Home - , , , - Harbor Mobile Discontinuing AT&T Based Service With Only 60 Hours Notice to Customers

Harbor Mobile Discontinuing AT&T Based Service With Only 60 Hours Notice to Customers


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.

Sincerely,
Harbor Mobile

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 
All plans included hotspot at no extra cost.

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.

52 comments:

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  1. I don't think tactics like this will be advantageous to att in the long run. If I were a customer impacted by this, att would be the last provider i'd want to do business with.

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    Replies
    1. As much as I vehemently dislike AT&T, this time they are off the hook. Harbor Mobile was really dishonest. Go after Harbor Mobile in court.

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    2. Without AT&T, that leaves Verizon as the only true extensive national carrier.

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    3. So does this mean we don't have to pay your month bill due since they are canceling our service?

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    4. Yes, it's prepaid so there's no point in paying for future service you will never get.

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  2. Very upset about this. Was considering moving to Metro PCS for the $60 2-line offer, but hey, AT&T through Harbor wasn't bad... until now. So bye bye, AT&T. Not only do I take my Harbor number away, I'm taking other GoPhone numbers away as well!

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  3. Only offered ATT postpaid prices. No break. Wonder if the same thing will happen to Bluegreen mobile.

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  4. BTW, I called the AT&T change-billing-responsibility line, and was offered $45/300MB/MO. They have to do a credit pull. So, no.

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  5. I am harbor costumer that just got a notice about shut down. Was on $27 plan with unlimited talk/text and 2.5 gb data. Called att and closest plan they are offering to me with less data for $55. Very disappointed

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  6. Spent 1 hr at the store after 20 minutes on the phone (phone agent sent me to store to get a biz acct established). I had to call again cause the first store guy was going to send me to another store. Wow.

    This is temporary and I had to do it cause I need those 2 lines working this weekend. $45 per line for 2GB each, yikes. I'll be porting them out somewhere. I could move them as $20 6GB T-Mobile to my Tmo biz account but prefer to keep them on AT&T for coverage reasons.

    My 2 lines were part of Harbor Mobile's 60GB shared, btw.

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  7. Like the old saying goes, if it's too good to be true it usually is. A blind man couldve seen this coming. All I ca say is LOL.
    Good time to run to Cricket.

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    Replies
    1. So? Nine months of great and cheap service that would not have been had otherwise. With a Google Voice number it will take about 5 minutes to switch.

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    2. Does Google Voice even work any more? I tried to get a number on it, and it gave a big list. Every number I tried errored out.

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  8. For those who want to remain on AT&T's network and are light users, H2O Wireless is the next best deal. $27 for unlimited talk & text and 500Mb of data. https://www.h2owirelessnow.com/mainControl.php?page=autorechargeIntro I've used them and have helped friends switch to them, they're pretty good.

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  9. Most important lesson. Use MVNOs only with Google Voice...............! I use all my MVNOs with Google voice only. If the Mvno provider give me a refund i need only a five minutes notice.............!

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  10. Will I lose my Harbor number if I don't port out by Sunday night? I need a few days to get a SIM from another MVNO.

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    Replies
    1. You can port out your number ring.to temporally. or google voice.

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    2. Not Ring.To as they are not taking new customers anymore.

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    3. I will never use G-voice. It's bad enough that G scans your email so they can spam you, but I am not going to let them scan my phone calls. I don't even want to think about what they do with all that information.

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  11. I hope ATT is listening. I don't care what Harbor did, you don't give customers three days to port out. A month would be more reasonable. My family and my company will never use ATT again.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure AT&T gave Harbor 60 days notice and Harbot tried to talk them out of it until the last minute.

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    2. not at&t's fault. it is all harbor's fault. and it is your fault too for not realizing their cheap schemes were too good to be true.

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  12. Just more proof that there's no real competition in the wireless business (and FCC isn't apparently an issue making the oligopoly of the big boys play by any rules that would actually regulate in a manner that even a pseudo competition thru MVNOS can provide some form of competition for the good of the public service that the wireless network should of been as it's replaced the landline systems)
    Sadly more MVNOS will probably follow especially with lower pricing combined with quick demises such as this scaring off the reduced number of customers willing to give MVNOS a chance.. sad..& long-term costly for the consumer...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ Anon. 6:33 PM -- I really don't see it that way. I think the FCC HAS fostered competition by disallowing the ATT + TMobile merger a few years back. Now, we have TMobile's MVNO, Metro PCS, and ATT's MVNO, Cricket, duking it out with cheap phones, generous port-in incentives, and cheap plan rates. Although we don't have T-Mobile here in Alaska, we are still benefiting from this healthy competition as Cricket is offering the same plan rates here in Alaska that they do in the Lower 48.

      Take, for example, our Cricket 5 line group:

      3 lines on 'Basic' for $20/mo. eaach .... T&T w/2.5GB HS Data
      1 line on 'Pro' for $40/mo. ............. T&T w/10GB HS Data
      1 line on 'Unlimited' for $50/mo ........ T&T w/Unlimited HS Data

      None of the lineholders have WiFi because the Cricket data is so much cheaper than the DSL alternative.

      With autopay, the plan is pretty much "set-and-forget', and a smooth website makes any plan changes (up to 2 times per month) easy. The few times I (Der OberGrupen Fuhrer) have had to call CS, it has been a cakewalk. We set things up so everyone pays-up 6 months ahead and there have been zero hassles, except for trying to explain to the other neighbors why they, too, cannot join us but must form their own group (a Group of 5 is the magic #).

      Here on The Last Frontier, we couldn't be happier with Cricket. And with Cricket completely owned by ATT we are secure in the knowledge that we won't be going thru a a fiasco such as this Harbor/ATT mess.

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    2. Plenty of competition. But Harbor was reselling BUSINESS accounts to individuals. I'm surprised AT&T took this long to shut them down.

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  13. How quickly we forget.

    Harbor pulled this same stunt with T-Mobile back before they resold AT&T.

    Shady, shady operation.

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    Replies
    1. Very true. Harbor's owners are shady tough businessmen who have always stretched the rules. They did the same thing with T-Mobile until T-Mo gave them the boot. At&t gave them 60 days warning to comply with the rules, but Harbor waited until the last minute to warn customers, thinking they could connive their way out of it. These shysters will most likely move on to Sprint and illegally resell discounted business lines to individuals against the rules. Shysters tend to repeat their crimes. Watch for it!

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  14. I doubt many customers were legit business customers.

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    Replies
    1. This is true. Go to howardforums and many single individuals are using the service due to circumventing.

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    2. I agree. Most of the people complaining loudly are probably not businesses, and knew that Harbor had been shut down by T-Mobile. They took the risk anyway, and now they squeal and blame everybody but themselves. Pathetic.

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    3. Oh I bet most were since they actually verified FEINs and similar. I was testing one of their accounts when they blew up and I had to give them my LLC's FEI to get approved so yes, they WERE checking.

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    4. Anybody can get a FEIN right away by completing a web form. That does not make you a business.

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  15. AT&T did this because of a service called Smart Mark, smart mark offered free phone service to its customers by answering few survey question a day, Smart Mark was advertising this as AT&T free service, this is what trigger them, guess who smart mark was buying service from "Harbor Mobile"

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    Replies
    1. What's your source for this information?

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    2. so has smartmark shutdown?

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    3. Yes, they have been down for "restructuring" since at least May 4.

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  16. Might just be a coincidence. I visited the SmartMark web site a few weeks ago and I recall seeing a different message about them being down while they relocate. The Google Play store still has the app listed and user comments suggest the service went down around May 1. If SmartMark comes back offering service on a different network, then we'll know.

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  17. I'm self employed and don't have an FEIN number. I work in Real Estate as a licensed Real Estate Salesperson. I file a 1099 every year... Not a w2. I signed up prior to needing to provide them with any ssn or FEIN. I probably would never have provided them with either as it is Pre-Paid. However, if I gave them a SSN and there was a way to check they would see my work status.

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  18. Exactly. (1) There are legitimate businesses that don't have a FEIN. (2) Someone can get a FEIN online without being in business. So a FEIN doesn't prove anything one way or another.

    Here's the facts. Many people applied for and received a Harbor business account without being qualified. Harbor did a poor job of vetting their "business" customers and grew as a result. This was no secret months ago.

    What we don't know is whether AT&T cut off Harbor because of this, because of bill payment, or some other transgression.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Harbor selling to customers who were were not legitimate businesses was only a part of the problem AT&T and T-Mobile had with them.

      A bigger issue and one that directly impacts the carrier's bottom line is that Harbor appears to have been buying multi-line business accounts and selling the separate lines to individuals. I suspect that their contract with AT&T didn't allow them to do that. Single line business accounts cost about the same as single line individual accounts. Harbor was undercutting AT&T's single business line pricing. Harbor probably also generate added customer support volume for AT&T, especially on Saturdays when Harbor support was closed.

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  19. T-Mobile has a decent small business deal: 2 lines, 6GB/line for $80/month. When you get a 2GB mobile data line, they will give you a free ZTE Falcon 917 LTE hotspot after rebate.

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  20. It sounded like Harbor Mobile originally lost t-mobile at the time with the affiliate marketing they were doing. They later lost at&t with the Smart Mark FREE at&t service. It is amazing how they kept trying to cheat the system to attempt to earn a little extra. In the end it backfired BOTH times. I wouldn't be surprised if they are in talks with Sprint to try to do something similar.

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    Replies
    1. No proof of anything. Someone just said something about smart mark, and it blows up.

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  21. I ended up signing up Ultra Mobile $29 plan with 1GB LTE and unlimited voice and text, free international calls for 50 countries. They are T-mobile MVNO and it seems alright so far. My old Harbor plan was $22 +3 tax so I probably will pay $6 or 7 more. I still cannot believe Harbor waited until the last 2 days to notify the customers.

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  22. I wonder if Bluegreen will continue being able to resell AT&T business services. They are about the same price as Harbor was for AT&T, actually a bit less for 5GB of data.

    We don't know the reason Harbor got cut off.

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    Replies
    1. They are doing the same thing HM is doing. BG will most likely get caught sooner or later. It is a matter of WHEN and not IF.

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    2. Harbor mobile had or was associated with Smartmarkphones.net the company smartmark didnt pay the bill which was very very big in the 10 of thousands and bakcrupt the company. brought down Harbor mobile with them. Look up smartmarkphones.net read all abour it... they left thousands of people with out cellphone

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  23. What's the latest? Phones were all turned off today?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Harbor AT&T phones stopped working today

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    2. Confirming May 9 shutoff for me, seems like sometime in the early evening. I was still billed for the 30 days however.

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    3. Following up on my "still billed for 30 days" comment above, I emailed them about it; CS replied within a few hours and credited me back for the entire 30 day cycle, with which I had used about 4 days of.

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  24. heres what happen... Harbor Mobile had ONE BIG Customer... called Smartmark Phones checl out there website smartmarkphones.net . Smart Mark had thousands of lines with harbor mobile promised alot of things... smart mark was supposed to be a free cellphone service provider for customer... become to be a total lie and fraud... what happen is that smartmark couldnt pay the AT&T bill and so brought down HARBOR Mobile as well

    either they both are associated with each other. or smartmark bankrupt HarBor Mobile

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