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How to add text plan without losing Unlimited Data Plan

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How to add text plan without losing Unlimited Data Plan

Hello everyone, so I'm posting here on the behalf of my parents who are older and not really tech savy. Our family has been on the old AT&T family plan (exact one from bill is FamilyTalk Nation 850) for some time now, but recently my mother has expressed a desire to be able to use texting, something that she previously didn't need and thus did not have attached to the plan.

 

The plan that is still in effect is FamilyTalk Nation 850, which gives 850 minutes per line, with 5 lines attached. 3 lines simply have only those 850 minutes and no text or data, 1 line (mine) has the minutes and a 200 texts/month plan grandfathered onto it, and the 5th line (my older brother's) has a grandfathered Unlimited data/text plan on it.

 

So here is the thing, in looking up the current Mobile Share Value plans (the only plans I could see relating to wireless text/data/etc), it looks like it would be cheaper and getting more services for the whole plan overall if we changed to it, however because the plan "shares" data between all on the plan it isn't clear how it would interact with the existing Unlimited plan on my brother's line.

 

So now the question is this, can our plan be upgraded/changed to the Mobile Share Value plan, on say the 1gb plan, while not touching the grandfathered Unlimited data for my brother's phone? Being able to get my mother a little bit of texting isn't worth axing his Unlimited, and a friend of ours had his Verizon grandfathered unlimited culled when his family moved to a shared data plan (it still "exists" but his use still counts towards the plan's family data cap) and we don't want something similar to happen here.

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Accepted by ATTJulieCS
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Overall plan upgrade question re: grandfathered Unlimited


@taowth wrote:

Hello everyone, so I'm posting here on the behalf of my parents who are older and not really tech savy. Our family has been on the old AT&T family plan (exact one from bill is FamilyTalk Nation 850) for some time now, but recently my mother has expressed a desire to be able to use texting, something that she previously didn't need and thus did not have attached to the plan.

 

The plan that is still in effect is FamilyTalk Nation 850, which gives 850 minutes per line, with 5 lines attached. 3 lines simply have only those 850 minutes and no text or data, 1 line (mine) has the minutes and a 200 texts/month plan grandfathered onto it, and the 5th line (my older brother's) has a grandfathered Unlimited data/text plan on it.

 

So here is the thing, in looking up the current Mobile Share Value plans (the only plans I could see relating to wireless text/data/etc), it looks like it would be cheaper and getting more services for the whole plan overall if we changed to it, however because the plan "shares" data between all on the plan it isn't clear how it would interact with the existing Unlimited plan on my brother's line.

 

So now the question is this, can our plan be upgraded/changed to the Mobile Share Value plan, on say the 1gb plan, while not touching the grandfathered Unlimited data for my brother's phone? Being able to get my mother a little bit of texting isn't worth axing his Unlimited, and a friend of ours had his Verizon grandfathered unlimited culled when his family moved to a shared data plan (it still "exists" but his use still counts towards the plan's family data cap) and we don't want something similar to happen here.


If you switch to the newer Mobile Share Value Plan, all individual lines give up their current data plans and you go to one (large-ish) shared data pool across all lines. I don't rememebr exactly what the 850 minute plan cost, but it was probably in the $99-129 range (I think it was closer to $109 but not certain).  On top of that the 200 text plan was $5 I believe, and the unlimited texts were $15, $20 or $30 depending upon when they were added.  Also the unlimited data plan was $30 ontop of the base plan.  That would bring your bill to about $165 (110 for minutes, $30 for data and $25 for texts onthe 2 phones) plus taxes and fees.

 

Switching to a Mobile Share Value Plan would give you unlimited minutes & texts on all lines for $40 per phone (for phones under contract) plus your data plan.  If any of your phones are not under contract, you could get a discount on your $40 talk & text portion of your bill.  Just having the 5 lines on a Mobile Share Value Plan would cost you about $20 plus data if they are all under contract, so this probably wouldn't be an economical choice for them.  Even if all 5 phones were off contract, you would be paying about $175 plus taxes and fees if you signed up for the 10GB shared data plan ($100 for data plus $200 for talk & text minus $125 discount for being out of contrct on all 5 phones).  This might be close, but it will get $25/month more expensive for  each phone that is under contract.

 

What your best option probably is would be to remove the current text options from all individual lines on your plan, and then add the $30 unlimited family text option to the entire plan so all phones on the plan would have unlimited text messages for a total cost of $30/month on your exixting plan.  That would leave your brother with his umlimited data, it would convert your 200 texts to unlimited, then it would add unlimited texts to the other 3 lines, and it would probably only be about $5-10/month more than what they are paying now.  I would advise that you be very cautious and very clear when you get the changes made so that they don't "accidentally" remove the unliited data plan for your brother.  If they remove that, it will be nearly impossible to get it back since it hasn't been available for new customers for over 4 years now.


Jerry B.
"GeekBoy"

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Re: Overall plan upgrade question re: grandfathered Unlimited

Awesome, thanks for the in depth reply (not to mention quick), you confirmed pretty much everything that I thought. Have a great day!

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Re: Overall plan upgrade question re: grandfathered Unlimited

Agree that adding the $30 unlimited text and removing the individual text plans is probably the best option, but there are a couple of things to consider. Since 4 of the 5 lines currently do not have data, that should mean they are not smartphones since smartphones require a data plan. That 5th line might not be a smartphone either since I'm pretty sure there never existed an "unlimited data and texts" add on for smartphones but there was one for non-smartphones. On mobile share the access charge for a non-smartphone is $20, not $40 but there is no "out of contract" discount.

If I remember correctly the 850 minute Family Talk plan was $60 plus $10 for each additional line. With the 200 text plan and whatever the OP is paying for the unlimited data/text on line 5 (assuming $30), their current bill should be about $135/mo plus taxes and fees. Mobile share probably does not make sense with so many non-smartphones but if they ever upgrade to smartphones mobile share might be a better option.
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