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I am one of those people still clinging onto an AT&T unlimited mobile data plan. Three months ago I signed a two-year contract to renew the plan. Today I got an email from AT&T saying that my data price would increase from $35 to $40 per month in March.

Here is a contract I found for my plan. Notice that it says, "Prices are subject to change." I assumed that meant that prices could change up to the point when we signed the contract, and that they would be locked in after that. AT&T is offering to let me out of my contract with no penalty, but I just want them to honor the contract I assume we both signed.

Do I need to either pay the new price or exit the contract? Are those my only options?

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Yes, prices can change in the middle of the contract if the contract says they can: yours does. The sentence "Prices are subject to change" means exactly what is says: prices can change.

Your belief that this applies to pre-contract prices only is wrong. In fact, contracts only deal with themselves - if a contract wants to deal with what happened before it existed it must specifically call this out.

  • So if AT&T raised the price from $35 to say $100 (or $1000) per month, the user is obliged to pay it or pay the "early termination fee"? Is AT&T's fear of bad public relations the only protection consumers have in this type of contract? (I understand that AT&T is allowing users to break the contract at no cost, but they don't have to offer that next time.) – jerrytown Jan 30 '17 at 17:14
  • @jerrytown: A contract must be "conscionable"; in layman's terms, that court must find it at least somewhat reasonable. Given a massive jump ($5 isn't, $65 might be, $965 almost certainly be in context), the court might find it "unconscionable" and void or alter the contract. AT&T waiving the termination fees almost certainly makes the contract more conscionable, as it gives the consumer the ability to return to the same legal state that they were in before the contract (at no cost). – sharur Apr 13 '18 at 18:38

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