AT&T goes on the offensive with cheaper family plans

“AT&T is showing it can get aggressive with pricing too,” Roger Cheng reports for CNET. “The Dallas-based telecommunications company unveiled a new series of family plans designed to entice new users and keep existing ones on its service. The savings — which come only to customers who sign up for monthly installment program Next; bring their own device; or purchase it outright — escalate as more members join in. The plan launches Sunday.”

“The break comes from fees that AT&T charges for each line. Before, customers would pay $100 for 10 gigabytes of data and unlimited voice and text messages, and then pay an additional fee to add smartphones. A contract customer, who received a subsidized phone, would pay $40 a month, while an off-contract or Next customer would pay $25,” Cheng reports. “AT&T is reducing the cost to add a new line to $15. For two people, that amounts to $130, while a family of four would pay $160. If a customers are on Next, however, they would also pay the monthly device fee, which ranges in price but would be around $20 for a typical high-end smartphone, negating some of the savings.”

“The plan, however, is still more expensive than T-Mobile’s,” Cheng reports. “A comparable plan for four people and 2.5GB of high-speed data would cost $140, or $20 less than AT&T. As with AT&T’s new plans, T-Mobile customers must also shoulder the cost of the phone.”

Read more in the full article here.

9 Comments

  1. I read of these new plans yesterday too. I called ATT when I read 3 lines, 10GB data, unlimited text/calls $145.00

    I currently and a long time ATT customer(15+ yrs) with 3 iPhones on account (since iPhone released), grandfathered unlimited data for all three, unlimited text ($30 per month) and 550 cell minutes Nation plan. My monthly costs is $180.00 to $183.00 per month. All in.

    So I call ATT about this new 3 line plan for $145.00 thinking I just may give up our unlimited data – but a reason ATT rep Lewis never could explain – for me this new plan would cost me $220 per month! But Lewis I pay $180 now how can this new plan advertised for $145 – but for me is $220? He couldn’t explain it. Mr. I’ve run all the numbers that is what it is telling me.

    So I would love to know anyone who gets three line, 10gb, unlimited text/talk for $145.00. But I couldn’t with my current three lines on ATT.

    1. I JUST switched our plan last week. I knew nothing of this new plan.

      I was paying about $160/mo give or take every month for my wife’s and my two iPhones. We were still on the old grandfathered original iPhone Unlimited data plan. I looked at my usage, and my wife and I were NEVER going over 2GB of data (both of us together), so the ‘unlimited’ data was of no value. I REALLY wanted tethering so I called AT&T to ask about my options.

      I switched to the Mobile Share plan. Unlimited voice and texts, 4GB of data (more than double what we need), and TETHERING for $135. It would have been $150, but my wife’s 4s is off-contract, so we got a $15/mo credit there.

      So, I got unlimited voice, unlimited texts, and tethering – way more than what I had (and was using), for pretty close to what I was paying (a little less actually).

      With three phones, I’d guess it would be another $40 or around $175, but that assumes at least two of your phones are off-contract.

      Not sure how all this jibes with this new plan pricing. 10GB would be nice, but since we rarely ever use 2GB, it’s no big deal for me. YMMV.

  2. I had same issue. They told my they waive the contracts on each phone, so basically, they “pay all phones off”. The kicker is, when you upgrade your phone, 20.00 is added to that phone line for the subsidy…. I’ve been with ATT for 10+ Years too and I hate them more and more…..

    1. Carriers’ huge mistake is not telling people outright and in plain simple words “this is the price of the phone you want” and these are the ways you can pay for it, 2 year subsidy, one shot payment, 12 month installment, etc. AND tell them, you can switch or upgrade plans at any time you want, as long as you have paid your phone in full. The phone service and the phone are separate things.

      Trying to “integrate” or hide or “minimize” o mitigate the cost of a phone (in case of iPhone quite significant) in the service plan is just wrong and a bad strategy that only upsets people.

      Offering people something along the lines…. “Bring your phone and if we support it we will set you up on the best and fastest mobile network in the world. If you don’t have a phone you can buy (or rent??) one here”

  3. I had tones of problems when setting up my new line with ATT, I told a rep that I am no even a customer yet and I already hate ATT. THEY SUCK, yes worse than Verizon.

  4. These telcos are just like insurance companies. They try to sell you a product that they almost refuse to give you the full details.

    One insurance company went so far as to tell their agents to not answer, nor offer to address, any questions or uncertainties the customer may have. “if they don’t ask, don’t answer!” Unfortunately, too many people don’t know the right questions to ask.

  5. Just spent an hour chatting online with AT&T, trying to find loopholes. I was assured there were none. Yes, I kept the chat for future reference. My old plan had 8 people, all on fairly new 2-year contracts, sharing 10gb of data and unlimited talk and text for $360 a month. They just changed me to their Value plan for $220 a month and no changes to anyone’s contracts. That’s $27.50 per person. Sweet if it holds up. Has anybody found loopholes or outright deception yet?

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