If your place of employment offers you a discount on your wireless bill, you might want to look a bit deeper into that, especially if it’s AT&T. They have a new policy in place which puts a dent in those savings. Instead of just signing up with your employer and saving, you’ll have to pay a $36 Sponsorship Fee. While this doesn’t completely negate the discount, it does make it a lot less useful. Hopefully you’re in it for the long haul, so that $36 fee turns into just a fraction of what you’ve saved with the company discount.
Laura Northrup of Consumerist examines one possible scenario:
Let’s say that you save 15% on your bill, and have a family plan where the portion of your bill that qualifies for the discount is $70 per month. Saving $10.50 per month, it will take just about seven months to recover the $72 you paid in fees for two lines. Not too bad, on a two-year contract. However, if your two-year contract is up, you’ll need to sign a new one in order to get the discount, as well.
I always envied friends who got corporate discounts on their cell bills. There I was, the sucker paying full price. The $36 fee makes this kind of deal a bit less palatable, but if you’re in it for the long haul it should work out just fine. It’s a pain, but there’s nothing we as consumers can do about it. Except not give our money to AT&T at all. When was the last time we had a widespread boycott of a major company?