AT&T recently raised the price of its DIRECTV NOW plans. At the same time, the company decreased the number of channels offered to new customers. This is a novel take on how to ‘add value’ to a service, but it appears to be one DIRECTV NOW is intent on sticking with.
Unlike AT&T, a number of existing customers seem less intent on sticking with the service and are preparing to up sticks and switch to a different provider.
AT&T’s response has been to offer a discount to those leavers in a bid to swell the exodus that's currently in effect.
So there’s the good news. If you are unhappy with the price hike then you can try your luck by telling DIRECTV NOW you’re leaving as you might find you are offered a discount to compensate against the price change.
The price rise is $10 across-the-board for existing customers (although you do get to keep your original channel lineup providing a Viacom channel blackout doesn't take place in the next few days) and it seems DIRECTV NOW is offering existing customers a $10 discount which in theory completely offsets the price increase. However, these are limited discounts. In most cases, they are for three months ($30 in total) while in some cases people are being offered $10 off their monthly bill for up to six months.
There’s no guarantee this method will work for everyone, but it does seem to be working for enough people to suggest it is worth a try.
But be warned, not everything is always as it seems. A number of user reports are now starting to emerge suggesting that you might be worse off by taking the discount. This especially applies if you are already in receipt of a discount, and even more so if that's a large enough discount.
This seems to be due to DIRECTV NOW's inability to apply multiple discounts to an account at the same time. So what some users are now realizing its once they have accepted DIRECTV NOW's 'stay discount' and received a confirmation email, they have lost more than they have gained as the new discount replaces the old one.
For example, if you are currently paying $40 a month for the “Go Big” plan then this is due to rise to $50 per month following the April 12 increase date. For now, any offer by AT&T of $10 will mean you keep paying the $40 per month for however long they offer you the promotion for (typically 3 or 6 months).
The catch, once that promotional period has ended, as the new promotion replaced the ‘grandfathered’ promotion, the old price is no longer your price. Instead, subscribers are noticing they have been booted over to the price the Go Big plan costs without any discounts applied. That's $65 per month.
In principle, you are now paying $15 per month more than you would have been if you hadn’t taken the discount, stuck with the service and just embraced the price increase.
Of course, the dynamics of this vary as DIRECTV NOW is so riddled with individual pricing that not everyone who is on the Go Big plan (or any of the previous DIRECTV NOW plans) is paying the same baseline price. Therefore, how much you lose will vary depending on how far away you are from the non-discounted price for your plan to begin with.
Some users on social media are reporting they have been able to get the situation resolved and their old discount reapplied again, but this has required manual overriding. In other words, more calls/chats with DIRECTV NOW people.