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Leasing Plans for ATT and other Carriers

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I just finished my contract with ATT and again find myself the option to upgrade under my plan. My current phone is a Samsung Galaxy S4 and under my previous plan, I now own the phone. I recently went to Sam's Club and spoke with the sales representative and was told that ATT and Verizon has switched to a lease plan which means you do not actually own the phone when your 2 year agreement is up. I was surprised to be honest. Why should I pay $30.00 a month just to own a S6 model or any other phone under those plans. Yes, I could save the money and buy a phone outright which I plan to do; but this sucks in my opinion.

I like my S4 and see no reason to upgrade simply because there is a newer model and android OS. I am seriously considering installing a custom OS and doing away with touchwiz. I now realize that I will just have to buy a phone outright if I want to upgrade because I refuse to lease anything. If I make payments, after a certain time, I believe that I should own the property and have the rights to manipulate it regardless of the TOS, copyright, or the law. I am currently taking computer ethics for my CIS/BBA degree and we discuss this very situation. Legal restrictions are getting outrageous and continue to move away from owner rights to company profits. In my humble opinion, I see these leasing terms as nothing more than a way for phone customers to be further fleeced by telecom companies.

I see no point in upgrading to the latest and greatest, simply because we are conditioned to do so at the whim of any minor improvement in technology.
Edited by zalittle - 10/23/15 at 11:00am
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post #2 of 4
I am at Verizon, I have a plan for over 8GB of data. Because I have that I get a $25 discount when I use their program called EDGE. which is basically paying monthly for a phone. The phone I picked is under $25 a month so I'm basically getting the phone for free smile.gif
post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by zalittle View Post

I just finished my contract with ATT and again find myself the option to upgrade under my plan. My current phone is a Samsung Galaxy S4 and under my previous plan, I now own the phone. I recently went to Sam's Club and spoke with the sales representative and was told that ATT and Verizon has switched to a lease plan which means you do not actually own the phone when your 2 year agreement is up. I was surprised to be honest. Why should I pay $30.00 a month just to own a S6 model or any other phone under those plans. Yes, I could save the money and buy a phone outright which I plan to do; but this sucks in my opinion.

I like my S4 and see no reason to upgrade simply because there is a newer model and android OS. I am seriously considering installing a custom OS and doing away with touchwiz. I now realize that I will just have to buy a phone outright if I want to upgrade because I refuse to lease anything. If I make payments, after a certain time, I believe that I should own the property and have the rights to manipulate it regardless of the TOS, copyright, or the law. I am currently taking computer ethics for my CIS/BBA degree and we discuss this very situation. Legal restrictions are getting outrageous and continue to move away from owner rights to company profits. In my humble opinion, I see these leasing terms as nothing more than a way for phone customers to be further fleeced by telecom companies.

I see no point in upgrading to the latest and greatest, simply because we are conditioned to do so at the whim of any minor improvement in technology.

The leasing plans are actually really good. They are 0% financing.

The way ATT works is as follows. Depending on the phone you chose and the amount of time you want to upgrade determines the price per month. So lets say 100$ phone, upgrade every 12 months, 18 total payments. Your monthly payment is 100/18 or 5.55 a month. If you keep the phone for 18months and don't upgrade at 12 months when your eligible you keep the phone and your monthly payment goes away. Its your phone. If at 12 months you decide to upgrade to a new phone you have 2 options 1) Give the phone back and get the new one at a new monthly price which is determined the same way as the original or 2) You can make the last 6months of payments in one lump sum, keep the phone and upgrade with a new monthly charge.

Edit: TLDR:

If you make all the payments you will own the phone, at least with ATT. Mine is upgrade at 18 months, with 24 payments. If i make 24 payments and don't upgrade phone is mine, monthly fee drops from my bill.


It works the same way as a leasing a car with the option to buy. They are letting you pay off the phone over 18 months which will equal list price + tax and not a dollar more, but provide you the option to upgrade before you fully pay off the phone. They make a ton of money becuase most people will give the phone back and upgrade then the phone company sells the phone used for 450 even though you only had 250 left on it.
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the information shedding light on the business model. I guess I am looking at it wrong by assuming that ATT and Verizon make more money without considering the options for the consumer. One reason that I have not considered this is because I pay so little a month for my service. My wife and I only pay $50.00 a month for 1500 minutes shared, 3 GB Data, and free mobile to mobile. When we upgraded our phone, we just wait 24 months for our contract to finish and pay a down payment for the phone we want while being subsidized by the carrier. I also must admit that we have such a low rate because we are on a shared plan not counting the data. I do get why it is better for the average consumer but I rarely upgrade if I my phone is adequate for my needs. My previous phone was a Motorola Atrix that I used for years and has been passed down to my daughter. It has been converted to straight talk and she is very satisfied with it still. I however, upgraded to an S4 while the S5 was released because the down payment was affordable and gave me everything I need in a smartphone, even to this day. In my case, I did not have to make a monthly payment for a phone.

I understand that the new plans move consumers to more options and increase profits for the telecom companies because they no longer subsidize the phones. I however, find this model of business would only increase the costs of upgrading in my situation. Thank you for the clarification.
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