T-Mobile calls AT&T's new plans confusing, expensive

T-Mobile doesn't waste any time bashing AT&T's new no-contract phone plans and says families can still save more on its own plans.

T-Mobile USA

T-Mobile's got some harsh words for the changes to AT&T's no-contract service plans.

Calling them confusing and expensive, T-Mobile marketing executive Andrew Sherrard said in an e-mail to CNET that the "'me-too' off-contract rate plan misses the mark."

AT&T earlier on Thursday unveiled changes to its mobile share plans that would offer savings to people who sign up for the service without signing a contract , meaning they pay full price for a new phone, bring their phone, or sign up for the monthly installment program, AT&T Next.

The plans, which involved a large and confusing series of changes to different elements of AT&T's offering, do offer savings to no-contract customers. But AT&T also made some changes to the terms for contract plans, including moving to a flat-rate $40 fee to add a smartphone to its plans and away from a variable rate that had many families paying as little as $30 per device.

So for some families with a contract plan, which gets the benefit of lower cost, subsidized phones, the changes would actually mean a hike in the total price.

It's that point that T-Mobile focused on as it countered AT&T's new plans.

"After you do the complicated math, in multiple cases, these new plans are actually a price hike for customers," Sherrard said.

Sherrard added a family of four can save more than $600 in the first year with T-Mobile's Simple Choice plan.

AT&T's move to lower its off-contract pricing comes after criticism that the carrier never separated the off-contract plans with off-contract phones. Contract phone plans are more expensive because of the subsidy that carriers offer to lower the price of a phone. But if a customer declines the subsidy and pays for the full price of the phone, they should logically benefit from a lower price in the service plan, something both T-Mobile and Sprint offer.

AT&T is finally following suit and lowering the prices of its no-contract plans, but financially speaking, Sprint and T-Mobile both still offer a better deal.

Tags:
Mobile
Phones
About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Is your phone battery always at 4 percent?

These battery packs will give your device the extra juice to power through all of those texts and phone calls.