AT&T pre-mobileshare family plan subsidies

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by brianrumsey, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. brianrumsey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #1
    Hello,

    Does anybody know if pre-mobileshare AT&T family plans are still eligible for the same iPhone subsidies as in the past? I've had a three-line family plan that I did not change to mobileshare because we don't use that much data and it wouldn't have been cost effective. Now, the new 10GB mobileshare value plan could change that equation -- especially if I can't count on the subsidized iPhone price when we are due for renewal in November. If we're not going to get that subsidy, I figure we might as well change over to mobileshare value now.

    I apologize if this has already been addressed somewhere.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    AT&T doesn't usually force people out of their old plans like that.

    If you're more than 6 months into any of your lines, use that phone and dial *639# and hit call. You'll get a text message shortly telling you if you're eligible for early upgrade pricing, or even regular discount if you've completed enough of your contract.
     
  3. brianrumsey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for your response.

    I have no doubt that I can continue paying these rates indefinitely, but I'm not sure whether it is part of the contract that AT&T has to keep offering subsidized phones every two years while keeping the same plan rates.

    When I called the number, AT&T told me that I'm immediately eligible for a new phone with AT&T Next, which I'm not interested in, but no mention of the old-style subsidized upgrade.
     
  4. blarivee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Location:
    US
    #4
    You will still be able to upgrade at the subsized price of the phone (e.g. $199) with your existing plan. An easy way to check is to go to your online account and check your upgrade status. The rep has incentive to make you switch to one of the newer plans which is probably why they played dumb.
     
  5. Prise macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    #5
    ATT's usually pretty good on honoring grandfathered plans. In your case, as it is with mine, unless you use tons of data, the old plans are better when utilizing the full $450 phone subsidy for the new iPhone 6, assuming it'll be priced at $199.
     
  6. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #6
    Yeah ATT is good with grandfathered plans.

    The only reason Verizon "forced" people off unlimited data was it was common knowledge amount techies that Verizon couldn't throttle LTE data like ATT throttles LTE data (usually although it's a soft 5gb lte data cap since my wife usually 7-8 gb on ATT and hasn't been throttled along I have been throttled recently at 5gb).
     
  7. brianrumsey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #7
    Thanks again, everyone, for your responses. It sounds like for now it is worth remaining on the old Family Talk plan, since the subsidies can still be factored in.
     
  8. I7guy macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    What Exit?/Saguaro Country
    #8
    If by "forced" you mean having to buy the phone, correct. A side benefit is I am no longer on contract, which is either good or bad. At least no throttling.
     
  9. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #9
    Really depends on your specific circumstances. Estimate the 2-3 year costs for your specific situation to see which makes more sense. On the plus side, the subsidy is always embedded in the FamilyTalk plans so there's no spike in your monthly bill when you get a new phone -- but on the downside you're still paying the subsidy to AT&T long after you've paid off a phone.

    BTW, looks like you can still buy phones on two year contract under the new Mobileshare plans. Just doesn't make much sense to do so on the 10GB or higher plans since you lose a $25/mo discount for 24 months turning a $650 phone into an $800 outlay.
     
  10. xcrunner macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    #10
    I don't know why you would want to. You are paying more for that subsidized plan, plus $199 upfront. With NEXT and the new value plan, you pay $0 down and pay the actual cost of the phone divided up. And if you want you can pay it off after the 20 or 28 months and your plan price drops.
     
  11. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #11
    Strictly speaking, the plan price doesn't change when you get a NEXT phone, although your monthly payment does change since you're making the installment payments on the phone. Then unlike the old style plans your monthly payment drops once the phone's paid off, whether you pay it off early or pay all the 20 or 26 months.

    IMHO the best use of the NEXT plan is to not use the trade-in but instead pay off the phone and resell it on your own. If you like to upgrade every year, pay off the phone a month or so ahead of the expected new launch so you can get AT&T to unlock it in time for a quick sale.

    Someone else did suggest that if you keep your phone more than 12 months it might be worthwhile to buy it outright using a credit card that extends the warranty. Probably the best solution assuming you're one of those who pays off their credit cards every month. Make your own "monthly payments" into savings towards your next phone.
     
  12. xcrunner macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    #12
    That's actually a good idea. Using the current $650 price of the 5S, in a year when I'd want to upgrade I'd only owe $260 to pay off after doing the 20 month installment plan. That's doable and I should be able to see it for a lot more unlocked after that.
     

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