Saturday, January 11, 2014

We Broke Up With Our Data Plan...Sort Of

You know that AT&T commercial that aired a bazillion times during college football bowl games in the past few weeks?   The one advertising unlimited talk, text and data with no contract for $45 a month.  If so, did you also see the fine print at the bottom of the screen that says it provides unlimited talk and text but only 350 MB of data?

That's not much data at all.  And it's exactly what we wanted.

You see, we've been paying Verizon $150 a month for talk and text on our two regular dumb phones and data for my tablet, all on two year contracts.  Blech.  We wanted to simplify.  We know we live most of our lives in wi-fi bubbles for various apps and smartphone capabilities.  We wanted the data plan gone and most of the bill with it, but the possibility of getting inexplicably lost in a neighboring county while trying to find the location for a court hearing, or needing to reply to a social worker's email right away kept us from cutting ties with the data bubble completely.

Enter AT&T.  And $70 a month.  And cool phones.  And no contract.  And backup data of 350MB if we happen to need it.

So we broke up with Verizon.

The best they could do for an equivalent plan was $120 a month.    Trent made a spreadsheet to compare the cost of cancellation fees to Verizon with monthly savings we'd have on our bill thereafter.  Cancelling and moving to AT&T now vs waiting out our contract with Verizon until it would naturally end in May, paying the bigger bill in the meantime, then moving, came out to $15 difference overall.  The cost of our new phones would be the same either way, and we knew we'd have to purchase them at full price since no contract means no signing bonus or discount off a new phone.   Since we were excited about getting new phones that would bring our technology back into the current decade and I was excited to no longer have to carry around a phone and a tablet, we went for it.

We got Nokia Lumia 520 phones.  They are cool Windows smartphones and they only cost $100 each.  

We got different cases to tell them apart.  I have not given mine a name yet, but I'm sure one will be forthcoming.  

We're loving our decision.  While forking out the money for cancellation fees was not super fun, I'm swimming in the happy knowledge that our cell bill has been cut in half.  We keep the data connection turned completely off, just use the regular phone and text features normally and rely on the many wi-fi bubbles in our life for things like Facebook, blogs,, etc.  If I want to check my Facebook while traipsing behind Trent through Lowes, too bad, so sad.  But who really needs Facebook available all the time? (Answer: no one.)

We've unplugged...sort of.  We still have that 350MB security blanket if we need it.

Has anyone else broken up with their data plan recently?  Do you think you could or would you never survive without it?

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