AT&T has shared an update to the Autopay and paperless billing discount page on July 11th 2023. The changes confirm that if a customer uses a credit card as their Autopay method, their discount will be affected – reducing the discount by half from $10 per line to $5 per line. The change is set to launch for the October 2023 billing cycle.
AT&T also uses the document to clarify that even using AT&T Points Plus® credit card from Citi as the Autopay card on file, your discount will still be halved. Ouch.
Here are the plans impacted by the change:
|Consumer Plans||Business Plans|
|Unlimited Starter®||Business Unlimited Starter|
|Unlimited Extra®||Business Unlimited Performance|
|Unlimited Elite||Business Unlimited Elite|
|Unlimited Premium||Business Unlimited Web Only|
|AT&T 4GB||AT&T Business 4GB|
|Value Plus||Unlimited Your Way-eligible AT&T Business Unlimited Starter, Performance, and Elite plans|
|Value Plus 2GB|
|Legacy DataConnect 15/25/35/40GB|
What To Do To Keep Your Discount
AT&T clarifies that changing the Autopay method on file to a debit card or bank account before the October 2023 billing cycle will ensure the $10 per line discount stays.
Customers can go to att.com/change, sign into their myAT&T Profile, or dial customer care to manage their Autopay option and maintain the discount. Business customers also have att.com/myatt or att.com/premier to manage payment options.
If you’re considering leaving AT&T due to these changes, the company has accounted for that, and is offering a return of your installment devices and a waiver on any payment plans you still have active on the account. You will need to make up your mind and have the devices back to AT&T by November 30th, 2023 if you want to take advantage of this offer.
All things considered, it’s a nice gesture to offer this option, something T-Mobile neglected to do when they announced all autopay discounts will be removed for customers paying with credit a few months back.
The Next Chapter Of The Carrier War On Autopay
AT&T held onto the full Autopay discount for credit cards longer than any other major US carrier. T-Mobile recently launched their change in May to eliminate the Autopay discount entirely for customers with a credit card. There is a certain irony that the ‘Un-carrier’ making an anti-consumer move has stirred ‘dumb and dumber’ to also follow-suit with an anti-consumer move.
Verizon is a similar story, though they’ve had this limitation in place for a long time. The company has been restricting credit card Autopay discounts for years. Reddit users even outlined using PayPal as a way to circumvent the limitation, but Verizon seems to have quietly stopped that this year as well.
Each time these changes come, discussion buzzes about the ‘increased financial burden’ on businesses that take credit card payments. With carriers always boasting about record subscriber counts, it is hard to believe these ‘burdens’ are truly in the way of good business.
What is your take on how carriers are slowly suffocating the way a customer can take advantage of the Autopay discount? Will Autopay discounts some day be another consumer-friendly relic of a past era in wireless? Leave your thoughts below!