Changing to a family plan...what are my options?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by worldwearyeyes, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. worldwearyeyes macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2005
    OK, so I cringe when I have to speak to uninformed AT&T sales reps over the phone, so I trust what I get from here more than there.

    I currently have the 450 min. plan for my iPhone, but I'm looking to add my mom to my account to save us both a few bucks.

    Can anyone outline what my options are? We probably need at least 1000 min. I see on Apple's website a plan for $129 for 1400 min, but I've also heard that plan could be as low as $110.

    Any help as to my options would be appreciated.

  2. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Well, yes, if you're adding another iPhone for mom a two-iPhone family plan from AT&T is $109.99 but that's only for 700 minutes and 200 txt messages.

    The two iPhone family plan from AT&T for 1400 minutes is indeed $129.99 and also has 200 txt messages.

    If you have an iPhone already you can do this all yourself in your online account management on the AT&T site. You just select to change your plan and it will give you the breakdowns.

    The 1400 minute plan is not $110.

    If you were planning on putting mom on your plan with something other than an iPhone then that is different. The two types of phones are on independent contracts. You have iPhone and other phone contracts and pricing. The two can't be mixed. The individual minimum price for another non-iPhone is $40 for 450 minutes.
  3. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Great plan...

    but you may want to add the "Unlimited Family Text Msg" for $29.99 and save yourself a bunch of money, such as .10 per msg over the 200 maximum. Also, nothing can touch "the rollover minutes" that AT&T offers. :cool:
  4. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    That was one of the most attractive parts of the deal for me. Rollover minutes on a 12 month window is contract goodness. :)
  5. worldwearyeyes thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2005
    Her phone will NOT be an iPhone. So you're saying that an iPhone and non-iPhone can't be on the same family plan???
  6. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Correct. There are iPhone and family iPhone plans and then there are the regular phone and regular family phone plans. The two don't intermingle. You need to have two completely independent contracts. That's been brought up several times here in the last 2 days over people wanting to figure out how to get a free phone from AT&T to resell and then get an iPhone. You can convert a regular contract over to an iPhone contract but you can't combine mixed phones on one contract. If you stop at an AT&T store/dealer they'll give you two different flyers for both rate plans.

    I just ran into this situation myself. I cancelled with Verizon and got an iPhone. I went back to attempt to add a cheap phone for my wife. She only wanted it for sparse use (very minimal minutes) and I was confronted with having to create an entire contract for a second phone. There was no way I was going to spend $40 monthly on a phone that might get used 15 -20 minutes. I ended up getting a free AT&T Gophone for her. A $25 balance gets you a 90 day period and, as long as you add to the account before the 90 days, the balance will also roll over. They Fed-Ex'ed the phone to me at no charge and there was no activation fee. Along with that there was a coupon inside for $10 in extra balance and another sheet that gave me $5 more if I put a balance on the phone within 7 days of activation. So, I ended up with $40 in balance. That was nice.

    If your mom is planning on using a cell phone a lot then the goPhone wouldn't be useful for you at all.
  7. maryanny macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2006
    I had a family plan with an iphone and a non-iphone. We just had the 700 minutes and they added my data plan seperately. I don't know if it matters but we were both new customers, they signed us up to the family plan with two new phones, then I went home and activated my iphone. I sold my razor for 100 bucks too :)
  8. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    You're the second one to say something like that. That's odd because the iPhone plan stuff isn't supposed to be handled on the store side. They're supposed to sell it to you and then let you decide your plan via iTunes.

    So, are you saying that you went and got generic phone #1 and created a regular individual plan and then went back and added an iPhone to it or are you saying that you went in, got two phones, and then they gave you the standard family phone $69.99 plan and added the $20 data plan (to give your iPhone data) to bring you to $90 total a month?

    If it's the second then you really didn't save any money. A 450 minute iPhone plan is $60 with the data included.

    Adding a second 450 minute individual plan for a generic phone would cost $40.

    Together those are $100.

    You actually lost out because going your route you are sharing 700 minutes. For the $10 difference you could have had a total of 900 minutes and an extra 200 text messages. That sounds like you got screwed.
  9. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    My family plan includes (2) iPhones (1) Blackberry...

    and (1) Motorola KRZR. And we definitely have ONE contract, as we've had for the past four, going on five years. My iPhones add $20 per iPhone and the Blackberry adds $29.99 per month. Additionally, we have "unlimited family text msg plan" for $29.99 as well. 1400 shared minutes and we've accrued over 6,000 rollover minutes.
  10. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    You're an existing customer though. Different rules apply. We're talking new accounts here. Others have commented in the number of other threads on the same topic that existing customers get different and much more attractive terms than new customers.

    You aren't talking apples to apples here.

    Just take a look at the math above your last post. That woman didn't really get any form of deal at all with two phones on "one plan." For a ten dollar difference going with two contracts she could have got 200 more minutes and an extra 200 text messages per month.

    If you've accrued 6000 minutes it sounds like you're are overpaying for your plan. It would appear that you could have gone with a lower plan, saved money, and not have banked far more minutes than you'll ever use. It's not like you can turn them in for prizes at the end of a year. At that point they're just useless and wasted. Since you've been a customer for so long that 6000 reflects a year's window of rollover. You really ought to rethink your plan because you're banking an average of 500 per month.
  11. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Avaloncourt you are giving "bad scoop"...

    as MaryAnny stated, you can sign-up as "new customers" and have an iPhone on the same contract. As for my 6,000+ rollover minutes, they have accrued from the 1400 family plan and I think it's a real bargain considering that I've spent an extra $20 a month for double the minutes v. the 700 family plan. I've used some of my rollover minutes during certain months when I'm vacationing in Hawaii or visiting family in Seattle, Oklahoma City and New Mexico, on vacation and I'm talking to others outside my M2M network. Almost every month my four members on my family plan utilize more than the 700 minutes and we would definitely be paying $.15 per minute that we are over 700 minutes, so, yeah, we are comparing apples to apples! You're actually starting to sound like an AT&T Customer Service Representative; you know, the one's that don't know what they are talking about!!!
  12. worldwearyeyes thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2005
    avalon, i think you're a little confused.

    to the others, thanks for the info. I've spoken to 5 ATT reps, and 3 are quoting me $109.99 for 2 lines, 1 iphone, and 1400 min.
  13. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    If you want to pay an extra $240 a year go right ahead. It doesn't appear, FROM THE MATH, that you're getting your money's worth. You're the one sitting on 6000+ rollover minutes. There's no bargain in something you can't ever use. I perfer to keep my money in my pocket. What you do with yours is your business.

    As for MaryAnny, the math is there in black and white. Yes, she got put on a family plan contract and she got screwed doing it.

    There are MANY threads here that state existing customers get a better offer than new ones.
  14. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Why aren't the other two quoting you the same and what are they quoting you? It's not very good when only 60% of the reps agree.

    Someone is getting it wrong. I'm holding the iPhone rate plan brochure in my hand. It says the very same thing as the terms page:

    There is the rate plan:

    There is also a tab for existing customers with a $20 differential for data.

    Obviously the reps are faking the 'existing customer' aspect by signing up the generic phone and then going back and adding the iPhone. I can tell you from personal experience they wouldn't let me get the iPhone and later add a second phone. That first way has to be how they're doing it.

    There it is in black and white. It's not my words it's theirs.
  15. kewl macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2007
    From the ATT website...

    FamilyTalk Plans

    Get iPhone for every member in the family. Plans start at $109.99 for two iPhone lines and include Visual Voicemail and Unlimited Data—email and web—and 200 SMS text messages (you can add more text messages for a little more a month)—for use within the U.S. Additional iPhone lines (up to 3 more) are $29.99 each. Additional non-iPhone lines are $9.99 each.
    Please note: You'll choose your plan during the activation process. A credit or debit card and the latest version of iTunes are required for activation.

    I've been following the ATT family plan threads for the last few days and I think there's been some miscommunication.

    From the the ATT Wireless website, there are certainly iPhone family talk plans. However, the key point that seems to be missing in the previous threads is that you have to have TWO iphones on the family plan. Once you have two iphones on the plan, you can add additional iPhone OR non-iPhones on the plan.

    Avaloncourt's example is one iphone and one non-iphone, which does not qualify for the iPhone family talk plan.
  16. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Which is what the OP stated 1 iPhone, 1 not. Since the terms state that:

    as noted previously. When I attempted to add a non-iPhone to my account in an AT&T store I was told that wasn't permitted and a non-iPhone rate plan for that next phone would be required.

    When my porting got hung up with Verizon I had to call AT&T's porting department. While the woman was correcting what went wrong she and I were talking about the iPhones. She said she'd like to get one for her husband but they really couldn't afford it since she wasn't able to bring it into their regular plan because it had to have it's own plan. She also said that the iPhones were exempt from employee discount.
  17. skwoytek macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2005
    Contrary to AvalonCourt's experience, I called to merge my girlfriend's account with my iPhone account and was told "no problem," until they got to the part of looking up my girlfriend's account and realized it was also an iPhone account. They said that merging two iPhone accounts must be done in an AT&T company owned store - which ended up being true. However, they acted like there was no problem when I wanted to merge an iPhone and a non-iPhone account.

    From what I learned in the process of merging two accounts into a family account - I think you're going to be stuck with the minimum iPhone family plan, which already accounts for two iPhones. If you had a 1400 minute family plan ($89.99) before switching to the iPhone, I'm pretty sure you could have just paid the extra $20 for your iPhone ($109.99). If you combine now, you'll be paying the other $20 iPhone data for nothing with the non-iPhone ($129.99).

    What I'd try (at your own risk):

    If they won't give you the 1400 family plan for $109.99:

    If you have your old phone or any old AT&T phone, try telling AT&T you're switching back to it. Once you have two non-iPhone accounts, get an $89.99 1400 minute family plan. Then call back and switch to your iPhone for the additional $20 data rate.

    Now that I think about it. I don't believe you can switch back to a non-iPhone plan.
  18. skwoytek macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2005
    @ AvalonCourt

    I'm not sure I follow your logic. I'm in the same boat as SFStateStudent - Family plan 1400 with thousands of minutes in rollover.

    You say SFSS is wasting money because they have about 500 minutes remaining per month. There is no 900 minute rate plan (1400-500). The next step down is a 700 minute rate plan. By your calculations, that plan would mean SFSS would then be over by an average of about 200 minutes per month and each minute of overage at the 700 minute rate plan is $0.45.

    I calculate that SFSS would incur about $90 in overage costs per month. Instead they pay $20 upfront for those 200 minutes and get an extra 500 minutes of overage security which sticks with them for a year.

    Seeing as how I'm in a very similar situation, could you explain how I'd save by dropping to the 700 minute rate plan while still using between 900 and 1000 minutes per month?

    Here's how I calculated my costs over a year when deciding:

    700 minute plan plus 200 minute overage average per month is
    ($109.99 * 12) + (12 * (.45 * 200)) = $2400 per year.

    1400 minute plan with 500 unused minutes per month is
    ($129.99 * 12) = $1560 per year - with no worries of overages.

    I'd rather not spend the extra $840 per year.
  19. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    You're right and I apologize for that. In going back and forth between what constitutes a individual plan I had seen 900 as an option. It appeared that he was banking massive overage for no reason at all. I was thinking there was a point between the two.
  20. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Skwoytek you've done your homework...

    I'll leave this thread in your capable hands!!! "You Dun Good!"
  21. maryanny macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2006

    you're assuming that I need 900 minutes. Seeing that I use 550-600 a month and my SO only uses about 60 minutes why would I want to have two individual plans that cost me 10 dollars more? That puts me at a risk to go over my minutes and he'll never get close, so a family plan is much more logical, plus cheaper.

    That was then though. Now we do have two iphones (as of last week) and I'm trying to figure out which way is cheaper. I think it only results in a saving of 5 dollars but it doesn't hurt to save it.

    edit: there is NO difference between what I was paying before with the regular family plan before adding the iphones and then iphone family plan. Some deal.
  22. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    This seems to be quite a bone of contention!

    It seems that ATT is not making it easy for customers to sign new contracts that are limited to 1 iPhone and 1 or more non iPhones. However, given the fact that existing customers can easily upgrade their plans, and that ATT is usually pretty flexible when it comes to merging numbers into a single family plan, I think the best thing for the OP would be to speak to a higher level person and get better info.

    I've found that ATT is flexible when you speak with them, and chances are they'll end up allowing your mother's line to be added to yours with just minutes being shared (and an extra $10 of course).

    You just have to be consistent in your request, and soon enough, they'll give you what you want.

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