AT&T Extends Upgrade Period to Two Years

CommanderFrank

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AT&T isn’t inviting its present and potential customers to bend over, just flat out telling them they have to. Following the lead set by Verizon, AT&T has extended its upgrade policy from 20 months to a full two years. Granted, it’s only four months and taken by itself isn’t that much, but when it’s added to the existing 20 month period, it’s a long, long time between upgrades.

All of its new contract subscribers, as well as those whose terms finish in March or later, will have to cope with the longer waiting periods.
 

Godmachine

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Wow At&t following the same guidelines as their competitors? Who'd have thunk it :p
 

Dekoth-E-

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Yet when my phone is outside the 2 year contract, somehow my phone bill never decreases despite the fact that I have "supposedly" paid off the phone.
 

heatlesssun

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Yeah, the phone companies are getting tired of subsidies and AT&T sell the most iPhone which are expensive.
 

ninehunid

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Glad i switched to Straight Talk( att sim) and buy my phones on Aliexpress. Loving my THL W8( quad core dual sim). These phone companies need to go F&*k themselves really. Continuously higher fees but continually cutting customer service and employee benefits
 

mynamehere

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Yet when my phone is outside the 2 year contract, somehow my phone bill never decreases despite the fact that I have "supposedly" paid off the phone.
Brilliant point you make. There should be a law about that, and who are off contract should all get retroactive reimbursement. Sad part is that it'd most likely end up being a class action, and we'd get a whopping $5...off our next phone upgrade...with a 2 year contract. :(
 

kbrickley

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Yet when my phone is outside the 2 year contract, somehow my phone bill never decreases despite the fact that I have "supposedly" paid off the phone.

I don't know about you but my phone bill hasn't increased at the rate of my other bills ... data fees have been constant since I got my phone 4 years ago and I don't think there have been significant changes to my base fees ... I can't say the same about rent and insurance and cable and other services I have to renew contracts/leases on annually or biannually ;)
 

bpizzle1

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T-mobile and Sprint are looking better and better every day. I know their networks are't as great as ATT or VZW, but as long as you don't live relatively close to a larger city you should be perfectly fine.
 

Terminus

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Yet when my phone is outside the 2 year contract, somehow my phone bill never decreases despite the fact that I have "supposedly" paid off the phone.

This is why I switched to T-Mobile. I actually get to see the day I stop paying for the phone.
 

/usr/sbin

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Yeah, the phone companies are getting tired of subsidies and AT&T sell the most iPhone which are expensive.

Yeah, I know how AT&T feels. Woe is you for subsidizing a smartphone so it costs the consumer $99 and then charge them $89/month for 20 months before they could upgrade ($1879 total without fees). I heard about how these phone subsidies were crushing their bottom line, and being the compassionate person that I am I bought my own 1 year old used but mint shape smartphone for $200 (4S), and a went with an AT&T prepaid carrier for $46/month with unlim. talk/text and 2gb data *including* taxes and fees. So over the same 20 month period I'll pay $1120, or a savings of $760. Even if I had bought a new iPhone myself direct from Apple, I'd still save $310 over 20 months, and I'm glad I didn't hurt AT&T's bottom line by letting them have that $310.

Simple math shows how that 20 month contract was killing them. Since it sucks so much for them, I'm glad I could help them out of offering me an upgrade after 20 months, wouldn't want to hurt their bottom line or anything. heh.
 

Trimlock

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Yet when my phone is outside the 2 year contract, somehow my phone bill never decreases despite the fact that I have "supposedly" paid off the phone.

You arent paying the contract price to pay off the phone, never has been about that. The subsidizing phones for signing a contract was merely an incentive for you to pay for their premium services. After the contract is over you are free to go off contract price with the same phone and pay less, would be pretty stupid to sit there with the same subsidized phone and pay the premium price without taking advantage of another subsity or move to a non premium monthly.
 
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T-mobile and Sprint are looking better and better every day. I know their networks are't as great as ATT or VZW, but as long as you don't live relatively close to a larger city you should be perfectly fine.

Actually Sprint has far better network coverage than ATT.

Take it from someone who travels around the country a lot and has had phone contracts with all the major companies and has recently given up the overpriced major carriers and switched to Virgin Mobile prepaid with which uses the Sprint network.

ATT often claims to have the largest network, but this is solely because they have high density coverage in large metro areas with high populations. The kicker is if you go too far outside a large city or away from a major interstate corridor, with ATT you will soon find that you have no coverage at all.

Verizon has the overall best coverage in most regions, and you have to go pretty far out in the boonies to not get some kind of signal with them, but Sprint isn't all that far behind.

Granted this can vary greatly in different parts of the countries, but overall it's pretty much: VZW-SPRINT-ATT-TMOBILE when it comes to coverage...

Data network speeds and quality can be another matter, and that varies even more by region... though when I was on ATT I found their 3G speeds dropped to crap in most major metro areas during primetime...
 

Philldoe

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Actually Sprint has far better network coverage than ATT.

Take it from someone who travels around the country a lot and has had phone contracts with all the major companies and has recently given up the overpriced major carriers and switched to Virgin Mobile prepaid with which uses the Sprint network.

ATT often claims to have the largest network, but this is solely because they have high density coverage in large metro areas with high populations. The kicker is if you go too far outside a large city or away from a major interstate corridor, with ATT you will soon find that you have no coverage at all.

Verizon has the overall best coverage in most regions, and you have to go pretty far out in the boonies to not get some kind of signal with them, but Sprint isn't all that far behind.

Granted this can vary greatly in different parts of the countries, but overall it's pretty much: VZW-SPRINT-ATT-TMOBILE when it comes to coverage...

Data network speeds and quality can be another matter, and that varies even more by region... though when I was on ATT I found their 3G speeds dropped to crap in most major metro areas during primetime...

I beg to differ here. I live in Rural (insert backwoods southern state) and Sprints coverage is a pure joke(here). AT&T on the other hand covers the vast majority of my state with 4G service. Verizon will not sell people service in my area, opting instead to direct them to a local carrier which only covers a small portion of my state and uses roaming on VZW towers outside of the area.
 

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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Wow At&t following the same guidelines as their competitors? Who'd have thunk it :p

While I know you're being sarcastic, I'm wondering if (when?) some information will come out suggesting serious collusion between all the major wireless providers. It seems like you have a 3 step flowchart to getting a wireless carrier:

1. Which companies have good reception in my area?
2. Do I want to go with a major carrier or a Straight Talk-style plan?
3a. If major carrier, pick your poison and your plan comes out to within $5/mo of anyone else's comparable plan
3b. Get Straight Talk if you want to.

Not only that, but shortly after any major carrier comes out with some "revolutionary new plan" designed to "save you money" (which really means "redistribute the line items on your phone bill but make sure they add up to the same amount"), the other carriers follow suit.

See "unlimited" data plans, tiered data plans, "share everything, including your information with the federal government and 6GB of data" plans, etc.
 

McFry

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Yeah, the phone companies are getting tired of subsidies and AT&T sell the most iPhone which are expensive.

I dont see why they would get tired of this, it's win/win. They get to charge you $300 signup fee + $300 early termination. Thats the total cost of the phone right there. So if you break contract they break even on the phone + all of your months payments. If you dont break contract they keep charging you at the subsidized rate and make even more profit. Seems like they're losing a huge cash cow encouraging customers to just buy phones up front.
 

skiddy

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Actually Sprint has far better network coverage than ATT.

Take it from someone who travels around the country a lot and has had phone contracts with all the major companies and has recently given up the overpriced major carriers and switched to Virgin Mobile prepaid with which uses the Sprint network.

ATT often claims to have the largest network, but this is solely because they have high density coverage in large metro areas with high populations. The kicker is if you go too far outside a large city or away from a major interstate corridor, with ATT you will soon find that you have no coverage at all.

Verizon has the overall best coverage in most regions, and you have to go pretty far out in the boonies to not get some kind of signal with them, but Sprint isn't all that far behind.

Granted this can vary greatly in different parts of the countries, but overall it's pretty much: VZW-SPRINT-ATT-TMOBILE when it comes to coverage...

Data network speeds and quality can be another matter, and that varies even more by region... though when I was on ATT I found their 3G speeds dropped to crap in most major metro areas during primetime...

Sprint's direct coverage is abysmal compared to AT&T & Verizon. They have good overall coverage because of the roaming contract with Verizon. I too travel across the country frequently for work, and I can't tell you how frustrating it's been to have Sprint as a carrier. Signal strength is a complete joke, and data speeds are so shitty that I'd rather have 56k at times. Florida is the only state I've had consistent success with Sprint.

I will agree that I have been able to get signal in a couple of far out rural areas with Sprint that I was not able to with AT&T, but it was on the 'Extended' Verizon signal, and not a Sprint tower. I look forward to getting no signal with Sprint as that means I will jump on Verizon's network and get consistent service. The problem is I usually get .5-2 bars with Sprint which means I'm not roaming on Verizon, and get a small fraction of their already shitty service.

Sprint is at the bottom of my list as a carrier, but I do not have a choice as my company pays for my phone.
 

Super-D

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It still surprises me that people are willing to throw money away by signing up for those ridiculously overpriced plans. I've been perfectly happy since I ditched mine and went to a prepaid carrier. Now I'm paying less than half what I used to, and never had an issue with signal or service.
 

Kuraudo

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Went to Ting and buy phones at full price with service at 10 dollars a month. Never will look back.
 

daglesj

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Always surprised when I was hearing folks talking about getting upgrades so quickly. I was wondering how the telecoms firms were ever making any money on it.

Either that or folks were willing to pay a small fortune every month for the privilege.

Me? I buy SIM free and thrash a phone for three years or so.
 

RedStarSQD

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I don't know about feeling good about no increases when you are already being gouged so heavily.

my internet has not gone up in 20 years ...and i have no data caps. /knock on wood on the last part tho.

i have resisted cell to avoid the gouge .. but recently went in at 31$ a month for unlimited data and unlimited local voice. with no contract ... if you consider having to keep service for 3 years before they write off the phone as no contract. hehe.
 

spaceman

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I pay $12 on page plus which is verizon. Bought a samsung fascinate and use wifi for most of my needs.

Soooo yeah. Figure out an alternative.
 

MCRAYGSX

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I have been with AT&T for over 9 years and this is what I get a SLAP in the FACE ??? VAKKO KILL THE RIDDICK ?!?!?!

Time to switch over to low cost PRE PAID Phones.
 

Dekoth-E-

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You arent paying the contract price to pay off the phone, never has been about that. The subsidizing phones for signing a contract was merely an incentive for you to pay for their premium services. After the contract is over you are free to go off contract price with the same phone and pay less, would be pretty stupid to sit there with the same subsidized phone and pay the premium price without taking advantage of another subsity or move to a non premium monthly.

Except for the little "gotcha's". For example I have a grandfathered unlimited Data plan. If I make any changes at all, I get "Forced" to downgrade my data from unlimited data $30/mo to a pathetic 2gb for $30/mo. So other than phone upgrades, I can't downgrade my plan or I basically end up paying more. So it isn't quite that simple.

It still surprises me that people are willing to throw money away by signing up for those ridiculously overpriced plans. I've been perfectly happy since I ditched mine and went to a prepaid carrier. Now I'm paying less than half what I used to, and never had an issue with signal or service.

Because some of us have jobs that require traveling all over a state or to multiple states and a prepaid just doesn't cut it.
 

MCRAYGSX

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And yet we still have to heard if ATT has been giving our information to agencies just like VERIZON has been doing it and just got caught.

A Lawful court order? Do you even recognize our Bill of Rights that our fore father wrote ?
Respecting Americans' constitutional rights, including the Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.
 

Super-D

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Because some of us have jobs that require traveling all over a state or to multiple states and a prepaid just doesn't cut it.

That's interesting considering the prepaids use the same networks. The big 4's marketing must be working. I've traveled over a good deal of the eastern US and never had a problem with mine.
 

Dekoth-E-

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That's interesting considering the prepaids use the same networks. The big 4's marketing must be working. I've traveled over a good deal of the eastern US and never had a problem with mine.

Not talking about signal. Talking about the sheer number of minutes/data I use because everything comes across my phone. Prepaids are crazy expensive if you actually have to use your phone.
 

sfsuphysics

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Yet when my phone is outside the 2 year contract, somehow my phone bill never decreases despite the fact that I have "supposedly" paid off the phone.

That's just so they can recover the cost of the hardware plus make a little profit... after 2 years it just means more profit for them :D
 

Lith1um

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This is why I switched to T-Mobile. I actually get to see the day I stop paying for the phone.

Yep.

For those who are unaware, T-Mobile calls it, EIP, Equipment Installment Plans.

You can see your EIP balance anytime you want, make early payments, or pay the entire EIP off.

When your EIP is paid in full, your bill is then reduced by that amount.

You can upgrade anytime you want by paying off your EIP balance.
 

bbenz33

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I would think this would lead to more turn over in customers as there is no incentive to renew your contract. Currently you can get a new phone 4 months before your contract is up but you must renew your contract for an additional two years. Maybe they have found that 4 months really isn't enough encouragement to keep people from waiting the extra few months and leave so this is more of an effort to cut costs on those that had no intention of leaving.
 

BBA

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I no longer see any incentive to lock myself into a phone company contract. Hence, I go contractless now, and the incentive is I actually save money.

This upgrade cycle means nothing to me.
 

nutzo

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Not talking about signal. Talking about the sheer number of minutes/data I use because everything comes across my phone. Prepaids are crazy expensive if you actually have to use your phone.

Some prepaid plans are unlimited.

For example, on Virgin Moble, you can get unlimited calling, unlimited text, and unlimited data for $55/month. If you don't use the phone much, you can get 300 minutes and unlimited everything else for $35/month.

Biggest problem with most prepaid plans is the locked down/limited selection of phones, and that you have to pay full price on the phone.
 

Dekoth-E-

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Some prepaid plans are unlimited.

For example, on Virgin Moble, you can get unlimited calling, unlimited text, and unlimited data for $55/month. If you don't use the phone much, you can get 300 minutes and unlimited everything else for $35/month.

Biggest problem with most prepaid plans is the locked down/limited selection of phones, and that you have to pay full price on the phone.

Right, some are. But those "Some" also have extremely shitty coverage area's or charge the snot out of you when roaming. Also, the lack of phone selection. Don't get me wrong, I am hardly crazy about paying for a contract phone. However I have looked at all alternatives and there aren't any for the type of access and coverage area I need.

Fwiw, I am on Verizon not ATT. Just talking about contract crap in general.
 

BBA

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Right, some are. But those "Some" also have extremely shitty coverage area's or charge the snot out of you when roaming. Also, the lack of phone selection. Don't get me wrong, I am hardly crazy about paying for a contract phone. However I have looked at all alternatives and there aren't any for the type of access and coverage area I need.

Fwiw, I am on Verizon not ATT. Just talking about contract crap in general.

What are you talking about?

T-mobile, $30/mo, no fees, no taxes, unlimited Data (5GB at 4G speed), unlimited text, 100 min talk (10 cents additional minutes). No roaming.

So, if you cant use google voice on that for unlimited everything...well, you suck at life.
I get 4G just about everywhere I go as well, with speeds usually between 4-16MB/sec, sometimes over 20. Screw AT&T and verizon.
 

Cbshahji

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Glad i switched to Straight Talk( att sim) and buy my phones on Aliexpress. Loving my THL W8( quad core dual sim). These phone companies need to go F&*k themselves really. Continuously higher fees but continually cutting customer service and employee benefits

i can't agree with you more, it gives me same coverage with 3g/2g speed and it hadn't made much of difference to me. and the bill is less than half what i would be paying at&t, at that price my phone is cheaper if i buy it at full price.

I don't know about you but my phone bill hasn't increased at the rate of my other bills ... data fees have been constant since I got my phone 4 years ago and I don't think there have been significant changes to my base fees ... I can't say the same about rent and insurance and cable and other services I have to renew contracts/leases on annually or biannually ;)

what you are forgetting is the cost of running the network is also decreasing as majority of things going more and more automated everyday and technology hardware is getting faster and cheaper. which is less likely to happen in other life essential things. so even though the price is not increasing, they are also not going in the loss/loss of profit for that matter.
 

Super-D

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Right, some are. But those "Some" also have extremely shitty coverage area's or charge the snot out of you when roaming. Also, the lack of phone selection. Don't get me wrong, I am hardly crazy about paying for a contract phone. However I have looked at all alternatives and there aren't any for the type of access and coverage area I need.

Fwiw, I am on Verizon not ATT. Just talking about contract crap in general.

So at first you weren't talking about signal, but over-usage charges, then when that was shot down, you are now talking about signal? Again all I can say to that is they use the *same networks* such as Virgin Mobile using Sprint's network. You really sound as if you're just either rationalizing being stuck in a contract with Verizon, or defending falling for their marketing.
 

Trimlock

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So at first you weren't talking about signal, but over-usage charges, then when that was shot down, you are now talking about signal? Again all I can say to that is they use the *same networks* such as Virgin Mobile using Sprint's network. You really sound as if you're just either rationalizing being stuck in a contract with Verizon, or defending falling for their marketing.
Actually hes not stuck, hes clinging to the old unlimited data plan. I guess you could say you are stuck on that if you use that much data to necessitate paying a contract premium but not get a subsidized phone.
 

Ryokurin

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And yet we still have to heard if ATT has been giving our information to agencies just like VERIZON has been doing it and just got caught.

A Lawful court order? Do you even recognize our Bill of Rights that our fore father wrote ?
Respecting Americans' constitutional rights, including the Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.

That was confirmed over a decade ago. Look up Room 641A.
 
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