08-22-2014 3:16 PM
08-22-2014 7:13 PM
I just upgraded my phone to the iPhone 5S using the billing system for the new phone and not a 2 year contract I understood that this would not change my plan amount per month. When I got my new bill I noticed that the bill had gone up by $20.00. I called and asked wheat was going on and was told that ATT had made a change in February that everyone should have the opportunity to upgrade phones every 18 months instead of having to wait until the end of the 2 year contract. I was very close to the end of the two year contract where I could have upgraded the phone and paid $94.00 for the new phone outright. Instead of paying per month for the full price of the phonel I found that either way my bill went up $20.00 from what I was paying although the only thing I did was upgrade my phone not the services I had. I wondered if anyone else had realized this and just take it in stride that your bill just went up $20.00 without you agreeing to anything. Good way for ATT to grab some extra dollars for profit plus the multitude of taxes that are added to the bill almost monthly with no explanation where they came from or where they go, Not a happy camper with the new billing arrangement from ATT.
The new Mobile Share Value Plans that AT&T released in Feb that you are speaking about offer customers a discount if they do not purchase a contract subsidized phone. In essense, you are not paying for the contract usbsidy if you don't have one. The older AT&T Family plans that were discontinued late last year had the cost to cover the contract subsidy rolled into the plan cost, so even if you had completed your contract and not gotten a new subsidized phone, you continued to pay for that contract subsidy you weren't getting. For this reason the changes made in February made it "better" for us customers because we were no longer paying a for subsidy if we didn't have one. As a "reward" for existig customers, AT&T decided to give everyone who had an existing contract the non-subsidized discount if they switched when the plans were announced. (in essense rewarding you for possibly paying for a subsidy in the past that you weren't using at the time by giving you the discount now even though you were getting a subsidy on your current phone).
When you bought a new contract subsidized phone now, you no longer qualify for the discount (since you now have a new contract subsidized phone) so you lost that promotional discount you were getting. Depending upon your Mobile Share plan your discount was either $15 (for 2-8GB plans) or $25 (for 10GB or higher plans). You could have kept this discount by paying the full price for your phone, and depending upon which discount you were getting, the contract price may be cheaper, or the NEXT plan total cost may be cheaper. You would need to do the math for your specific situation to see of the $15 or $25/month for 24 months is cheaper than the $32.50 for 20 months (or whatever your phone cost numbers come out to). In the end, if you have the lower discount, it's generally cheaper to get the contract subsidized phone, but if you have the higher discount, it may save you $150 or more over the 24 month contract duration. A 16GB Apple iPhone costs you $200 up front on contract, and it will cost you about $27/month on a NEXT18 agreement. If you buy that phone on contract, you pay $15 or $25 more per month for your plan. If you buy the phone using NEXT, you pay about $27/month with no $200 up front, so you save about $150 if you have the $25 discount. If you only have the $15 discount, then you would probably save more money by signing a contract and only paying $15/month more plus the $200 up front. If you figure it out you would pay about $23/month more for a contract or save about $4/month (for 24 months) or about $100 over the full 2 year contract.
When the new plans came out back in February, a number of people made the invalid assumption that the price was a permanent decrease and they would still be able to get a new contract subsidized phone every 2 years like they always have. You can still get the contract subsidized phone every 2 years, but the discount is only permanent as long as you don't get a new subsidized phone. The customers who took the time to understand the new plans before switching knew that the discount wasn't permanent, and that when they got a new phone, they would end up paying about what they were before the discounts came in. The other thing that the new pricing offers that didn't exist before is that if you find a place to get the same phone at a better price, then you can actually save more money because you can get a new phone however you want, and as long as it isn't subsidized by AT&T, then you can keep your discount on your service.
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