Today I am sharing another guest blog post from Pete Foster. My tech geek husband was on the phone the minute the iPhone 6 and 6+ were released. But guess what? He figured out a few things. You will want to read this. You will be glad you did – it might just save you some money.

Happy Monday! xoxo- Tanya


iphone 6

Photo credit: File photo

Why you don’t want to “upgrade” your phone with AT&T

The new iPhones are finally here! After crashing Apple and AT&T’s web stores at the opening bell for pre-sales of the two new models a week ago, Apple reportedly sold over 6 million iPhone 6 and 6+ models in just the first few days. Back again were the long lines of folks lining up early to buy the new devices on Friday morning – the first day the phones were at the stores. My daughter stood in line for 12 ½ hours in LA to purchase a phone for her boss. I drove by the Apple store on Knox in Dallas at 4:55 am (the store opened at 8) and the line was already a couple of hundred folks long. But not to worry I told myself, I had managed to place an order to upgrade to the 6+ with Apple after the Apple Store’s servers came back on-line. Sure, I had to agree to another AT&T 2-year contract, but I’d been doing that for years.

But a few days later I got a text from AT&T- saying I was going to lose my $25/line discount on my Mobile Share Value plan if I signed the 2-year contract…Whhhhhaaaat? I am on the AT&T Family plan…see, the whole family’s bills are here under one account. No? You (AT&T) changed me to the Mobile Value plan in July (see related blog)? Why didn’t AT&T tell me the lower bill they were giving me was due to a new plan? I had never heard of Mobile Share Value discount before this text.

I followed the link in the text message to learn how I could keep my $25/line Mobile Share Value discount. AT&T answer: Don’t upgrade to my new phone on a 2-year contract. Instead, return my new iPhone to the store where I bought it in the first 30 days…then rent one from AT&T. Seriously? It’ll be freakin’ Christmas before I get an iPhone 6 if I did that. Got to be a mistake…I’ll call AT&T. I know…I can look forward to five levels of the AT&T answering system, four self-service menus, entering my secret code half a dozen times, and 15 minutes of waiting for an agent…but this is too crazy so I must ask AT&T about it.

So I called. Guess what? The text was right. The AT&T agent confirmed that AT&T is going to charge me more if I signed up for their service for 2 years! Now I have to pay more so I can’t leave and go to another wireless carrier? Oh, that makes sense. What AT&T genius came up with that brilliant plan? Reply: “Don’t know.” How else can I keep my current monthly charge? Reply: “You can buy your own phone and then bring it to an AT&T store and not sign up for a 2-year plan.” Really? “Yes”. Ok.

I did the math, and it’s cheaper to buy the iPhone myself rather than to pay the AT&T $40 upgrade fee, the $399 AT&T discounted upgrade purchase price, and the $600 upcharge (loss of my Mobile Share discount). And there’s no contract. I can leave whenever there’s a better deal. Wow.
Thanks AT&T!

Tanya and Pete Foster

About Pete Foster

Peter Foster is an avid technologist, engineer and fan of US space operations. He has over 25 years’ experience as CEO of technology companies, 12 US Patents, has co-authored a book on speech recognition and is an instrument-rated private pilot with over 2500 hours.
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