AT&T has announced that starting June 9th of this year, subscribers of the wireless carrier who decide to pay off their handset on a monthly basis will only have a couple of options available to them. Indeed, the second biggest mobile service provider in the United States has decided to simplify its smartphone financing plans by only offering two plans -- AT&T Next Every Year and AT&T Next. Right now, AT&T’s mobile installment plans currently offer four options, but the wireless carrier is planning to streamline them to just a pair about a couple of weeks from now.
AT&T Next Every Year is the option that gives subscribers a period of 24 months to pay off their handset. They will be deemed qualified to upgrade to a new device once they have completed 12 monthly payments, or paid off at least 50 percent of the retail price of their handset. Also, it should be noted that part of this plan’s terms and conditions requires customers to trade in a qualified handset.
As for the AT&T Next plan, subscribers get a period of 30 months in which to pay off the price of a device. Mobile users are also free to upgrade to a new handset if they have completed 24 monthly payments, or paid off at least 80 percent of the device. Like the AT&T Next Every Year option, customers will similarly be required to trade in a qualified phone.
AT&T is allowing well qualified subscribers, i.e. those who possess good credit, to complete a down payment at the time of purchase in order to cut down on the financed amount, which results to the reduction of their payments on a monthly basis.
By now, eliminating subsidized smartphone plans has become all but commonplace among the Big Four wireless carriers in the US (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint). All of them have done this and are instead making way for monthly installment plans that have mobile users pay the full retail price of their handset. The main advantage of this set up is that it allows customers to upgrade to a new device on a more regular interval.
Considering that all major US wireless carriers out there are offering something of this nature, AT&T clearly wants to stand out from the rest of the competition. But is streamlining its financing plans and basically limiting its options the answer? What separates the existing Next plans from the new pair of plans is that customers are given the ability to produce the cash needed to pay upfront in order to reduce their monthly installment payments. Moreover, mobile users are given the chance to upgrade after a specific percentage of the handset has been paid off, instead of having to wait for a specific period of time (usually for several months).
As mentioned earlier, the two new plans will debut on June 9th of this year. Current subscribers under Next plans can choose to remain on their existing plans. For more AT&T deals, you can explore plans and phones from AT&T at Wirefly now.
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