AT&T no-contract service plans miss the mark, according to T-Mobile exec

December 6, 2013
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Words between carriers are nothing new. We have been watching the carriers bash each other for years. This enters everything from television and radio commercials to print advertisements and even general statements. And while words between AT&T and T-Mobile have been fairly common these days, it looks like T-Mobile had some words about the recent AT&T Mobile Share announcement.

If you remember, AT&T announced a new Mobile Share Value plan option for those who owned their smartphone outright. Without getting into all the specifics about the plan, the AT&T offer appeared to be simple -- if you had a smartphone without a contract, you would get a $15 discount every month. Well, it appears T-Mobile marketing executive Andrew Sherrard seems to think these plans are not what they appear.

In a statement provided to CNET, Sherrard said this "me-too off-contract rate plan misses the mark." And while that by itself seems to tell just how Sherrard feels about the AT&T offering, he did elaborate. As with any carrier offering, sometimes they work out better for others.

In this case it seems there are times when AT&T customers could end up paying more if they choose this new plan. To that point, that is where Sherrard and T-Mobile had their focus. Further comments touched on how "after you do the complicated math, in multiple cases, these new plans are actually a price hike for customers."

Needless to say, this amounts to nothing more than a carrier battle over words and promises. In which, Sherrard also mentioned that a family of four could save more then $600 during the first year if they choose to use a Simple Choice plan from T-Mobile.


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  • atom

    “In this case it seems there are times when AT&T customers could end up paying more if they choose this new plan.”

    Do tell. Which customers?
    (As a soon to be phone owning, off-contract but current customer of ATT)

    • InsideBaseball

      You can pay more because the amount off the monthly service is less that the amount added back in for the financed phone. $15 savings/month x 12 months = $180/year ($360 over 2-year). As an example, an iPhone 5S (I know, bad example on this site but it’s easy to recall) is going to set you back $649.99. AT&T is currently offering $27/month for 20 months plus a down payment to cover the total of the phone.

      Alternatively, T-Mobile was offering a $20 savings/month between their “classic” to “value/ simple choice plans” earlier this year. Over 2-years this would equal $480. iPhone is the same price, $649.99. $25/month over 24 months plus the down payment. This difference in savings is what I assume to be the basis of T-Mobile’s criticism.

      To answer your question: It depends. Do you mind resigning a contract? If you don’t, then you may have the option of keeping your grandfathered plan or maybe they’ll force you into the new phone subsidy plans. The math is in favor of this option, but the cynic inside makes me think they would rather have you contracted for obvious reasons. Also, it may depend on the phone. If you phone you are interested in getting is $360 full price or less (hint: Nexus 5), then you break even or save and the no contract becomes far more attractive. Several variables, depends what works for you.