Harbor Mobile notified its customers today by text and email that they will not be able to offer service to their AT&T based customers after 11:59 PM Sunday, May 8th. That gives customers only two and half days to find a new provider.
Harbor is a business re-seller that operates more like an MVNO. I'm not sure exactly how it works but it appears that they were buying multi-line business plans and selling the separate lines to individual users.
Harbor initially launched in July, 2014 selling T-Mobile service. They stopped activating new T-Mobile lines in July, 2015 although current users were allowed to keep their service. At the time I speculated that T-Mobile had cut Harbor off for some violation of their re seller agreement. Harbor resurfaced as an AT&T re-seller last November. Now it looks like AT&T has dropped the hammer on Harbor too.
Here's the email Harbor sent to one PrepaidPhoneNews reader:
Dear Harbor Customer:
Due to circumstances beyond our control, Harbor will no longer be able to provide AT&T mobile services to the public. At AT&T's direction, we have been instructed to inform you that you have until Sunday, May 8th, 11:59PM to sign on with another mobile provider. You may call 888-444-4410 dial 2 and then 5 to do a change of financial responsibility with AT&T.
We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your support.
Harbor's prices were pretty good for AT&T based service:
- $22/month: unlimited talk, text and 1 GB of unthrottled LTE data
- $27/month: unlimited talk, text and 2.5 GB of unthrottled LTE data
- $35/month: unlimited talk, text and 4.5 GB of unthrottled LTE data
- $50/month: unlimited talk, text and 10 GB of unthrottled LTE data
- $65/month: unlimited talk, text and 15 GB of unthrottled LTE data
- $80/month: unlimited talk, text and 20 GB of unthrottled LTE data
I wonder if AT&T will allow Harbor customers who execute a change of financial responsibility the same great prices as Harbor did. I suspect not, but if you are a Harbor customer and you try working with AT&T please let us know in a comment what AT&T offers you.
Update: according to multiple comments by PrepaidPhoneNews readers, AT&T is not letting Harbor customers keep their Harbor plans and pricing. Customers who want to transfer from Harbor to AT&T are being offered AT&T's regular postpaid personal or business plans, which are much more expensive than comparable Harbor plans were.
For customers who want to port to another operator, Harbor is reportedly texting porting information including account numbers and PINs to all customers.
Harbor is not the first of these MVNO-like business re-sellers to suddenly stop offering service. But the previous shutdowns by 35orLess and Harbor involved T-Mobile and users were allowed to keep their service and pricing. AT&T seems to be taking a harder line by cutting customers off on seemingly very short notice. Of course, it's possible that Harbor knew about the shutdown earlier but waited to the last minute to notify customers.