AT&T doesn't want its many cord-cutters to leave, enticing them with a new package that combines basic cable, broadband, HBO on demand and a one-year subscription to Amazon Prime-all for the very low price of $39.
Cable companies have been dishing out low-priced offers just to get customers to stop paying their hefty cable fees in favor of their monthly $10 subscription to Netflix. Comcast, for instance, started offering "skinny bundles" that combine broadband and a select group of channels including HBO, home to popular series such as "Game of Thrones" and "Boardwalk Empire," for $49.
Now, AT&T follows suit with what looks to be an even better offer on the surface, adding in a year's worth of Amazon Prime subscription that normally costs $99 a year and slashing off the price to $39. Customers can get all the full advantages of being an Amazon Prime member, including free two-day shipping, Prime Music, Kindle borrowing and access to all Amazon on-demand movies. For existing Amazon Prime subscribers, they get a year's worth of free subscription on top of what they are already paying Amazon.
Of course, as with all things that look too good to be true, the new plan is not without strings attached. In fact, it comes with so many catches that might actually turn many people off. For starters, the offer is not available everywhere, so customers are encouraged to check for the availability of AT&T U-verse in their area. Second, the package will lock customers into a one-year contract with AT&T, which means those who are dissatisfied with the offer will have to pay a $180 fee to terminate its contract with the company.
Potential takers must also read the fine print, as AT&T has tacked on several additional fees on top of the $39 it is advertising in its promotional page. These hidden charges include a $49 service activation fee, up to $99 in equipment installation fees, a monthly $2.99 broadcast surcharge, a monthly $15 for customers who want a whole-home DVR, an additional $10 a month for full HD, and a whole host of unspecified taxes and regulatory fees. All told, a subscription could rack a consumer up to $66.99 in monthly payments on top of the $148 upfront costs and taxes.
At the end of the one-year subscription, AT&T will also start charging customers the regular fees for its services, which means customers will see their bills bumping up to $90 or $100 after the offer is up.