Warning to those going from Contract to Next on ATT with 1-2 lines

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by hasanahmad, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. hasanahmad macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2009
    I have the following plan

    $60 700 minutes
    $30 unlimited data
    $10 additional second line
    $20 for data 300 mb for second line

    $120 / month

    $200-300 every 2 years for devices which can be sold for $200-300 unlocked every 2 years barring bad condition of phones so I profit avg $50 every 2 years.

    The 15 (now 30 gb) NEXT Program

    $130 Mobility Sharing Plan with 30 gb
    $40 NEXT for Line 1
    $25 NEXT for Line 2
    $25-30 PER Line for Phone Monthly Cost either 12 or 18 months

    approx $250 for 2 lines where I don't even own the phone

    Even if you go for 10 gb shared between 2 lines it will end up being $220 which is still $80 more PER MONTH than 2 year plan

    80$ x 12= $960 / year or $1920 every 2 years. That is the ADDITIONAL cost you pay with 1-2 lines if you move from contract to NEXT.

    it is still a rip off.
  2. ricktat macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2013
    Your math is totally off... but almost all agree that an unlimited with essentially 1 phone is cheaper than all other plans. I say 1 phone since data is really only needed for 1 in your case.

    Now if you are using 20GB per month on your phone and being throttled at 5 GB is a problem. Then that would be a better reason...

    Others will either let this thread die or correct the math for you;)
  3. uwdude macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2014
    I agree- it's not that the Next or Edge part of the plan itself is more expensive (just price of the phone divided by number of months), it's the way they've now structured the data and minutes part of the package is way more compared to the old plans for people with 1-3 lines or so. Moving from those old individual line plans to these new shared plans is way more for a lot of people, whether it's Next or not. They've sneaked huge bill increases in by re-structuring the game to shared data instead of shared minutes. When my bill went up to $220 for two lines, I said enough is enough and went prepaid.
  4. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    Are you sure your numbers are right?

    On AT&T Next, the per-phone monthly costs go down. According to AT&T's site it should only be $15 per phone, not $40.

    Additionally, you do own the phone at the end of it if you don't upgrade. If you are on the 12-month plan, you are paying in 20 monthly installments on the phone. AT&T will let you trade-in the phone at 12 months (basically using the phone's trade-in value to close out your loan). If you pay all 20 months, the phone is completely yours, and you can keep it and get a new phone on Next.
  5. Ramio macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2011
    Houston, TeXas
    You also technically don't own the phone with a 2 year contract until the contract is up.
  6. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    If you do next 18, you can keep the phone after 24 months which you can then sell to recoup 1/3rd the cost of the new phone but even if I did the math, I don't think it would be cheaper then your old plan.
  7. hasanahmad thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2009
    But you can sell the phones from 200-250 thus making up the cost you paid 2 years ago. In next you just keep paying and paying and paying non stop
  8. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Your numbers are off and you aren't comparing apples to apples.

    First, your existing plan doesn't include a text plan which is +$30. Nor does it include tethering. +$20 Nor do you include upgrade fees. +$40/phone/upgrade

    Your 'unlimited' plan is also really more like a 5GB plan because throttling makes it virtually useless after that.

    A 4GB plan with two smartphones, unlimited text/calling and tethering is $120/month plus devices. 10GB only brings that to $130 total. If you can live with 2GB shared (many users can do this easily) it's $90 total (that $40 savings buys a LOT of overages).

    Yes, for some people with just one or two phones on the older plans, they are able to save some money over NEXT/Mobile Share Value. I was one of those until recently. However in giving up my unlimited data I get tethering, unlimited talk and text, AND the flexibility to upgrade my phones every 12 months with no cross-upgrade hoops, etc. It costs me less than $50/year for this. Well worth it, IMO.
  9. Maggiep67 macrumors regular


    Sep 19, 2014
    Not correct. If you don't upgrade you have paid for the phone free and clear at 18 or 24 months. You continuing paying if you trade in the phone and purchase a new model under the NEXT plan (basically starting over).
  10. hasanahmad thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2009
    the cost benefit still amounts to 60-80$ a month depending on the phone and the resale value even if it is unlocked.
  11. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    You can't sell the phone until your contract is fulfilled at 2 years. With NEXT you can buy the phone out paying only regular retail price at any time. At 12 months you can trade in your existing phone to get the new phone at the same monthly payment, or keep paying for it until it has been fully paid for at 20 months. At that point the phone is yours and you are free to do what you like with it - and if you keep it rather than buying a new model, those monthly payments end.
  12. hasanahmad thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2009
    The point is in 12 months you still have to pay the remaining to sell it off and yet for your next phone keep paying monthly and even if you dont pay it off you have to trade it in and still pay a monthly.

    With next there seems to be an realistic chance you keep paying monthly for life if you plan to use NEXT the way it is supposed to be used that is geting a new phone every 12 or 18 months and if you do that, you keep paying monthly and if you don't then contract is yet again better off.

    The Math in the OP is what the ATT call guy himself wrote out to me. he himself said you are better off with your current plan .

    He said each phone line will be 40 on the NEXT plan if its a new Phone and 40-15 or 25 if its an older phone but the moment the 2nd line gets the new phone its 40 for each phone
  13. petefza, Sep 30, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014

    petefza macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2007
    I have a very similar situation and would love to hear opinions on which is the better deal because I don't know if I'm running the numbers correctly.

    Current plan:
    $60 base
    $30 text
    $30 unlimited data for user 1
    $40 unlimited data for user 2 (9.99 plus 30)
    $40 3GB data plan for user 3

    Total - $200/month

    Next/Mobile Share:
    $130 base (30 GB plan)
    $15 user 1
    $15 user 2
    $15 user 3

    Total - $175 per month

    Where I start to get lost is the cost of the phone. Currently, I buy a phone on a 2 yr deal, sell it at the end of the 2 yr deal, and buy a new phone with a 2 yr deal. So, essentially the cost of the phone is a wash.

    If I were to switch to the mobile share plan, I would pay $25 a month less, but I would either have to 1. make monthly payments on the full price of each phone and then trade them in, which would mean I would always have a monthly payment for the phone, or 2. make monthly payments until it's paid off, and then sell the phone if I wanted a new one, which if I sold it for $250, I would have paid about $400 in phone payments. So, three phones would be around $75 a month, making my monthly payment around $250 a month. By this math, it doesn't make sense to change unless I really need to use the phones as hot spots.

    Is this accurate or am I missing something?
  14. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    How can you say that? Your math is way off.

    Your bill is $120/month but doesn't include text or tethering.

    You need to add to your calculations your phone costs amortized over two years. For two 16gb basic iPhones that is:
    $16 (tax)
    $16 (tax)
    $40 (upgrade fee)
    $40 (upgrade fee)

    Which gives you a two year total of
    $120*24= $2880 service
    $510 - devices
    $3390 total or $141.25/month

    Mobile Share Value 4GB costs:
    $120*24 = $2880 - service
    $51.92 - tax
    $51.92 - tax

    $4281.84 or $178.41/month

    Yes, this is more, but only because you aren't factoring in the $30/month that MOST people were paying for texting on their old plans. Once you add that in the numbers are nearly identical, plus you get a more even split of data between the two lines, tethering, and a lot more flexibility in when to upgrade.
  15. hasanahmad thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2009
    because you have 3 users who are all using more than 3 GB and I have 1 user with unlimited and 1 with 300 mb. my data currently costs $50 , your current data costs $110, big difference.

    if I switch to 10 gb shared its $100 for 10 gb or $130 for 30 gb. $50-80$ more than current bill

    if you switch it will be the same. and you infact save 1. This is why I specifically said 1-2 users.
  16. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005

    NEXT is merely the retail price of the phone divided by either 20 or 24 payments. That's it. You don't pay any more than that - there is no interest and no fees.

    IF at 12 months you decide to upgrade, you will have paid $389.40 plus tax for the 16GB device. That leaves $259.60 left owed on the device. If you turn it in, it is the equivalent of selling your 16GB for $259.60 which is a pretty good deal for not having to deal with the hassle of re-selling. It's just a guaranteed trade-in value.

    This site helps make it all clearer. http://www.myattrpc.com/
  17. petefza macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2007

    Sorry...wasn't comparing my plan to yours.
  18. hasanahmad thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2009

    This is what I used too

    My situation is the one below. It didnt have the unlimited plan so I used the 3 gb plan which also costs $30 for one line as the same value as unlimited.


    Now do you see the difference?

    And even if the months pass 12 or 18 months and I am not paying anything for the devices monthly , I am STILL paying more

  19. petefza macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2007
    The problem with this is that you're not taking into consideration selling the phone at the end of the contract. At the end of 2 years, you can sell the $199 phone for $199 so the phone is basically free. On the other hand, if you buy the phone outright under next for $650, and sell it for the same $200 (being conservative), you still spent $450 on the phone over the same 2 years.
  20. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    So you just need to add the cost of your phones to your calculations.

    Under your current plan your costs are (assuming iPhone 16gb*3) for 24 months:

    $4800 - service
    Phones: $597
    Tax on phones: $47.76 (@ 8%)
    Upgrade fees:$120
    Total: 5564.76 or $231.86/month

    on NEXT/Mobile Share Value 30GB for 24 months:
    $4200 - service
    Phones: $1947
    Tax on phones: $155.76
    Total: $6302.76 or $262.62/month

    This is higher because you are likely buying more data than you need (which is exactly what they intend to upsell you to)

    Realistically you probably only need the 10GB plan, as you can't easily have used more than 5GB/line on those unlimited lines because of throttling. That reduces your cost by $30/month which makes it almost identical to your current plan, but you never have any up-front phone costs, have more flexibility in upgrading, and have tethering on all lines. It's a crap-shoot either way.
  21. hasanahmad thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2009
    I could go for the 10 gb plan and it is the same but I always am toucihng 9-10 gb and the 2nd line is always going full to 300 mb, that itself is more than 10 gb every month combined.
  22. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    You can sell the phone at the end for the same amount either way, but the trick is, you have to buy a new phone or else you no longer have a phone. Hence, it's not really a wash because that $200 turns around and turns right back into another phone. Whether it pays the $200 up-front cost on a contract, or pre-pays ~8 months on NEXT is immaterial.
  23. titans1127 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2009
    Ill try and give an example based on the 2 situations you present at the top.

    Going to use 16GB iPhone 6's @ $199 for the phones and you keep them for the entire 2 years:

    With the 2 year contract you pay $600 up front plus $120 in upgrade fees for the 3 phones which equates to $30 per month for all 3 over a 24 month contract. This leaves you paying $230 per month for 2 years (obviously the bill will be lower since you paid for the phones up front and the upgrade fees are on the first bill). Yes you get a $450 subsidy every 2 years but that is built back into the plan

    With Next the phones are $649 each divided up over 24 months (no trading in early in this example). That tacks on an additional $81 per month on top of the $175 for the plan itself for a total of $256.

    At least in my example staying with what you have is the cheaper option. If you can manage to get a corporate discount onto the bill it would help with the price a little. To an extent you have to look at unlimited minutes and tethering is worth the extra $26 every month (I assume you have an unlimited text package already)
  24. petefza macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2007
    Thanks for the input...I think I would go for the 30GB plan because now I could use the phones as mobile hot spots for my ipad mini and macbook air.

    The thing that is holding me back is the fact that under your calculations, I could sell the 3 phones at the end of 2 years for lets say $600. So, under my current plan it would be around $206/month and the Next plan would be $238/month. I guess ultimately I have to decide if tethering is worth the extra $30 a month because that is what it seems to come down to.
  25. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Yes, if you buy considerably more data than you need, you will pay for it every month. You're going from effectively 10GB to 30GB data. Compare at 10GB and the costs are much more similar. The most cost-effective way to buy data (or minutes in the old days) is to look at your usage and buy slightly less than you use in your peak months. If you use 9GB most months and go over 3-4 times/year, it's far better to buy 10GB and pay overages than pay and extra $30/month every month no matter what.


    Well, that and you are effectively buying 3x as much data as you are currently. That's not going to come free - no matter how good their marketing. :)

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