AT&T Family Plan: The Breakdown

March 3, 2014 in Non-Tech

So I am sure you are like me and you see these “best family plan ever” commercials from AT&T right? Well, my son is turning 16 next week so we were going to go in and upgrade his basic plan and get him a new iPhone 5C and then also switch my other 3 lines over to the new family plan for $160/month. Now AT&T advertises this as 4 lines, 10Gb data, and unlimited talk/text. This is all true and a great price, so I am sure you’re asking what’s the catch. Well I was asking the same thing and was able to get the associate from the AT&T store to fill me in.  Here’s how the plan comes together (The hotspot was just my scenario):

  • 10Gb Shared data = $100/month
  • 4 phones @ $15ea  = $60
  • 1 Hot spot added for $20
  • Total of $180/month plus taxes and fees.

Looks great right? I thought so too as this is cheaper than what I am paying now as we are on an older plan with only 2 data lines plus my hotspot. Now here is where they get you, as soon as you need a new phone (which you will), the phone charge goes from $15 to $40! That’s another $100/month! This is with a new phone on a 2yr agreement or with the AT&T next plan. So my new plan of $180 would have went to $230 within a couple of weeks of changing over as soon as I upgraded the kids’ phones! The only way around this is to buy your phone out right.

Now you may not think this is a big deal, but the extra $100/month when I need to upgrade is huge and puts the new bill WAY over what I am paying now. I could probably upgrade my kids’ lines and pay the additional data on their lines cheaper than what this plan would be. From the business side, I guess this is great because you know your customers will eventually upgrade and they will be locked in to your new rate. But from the customer side, not cool. Not sure if all AT&T associates are letting customers know, but I am glad this one did and I thought I would share.