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Don’t Need to Renew Our AT&T Cell Contract

I got my first cell phone 4 years ago this week, when my mom was hospitalized. Being at college 2 hours away, I wanted to be able to start home at a moment’s notice if something happened. So I bought a cell phone on black Friday. Possibly the worst shopping experience of my life. Two years ago when I switched to Cingular (now ATT), Micah and I decided that with 6 months until the wedding we should probably just get a family plan.

I just realized that it’s November again and my contract is up. Micah and I have been talking about some pay-as-you-go options, since we don’t use our cell phones very much. But we hadn’t made any decisions and the contract ends today.

Fortunately, while cell phone contracts end, at least with ATT that doesn’t disrupt your service. Instead, you go on paying whatever you were paying and receiving whatever you were receiving until you choose to either renew/upgrade or end your service. I had a feeling this was the case, but spoke to an ATT customer service representative who confirmed.

So if your cell phone contract is expiring, you don’t have to renew. You’ll continue receiving service as long as you pay (unless they decide that you’re getting too good a rate…but that’s not likely to happen for a while).

Of course, they’ll tempt you with offers of new phones. Both our phones are still fine. And they’ll offer deals. But in this case we think we can get an even better deal. And use our old phones while doing it.


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ATT Pay As You Go Unlimited Talk Plan: Good Idea?
November 24, 2008 at 7:01 am

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Zella November 22, 2008 at 8:57 am

Check out http://www.phonescoop.com or somewhere similar for a phone review. I have issues with all things CDMA (personal quirk) and Kyocera, Audiovox, older LG and Pantech phones.

Also, if you travel, pay close attention to where it’s roaming or not. Several companies that are pre-paid do charge extra for roaming.

If you do stick with AT&T, definitely review the free phones on offer. And go ahead and get one of them as a replacement item for your old phone, if/when it dies.

Kacie November 22, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Doh! I had no idea I could just keep on paying them without committing to a contract. I renewed another 2-year contract back in April.

I’m happy with my service but I dislike being tied to a contract!

When I renewed, there was some sort of “processing fee” or something that had to do with my new phone. I asked them if they would waive it, since I threatened to switch to Verizon. they did.

frugalchick November 23, 2008 at 7:11 pm

I’m also looking at the pay-as-you-go option. It seems cheaper as I don’t use my phone that much either.

Zhu November 23, 2008 at 11:07 pm

I’m going traveling for a few months so I plan to not renew my contract. My experience with Virgin wasn’t a good one anyway and cell are not a cheap thing.

Budgets are Sexy November 24, 2008 at 2:26 pm

oh yeah, 2 more months for me and then i’m freeeeeeeeeeeeeee – woohoo! i probably wont’ go anywhere at first, but it’ll still feel pretty damn good 🙂

Jessica November 25, 2008 at 12:22 am

The Pay As You Go is a nice option if you really don’t use it that much. I believe ATT has 2 options – pay 0.25 a minute or $1.00 fee for the day and then 0.10 to non-ATT users and free mobile to mobile minutes. I bought a pay as you go phone for my dad last year and would only add $25 at at time to it. It seemed like he was using the $25 kind of fast when he told me he wasn’t using the phone very much. So I decided to look at the history online (I originally didn’t want to do this because I thought it was an invasion of his privacy) and I found that I was being charged the $1.00 daily fees on days he wasn’t even using it. The customer service reps were polite about it but I have had to call several times and get my money back! They probably think the average person won’t monitor their minutes like that! So, just be careful and you’ll be fine!

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