1. wpfan86's Avatar
    So my wife and I went to the AT&T store tonight so she could upgrade her phone. I was aware of the Next plan but wasn't aware AT&T was basically forcing customers into it. Here was the deal: she could go the usual route and pay $200 for the phone now, but then AT&T would increase the amount of her service plan by $25/mo, or she could opt for the Next plan where she would pay no upfront cost, her service rate would not increase, pay for the phone in monthly installments and either: trade the phone in after 24 months or pay for a full 30 months and keep the phone (under the Next 24 plan, for example).

    Again, I knew they were promoting the Next plan, what I did not know is they were increasing the cost of service if you refused to go along with it. Have others run into this? Anyone know of a way around it or argued successfully against it (other than switching carriers or going off-contract entirely)?
    11-13-2014 11:11 PM
  2. JohnStrk's Avatar
    It's not that they are increasing the cost if you do another 2 year contract, that phone subsidy cost was always in the contract monthly price and you end up paying more for the phone over that contract. They might actually be saving you money by offering you the Next plan because either way you need to cover the actual price of the phone but your plan is cheaper on Next so you save. That's the way I understand it anyway. Search for forums. There has been a lot of debate on all this this year.
    Last edited by JohnStrk; 11-13-2014 at 11:47 PM.
    11-13-2014 11:28 PM
  3. JohnStrk's Avatar
    Also I'm currently in a 2 year contract with AT&T until June 2015 but I was able to switch to their new Mobile Share plan offer earlier this year so now I'm saving around $30 a month compared to what I originally signed up for. So I'm essentially paying like I'm on the Next plan. My Lumia 920 was free so I made out on the deal. I will not go with another 2 year contract because if I did, my plan would go up $25 a month.

    It's worth it to just buy your next phone either in full up front or do the Next plan which is just monthly payments to cover the price of the phone. Your plan will be cheaper this way and you won't end up paying an extra $600 (25 x 24 months) in subsidized fees over the 2 year contract on top of whatever the phone was for a new 2 year contract ($199). And with Next you can upgrade early depending on how many months you choose for Next. But you have to trade your phone in. I think the earliest is 12 months or when 60% of the phone's value is paid off using the Next payment plan.

    Hope this helps you out.
    11-13-2014 11:45 PM
  4. wpfan86's Avatar
    It's not that they are increasing the cost if you do another 2 year contract, that subsidy cost was always there and you end up paying more for the phone over that contract. They might actually be saving you money by doing the Next plan because either way you need to cover the actual price of the phone but your plan is cheaper on Next so you save. That's the way I understand it anyway. Search for forums. There has been alot of debate on all this.
    See, that's what I thought too when I was first listening to him explain the options. But no, AT&T would raise her monthly service by $25/mo if she didn't do the Next plan. Like you said, the cost of the subsidy was already built in to her monthly service costs. So why should the cost go up if she chooses the subsidized phone option?
    11-13-2014 11:47 PM
  5. JohnStrk's Avatar
    See, that's what I thought too when I was first listening to him explain the options. But no, AT&T would raise her monthly service by $25/mo if she didn't do the Next plan. Like you said, the cost of the subsidy was already built in to her monthly service costs. So why should the cost go up if she chooses the subsidized phone option?
    It depends on the plan she has and if you were switched over to the Mobile Share Value plan pricing earlier this year. AT&T ran some promotion back in March 2014 where they could switch existing customers that were already in a 2 year contract, over to the new Mobile Share plan and waive the subsidy costs. This is what happened to me. I signed a 2 year contract with free Lumia 920 back in June 2013 but was paying around $100 a month for their old 3GB data plan. The phone subsidy was built into this price. But when I heard about the new Mobile Share deal for 2GB data but it would be around $30 cheaper per month, I jumped on it. But I understood that if I go with another 2 year contract that my plan would increase $25 a month. If I do the Next plan or buy the phone off contract price then I get to keep my current plan and price. As of this month I now have the 3GB Mobile Share Value Plan since this past month they increased from 2GB to 3GB for free. I'm paying $70 a month now so I'm happy with it.

    This was the promotion back in March and how I was able to save $30 a month:

    "If you have a 2GB data plan with AT&T, you're about to save some money on your wireless bill. Starting tomorrow, March 9th, the company is dropping the price of its 2GB Mobile Share Value plan by $15, from $55 to $40 per month.

    A $15-per-month discount on AT&T's popular 2GB plan is good news, but even better is the carrier's offer to its current customers. The company will let any existing customers who start using the new 2GB plan switch over to the lower $25-per-month smartphone device fee. That means that even if you are in the middle of a service contract for the last smartphone you bought with AT&T, you can drop from paying $40 per smartphone down to $25. It's worth noting, however, that the price will jump back up to $40 if you purchase your next phone on contact."
    AT&T cuts its 2GB Mobile Share Value plan by $15 to stay competitive
    11-14-2014 10:03 AM

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