AT&T is trying to reel in cord cutters by offering a bundle for $39 per month. This bundle includes the company’s U-Verse Internet Max Plus broadband Internet (18 Mbps), U-Basic TV, a year’s worth of Amazon Prime and HBO on demand. The deal seems incredible, but like all good promotions, there’s a big catch.
According to the promotion’s page, the deal is meant for new residential U-Verse customers and requires that the customer sign up for an entire year through AT&T’s website. After the initial year, everything will go back to its regular pricing, such as Amazon Prime costing $99 per year.
The catch also includes an equipment installation fee of $99 and a service activation fee for $49. Not satisfied with the service? Customers will be required to pay an early termination fee up to $180 if they’re not pleased with AT&T’s services. Even more, the Internet portion only allows 250 GB per month; go over that, and expect to pay $10 per 50 GB of data usage.
Customers taking advantage of the new deal will need to register with Amazon Prime first before getting the discount. A redemption email with the registration instructions will be sent to the customer after the U-verse services are installed. If customers are existing Prime members, then the free year will be tacked on after the current year expires. This offer will be good until December 13.
The bundle sounds like a good deal, and it shows that service providers like AT&T are looking to experiment with the traditional cable TV model. With the likes of Netflix and Hulu Plus growing their audiences, cable and satellite TV companies are fearing the worst -- that one day consumers won’t desire the traditional broadband and cable service.
For that reason, we see the likes of Comcast and Time Warner pulling content to the Internet and allowing said content to be viewed on a number of different devices. Cable and Satellite TV providers are feeling the heat from customers that want content all over the house and on-the-go.
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I'll wait, thanks.
The wording says Amazon Prime goes to $99 per year, but it does not say what "regular pricing" is for AT&T. Buyer Beware. It is this kind of advertising that make be run from a vendor. Here, sign up be we are not going to tell you how much you will be charged after the first year (which will probably be on a auto-renew). I wish this part of the telecom business was regulated in that all fees and taxes would have be to shown in the way utility electric companies have to show their rates. Well at least in Texas. The consumer needs more protection again companies who get billing wrong and make customers go through hoops for months to get it right. (Speaking from experience).
Overall really good deal in my opinion. Don't care much for the TV, but hey, it's included and still cheaper than the internet service would cost alone. Even with the $150 installation price, still a good deal considering Amazon Prime is included too.
The danger is in what happens after one year. If I were to sign up for this, I'd more than likely be dropping getting Amazon Prime through AT&T, drop the TV service, and try to negotiate a reasonable rate on the internet service alone.
For one HD TV, no DVR, and 18 Mbps Internet, the monthly charge is $56. The one time charge is $99.
There are plenty of options to add additional channels, additional TVs, and faster Internet service. You can visit the ATT web site (as I did) to see the various possibilities.
Regarding reliability: I've had Uverse Internet for 4 years with almost zero problems. I cannot remember the last time I had a service outage. It has been more reliable than my power service. Can't speak directly to the TV service, but several friends who have the service are very satisfied.
Pricing: I've two choices: AT&T and TWC. AT&T is very price competitive with TWC and has much better customer service. It would be great to have Google Fiber or Vz Fios as an option to drive some competition, but that won't be happening in my area anytime soon.
The net result is that it looks like an OK, not great, deal. You get local TV service (if an antenna isn't an option for you) and a decent Internet speed for a bit of a discount. They toss in Amazon Prime to offset the installation cost.
I also checked TWC pricing. Their closest package (local TV w/ HD, 15 Mbps Internet, modem w/ wifi) is $70 per month for 12 months. There is no installation fee for self install. It costs $15 to have TWC visit your house & install.
This is for Dallas, TX. YMMV in other areas.
TWC's internet package costs about $35 per month for 12mb internet here, so $40 for 18mb from U-Verse is a better deal. Then, when you add TV to the mix (not that I care about TV, but for the sake of comparing pricing), this U-Verse offer turns into a much better deal. Then, like Tex61 stated, the installation cost is mostly offset by the inclusion of a 1 year Amazon Prime membership.
Sure, having to call at the end of 1 year to cancel services you don't want and negotiate prices on the services you want to keep is a bit of a hassle, but like I stated before, you'd have to do that with AT&T for pretty much any promotional contract you accept, so it's nothing out of the ordinary. This is actually a good deal in my area, but that may change with your location if better services are available to you. Just because better options are available to you does not make this a "horrible" deal.