Leaked corporate memo says that AT&T will drop two-year contracts and phone subsidies on January 8th
posted by Alan F. / Dec 30, 2015, 5:55 PM
Besides smartphones, starting on January 8th there will be no more two-year contracts issued for featurephones. What isn't clear is whether AT&T will continue to offer tablets and certain smartwatches (like the stand-alone Samsung Gear S2) with a two-year pact. The carrier says that it is eliminating subsidies to align itself with trends in the industry.
So if you want to purchase a new phone from AT&T starting on January 8th, your options are clear. You can buy the device using an installment plan, or pay full retail. Even if you have just had a two-year pact expire making you a free agent, your next equipment purchase on AT&T will have to be made using one of the aforementioned methods. According to the FAQ page from the leaked memo, even AT&T employees won't be able to purchase a subsidized phone with a two-year contract after January 8th.
AT&T has various options with AT&T Next. Those who are well qualified can put $0 down on a new device and pay off the remainder in 30 months using AT&T Next 24. After 24 months, the customer can upgrade to a new phone. With AT&T Next 18, after putting $0 down, the remaining balance is paid off in 24 monthly installments. The subscriber can upgrade to a new phone after 18 months. And with AT&T Next 12, the remaining balance due after putting $0 down, is paid off in 20 monthly installments. Subscribers can upgrade to a new phone after 12 months.
If you cannot qualify for the above mentioned installment plans, you might be able to make an equipment purchase using AT&T Next with down payment. With this plan, you pay 30% of the equipment cost upfront. The balance is paid monthly in 28 installments with an upgrade possible after 12 payments.
Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009
This new scheme worries me. I feel like they are using the whole "no contract" thing so that they can hide the real charges of monthly service within financing of phones.
posted on Dec 30, 2015, 6:30 PM 3
Posts: 55; Member since: Mar 26, 2014
There's no interest rate on the phones at all, and if you multiply the payments by the months you get the exact amount that the phone costs. Smartphones are too expensive now for the 2-year contract to be logical. The thing is your bill will be just as high either way. Only now they tell you exactly what you're paying for the phone, and exactly what you're paying for the service. In 2-year contract that raised the price of the service to cover the cost of the phone. No matter what people say, AT&T was never just giving phones away for .99cents because of "customer loyalty" and because they "signed a contract". You've always had to pay for your phone, phones are just too expensive now to cover it up.
posted on Dec 30, 2015, 9:00 PM 1
Posts: 708; Member since: Mar 30, 2011
I guess you have no calculator to help figure out if there are hidden charges in it?
posted on Dec 31, 2015, 8:59 AM 2
Posts: 693; Member since: Oct 08, 2011
I'm pretty sure companies don't come up with this stuff to make LESS money lol.
posted on Dec 30, 2015, 7:05 PM 5
Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012
Just did a 2 year contract couple months ago which I said never do again. I will have to come out of pocket if the gadget urge hits me to soon. Not a big deal for me. Could be for some.
posted on Dec 30, 2015, 9:29 PM 0
Posts: 355; Member since: Apr 17, 2014
On a less than 10GB plan, the two year contract is actually cheaper. They're just trying to get you to pay for more data.
posted on Dec 30, 2015, 9:34 PM 1
Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 02, 2011
'Cheaper' is a relative term to how much you want to pay for the device vs. how much it will ultimately cost. I'm not going to post a ton of monetary examples because I'm working on my Star Wars Battlefront character, but on average the high end devices are only $70-$90 'cheaper' when factoring in loss of the $15 line discount, and considering the subsidized price vs. sales tax price, that is not a big difference.
posted on Dec 30, 2015, 10:00 PM 2
They tried to sway me and my wife to a NEXT plan this October, but I stuck to my 2-yr contract subsidized unlimited plan... The NEXT plan will cost me more if I wanted to keep my unlimited + NEXT which I declined. Looks like I'll have to get a tiered version with NEXT and "Lease" my phones to keep the costs down ::: or pay extra per month to keep my unlimited when my contract expires less then 2 years from now. (oh and they're adding $5 extra to unlimited plans too).... They're really making it difficult to keep unlimited data plans. If I'm pushed into a tiered NEXT plan - I'll switch to Verizon as the coverage is a little better in my area. The only nice thing about it, is I can upgrade every year for cheaper monthly payment (but I'll have to loose unlimited)... Are there really that many unlimited data plan customers that they try to "smoke" them out? I was under the impression (self diagnosed) that I'm just one of the very, very few... -----> Hey PA can we have a POLL based on who's on what plan and what carrier?
posted on Dec 30, 2015, 10:37 PM 0
Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 02, 2011
On average when I see someone on an unlimited plan in my store they are doing between 1-3GB a month. There are a ton of people still holding out on it, but the majority aren't actually using the data to justify needing it, they're just keeping it because a friend or family member told them to. It's somewhat frustrating because if you are using the data to justify it, I'll tell you 100% to keep it, because I most likely can't build you a more cost effective plan; on the flipside, when you are averaging 1-3GB, I know 99% of the time I can save you money in both short term and long term.
posted on Dec 30, 2015, 10:54 PM 1
Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013
So it's pretty funny then that carriers want to get rid of unlimited plans since, as you say, most people are not using that much data on it and you can get them on a tiered plan that they will be paying less. If the carriers wanted more money, they should keep people on these plans, especially for these types of people since they are making a higher amount on them. Maybe there are enough of these low data using unlimited plan subscribers to offset the costs of the ones that use a huge amount of data. I'm thinking they want to move people off unlimited data plans to prepare for the future as more and more services require an increasing amount of data, such as streaming 4K video and VoLTE for eample, these low data users will some day become high data users because these services will require an ever increasing amount of data.
posted on Dec 31, 2015, 11:30 AM 0
Posts: 49; Member since: Oct 28, 2015
you do not have to lose youre unl data to go to the next... your unl data is a PLAN, the next agreement is a FEATURE added to your account, what happens to one does not affect the other. working for att i see people all the time with the next program and unl data at the same time.
posted on Dec 31, 2015, 11:54 AM 0
Posts: 65; Member since: Oct 03, 2015
1 does this mean we will lose our unlimited data plans? 2 will this void current 2 year contacts, or just prevent us from having another one?
posted on Dec 31, 2015, 10:42 AM 0
Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 28, 2014
you dont lose unlimited, you can either keep unlimited and pay retail for the phone, or you switch to mobile share to make it cheaper, and it doesnt void contracts, you just cant sign another one when buying a phone.
posted on Dec 31, 2015, 11:07 AM 0
Posts: 49; Member since: Oct 28, 2015
your plan is not affected, this is not a new plan it is a new upgrade "program" I see people all the time on att next and they have unl data. the att next programs are available to you after only 18 months into the contract but your current contracts will stay as they are.
posted on Dec 31, 2015, 11:51 AM 0
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