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Subsidies, contracts and how the upgrade plans of T-Mobile JUMP!, AT&T Next and Verizon Edge add up

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Now, we are going to look at how costs for equipment line up if you were to cancel the arrangement early.  This accounts for two-year contracts (where applicable) as well as the new upgrade plans.  JUMP! works seemlessly with T-Mobile's EIP, the unpaid balance for the equipment is due if you cancel your service before you have paid off the handset.  The same arrangement is true for Verizon Edge and AT&T Next, and since they are all geared off the full retail price of the equipment, you might think that none of those numbers will surprise anyone, but it is easy to forget that extra $10 per month that T-Mobile requires to participate in JUMP!.

UPGRADE COSTS VERSUS TWO-YEAR PLANS IF YOU CANCEL EARLY

Subsidies, contracts and how the upgrade plans of T-Mobile JUMP!, AT&T Next and Verizon Edge add up

  1. Remember that $10 out of the monthly payment goes to JUMP!, and is not part of the EIP, given those payments together, if you cancel early, you end up with out-of-pocket expenses that are higher than retail for the equipment itself.

This is not really a level comparison, but for those that are not sure they will be able to stay with a particular carrier for a long time it is worth taking note. If upgrading your equipment is secondary to out-of-pocket expense, the subsidized options do indeed shine, even if you had to cut the relationship short for some reason. Another factor to consider is that retail prices are moveable goal posts. When we compiled the costs of JUMP! just last week, the listed retail price of a Samsung Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile’s website was only $579.99. Now it lists for $629.99. That is not to say the same thing does not happen with subsidized prices. When you factor in real-life variables about whether someone realistically thinks they will be able to stay with a specific provider for a set period of time, T-Mobile has removed itself from being an appealing option in that instance (which is not a bad business decision).

Another factor about JUMP! is that if you cancel early, the final out-of-pocket expense is higher, and it gets even higher if you were to cancel at say twelve months instead of six because of the required $10 monthly equipment coverage.  We are not disputing the value proposition of protecting equipment that is ultimately going to be traded in, but if you canceled at twelve months, your total out of pocket expense for any device is going to be $120 more than retail.  If you upgrade every six months, add another down payment to the bottom line. 

For purposes of this comparison, AT&T does show some value with its subsidized plan because its initial ETF is $325, reduced $10 per month of service.  Verizon starts at $350, reduced $10 per month as well.  Those terms work well in favor of your pocketbook versus full retail prices.

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posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:05 2

1. wendygarett (unregistered)


Too many confusion for those plan and end up screwed by Carrier...

might as well pick lumia 520 in the end and surfing for the spare enjoying WiFi in Starbucks...

$190 for lumia 520, $5 for a cup of Starbucks per day, WiFi for $0 per day...

enjoy good coffee, good wifi, with a lag-free device, killing three bird with one stone :)

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:06 8

2. ajac09 (Posts: 1481; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


if you want a s**tty phone sure

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:09 2

3. wendygarett (unregistered)


Enjoy your beast phone in a carrier's cage...
http://www.phonearena.com/news/No-Root-for-you-as-the-newest-update-for-the-Verizon-Samsung-Galaxy-S4-kills-it_id45422

posted on 21 Jul 2013, 10:39

51. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Wendytroll, this is very temporary and only on one carrier.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:12

4. Alantef (Posts: 288; Member since: 14 Sep 2011)


lol i was gonna say the same thing lol

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:18

5. VTEChump (Posts: 12; Member since: 19 Jul 2013)


So if you "believe" in the $20/month subsidy built into the contract on ATT and Verizon, then both their plans are a complete ripoff compared to T-Mobile and EVEN THEIR OWN 2 year contract plans.!. I don't understand why you illustrate this in only one table in the whole article. ATT and Verizon are a joke.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:21 2

6. wendygarett (unregistered)


They are carriers, what do you expect? Confusion everywhere...

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:25

7. VTEChump (Posts: 12; Member since: 19 Jul 2013)


Sorry, I guess it is illustrated in the first two tables on page 4. Still confusing.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:30

11. Maxwell.R (Posts: 214; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


That number gets thrown around everywhere with no validation. It was likely drawn from the time when T-Mobile offered two tiers of plans, one to accommodate subsidized equipment, the other if you bought at full retail. However, a flat rate makes no sense in the other carrier's models (especially AT&T's whose plans are arguably built on a previous generation model). Subsidies, like other customer facing price points, are a moving target. They change like the weather and that is where the argument about subsidies lose some ground.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 11:22

27. aliam223 (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Jul 2013)


what is SPRINT doing about this??? SMH

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 14:50

54. miles16852 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


what is that stupid SMH ???

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:27 4

8. HASHTAG (unregistered)


So it's okay to be confused after reading this article, right? Because I am definitely confused.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:30 4

10. VTEChump (Posts: 12; Member since: 19 Jul 2013)


That is exactly what the carriers want:). Basically, an argument can be made for T-mobile deal if you need to upgrade phones. But IMHO, the ATT and Verizon deals are a ripoff. You would be better off signing two-year contract's and selling phone on craigslist if you need to upgrade.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:32 2

12. Maxwell.R (Posts: 214; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


That is the best way to go across the board, buy a phone or two at/near retail and fund your own upgrades through selling your old gear. The second hand market for smartphones is very active.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:37

14. VTEChump (Posts: 12; Member since: 19 Jul 2013)


Agree, but the problem with that on ATT and Verizon (once again if you believe in the $20/month subsidy) is you are paying that subsidy, even though you paid full price for the phone. So they are charging you for a phone you have already paid for.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:46 1

19. lolrus (Posts: 29; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Coming from someone who sells ATT, VZW and T-Mobile at my job, and thus have a pretty comprehensive knowledge of all the plans, ATT Next and VZW Edge seem like a rip off.

T-Mobile Jump is reasonable, but you can still get subsidized phones on two year contracts through them at third party retailers (check out my long ish post further down) and they have a pretty low ETF which makes the value plans in general not great if you want to get a phone through them anyway.

As much as my employers would hate for me to say this, the best deal is always going to be a Nexus 4 unlocked and putting it on T-Mobile's insane $30 prepaid plan. But if you don't like paying $300 up front, there are some decent options on two year contracts still.

Long story short, I wouldn't consider any of these early upgrade plans, they seem awful compared to the previous two structures of subsidies and unlocked/prepaid.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 15:56

40. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


What $30 prepaid plan? Link please. Seriously, I am not being snarky. I went to T-Mo and couldn't find a $30 prepaid plan. The best I found was a $50/month prepaid plan, but it was limited to like 250 Mb/month data on 4G/LTE.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 20:25

43. _PHug_ (Posts: 444; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


Can't find it on T-mo's web site easily but the plan is a partnership with Walmart.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tmobile-30-Wireless-Airtime-Card/15443357

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 16:52

49. lolrus (Posts: 29; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Yeah, that's what I'm referring to. You only get 5GB of 4g speeds and 100 minutes of talk. But you can just VoIP and 5GB is plenty for someone like me.

If I wasn't on a Verizon dealer plan it would be that one for me.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 15:01

55. miles16852 (Posts: 241; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


or google tmobile prepaid and you easily get,,,
http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 11:39

30. Maxwell.R (Posts: 214; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


The subsidy as it gets thrown around is a misnomer and not accurate.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:36 2

13. wendygarett (unregistered)


Confusion is the greatest definition to define them.

We pay their confused plan, with confused money you paid till you lost count...

and what do we get? No unlocked bootloader... Jailed and fined us for secretly switched the unlocked Sims... Software update? help mercy what the hell is that?

Call me a troll or whatever, I'm telling this just to alert some blind customers who pay extra for nothing, and end up financial crisis these day...

posted on 21 Jul 2013, 10:49

52. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


You are trolling and doing so incoherently.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:38

16. Maxwell.R (Posts: 214; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


I'm going to be tweaking some things to give the article some more breathing room. Hopefully that will help.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:44

18. Whateverman (Posts: 3271; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Lmao! I hope so, cause I'm confused as hell! But the way I see it, since I've already opted for equipment coverage on my Note2, I may as well go to a Jump! Plan. It gives me the equipment protection I'm already paying for and the opportunity to upgrade early. Kinda looks like a win-win, but I'm not sure. If I choose to skip my upgrade and keep the phone the full 2 years, is it mine? Or do I still have to turn it in when I upgrade? If I pay the $20 for the whole 20 months, I assume it's mine!

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:59 1

23. lolrus (Posts: 29; Member since: 18 May 2013)


If I understand it correctly, you have the option (whenever you want to upgrade) of either paying off the phone or turning it in.

Could be wrong, but that makes sense to me.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 11:20

26. Whateverman (Posts: 3271; Member since: 17 May 2009)


I hope you're right. That just makes sense. Thanks!

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 10:28

9. Cha7520 (Posts: 221; Member since: 31 Oct 2010)


I'm just going to by the Nexus 5 in Oct and buy a AT&T Sim card using Straight Talk for $45 unlimited...forget all the confusion! LOL

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 16:01

41. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Link? I saw AT&T offering a $60/month prepaid with unlimited talk and text and 3 Gb/month data. Is there a better option?

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 20:28

44. _PHug_ (Posts: 444; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)


He said Straight Talk.

http://www.straighttalk.com

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