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Why is my free phone not free?

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Why is my free phone not free?

Today I found out  that the "Free" with $0.00 monthly charges, phone that I just upgraded to acctually will cost me $ 600.00. and two years of my life. 

 

I was astounded to find out that the $15.00 per phone on my family plan was only untill that phone was ugraded. 

 

After 20 years with ATT this is the first time I feel lied to and cheated.

 

Very disapointed

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Message 1 of 4
ACE - Expert

Re: Why is my free phone not free?

With the new mobile share plans, AT&T no longer subsidizes phone upgrades. One way or another, you will pay for the phone, either by NEXT, where you pay full price for the phone over 18 - 26 months or if you get a "subsidized" phone and lose the "out of contract" discount and pay for it that way.

This is a user to user forum. I am a user, just like almost everyone else on the site.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 2 of 4
ACE - Master

Re: Why is my free phone not free?


davemcg wrote:

Today I found out  that the "Free" with $0.00 monthly charges, phone that I just upgraded to acctually will cost me $ 600.00. and two years of my life. 

 

I was astounded to find out that the $15.00 per phone on my family plan was only untill that phone was ugraded. 

 

After 20 years with ATT this is the first time I feel lied to and cheated.

 

Very disapointed


For the last 20 years you were with AT&T your "free phone" wasn't free, and it also required you to sign a 2 year contract committment.  It's just that for those 20 years, rather than making it clear that you were payig extra for your service when you got a contract subsidized phone, they actually chaged everyone that extra amount, even if they didn't have a subsidized phone.  Starting back in Feb of this year, AT&T changed things such that it is more "fair" and that if you are not in a contract, then you pay less for your service.  Because they had been "overcharging" many customers for many years, they offered a promotional deal where they would give you the out of contract discount even if you were in a contract as long as the contract as in effect prior to the change in their billing.  Your "free phone" never was "free" and it is still costing you what it did last year, but now it is no longer hidden in you rline charges, and when you are not in a contract, you aren't paying AT&T back for that subsidizing the full phone cost.

 

Many people don't realize how expensive cell phones really are, especially if they get one of the higher end smartphones.  Some of them can cost over $1000 for the phone alone, so when AT&T charges $399 for one of them, they are really paying the manufacturer several hundred dollars out of their accounts knowing that you will be paying them for service for 2 years, or paying a high cost ETF.  They get their money back from you one way or another (now it's just no longer hidden in the line charges).  It reminds me of the old saying "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."


Jerry B.
"GeekBoy"

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For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 3 of 4
Contributor

Re: Why is my free phone not free

I understand what happened and what I am being charged, what I find deceitful about the practice is that they still call the phone "free" for a two year commitment. When I was informed it was after the 14 day period that they would change my billing to the next program and I was never aware of any "subsidy" deep in my bill, i signed up for $15 per phone not $40 with a $25 dollar subsidy.
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