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Friday, July 20, 2012

So Share it Maybe.........Not?

Verizon and AT&T try to share taking your money

Image from IntoMobile

So within the past few weeks, Verizon and AT&T have announced and/or launched their shared data plans (Verizon going all into their shared philosophy as the only offering to new customers).  They say it will save you money, but I trust them like a trust a dog holding onto my steak while I warm up my grill.  These big companies just keep making up ways to separate you from money you work hard to earn, in the world where over the past 5 years the average American yearly income has dropped almost $5,000........screw them for taking advantage of us!

What Verizon is offering

So Verizon says they can save you money because you now get unlimited minutes and texting for every phone(s) you have on your plan.  You pick the data amount and share it between all the devices.  Sounds great right?  Well lets take a deeper look at how much that "simple" philosophy will cost you.

So the Verizon website shows that it only costs $40 per smart phone, but data packages start....START at $50 for 1 GB of data.  Yes, just 1 GB....... I feel that is steep just for 1 GB.  It goes up $10 per tier from there.

From Verizon's site

Flying Solo

So for a single line, with 1 GB of data (who just uses 1GB at LTE speeds) would cost $90 per month plus taxes, but don't forget the cost of a device...oh and the fact that if you go over on data, it costs you $15 per GB, which is $5 more than it was a month ago.  Why couldn't they just keep it the same?  If you go with the 2 GB plan, the total is $100 per month plus taxes.

All in the Family

When you do a family plan, it can get more expensive quickly. For 2 smart phones, and assuming 2GB of data each (so the 4GB plan) would set you back $150 plus taxes per month.  But remember that the same overage fee of $15 per GB still applies.

AT&T shared plans

So here is what AT&T will be offering in the very near future. Shared data starting at $40 for 1 GB, $70 for 4GB and going up from there.  There is no 2GB option.  The per smart phone cost starts at $45 each, but each tier going up lowers the price by $5 to the "low price" of $30 each when you hit the 10GB tier.

From AT&T's site

Going Solo

Going solo looks like it could be cheaper than Verizon.  So you pay $45 for a smart phone and $40 for 1GB of data.  That makes it $85 per month plus taxes.  Since there is not a 2 GB option, you have 2 choices: Go to the 4GB tier for $70 (but the smart phone cost goes to $40 per month at this tier) bringing your total to $110 plus taxes.

All in the Family

So with AT&T, it looks like this:  4 GB of data for $70 per month, plus 2 smart phones at $40 each, for a total of....... OK math folks would now notice something funny.......$150 per month plus taxes.

Interesting how both of these "competing" companies are the same on price here......right in the average sweet spot.....

So lets do some Family Plan math:

On Straight Talk:

2 Google Galaxy GSM @ $381 each (tax and shipping included) = $762
2 Straight talk @ $50/month with about 2 GB each (including taxes/fees of about 11%) = $100

2 year cost = $3162

**No overage fees, but will be throttled if you exceed 2GB/month

On Verizon:

2 Galaxy Nexus @ $158 ($149.99 + 6% sales tax here in PA) = $316
Shared Plan w/4 GB data (unlimited minutes +texts) = $150/month + 11% (assumed) taxes/fees = $166.50/mo

2 year cost = $4312

** Overage fees of $15/GB

On AT&T:

2 HTC One X @ $212 ($199.99 + 6%) = $424
Shared Plan w/4GB data (unlimited minutes + texts) = $150/month + 11% taxes/fees = $166.50/mo

2 year cost = $4420

**Overage fees of $10/GB

In Summary


Holy cow, the difference adds up pretty fast.  Going prepaid can save you from $1150 to $1258 over the course of 2 years.  Or $47.91 to $52.41 per month.  A tank of gas for the average car.....

Some will argue the economies of scale with AT&T.  Ok how about this: a 6 GB plan would cost $195  
(3 smart phones @ $35 each and the plan data is $90) plus taxes/fees = $216.45.  Plus 3 HTC One X @ $212 each is $636.  Total 2 year cost would be $5830.80.  On Straight talk, just add $1581 to the above 2 year cost, bringing the 2 year cost to $4743, a savings of $1087 over 2 years (or $45.32 per month). Still cheaper.

Some complaints are of the high up front costs for prepaid (buying a phone) but remember that you can bring a older phone from AT&T or T-Mobile, or find a great used deal on eBay which will lower costs.  The other major advantage being not being stuck in a 2 year contract with a $350 termination fee per line.

All I ask is that who ever reads this, takes a moment to consider what they want.  I created this blog strictly to educate about the advantages of prepaid, and how much the carriers are trying to take from your pocket each month.  I certainly would love the extra money to do things I love!

And now for those who have taken the time to read all of this.........COOKIE MONSTER!!!!

Have a fantastic weekend,


1 comment:

  1. > Monthly account access for all devices = $50


    For *ALL* my devices?

    I think you mean for *EACH* device.