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Is AT&T Next A Money Extortion Program Or Not?

The more I think about AT&T Next program, mind you I’ve one device signed up with AT&T Next, I feel it is a scam or money extortion program. If you signup with 2 year contract – you pay subsidized price for your phone/device. Let us say you are paying $199.99+taxes for your new shiny smartphone with 2 year contract. And let us think you chose for 4GB data (AT&T suggested) and unlimited talk and text, which comes to $110+other charges including universal connectivity, taxes, insurance etc. which could be anywhere between 125 to 150 based on the options you chose in addition to one time activation fee $35. Let us fix at $130 per month as your bill for calculation purpose. That makes you are paying $130*24 (24 month bill)+$199.99(plus taxes for subsidized phone and I will round it to $214 keeping 7% as tax)+ $35 (One time activation fee) and that comes to $3369 stretched for 2 years. Now if you have signed up with AT&T Next program and chose the same 4GB plan with unlimited talk and text, let us see where are end up paying. They charge $35 activation fee of course and you get the same new Smartphone. Of course you are tied to 20 month instead of 24 months (as in contract) and you have to pay $32 (plus taxes which would be come $34.24 if you take the same 7% tax, of course they collect the tax upfront) for the same iPhone or the value they say as per your device selection. That keeps you at $130*20+$34.24*20+$35 = $3284.8. Since we are comparing 24 months vs. 20 months, let us fill the 4 month balance on those two $130*4=$520. Since you already paid for your device in 20 months and also the activation of that is already paid, we don’t have to add this to the above price of AT&T Next. With this it comes to $3284.8+$520 = $3784.8. You only save if you are upgrading your immediately at the end of 20 month period otherwise you end up paying more while continue using their network without contract. If you decide to upgrade to Next device, you would be saving less than $100 in 20 months or a Venti size latte at Starbucks store per month. Most of the time if you visit a store, they let you upgrade little early in 2 year contract. If you could negotiate with the rep and store manager there, they will let you go to new device in 22 to 23 months in 2 year contract, and of course you are again into new contract though.