Is AT&T “NEXT” the next RIP-OFF?


AT&T Next

According to Android Authority,“AT&T Next is a poorly devised scam”.  According to them AT&T is out to exploit consumers impatience and their desire to own a smartphone which is at the cutting edge of technology at all times.

It is with this in mind that AT&T designed their “Next” package, which is a direct challenger to T-Mobile’s “Jump!” package which was launched last week.

Since these two rivals failed to amalgamate in 2011, they have been at each other constantly, fighting over the same pool of customers, those who already have smartphones.   The “Jump!” package of T-Mobile has already seen success, albeit at the expense of AT&T.

The differences between the packages are as follows: AT&T does not require upfront device fees, whereas T-Mobile requires an upfront fee.

AT&T will charge customers $15 to $50 per month, depending on the device, on top of monthly service fees under the new offering, which does not require a long-term service contract.

In contrasts to this , T-Mobile charges $10 per month to sign up for its Jump! branded upgrade option, and installments of up to $20 per month as well as its monthly service fee.

T-Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer called the monthly phone installments a “’trick’ to get more money out of customers because it is not charging its monthly service fees”.

Android Authority says “Next” asks one to pay installments, then a charge for the option to return the device early if you want to.  Whilst this may initially seem like a great opportunity to those who constantly want a new device, and they may even be prepared to pay a premium for it.  However, AT&T’s plan only starts after 12 months, so in effect you have to wait a full year before you can trade your phone in.   Additionally, they did some calculations and according to their findings, AT&T’s next option is really not the “Next best option”!  They found that after 12 months, you will have repaid almost the precise price of the phone and after 20 months you will have spent $1000 on a phone of $640.  Not so nice after all.

In contrast to the above, Reuters reports that the news of AT&T’s “Next” was well-received by the markets as shares in T-Mobile fell 3.8 percent and AT&T shares increased by 0.9 percent.

So, there are a lot of things for consumers to consider, but perhaps it will be a good idea to wait and see whether Sprint or Verizon Wireless will come up with a deal that will be even sweeter than Jump! and Next.  Maybe these deals will remove the “con” out of “consumer”?