Now that the AT&T and DirecTV merger has been deemed an acceptable case of two corporate behemoths melding like it’s a late season Dragonball Z episode, AT&T is keen to put their dramatically expanded television service to good use. Now that they’re the largest paid television provider in the world, AT&T is bundling their television service with a family wireless plan that will result in an advertised — wait for it — $10 monthly discount on your bill. Don’t trip running to the phone to get in on this.
The bundle in question costs $200 per month and includes $160 for four phone lines with unlimited talk and text and 10 GB of shared date per month plus $50 for DirecTV Select or U-Verse U-Family, the cheapest television tiers on offer — minus the $10 discount. It’ll go up from there, with television packages ranging from the low of $50 to DirecTV Premiere/U-Verse U-450 for $125, which would come out to a $275 monthly combined bill. For all television pricing tiers, four receiver units are included, all of which are DVR and HD capable.
One thing to note is contracts — you’ll need to sign a one-year contract for U-Verse service and a two-year contract for DirecTV service. Early termination fees will be pro-rated, and will max out at $180 for U-Verse and $480 for DirecTV. The benefit of going with DirecTV would appear to be easily accessible television on mobile apps from anywhere using the DirecTV app, which will be ready to use as soon as you put ink to contract.
AT&T is targeting new customers with the deal, and is throwing in a $300 bill credit if you switch to their service and buy a smartphone on one of their AT&T Next plans while trading in an eligible smartphone. With the value of the trade-in plus what you’re paying for the new smartphone on AT&T Next, that’s not the most compelling deal, but it’s there.
Another long-term issue to consider — the $200 price is introductory. After one year, the price of the television service will hike up to the prevailing standard rate. Right now, that’s $85 for DirecTV Select and $93 for U-Verse U-Family. Eliminate the $10 discount, and the new price after one year would be $245/$253 — assuming rates don’t go up in the next year.
The main benefit from the deal is the simplicity of paying for everything on one bill — it’s not part of the promotion, but you can add AT&T’s (somewhat) high-speed internet service onto the bill with your television and wireless service. It’s by no means the most cost-effective way to get all of those services, but if you’re still rolling with cable and would rather sort out that, wireless, and internet for the family on one bill, here’s your best opportunity.