Last month, I switched back to AT&T after a brief, bad experience with T-Mobile, but I didn’t feel great about it, among other things because AT&T was charging me phone subsidy rates for phones we’d long since paid off. But, as it turned out, a couple of weeks after that, they changed their data plans to lower the price for customers who aren’t on contract. (And they also juggled the numbers to make it a little cheaper for people/families with multiple devices.)

So yay for that. It’s still not quite as good as I’d like—the off-contract discount is only $15/month, while the on-contract subsidy is about $19/month—but it brings the plan squarely into a reasonable level.

The other surprisingly good thing about this switch was: when I went to the web site to select a new plan, I just clicked on the button for the amount of data that I wanted and it immediately showed me the price for two off-contract phones and one on-contract phone. (Miranda decided to get a new phone when we switched back to AT&T.) Which is unexpectedly nice: I was expecting to have to do some amount of fiddling to select what I want (with the easiest route being something that would charge me too much), but no, they made it easy to get the cheapest plan they offered given our current mix of phones, and they even let me backdate that to the start of the current billing period. Almost like they went out of their way to think about how to design their web site to be helpful; odd, but not unwelcome.

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