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  #1  
Old 03-12-2014, 09:59 AM
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Renegotiated my AT&T Wireless plan and saved some $$

I've been reading how T-Mobile is aggressively pursuing AT&T Wireless customers, forcing AT&T to lower their prices.

I Googled for some tips on the subject and concluded Twitter is the way to get some leverage with AT&T. Evidently, their customer retention group monitors Twitter and responds when you mention them and your dissatisfaction. Here is the main article I relied on:

AT&T Bill Discount: How T-Mobile could help get you cheaper AT&T plans | BGR

I called T-Mobile and spent a few minutes understanding their plans and prices so I'd be prepared to talk to AT&T. I'm happy with the coverage and service of AT&T so I really didn't want to switch. But, I did want to lower my $215 monthly bill.

So I tweeted, "@T-Mobile looking a lot cheaper than @ATTCustomerCare and they'll pay me to switch. Have 3 line family plan." Got a response from AT&T within the hour suggesting I look at new plans on their website. Direct messaged them that, frankly, their website makes my head hurt and asked them to call me directly. Got a call from them 20 minutes later.

Ended up lowering my bill from $215 to $165 per month with no real changes. Have 3 iPhones in the family. Got 10 GB of shared data, unlimited talk, and unlimited text. And there is no contract commitment for the new plan. I can cancel with no penalty anytime I want.

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  #2  
Old 03-12-2014, 10:39 AM
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Question

They actually came out with new plans on Monday, so they likely offered you one of them, not a special deal. This being said, I'm stickin' with T-mobile:
(1) They're not an American-owned company, which makes co-operation with the NSA and friends marginally less likely
(2) Seamless WiFi calling
(3) Separate billing for phone contract and actual phone (assuming one doesn't pay cash) is nice
(4) Better reception in certain areas which are important to me
(5) Better customer service -- mostly in the US as far as my experience
(6) I'm paying $50/mo + tax for unlimited/unlimited/500MB. 500MB isn't a hard cap just slows down afterward, and since I use WiFi a lot, I seldom hit it.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2014, 12:48 PM
Admiral-Third World Fleet
 
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$165 is sure a lot better than you had, but still a lot of money if you don't use all of it.

My family of three pay about $60 month total. That includes an iphone 5s and an older android both on Virgin Mobile (300 min/unlimited/unlimited) and me using a combo of Lyca and FreedomPoP free phones.

There are a lot of cheaper options out there now apart from the big 3, if you fit your plan to your actual usage.
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2014, 06:54 PM
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I have had so much trouble with AT&T, if it is free, it would still be more than I would like to pay them.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2014, 10:59 AM
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Happy T-Mobile customer here. You're welcome. Its amazing what real competition can accomplish.

$70/mo no contract
unlimited data and minutes
Canceled TWC internet service in favor of tethering off my phone.
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2014, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
Happy T-Mobile customer here.
You're welcome. Its amazing what real competition can accomplish.

$70/mo no contract
unlimited data and minutes
Canceled TWC internet service in favor of tethering off my phone.
If I could have gotten all my calls instead of losing half indoors I would have kept them. Not sure why because I had few if any missed calls with USCC in the same office
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2014, 11:12 AM
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It depends where the nearest tower is. I have one 350 yards from my house. TWC was slow by comparison.
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2014, 12:56 PM
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I actually just renewed with AT&T. I used to get a discount through my employer but now I'm just renewing that contract and grandfathered in. I compared similar plans on T-mobile and I would have spent the same or a bit more, while the coverage is not as good. Buying the device full-price up front with t-mobile also makes it rather cost prohibitive.
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2014, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
It depends where the nearest tower is. I have one 350 yards from my house. TWC was slow by comparison.
That is the part that confuses me. I believe I read somewhere that you have to "share" the tower with other providers. IF this is true, you should have similar access whether you are with AT&T, Veriozon, etc, etc. How does tower sharing work? Do they prioritize based on something or what?

If sharing occurs, whatever company I go with should give me the same reception. If sharing doesn't occur, it would explain why some areas are sketchy and others are good.
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99 E300 Turbodiesel
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2014, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by aklim View Post
That is the part that confuses me. I believe I read somewhere that you have to "share" the tower with other providers. IF this is true, you should have similar access whether you are with AT&T, Veriozon, etc, etc. How does tower sharing work? Do they prioritize based on something or what?

If sharing occurs, whatever company I go with should give me the same reception. If sharing doesn't occur, it would explain why some areas are sketchy and others are good.
In many cases there is a 3rd party that owns the tower, pays the property owner, and basically leases the tower out to the cell companies who put their stuff up there. I also know that the "cut rate" plans available from WalMart use the same networks as the big names but the big ones (with the higher paying customers) get preference when it comes to dropped calls and heavy traffic times.

I don't know if that is the universal method, but I've talked to a couple property owners who have cell phone towers on their grounds and they've explained it that way.
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  #11  
Old 03-15-2014, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by sunedog View Post
Ended up lowering my bill from $215 to $165 per month with no real changes. Have 3 iPhones in the family. Got 10 GB of shared data, unlimited talk, and unlimited text. And there is no contract commitment for the new plan. I can cancel with no penalty anytime I want.
You are still paying way too much. You can use your same phones and switch to Net 10 and pay $125 for 3 people. They don't have the heavy taxes and made up fees that AT&T plans have so your $165 after taxes with AT&T will be close to $200. You can keep your number and you will still get the same AT&T service. It's a no brainer. NET10 Wireless
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2014, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbomachines View Post
In many cases there is a 3rd party that owns the tower, pays the property owner, and basically leases the tower out to the cell companies who put their stuff up there. I also know that the "cut rate" plans available from WalMart use the same networks as the big names but the big ones (with the higher paying customers) get preference when it comes to dropped calls and heavy traffic times.

I don't know if that is the universal method, but I've talked to a couple property owners who have cell phone towers on their grounds and they've explained it that way.
If thought it would be something like that. Looking more and more like the best way to find a carrier is to buy a line, use it under different conditions FOR YOUR EXPECTED USE AREA and return it during the grace period.
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99 E300 Turbodiesel
91 Vette with 383 motor
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  #13  
Old 03-15-2014, 05:43 PM
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Think Tracfone if you really want to save and to control your cost.

Nationwide I dont recall ever having a dropped call. Calif to Fl has been my use area.
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  #14  
Old 03-17-2014, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by super SEC View Post
You are still paying way too much. You can use your same phones and switch to Net 10 and pay $125 for 3 people. They don't have the heavy taxes and made up fees that AT&T plans have so your $165 after taxes with AT&T will be close to $200. You can keep your number and you will still get the same AT&T service. It's a no brainer. NET10 Wireless
The bill will be $145 before taxes and fees and an estimated $160 to $165 after taxes and fees. The estimate was provided by the rep, but I corroborated it by examining fees on my current plan.

The $125 plan you suggested has only 2.5 GB of data per month. I am getting 10 GB, so the difference between Net 10 and AT&T on an apples to apples comparison will be even less.

And I'm not switching to an unknown (to me) carrier for $20 / month (or less) additional savings. AT&T has been a good carrier for me.

But thank you for your suggestion.
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  #15  
Old 03-17-2014, 01:43 PM
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There are only 4 major carriers in the US: Verizon, AT&T, T-mo and Sprint. Most everyone else is a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that repackages and resells data and services from the 4. Net10 is a MVNO of AT&T. You won't find any difference in the quality of signal (that's not to say they roam the same, have the same "pleasant " CSRs etc) but if you think AT&T service will be different than Net10, then think again.

There are plenty of MVNOs that can save you money based on your particular pattern of usage.

I sit in front of a computer all day and have a phone next to me. I really only need a phone in case my 20 year old cars craps out of I need to use Google to navigate. I use a 2 year old unlocked Android running on Lycamobile (a T-mo MVNO) and it costs me literally nothing unless I use it (2 cent/min, no monthly service charge). That obviously won't work for everyone but there are a lot of choices in the market so don't think you are stuck with AT&T or T-mo.

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