt blindsided. Nor do I understand why post paid service is so much more costly. Well, LTE availability evidently.

New Member

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4 Messages

2 years ago

I see that now. I've learned a lot this week.

ACE - Sage

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107.4K Messages

2 years ago

Prepaid users have to pay in advance there's no credit check because there is no credit extended. There is a zero risk to AT&T as far as whether you will pay your bill or whether you will walk away with an $800 phone. Prepaid is also self-service there should be little to no need to call customer support. There's no issues with your bill being wrong because you don't get a bill.

Postpaid cost more because it's full service. You got a lot more hand-holding you get credit extended get the ability to use installments and participate in promotions from time to time. There's also the possibility of adding more devices. Tablets, watches, etc.  Roaming world wide is possible (not free). 

   And the main reason for some, data priority.  Prepaid is always second to postpaid customers.

New Member

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4 Messages

2 years ago

I've always bought my phones so have never needed a credit account to make payments on any devices. 

I was just shocked at the differences and needed to rant. Thank you for the information and your kind responses.

New Member

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3 Messages

9 months ago

I was offered the $10 standalone plan for a watch.  Well, actually it was $13.49 because of some fee they tacked on.  So I signed up for it, even checked out and everything, with that $13.49 listed as the price per month.  I wasn't worried about having a separate phone number or syncing to my cell, but instead wanted this to be a completely separate phone line.  Everything was working fine, until I logged into the account and saw it had been changed to a $75/mo data plan.  And, there is no way to change it to anything less than a $60/month data plan.  I immediately called to cancel the line, and instead of doing so, they scheduled me for a phone call for tomorrow.  

ACE - Sage

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107.4K Messages

9 months ago

@JohnDoe83

If you mean you are charged $75 for the watch line, that is hogwash.  The process of setting up any smartwatch involves adding cellular through the watch itself which automatically adds a postpaid line for $10 plus taxes. There is no way for the watch to set itself up as anything other than a watch at $10.  Whether it's a standalone, or whether it's an additional line on a postpaid plan it is still only a $10 plus tax line. 

New Member

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3 Messages

7 months ago

JohnDoe83 is correct. A standalone watch line is not eligible for the $10/month plan. You are required to have it on the $75 data connect plan. It's the same way with a tablet. Standalone tablet is not $20/line. You must have at least one postpaid phone line to get those prices. I am a CSR for ATT and deal with these issues daily. I also make sure I educate all my customers to make sure they are fully aware of these details. 

New Member

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3 Messages

7 months ago

Yeah, pretty ridiculous when someone tells you something you have documented proof of is "hogwash."  To get to a standalone watch plan, with no associated phone plan, I ended up getting an eSIM from Mint Mobile, $15 per month prepaid multi-month plan  The plan is meant to be for phones, but the customer service reps will help you out and send you the QR code in a picture.  Confirmed, it works.

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