AT&T’s third-party retailers to stop offering two-year service contracts

AT&T’s third-party retailers to stop offering two-year service contracts
Beginning next month, local and national authorized retailers of AT&T wireless service and equipment will no longer offer two-year service contracts, and thus no subsidized pricing for smartphones.

That puts AT&T Next, the carrier’s equipment installment pricing program, front and center when it is time to upgrade a device or activate new service. Another alternative is to pay full retail price for the device.

For the near term, AT&T company-owned retail stores, att.com, and tele-sales will still be able to offer contracts and subsidized pricing. In some instances, the authorized retailers may as well, but they would have to play a “direct fulfillment” order to do so, leaving the customer having to wait a couple days for the device to be delivered to their home.

This is likely the initial step to eliminate contracts altogether with AT&T, and it ultimately simplifies the options for customers. However, it is also probably a prudent move to take things one-step-at-a-time since there are still plenty of people that think buying a subsidized device on contract is the better value for them.

Where retailers, company-owned or otherwise, will still provide two-year contract options, will be for feature phones, tablets, connected devices, and bundled promotions, so it really illustrates the gradual approach the nation’s second largest carrier is taking.

What is not in doubt at all is that this is a move in response to T-Mobile’s highly visible (and successful) market strategy. Team Magenta did away with contracts across the board two years ago.

source: Droid Life

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17 Comments

1. QWERTYslider unregistered

So, these scumbag carriers want to continue to RAPE us with service fees that are MUCH higher that Europeans, and now they want to start charging FULL PRICE for the phones TOO? Well, F YOU !!!!! If you want US customers to pay full price for our phones like European customers, then you have to charge the same lower service fees that the European carriers do. Greedy piece of #hit companies !!!!!!

4. g2a5b0e unregistered

You either need counseling or you need to stop following tech in general. Your rage levels are just absolutely absurd.

2. torr310

Posts: 1661; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I want my phone subsidized... sad

3. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

Subsidies sucked on the old plans. You paid the same on or off contract. At least now your bill drops when the phone is paid off. Isn't that why the ifixit repair scores on phones are so nice to have?

5. Daftama

Posts: 641; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

They don't understand that... Stop getting phones every 6 months..

6. vinnyb5202

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 27, 2015

One thing I will say, for those that are okay with contract pricing this is going to have a negative affect big time. I'm okay with buying a phone on a subsidized rate if I sign a contract, as long as I have my service I don't mind being in a contract. The programs like AT&T Next, or Verizon Edge are not the solution. No, you are not in contract with the carrier for your plan but you are in contract for the device you're paying for. Say you mad 14 payments and you want to end your service with said carrier. At the time of termination of your service, the rest of the phone's cost is due at that time. Replacing one contract with another.

14. trublackrose

Posts: 45; Member since: Apr 14, 2015

Its amazing how T-Mobile made the Standard ETF jump from 325$ for a smartphone jump to 649$+ for a Smartphone, and everybody loved it! Now the rest of the Carriers are switching to this. I just hope sprints Phone Rental (Leasing) doesn't catch on.

15. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

That's not a etf fee it's the price of the phone. Tmobile is cheaper than any major US carrier there main problem is coverage in some areas

17. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

That is the reason why my family and I havent switched over to T-Mobile. I have AT&T and as much as I love the service, the bill is too high. T-Mobile needs to improve their coverage in order to grab customers like my family and I to head over to them

7. kyan-

Posts: 78; Member since: Apr 25, 2012

crybabies everywhere. it seems the general demographic age is like 10.

8. BundlePack

Posts: 23; Member since: Mar 06, 2015

I'm surprised that the wireless carriers don't offer a solution that will solve both problems. Meaning a prepaid bundle pack. Where a customer would have the option of buying a phone bundled with a choice of 12, 18, or 24 months of prepaid service if paid in advance upfront. This would help "subsidize" the price of the phone, eliminate the need for a credit check, eliminate the need to sign a contract, eliminate monthly billing and eliminate the need for prepaid refill cards. But apparently the wireless carriers are too stupid to figure this out

9. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

Bout time. T-Mobile made the right move years ago, hopefully Verizon will do the same.

10. Micah007

Posts: 266; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

I hope everyone realizes that on contract or not your eventually going to end up paying the full retail price of a phone.

11. waddup121 unregistered

cool fam

12. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Here's the problem. Is not as much people crying about prices, but as much of carriers being slick. They will have the current pricing model, but without the subsidize phone. Hence, you have to purchase the phone, full prize, and pay today's prices for the plans. Is all about money, these greedy companies are not going to lower the prices. Is all a balancing act, and they are accountable to their stock holders. If you work for AT&T, I highly advise you to look for a new job; is either price increases or/and reduce manpower; they are not shy when it comes to the using the ax. Just like the handwriting was on the wall for the workers of the Moto factory in Texas.

13. tacarat

Posts: 854; Member since: Apr 22, 2013

You missed that they changed the pricing model over a year ago. Your accusation would be true under the old nation, family talk and mobile share (not the value) plans. Wrong views based off of old news. Update my man! FYI:http://www.cwa-union.org

16. Blazers

Posts: 746; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

If people buy an AT&T phone at full retail, it should not only be unlocked, but the bootloader unlocked as well for Samsung phones.

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