Boost Mobile is updating its wireless plans. Currently, Boost has different plans in stores than it does online. For instance, $60/month will get you a plan with 50GB of high-speed data in stores, but for the same price online, you only get a plan with 30GB. In November, Boost Mobile will converge its offerings so that they are the same both online and in stores. And plans will cost $5/month more than current advertised online prices unless customers enable autopay billing.
There will also be a major change to how Boost Mobile handles its device subsidies, a change that I suspect will upset quite a few customers. Customers who receive a device discount will no longer be able to switch to a lower priced plan until they have made 12 successful payments on the plan they initially subscribed to when they purchased their phones.
The upcoming plan changes leaked to the web today via a HowardForums post. A prepaid report released earlier this month by the firm Wave7 Research confirmed that plan changes were coming to Boost Mobile in November. Update: BestMVNO has learned that the plan updates have been pushed back until early 2024. Boost Mobile has opted to keep things as is for the duration of the holiday shopping season.
Boost Mobile's New Rate Plans
A summary of Boost Mobile's updated plan lineup is below:
Plans With Taxes And Fees Costing Extra And No Device Discounts Allowed
- $15/month - 3GB high-speed data
- $25/month - 30GB high-speed data
Plans That Include Taxes And Fees, And Are Device Discount Eligible
- $30/month (free with ACP) - 10GB high-speed data, only available to ACP customers
- $40/month - 30GB high-speed data, lower device discounts and subsidies
- $50/month - 30GB high-speed data, global calling, $30 each additional line, higher device discounts available
- $60/month - 30GB high-speed data, global calling, Mexico roaming, hotspot included, $40 each additional line, higher device discounts available
After 30GB customers should have data speeds reduced to 512Kbps. All plans except the $15/month plan require autopay billing to be enabled to get the prices shown. Without autopay billing, each plan will cost $5/month more.
How Boost Mobile's Plans Are Changing
Some of the new rate plans are drastically different than what were previously offered. Here's an overview of exactly how they changed.
Currently, Boost's $15/month plan offers different data allotments when purchased online vs in store. Online, new customers get 5GB of monthly high-speed data with the plan while store customers only get 2GB. Moving forward, the $15 plan will include 3GB of high-speed data no matter where its purchased from. Taxes and fees will be extra and the plan will not be eligible for device discounts.
Boost has offered a $25 plan online and in stores. And it may be the most oddly handled price point in the entire Boost Mobile lineup. Online, the plan is advertised as having unlimited data (30GB at 5G) while in stores, two different versions existed. There has been a new customer only plan with 5GB of high-speed data. But a $25 unlimited plan has also been available in stores as noted in a previous report from BestMVNO. With the upcoming plan changes, only one plan will be offered at that price point. It will include 30GB of high-speed data and offer no multi-line discounts. The plan will not be eligible for device subsidies. The price of the plan will be $30 if customers do not enable autopay billing. In stores it had been $35 without autopay. Taxes are extra.
The next plan to look at is at the $40 price point. Customers in stores would get 15GB of high-speed data with the plan, but online customers got unlimited data (30GB at 5G) with 12GB of mobile hotspot. The updated plan will include 30GB of 5G data in stores and online, but it does not appear to include hotspot data. Subscribers may have to pay $10/month to enable hotspot usage. This plan will be eligible for device subsidies but no multi-line discounts. The price of the plan will be $40/month with autopay billing and $45 without. Taxes and fees are included.
A $50/month plan has been available as a store only offering. It had come with 40GB of high-speed data, and that allowed up to 40GB of hotspot usage. This plan looks like it will be downgraded. The updated plan will only include 30GB of high-speed data before throttling. It doesn't look like it will include hotspot access. It will include global calling, and is eligible for device subsidies and multi-line discounts. Each additional line will be billed at $30/month. This is the same discount that has been offered. The price of the plan will now be $55/month without autopay billing and $50 with it. Taxes and fees are included.
Boost Mobile's flagship unlimited plan will remain priced at $60/month. This price point offered different features in store vs online. Online customers would get 30GB of high-speed data, with a 30GB hotspot allowance, and talk, text and data roaming in Mexico as well as international texting to over 200 countries. The store plan included 50GB of high-speed data with 50GB of hotspot plus Mexico roaming and international texting.
This plan is going to change so that whether you buy online or in stores you will only get 30GB of high-speed data before throttling. It will allow hotspot usage, roaming in Mexico, international calling and texting, device discounts and multi-line discounts. Additional lines will be priced at $40/month. Taxes and fees are included.
Boost Mobile's free ACP plan looks like it will basically remain the same. It does include device discounts and 10GB of high-speed data.
Device Subsidy Changes
Customers who get a device discount will no longer be able to switch to a cheaper plan until they have made 12 successful payments on the plan they originally signed up with. There is an exception though. Subscribers on the $60/month plan can switch to the $50 plan and vice versa. Customers who upgrade their devices will still have to make the 12 payments. Once a customer has made 12 payments, they are free to switch to any plan they'd like.
Update: There has been some confusion over this policy change, primarily due to the differences between store only plans and online plans. Currently, customers with a store bought plan and a device subsidy have the ability to switch between the $40, $50, and $60 plans. Come November, customers with a highly subsidized device requiring a $50 or $60 plan will only be able to switch between the $50 and $60 plans.
Boost Mobile Changes, Better Or Worse?
Simplifying plans so that they are the same in store as online is something that should have been done a long time ago. I imagine some in store customers got upset at their dealers when they realized online customers could get more data with their $15 plan than they could. Same thing with the $40 and in certain cases $25 plan. Online only customers, however, may have been unaware that they were getting cheated out of higher data allotments than their store counterparts on Boost's premium priced flagship plans.
But as outlined in the article, all changes aren't for the better. Boost flagship unlimited plans have been severely downgraded for customers who shop in stores. And perhaps there is a bigger problem too.
Boost Mobile's flagship unlimited plans ($50, $60) are priced the same as what's offered by DISH's postpaid brand, Boost Infinite. Not only are plan prices the same, but they offer just about the same features. Both include 30GB of high-speed data (although Boost Infinite may include truly unlimited data in select markets when used on the Boost 5G Network), Mexico roaming, plus international calling and texting. What's different is Infinite plans add Canada roaming, while Boost Mobile plans adds hotspot at the high-end. This may lead to customer confusion over the two brands. And it may be further amplified in select markets where Boost Infinite is being sold in Boost Mobile stores.
Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research commented to BestMVNO about the changes: "There changes are a mixed bag. Making plans be the same whether online or in-store is positive and can keep Boost’s online presence from being a competitor with Boost’s 4K dealer stores. Also, some plans are more attractive, while others are less attractive, with some plans now more generous for retail customers. Not being able to switch to less expensive plans for 12 months is negative, as some other carriers are touting plan flexibility as being a point of differentiation."