Apparently AT&T is willing to bend you over and make you pay, one way or another.
I went to the website to look at getting an Iphone 5c. I currently have 4 phones on the $160 a month family plan.
My options were to pay $199 and a 2 year extension, which seems totally fair to me. Then, in very small red print at the top of the webpage there is a notice saying that my family plan would no longer apply, due to the discount on the phone, and $15 or $25 discount per month would be waved – forever.
So for the “Discount” price of $199 and lets say I keep AT&T for 2 years based on the contract, I am out $600 on the lost discount – for a total of $899.
My other option – which AT&T pushes very heavily from my experience when I went to the local store to complain – is the monthly plan that lets you trade in the phone after 12 or 18 months. I guess if you trade in every year or so this makes sense for some people, but I usually keep my phone for 3 or 4 years and don’t jump to the newest, flashiest phone every release cycle.
|Plan||Rate||1 Year Total||2 Year Total|
|2 Year Contract||$199 + $25 Monthly Penalty||499||799|
So AT&T has built a very well constructed pricing plan that screws you over pretty well – and makes sure they make a fortune in the process. I’m sure someone in sales/marketing got a bonus for this. And you should note they actually make the most money off the 18 month plan, which many people see as the “cheapest” option.
As for me I see a ton of competition in this space and bought a used 5s on ebay for $420 and will now pay $40 bucks to have it swapped for my current phone. And in 11 months when my oldest son’s phone is out of contract, I’ll be taking my business elsewhere.
My advice, get away from AT&T as fast as you can. The competitors in this space all have better deals, and I can’t wait for the one phone I have under contract to be up.