Why I signed up for AT&T Next (and why you probably shouldn't)

So look, I signed up for AT&T Next. Yes, it's a ripoff. A huge ripoff. Yes, it's dumb and I shouldn't have done it and soon I'll probably be talking about how much I regret it. But here's the deal, for me anyway:

  • I want new phones a lot. At least once a year -- often more.
  • I am VERY BAD at selling old phones. I never do it. It's a problem. I end up losing the cost of the phone entirely most of the time.
  • I am probably not leaving AT&T anytime soon, despite their execrably bad customer service, because I live in the US and I want to swap SIM cards and T-Mobile's network is just not up to snuff.

So put those things together and the conclusion is that if I want to get a new phone every year (or more), I can either buy each one outright and then trust myself to remember to sell the damn thing before its value depreciates OR I can just admit I'll never remember to do that and just pay a company to help me upgrade.

It's not a good deal, but it's better now than it used to be. But I've come to the conclusion that a large (too large) part of my disposable income is dedicated to buying phones. Given that, I may as well do it in a framework that is less hassle for me. I'm paying AT&T to handle that hassle. I'm paying AT&T a lot to handle that hassle, actually, but I think it's cheaper than buying phones outright and then leaving them to sit in a dresser drawer.

Would I recommend this plan to anybody else? Probably not. I'd probably recommend you control yourself by not upgrading so often or actually selling your old phones and recouping more of your money.