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Old 03-27-2013, 08:18 AM   #1
lucigo
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AT&T budget busting

Our cell phone bill is $260 per month and rising. We have 3 android phones, 1 iphone, and one dumb phone. I need to go in and get another line added for another dumb phone so its going to get worse. I was looking at the new pricing for shared data but it doesn't look like it would help. However, I did notice you can add a tablet for less than the data on a smartphone, which made me wonder if it might be prudent to trade our smart phones for dumb phones and get a tablet or two even to share.

Has anyone else done this, or have any ideas on how to manage this monster?
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:07 AM   #2
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That bill is very large.

What do you NEED in your phones? Do you need unlimited? How much do you talk/text? Do you need data? How much?

There are so many options out there that I would look around a bit before getting another 2 years added to your contract.

We get by with me being on Straight Talk unlimited for $45. Dh gets a phone through work with all the bells and whistles and the way they work it out is to have him pay $20 of the bill for his personal/non work related portion.

Kids have Spot Mobile as they never use their phones other than to call me or text me, so they don't need much. $5 every 3 months is the minimum to keep the number active.

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Old 03-27-2013, 09:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnM View Post
That bill is very large.

What do you NEED in your phones? Do you need unlimited? How much do you talk/text? Do you need data? How much?

There are so many options out there that I would look around a bit before getting another 2 years added to your contract.

We get by with me being on Straight Talk unlimited for $45. Dh gets a phone through work with all the bells and whistles and the way they work it out is to have him pay $20 of the bill for his personal/non work related portion.

Kids have Spot Mobile as they never use their phones other than to call me or text me, so they don't need much. $5 every 3 months is the minimum to keep the number active.

Dawn
It is very large, we have 4 young adult children. They love their smart phones, but I'm not sure how much we NEED and how much we just like. I work at home. Sure I like checking my mail at Sonic and checking prices at WALMART but do I need that? Ehh.

I will check into Spot Mobile for the newest phone. Kid got a job and wants to be able to call home when she is done working, etc.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:32 AM   #4
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Your bill doesn't seem too far off from mine.

We have AT&T and our bill is roughly $220/Month - we have 2 iPhones, 1 Android and 2 Dumb phones. (I also have a company discount included in that) All 3 smartphones have the larger 3Gb data package on them. Somehow, I also go over my data usage every month


One quick thing - are you sure you can even add another line? Our family plan has a max of 5 lines.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Starbrite View Post
Your bill doesn't seem too far off from mine.

We have AT&T and our bill is roughly $220/Month - we have 2 iPhones, 1 Android and 2 Dumb phones. (I also have a company discount included in that) All 3 smartphones have the larger 3Gb data package on them. Somehow, I also go over my data usage every month


One quick thing - are you sure you can even add another line? Our family plan has a max of 5 lines.
That could be a problem. My kids are on board with dropping data plans and sharing a tablet if that is feasible. I will be talking to AT&T today.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:44 AM   #6
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My AT&T bill is also about $260 per month. My dh, my 20yr old ds and my 22 yr old dd have iphones, my 17 yr old ds and I have "dumb" phones. My ds and dd with iphones pay me $30 per month for their data plans, but I still pay $200 per month. We went from Virgin mobile phones with pay as you go plans when my oldest was in high school to AT&T regular cell phones when she started college to this. I agree that it is expensive.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:11 AM   #7
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We pay about $260 a month to Verizon. We have two iPhones, one Android, one dumb phone. We have unlimited talk/text, and we share 6GB of data a month (and we almost never go over, since DD has wifi at school and home, DH has wifi at work and home, and I'm the only one without wifi at work, and I'm careful about my data usage at work.)

It's a lot of money, but we're also getting a lot of value for what we're paying for, in my opinion. We use our phones a lot.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:18 AM   #8
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If you already have phones you're happy with, I'd darned sure consider looking at a T-Mobile Value Plan. The big difference is there's no phone cost subsidy built in.

Here's what I have:

Five lines, 1000 talk minutes I never come close to using, unlimited texting, three smartphones with a 2GB (throttled) data limit I've not yet touched, and two regular ("dumb") phones. My total, with all taxes and fees (and before my corp discount so its all apples-to-apples): $120. I've got an HTC Amaze Android phone I'm perfectly happy with, and my son has a Galaxy S2 that he's nuts about. My mom has an older Vibrant she's not interested in replacing as it works for her and the limited 'net stuff she does.

If you can get out of the "have to have a new phone every other month" merry-go-round, I think the value plans are an awesome deal. And I've had no real complaints with T-Mobile's service. In fact, I think they're getting ready to push out other types of value plans very aggressively in the coming months.

Just something to consider.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucigo View Post
Our cell phone bill is $260 per month and rising. We have 3 android phones, 1 iphone, and one dumb phone. I need to go in and get another line added for another dumb phone so its going to get worse. I was looking at the new pricing for shared data but it doesn't look like it would help. However, I did notice you can add a tablet for less than the data on a smartphone, which made me wonder if it might be prudent to trade our smart phones for dumb phones and get a tablet or two even to share.

Has anyone else done this, or have any ideas on how to manage this monster?
Our ATT bill is also this much but we have 5 iphones and my dh corporate discount. Although my SIL is on our plan and she pays her own which is 45-50$ a month.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:29 AM   #10
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Do the lines all share data and talk minutes or is that 1000 per phone and 2GB per phone?

Now, I do admit, I talk more than 1000 minutes per month. I am a blabbermouth, but it could be something to keep in mind as the kids get older and need more texting, etc...

Dawn

ETA: Just looked at the site and I only see unlimited talk/text and 500mb of data. You can add 2gb per phone for $10 per line more. Is there another plan I am missing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by OklahomaTourist View Post
If you already have phones you're happy with, I'd darned sure consider looking at a T-Mobile Value Plan. The big difference is there's no phone cost subsidy built in.

Here's what I have:

Five lines, 1000 talk minutes I never come close to using, unlimited texting, three smartphones with a 2GB (throttled) data limit I've not yet touched, and two regular ("dumb") phones. My total, with all taxes and fees (and before my corp discount so its all apples-to-apples): $120. I've got an HTC Amaze Android phone I'm perfectly happy with, and my son has a Galaxy S2 that he's nuts about. My mom has an older Vibrant she's not interested in replacing as it works for her and the limited 'net stuff she does.

If you can get out of the "have to have a new phone every other month" merry-go-round, I think the value plans are an awesome deal. And I've had no real complaints with T-Mobile's service. In fact, I think they're getting ready to push out other types of value plans very aggressively in the coming months.

Just something to consider.
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Last edited by DawnM; 03-27-2013 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:42 AM   #11
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I pay about 220. Right now for an old plan from my DH work.

Unlimited data on 2 of the iphones, 1 iphone with a new plan, 1 dumb phone with unlimited texting. (my DD doesn't know that! 3 months ago she had 13,000 text!)


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Old 03-27-2013, 11:50 AM   #12
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We have AT&T... 3 smart phones and our bill is $210 a month.
For the first few months we were going over our data plans and they charged $10 PER PERSON for each overage, to add another 1GB... started to really add up!
We ended up finally getting WiFi in our house and now we never come close to our data limits (most of our web browsing is done at home). So that 4210 is pretty constant now.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:07 PM   #13
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I went by AT&T and got no good news. We have the max number of phones (5) so a 6th phone would be a new account. A go phone isn't cheap. There is a $20 per month unlimited texting only phone that is a possibility. First thing we are going to do is find out if her new work has wifi, and if they do she can take the ipod to work and text us with that when she needs us.

We looked into the shared data option, and our bill was going to go up a LOT so thats not going to happen. I could add a tablet for a $15 per month data plan, but then she would have to carry a tablet around and probably lose it or have it stolen, so that doesn't really work either.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnM View Post
ETA: Just looked at the site and I only see unlimited talk/text and 500mb of data. You can add 2gb per phone for $10 per line more. Is there another plan I am missing?
T-Mobile recently changed how all their plans work. Unlimited talk/text + 500mb data is the standard now. $10 per line gets you 2GB data, $20 per line for unlimited data.

ETA: By recently, I mean yesterday, along with their announcement that they'll be carrying the iPhone.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:23 PM   #15
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THIS is why we do not do contract any longer. Hubby has an iPhone with H20 wireless... $30 a month unlimited talk/text and only uses wifi for data. I am with straight talk with my samsung infuse 4G at $45 a month unlimited talk/text/data although am on wifi the majority of the time as their data does not allow streaming
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