AT&T Access Charges with grandfathered contracts?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by speekez, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. speekez macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #1
    My wife & I are on a FamilyTalk contract with AT&T. We've had this for years, and its a FamilyTalk550 minutes/Unlimited Data/Family unlimited messages for like $149/month. (I'm aware they throttle the unlimited data over 5gb on LTE). We're never been charged any sort of per line "Access Charge".

    It's time to upgrade phone and I just spent two hours trying to understand all the new Mobile Share, AT&T Next Options, etc. My understanding is that you have to pay a $15/per line access charge if you opt for Next with Mobile Share. If if you do a new 2 year contract with Mobile Share without next it's a $40/per line access charge.

    Now I chatted with AT&T and they told me that if I just renew our $149/month contract there would be no per line access charges introduced. This would make for a $700 savings over the course of 2 years compared to signing up for a 30gb Mobile Share plan with AT%T Next 24.

    What is the experience of others with grandfathered plans and per line access charges?
     
  2. bunnicula macrumors 68040

    bunnicula

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
  3. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    The per line access charges are ONLY applicable if you are trying to use Next. If you do a two year contract you are responsbile for the upgrade price of the phone ($199 all the way up to $499 depending on the model). Your monthly bill will remain the same.

    Essentially they aren't really giving any monetary incentive for grandfathered users to swap over... not unless they have four or more lines on their account.
     
  4. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #4
    Combined, my wife & I are using on average 15gb/month.

    If we were to upgrade and both get iPhone 6+ 64gb as an example:

    Scenario 1: AT&T NEXT with 30GB Mobile Share plan:

    Hardware Monthly Cost (2 phones): $56.68/month
    30GB Mobile Share Plan: $130/month
    Line Access Charge ($15/per line x 2 phones): $30/month
    Grand total after 24 months: $5,200

    Scenario 2: Renew existing 2 year contract

    Hardware upfront cost (2 phones): 879.98
    Activation Fees ($40 x 2 phones): $80
    Grandfathered Family Talk 550/Unlimted Text & Data (though throttled): $149/month
    Line Access Charge (2 phones): $0
    Grand total after 24 months: $4455

    Difference of about $745 over the run of the 2 years. Guess I have to ask if $745 is worth it to avoid throttling.

    ----------

    Thanks, that's what my math is showing. My only comment would be aren't the line access charges applicable/generated by the Mobile Share plans and not Next? For example, if you get a Mobile Share plan without Next, the per line access charge is $40. If you get a Mobile Share Plan with Next, the per line access charge is $15.
     
  5. bunnicula macrumors 68040

    bunnicula

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #5
    If you're averaging 15 GB per month, why buy. a 30 GB plan?
     
  6. speekez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #6
    True. I didn't see an in-between plan -- it went from 15gb to 30gb. Since we peak at 16gb, it would be cheaper to consider a 15gb plan with $15 overage for extra gig or 2.

    I'm also looking at what Verizon has to offer.
     
  7. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #7
    I've thought about that too, but I figured that if I were to jump ship off unlimited, I would definitely start off with a higher amount of data to test the waters and see how much I actually use. They may only be using 15GB but after 5GB each they are throttled, so they are using less data than they actually would be. Plus, with the mobile share plans, tethering may become a big factor. I only use 5GB a month on my unlimited, but I'm sure I could blow through 10+GB if I didn't worry about being throttled.
     
  8. Mr Kram macrumors 68000

    Mr Kram

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #8
    if you want to keep your current plan, just buy the phone outright. otherwise the access charge depends on the plan you choose. for 15GB+ it is $15 per month, below that it is $25 per month per line. it's up to you to do the math and if the throttling is worth it.
     
  9. bunnicula macrumors 68040

    bunnicula

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #9
    Oh, I just jumped last month. Had unlimited since the original iPhone. Went 40GB, but the most we ever used in a month over the past year was 28GB (between 6 phones). Added my in laws to my plan. Wanted to make sure we had enough data.

    That said, the price wound up just a wee bit lower for us (not counting subsidies) because we can just buy our devices outright and upgrade yearly, we didn't factor in "Next" charges.
     
  10. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    Mobile share plan with or without Next is $15. That is never really going to change unless you go into a two year contract.

    Likewise, if you choose next on a grandfthered plan, you will see an access charge as well. This is why next is not really a good choice for folks with anything other than the mobile share plans.

    ----------

    They were offering 30GB for the price of 15 not long ago (talking untila week ago officially). You can try and see if they will still honor that promo.

    If you Google it the AT&T ad still says double data 30GB but when you click on it it takes you to their 15 for 10 deal.

    EDIT: Actually the 30GB plan at $130 is still there. You should be able to just select it. Keep in mind you can always just swap to that from the 15GB plan if you wanted to. It's a difference of $30 per month, and you won't incur overages so long as you switch before you have gone over. You can also set your account to get text alerts when you are almost out of your data allotment.
     

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