Carrier Grandfathered AT&T Plan: Unlocked Phone Benefit?

eyeseeyou

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 4, 2011
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My understanding is that if you pay the subsidized price($200) for a phone that the carrier makes up for the difference($400+) by adding an additional up charge in your monthly fees. The $400+ is built into your monthly plan for the next 2 years.

Since I'm never ever leaving the unlimited at&t data plan what benefit is their to buy an unlocked phone if I'll still be paying for the up charge in my monthly bill?
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,180
2,509
My understanding is that if you pay the subsidized price($200) for a phone that the carrier makes up for the difference($400+) by adding an additional up charge in your monthly fees. The $400+ is built into your monthly plan for the next 2 years.

Since I'm never ever leaving the unlimited at&t data plan what benefit is their to buy an unlocked phone if I'll still be paying for the up charge in my monthly bill?
There is no benefit in your case. The subsidized phone is definitely the better deal for you.
 

whodatrr

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2004
672
490
Was so tired of dealing with this, when I was with AT&T. I just left them, for T-Mobile, when the 6s came out.

Every time I called AT&T about a billing or technical issue, the script their reps ran seems to always point me to ditching my grandfathered unlimited plan. It also ticked me off that they wouldn't, unless I ditched my unlimited plan, let me use my phone as a hotspot. I was paying a ton of money every month, just because I don't like surprises. Hey I like the concept of unlimited, and it;s the plan that I bought. I had been with AT&T prior to the iPhone, since the early 90's but they didn't care.

Oh well. I ditched their backwards butts and went T-Mobile. I got my unlimited everything, for $40 less than AT&T. I got the ability to use my phone as a hot spot, which has come in incredibly handy. I love that feature!!!! I got free Canada & Mexico calling/roaming, which saves me a bit of dough every month. I'm happy.

Really I don;t know what AT&T is thinking? I would have actually paid more to stick with them, but now I'm glad that they didn't want to keep me, because I'm saving money.

And the network that I was so worried about - I'd say it's about 95% as good. It's weird because my phone will now often only have a bar or two, but calls and dat are fine. I haven't yet run into a situation where I couldn't make or receive calls, which is good. I have run into a situation or two where I feel my data rates were dramatically worse. Looking at their map, it looks like they're making big strides. but if I lived in some parts of the country, I would not yet feel comfortable switching. Fortunately, coverage is good where I am. and I'm happy I switched.

So long, AT&T! Glad you treated me badly enough to make me get off my duff and save a bunch of money. And yeah, keep treating your unlimited data customers like they're pariahs.
 

eyeseeyou

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 4, 2011
3,021
1,408
Was so tired of dealing with this, when I was with AT&T. I just left them, for T-Mobile, when the 6s came out.

Every time I called AT&T about a billing or technical issue, the script their reps ran seems to always point me to ditching my grandfathered unlimited plan. It also ticked me off that they wouldn't, unless I ditched my unlimited plan, let me use my phone as a hotspot. I was paying a ton of money every month, just because I don't like surprises. Hey I like the concept of unlimited, and it;s the plan that I bought. I had been with AT&T prior to the iPhone, since the early 90's but they didn't care.

Oh well. I ditched their backwards butts and went T-Mobile. I got my unlimited everything, for $40 less than AT&T. I got the ability to use my phone as a hot spot, which has come in incredibly handy. I love that feature!!!! I got free Canada & Mexico calling/roaming, which saves me a bit of dough every month. I'm happy.

Really I don;t know what AT&T is thinking? I would have actually paid more to stick with them, but now I'm glad that they didn't want to keep me, because I'm saving money.

And the network that I was so worried about - I'd say it's about 95% as good. It's weird because my phone will now often only have a bar or two, but calls and dat are fine. I haven't yet run into a situation where I couldn't make or receive calls, which is good. I have run into a situation or two where I feel my data rates were dramatically worse. Looking at their map, it looks like they're making big strides. but if I lived in some parts of the country, I would not yet feel comfortable switching. Fortunately, coverage is good where I am. and I'm happy I switched.

So long, AT&T! Glad you treated me badly enough to make me get off my duff and save a bunch of money. And yeah, keep treating your unlimited data customers like they're pariahs.
Plus the wifi calling helps in the areas with bad coverage.
 

whodatrr

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2004
672
490
Yep, T-Mobile keeps up to date on all the latest tech.

But the thing is, I was willing to stay with AT&T, if they would have budged just a bit. My AT&T unlimited plan was $120 a month, whereas T-Mobile is $80. T-Mobile also gives me 7GB of wifi hotspot, roaming/calling in Canada & Mexico, along with bunch of other stuff in their bundle. Still, I would have stayed with AT&T, paying the extra $40mo and the probably $20 or so for International calling that T-Mobile gives me for free. Yeah, crazy as it sounds I was willing to pay an extra $60mo, to stay with AT&T. Sounds crazy when I write it, but I was concerned about T-Mobile's network. Anyhow all I wanted AT&T to do was to unlock the wifi hotspot, and they wouldn't budge.

So, they lost a customer, and I now save ~$60 a month. Se la vie.

AT&T lost a 20 year wireless customer, because they kept insisting I switch to a metered plan to get the only feature I wanted. All the while, AT&T kept doing just about everything in their power, making me feel like a low life, to try to get me to ditch my unlimited plan, which I did not want to do. In the end, AT&T just didn't age that some of us want simplicity and freedom. we don;t want to be nickels and dimed.

Anyhow, guess AT&T prefers to spend their money marketing how good they are, instead of just giving customers what they want. After 20 years, good riddance.

Plus the wifi calling helps in the areas with bad coverage.
 
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aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,244
461
My understanding is that if you pay the subsidized price($200) for a phone that the carrier makes up for the difference($400+) by adding an additional up charge in your monthly fees. The $400+ is built into your monthly plan for the next 2 years.

Since I'm never ever leaving the unlimited at&t data plan what benefit is their to buy an unlocked phone if I'll still be paying for the up charge in my monthly bill?
The benefit is if u are constantly getting new iPhones every year.

Buy iphone 6 plus for $399 plus taxes and upgrade fee (which can be waived) in 2014.

Sell iphone 6 plus 64gb for $500-700 depending when u resell it. I resold mine on craiglist for $600 in late August. I have other android phones I use.

I brought full price iphone 6s plus for $850 plus taxes. Unlocked.

Next year I will eligible for subsidy upgrade for iphone 7. Will resell iphone 6s plus for $500-700. And buy new iPhone for $399.

I have been doing this cycle.
 

eyeseeyou

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 4, 2011
3,021
1,408
The benefit is if u are constantly getting new iPhones every year.

Buy iphone 6 plus for $399 plus taxes and upgrade fee (which can be waived) in 2014.

Sell iphone 6 plus 64gb for $500-700 depending when u resell it. I resold mine on craiglist for $600 in late August. I have other android phones I use.

I brought full price iphone 6s plus for $850 plus taxes. Unlocked.

Next year I will eligible for subsidy upgrade for iphone 7. Will resell iphone 6s plus for $500-700. And buy new iPhone for $399.

I have been doing this cycle.
Curious. What do you use as a back up phone while in between selling your current iPhone and waiting for the new one to come out?
 

eyeseeyou

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 4, 2011
3,021
1,408
So long, AT&T! Glad you treated me badly enough to make me get off my duff and save a bunch of money. And yeah, keep treating your unlimited data customers like they're pariahs.
I feel the same way. No "thank you" for long time customers. In addition to that I might not have switched to xfinity if at&t gave a discount to customers who have both their cellular and cable/tv all under at&t.
 

Swampbaby985

macrumors regular
Nov 25, 2013
117
39
East Texas
I to am with AT&T and am holding onto my unlimited data plan with dear life. I would love to have the ability to use my phone as a hot spot but they refuse to let us old timers use it for fear of hogging the network. Here's what I think...AT&T's network isn't as great as they claim it to be because of it were then they'd have no problem letting unlimited data customers use their phones as a hot spot. That is why they are to paranoid about us guzzling an obsene amount of data a month, because their network CAN'T handle the load.

I am fortunate enough to only pay $81 a month for my AT&T plan with unlimited data due to my FAN account discount applied, so I guess I can't complain to much about not being able to use my phone as a hot spot.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
Verizon raised the price on their grandfathered unlimited data plan users who *weren't* on contract. That action has only reinforced my belief that for AT&T grandfathered users contracts (subsidized pricing) are a very good thing because at least it locks you in at the current price for the duration.
 
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Eileen89

macrumors 65816
Aug 12, 2014
1,146
327
Verizon raised the price on their grandfathered unlimited data plan users who *weren't* on contract. That action has only reinforced my belief that for AT&T grandfathered users contracts (subsidized pricing) are a very good thing because at least it locks you in at the current price for the duration.
I don't think AT&T will raise the price like Verizon did. AT&T never followed them by taking away the subsidy for us Unlimited Data Plan customers so I think those of us who still want to remain out of contract with AT&T are ok for now....
 
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Swampbaby985

macrumors regular
Nov 25, 2013
117
39
East Texas
I don't think AT&T will raise the price like Verizon did. AT&T never followed them by taking away the subsidy for us Unlimited Data Plan customers so I think those of us who still want to remain out of contract with AT&T are ok for now....

Key phrase "for now"
 

eyeseeyou

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 4, 2011
3,021
1,408
So with the grandfathered plan either way a fee for a subsidized phone is being added. Even though I don't plan on leaving somethings still bothers me about committing to a 2 year contract
 

Eileen89

macrumors 65816
Aug 12, 2014
1,146
327
So with the grandfathered plan either way a fee for a subsidized phone is being added. Even though I don't plan on leaving somethings still bothers me about committing to a 2 year contract
I know what you mean. This is why I'll never get locked into a contract again.
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,244
461
I don't think AT&T will raise the price like Verizon did. AT&T never followed them by taking away the subsidy for us Unlimited Data Plan customers so I think those of us who still want to remain out of contract with AT&T are ok for now....
The real reason ATT didn't follow Verizon is because of the FCC LTE band 13 agreement Verizon had.

The band 13 agreement Verizon was forced to adhere to was not to restrict LTE devices that used band 13.

Aka
1. Verizon couldn't lock LTE devices like the iPhone
2. Verizon couldn't throttle data that used LTE band 13
3. Verizon couldn't stop someone from moving an active sim from one LTE 13 band device (say iPhone 5 or newer) to another LTE
Device (say Jetpack/hotspot or even LTE tablet that has its own hotspot (iPad 3 or newer).

Band 13 restrictions on Verizon was the real reason was draconian in their ways trying to force people off unlimited data.

ATT was ok letting unlimited user maintain subsidy upgrades since they would throttle LTE after 5GB (from 2011-2015). They recently relaxed their policy and its 22GB and its not a hard 22GB either.

But att isn't afraid of unlimited users putting nano sim from iPhone into mifi device because ATT isn't bound by FCC. So ATT can zap the illegal unlimited phone sim in mifi devices when they see it. Unlike unlimited Verizon data users who use their sim in a Jetpack and use it as home internet replacement.
 
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