42 Comments

  1. With 4 lines and two smart phones. I don’t see where the savings are. $29/mo 600 shared minutes. $35/mo 250 txt and unlimited data, time two. $10/mo ea for two additional lines.

    $120/mo for my family plan.
    As it is I have over 4000 minutes banked and that hasn’t changed over the years. I think it’s maxed out.

    Based on the info graphic, I would be swapping things around.

    Assuming unlimited data is really 3GB/mo. 6GM/mo is $90, two smart phones $35 times two. Plus two additional lines $30 ea.

    That’s $220/mo for my family plan.

    Why would I stupidly want to pay $1200 more per year without any added benefit?

      1. Well, $1440/year. On AT&T – $400 of that subsidizes an annual iPhone purchase.
        Services cost, $1040, or $21.66 per phone, averaged out.

        —————

        Cheapest conceivable method without going Android or reducing services. (T-Moble Pay as you go)

        Break it down, strip off the feature phones and switch to pay as you go. $16/mo for two phones and if you get triple minutes for life, this is the best plan on TracFone. 150min/mo + 120min/mo, covers each line. Total= $192. add $15 for each phone, but cover 2 years, so just flat out $15.

        Two iPhones, each with $50/month pay as you go, for the most common plan which includes unlimited everything, however what’s not shown, you only get 1/2GB at LTE speeds, the rest is some reduced speed. Thats means $1200 year. Then add on to that the cost of the phone – one per year, is $600. Even things up, lets say $400… That’s $1600 per year.

        Total pay as you go plan – $1807

        So I feel you “blasted” me for paying $1500/year. I don’t know where you are coming from. If you have some secret sauce to mobile phones, please let me know. I really don’t want to pay $1500/year. It’s ugly, but I don’t know a better way.

    1. Oh I’m right there with ya. Three teens plus wife is five phones. Wife and I would like to have iPhones with the bare minimum data. The teens? What the hell do they need data for? Give me and my wife separate data and the other 3 phones dumb flip phones.

      Shared data, yea the daughter after the first weekend would burn thru all the data watching music videos. Then where am I? No more data till next month.

      Sorry, I just don’t partake in the “gotta have it and I want it now” crowd. Teens have iPod Touch’s now with only wifi and they spend way too much time on them.

      Need to get back to the good ol’ days, get your ass outside and enjoy the sunshine.

    2. Mmmmmm… Are you sure
      I have an AT&T family plan (still have grandfathered unlimited data) but the base family plan is $60 (+ 10 for each additional line + data for smartphones)
      That makes your two smartphones at minimum = 60+10 (base service) + 30 + 30 (for 3gb each /mo) = 130/mo (+ taxes & al gore fees)
      Two additional lines (no data) would add $20 making that $150/mo (+ taxes and fees (~$15/mo)
      (and that is no text plan, meaning you you get charged for every text you make or receive)

    3. WHY ON EARTH would you expect a SAVINGS?

      Cellular companies don’t exist to save you anything –
      they exist to screw you (and me, and the rest of us) out of every dime the law allows, in return for keeping their equipment up and running…

  2. ‘which start as low as $50 a month for a basic phone or $70 a month for a smartphone.’

    As low as!!!! My land line phone used to be $7.29 a month.

    Now I have to choose between eating and talking. I should get an Obamaphone and one of those free EBT cards.

      1. I worked from age 15, when I left home, eventually migrated to the USA where I made it big. Retired a few years ago and STILL don’t understand paying that much to a phone(y) company.

        My first phone no. was Greencastle 35.

    1. Make sure you say thanks to Pres. Bush for your “Obama” phone, ‘k? And if you came here, made it big and retired, then I’m SURE you can pay cash for whatever you want, so stop kicking or go back where you came from.

      1. Slow Jackoff. I chose to come here, as opposed to someone squirting your sorry azz out in the USA. I can pay cash for necessities and also take care of a disabled person. I don’t waste money on tricky phones. I paid my $10 and came here legally and paid more in taxes than a maroon like you will ever earn. Now you can reply, k?.

        1. And WE chose to let you in – and what a wonderful bargain that was! Bitter, butt-hurt, insulting and sloppy – a veritable POSTER-CHILD for everything that’s wrong with – well, YOU.

          Try and learn how to behave around civilized people, maybe we’ll let you stay.

    2. Maybe you should go back to your country of origin or perhaps learn something about how the majority of people in the US support the various safety net services.

  3. We all thought Cable Companies were vampires sucking the blood out of people for services. Look at AT&T, the ultimate bloodsucker. I you have 5 lines for your family…ouch!

      1. Somehow that “competition” seems to keep prices high and services as minimal as they are expensive; I think a better word for it is COLLUSION.

        At least satellite is a real threat to the cable companies, or there’d be no difference there, either…

    1. Well, to be realistic, they got a heck of a lot of help from Apple with the iPhone. We seem to want to praise Apple for starting the whole smart phone revolution when it suits us, but when we really think about the monetary costs that are screwing us over for what is basically a high-tech toy we appear to just blame the phone companies. Kind of a double standard it seems to me.

      1. Yeah, but it IS your choice. Feature phones are still available if you don’t find it worth the money to pay for the plan required for an iPhone.

        Not trying to be an @ss….it’s just market economics.

        That said, I’ll give up my iPhone when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers. :-).

  4. AT&T is still trying to deliver ever less data for more money and calling it a value. It should also be noted that Comcast is now offering a rebate/bribe to their economy internet users that use a minuscule amount of data.

    The ISPs are attempting to choke the open internet through various “innovations”.

  5. I feel like they are limiting people’s potential by offering a laughable 300MB. I use about 6GB a month on my own. I feel bad for people who force themselves not to use their phones unless they have wifi, it’s stupid they might as well have bought iPods. I’ll hold onto my unlimited data plan until I die, with a death grip.

    1. Even when I travel, and listen to Spotify and podcasts extensively, I don’t use even 1GB in a month. The only way I can see you burning through 6GB is if you don’t have any easy access to Wi-Fi – ever. Are you using your wireless provider’s data as your primary or sole source of data?

  6. Straight Talk has a better plan, and they use the the same AT&T towers and service that regular AT&T customers use. My Straight Talk is $45 a month, unlimited talk and text, along with 2GB of data. Neither included nor available is tethering; I am okay with that.

    My first month of Straight Talk we went on a trip, or cellphone was used for GPS. On the trip we used over 8 GB of data yet Straight Talk did not throttle my data. Normally I use less than 500 MB of data.

    Yes, Straight Talk FTW.

    1. And the worst coverage, speed and customer service.
      Sometimes, you get what you pay for.

      AT&T & Verizon offer nearly total coverage, but charge the most, Sprint and T-mobile are defiantly a notch down both in speed and coverage but charge less.
      And I disagree I think T-mobile’s $30/month unlimited data unlimited text 100minutes/mo is the “best” deal (in the US) but remember it offers no subsidies so that 5C is going to cost $550 rather than $99 (you could charge it and pay it off over a couple years at $25-$30 a month making it ~$60/month)

  7. How is 300mb of data even a remotely viable data plan. In the world of 4G LTE you can burn 300mb without even thinking about it. I have had my 5s of less than 2 weeks and I have used more data than that just with iTunes radio.

    1. iTunes Radio doesn’t offer a low-bandwidth stream; it serves up music encoded around 256 Kbps. so it’s going to gobble up data significantly faster than the competition. for example, Pandora’s low stream is 64 Kbps.

  8. It has worked great for me, not only that but because it has worked so well, I am able to use a much longer and more complex, and thus secure passcode than I would have had I needed to be constantly entering it.

  9. The common thread is that these share plans begin with a baseline that includes unlimited talk. With individual plans, the voice minutes differentiated the price points for decades. Now that the demand has shifted over to data, the plans now remove that from the discussion by making voice time unlimited. Yes, it’s generous if you talk a lot, but for people who never used their voice minutes, it’s paying for a bundle of stuff that you never use.

    AT&T’s data options are not attractive with these shared plans. And correct me if I’m wrong, but if you go over your data allotment, doesn’t AT&T just charge you a hefty sum for another bloc of data?

    I just went with T-Mob’s $30 prepaid plan — no contracts, no gimmicks. 100 voice minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data. If I go over the 100 voice minutes, it’s $0.10/minute for every minute over. And if I exceed 5 GB of data, then it throttles down to 2G until the next monthly cycle. If I want tethering, it’s $15/month (pro-rated for the current monthly cycle) and I can cancel it anytime.

    Share plans, contract subsidies, and phone upgrade installment plans are just gimmicks that disguise the full cost of mobile service. That’s why I’d rather just pay the full price for an unlocked phone up front and shop around for service plans.

  10. Compared to UK prices, these plans sound extremely expensive. I pay £10 ( about $15 ) per month for a SIM only deal with 500 mins talk, unlimited text and 1GB of data, which I never manage to exceed, but even if I do, they don’t charge extra unless I regularly go over the limit.

    The iPad has it’s own SIM only data plan for £5 per month.

    We have five phones and an iPad in the family and pay a total of £55 ( $90 ) per month for the lot including all taxes and fees. This isn’t a family deal with shared usage, it’s six individual agreements which we can change or cancel at one month’s notice, with each phone getting a full allocation of 500 mins of voice and 1GB of data plus unlimited texts.

    I’m always amazed at how much US service providers charge compared to European providers. As my partner is German, we also have a German pay as you go SIM card, which is at least as cheap as any UK equivalent.

    The key is to buy an unlocked phone outright so that you’re not paying to finance the purchase of a phone every month. Once you’ve done that, it’s up to you when you next choose to upgrade.

    1. Companies both here and in the UK charge what they are allowed to charge. Here, people w/ LOTS of money are given lots MORE money, to encourage them to work; while people with NO money are given virtually nothing…to encourage them to work.

      Maybe you just live in a saner place…

  11. Virgin mobile! Unlimited text, data ( 3g throttles down, but I never reach that point) and 1200 minutes. total cost per month is $43.80 with all taxes. Started in march with an iphone 4s and haven’t had a problem. iphone cost me $449 up front. Now they offer the new iphones.

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