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Are AT&T cell phone prices completely bogus?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Oggiedoggie, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    OK, I'll admit that I'm a Luddite. I use my cell phone mainly for making and receiving calls. No text. No data transfer. No apps.

    Don't need 'em. I sit in front of a computer and a phone system all day at work. I don't want to be uber-connected on my hours off.

    So, the time has come to replace my nokia "candy bar" phone that's so old that it has a rotary dial.

    We use AT&T mainly because the reception is better in the areas from which we call.

    I go to the website to see what sort of upgrades I might qualify for. I found a Samsung Rugby II phone that was what I wanted. The retail price listed is $250. But, I can get it online for free by extending the contract for two years (which was done anyway a couple of months ago when our daughter upgraded).

    The retail store is pretty close, so I decided to go there, actually touch the phone, and see if I could just get one there.

    They have one, but cannot honor the online special. So the phone would end up costing about $140. No big deal. I really didn't expect them to give me the online deal, there.

    I order the "free" phone online. Then, at work, I do a search for the phone just to get a few more details.

    The retail price at a lot of places is about $140. That's just for the phone, free-and-clear, no 2-year contract.

    Is that typical?

    Is this some widely-known thing I've just stumbled upon?

    Or, is this a special case?
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    In my experience, you are better off getting a phone somewhere other than an AT&T store -- like Walmart or Costco or anywhere.

    The AT&T stores sometimes have real cheap deals on phones when you sign up, but nowadays they want you to sign up for a data plan.

    If you are eligible for an upgrade (after having the phone a year or two) you can get a good deal at lots of places.
  3. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    Not a smart idea at all to buy a phone at a department store. sometimes if you buy a phone at a walmart or costco and then bring it to a regular store to fix a problem, they may not be able to do so.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I have never seen anyone able to fix a cell phone. They treat them like they are disposable.

    I have brought three back looking for help and unless you pay the extra $5 a month or whatever it is for insurance, AT&T treats a phone with a cracked screen, frozen cursor, sticky keyboard, whatever, like it's a dog turd.
  5. Sir Sid

    Sir Sid Member

    We always go through Best Buy. And if you have a family plan (which it sounds like you do) you shouldn't have to upgrade each phone at the same time.
    Typically I can get in and out of BB in 20 minutes with a new phone ready to go. Plus they don't do all the rebate crap. They just take it off the price.
  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Insurance never seems to cover anything. I had insurance on my phone and it got ruined while I was running from my car in a downpour (I was not on the phone at the time) and it wasn't covered by my insurance.
  7. None of the insurance covers water damage to any phone.

    My roommate works for AT&T and while I don't know anything about why the phones are $140 in person, but free online, I do know that the people making the sales in stores don't make money when you buy a phone. They make their commissions off of the different features they sell you (text plans, data packages and the such) and on all the accessories they sell (car chargers, bluetooth devices and phone covers). In fact, they're given a quota of how much of the features and accessories they have to maintain each month.

    So in my case it's good to know a AT&T rep because he doesn't try to sell me all the BS when I go in for a new phone :)
  8. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    That's not what struck me as bogus.

    It was that it seemed that you could buy a lot of the phones from other sources online free-and-clear, without a 2-year-contract obligation, for the same price that they were selling them in the AT&T stores.

    The suggested retail prices AT&T listed, minus the rebate for signing up for the contract, seemed to be nearly equivalent to what you could buy the phone for from another source without the contract.
  9. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    My insurance covers water. I've washed my phone and dropped it into a cup of hot chocolate. I was just out $50 for a new phone.
  10. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I've had so many gotcha bills from AT&T, I have vowed to never spend another penny with them. I have cable internet, magic jack home phone and t-moble celly, so I fired AT&T. Happy day. I've had few problems with t-mobile, but I'm about to go to one of the other providers to cut that expense.
  11. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    To answer your question, yes, this is a very widely-known thing that you have just stumbled upon. You are not a special case. Virtually anyone who has looked at purchasing a phone through their carrier in the past 5-10 years has had the exact same experience. My MyTouch retails for $499 or more; I got it for $149 and a renewed contract. It would have been free but I had a good while left on my old deal.

    Also, AT&T rates seem to be much higher than my T-Mobile. I pay $79 a month for 1,000 minutes and unlimited text and data. A comparable plan from AT&T would cost $99 a month last time I checked (when I got my new phone). That's almost a $500 difference in rate plans over the course of a 2-year contract.
  12. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Me, too. Free Verizon phone. $19.95/month plan.
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