Update 05/30: AT&T is now sending out emails to affected HBO Max subscribers advising of a glitch.
The email by AT&T states there was a billing error which caused grandfathered HBO subscribers to see their bills increase from $5 per month to $14.99 per month. The email further goes on to say that although the company is aware of the issue it could take up to three billing cycles for it to be fixed and the price reduced back down to $5 per month again.
In the meantime, AT&T says it will be applying a $9.99 per month credit to affected accounts to ensure they only pay $5 each month for the service. These credits are expected to continue until the system error has been rectified. For those who have already paid the $14.99 per month for HBO Max, AT&T says it will be issuing refunds to the payment method on file.
Here’s the AT&T TV NOW HBO Max email in full:
If you have been affected by the HBO Max error, then it is worth checking to see if you have received the email. If not, then check your billing account to see if the $9.99 credit has been applied. If no email and no credit shows on the account over the next few days, then it may be worth getting in touch with AT&T directly.
Original article: AT&T TV NOW customers who are also $5 grandfathered HBO subscribers are reporting a $10 increase in their monthly bill, with the price rise believed to be related to HBO Max. It remains unclear if this is a temporary error, or an indication of the loss of another DIRECTV NOW era discount for many of the service’s original subscribers.
Back in 2016 when DIRECTV NOW launched, AT&T offered its subscribers the option to add HBO to their package for the low price of $5 per month, a saving of $10 compared to the usual $14.99 per month. At the same time, the company was also offering its ‘Go Big’ plan for just $35 per month, a steep discount compared to its standard price. The overall result for those original subscribers who combined Go Big and the HBO promotions was a great package, at a low price.
While DIRECTV NOW is no more, and all original subscribers have seen various price increases over the years, they have been able to keep their HBO subscription at the reduced $5 cost. However, there are now multiple user reports of their HBO price being upped to $15 per month – equivalent to a $10 monthly price rise.
The issue seems to stem from the launch of HBO Max. As users are explaining on this Reddit post (and this one), AT&T has automatically switched all those grandfathered subscribers over from HBO to HBO Max. Although this is an upgrade from the subscriber perspective, AT&T has been doing this for many existing HBO subscribers, considering the standard HBO and HBO Max are priced the same.
However, those same users are also explaining that their bills have changed to reflect HBO Max’s current price and not the heavily discounted promotion price they were paying for the standard HBO service.
Possibly a glitch, Possibly not
Some of those affected have been in touch with AT&T to see what’s happening. There are those who have found AT&T helpful and been told that it was an error and that their $5 promotional price will be reinstated again.
However, there are also those who have reportedly had AT&T refuse to reduce the price back down again, suggesting they are now going to be billed $15 each month for access to HBO Max. In other cases, there have been instances of AT&T offering a one-time $10 discount. Effectively, they are being offered HBO Max at their usual $5 rate for one month and then will be expected to pay the $15 each month if they continue with the HBO Max subscription.
Due to all of this, it does seem as though AT&T TV NOW subscribers who had HBO locked in at $5 per month are seeing a varied response when they try to get the matter rectified. Which makes determining what exactly is happening all the more difficult to do. If it is a glitch, then it stands to reason that all the accounts that are affected will see a price reduction again in due course, although that doesn’t explain the mixed messages that AT&T TV NOW subscribers are receiving from representatives.
In the meantime, it would be wise for any grandfathered $5 HBO subscribers, or anyone who was previously getting a HBO discount, to check their accounts for an increase in price, and if so, get in contact with AT&T to see if it can be reduced again.