Starting today, if you are at least 6 months into your contract with AT&T, they will let you out of it if you switch to their “Next” plans.
The AT&T Next plans allow you to get a phone for free and pay it off in installments. They announced these plans last year, but they were never a very good deal since you would still be responsible for the normal monthly fee (which actually has a built in price for paying for your subsidized phones).
Recently, however, AT&T has made their “Mobile Share Value Plans” available for customers who are out of contract or on their Next plans.
This is basically $15 off per month when compared to their regular plans. The point of this is, if you have already paid them back for your subsidized, 2 year contract phone, then you should get a discount on your monthly service (people have been telling US carriers that for years, and only T-Mobile has listened, until now).
This might not be a bad deal if you are looking for a new phone but just signed a new contract last year. You can even trade in your current phone and have that price applied to the payments of your new phone.
This oppourtunity will not apply to people who have signed a new contract after January 19th (even when they get to the 6 month point).
Here is a full quote from an AT&T press release:
Loyalty pays with AT&T.* Available now, existing customers on 2-year service agreements** can upgrade to the hottest new smartphone for $0 down with AT&T Next. At the same time, they can move to our new Mobile Share Value plans and start realizing significant monthly rate plan savings, featuring unlimited voice and text, and the ability to add smartphone lines to a data plan for $25 more per line per month, all while enjoying the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network***
AT&T customers on a two-year agreement as of January 18, 2014 are eligible to upgrade to AT&T NextSM six months into their contract. To check their eligibility, customers can dial *NEW# and begin to take advantage of this early upgrade opportunity in AT&T retail stores, and online at www.att.com.
“We want our customers to have the best smartphones, on a high quality, blazing fast and reliable network, all at a great value,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. “It’s a win-win – customers get the latest devices with $0 down on the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network with significant savings on their monthly bill when they sign-up for our Mobile Share Value plans.”
* AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
** For existing consumer and select small business customers currently on a 2-year agreement. All customers on a 2-year agreement as of January 18, 2014 will be eligible to upgrade once they have completed their first 6 months of service. Customers who sign up for a 2-year agreement after January 19, 2014 will benefit from new, shorter upgrade timeframe of 20 months. Individual account details vary. Customers can check eligibility by dialing *NEW#.
*** Savings compares Mobile Share Value plan w/ smartphone w/ no annual contract (or on an AT&T Nextsminstallment agmt) to one on a 2-yr agmt. Additional monthly charge per additional device, AT&T Next installmentsm charges, & for additional data. Other fees & restrictions apply. Plans w/ smartphone start at $45/mo. w. 300 MB data. Subject to change. Reliability claim based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. 4G LTE not available everywhere.