I was looking at maybe switching providers, when pretty much all the big ones were offering some sort of we'll-buy-out-your-contract deal and offering free phones. Then I looked at the deals, and realized that I would have to buy new phones, and they wouldn't buy out my tablet contracts, so I'd either have to pay the cancellation penalty for those 2 lines, or ride out the time with contracts on 2 different carriers. And I'd still have to buy new phones on the new carrier (and new tablets) - the combined cost would really boost my costs, and completely defeat the purpose of switching.
None of them make it easy; last year I went from a pay as you go, no contract, back to one of the national providers. Mainly because a. they changed their plans and while initially you aren't saving any money, if you're like me, and keep your phone until it dies, i will eventually, and because I needed to add my mom onto the plan as she moved and needed a new cell phone.
They used to offer 2 year contracts, with a fancy new phone for not a lot of money. But their monthly plans were quite high. Now, you pay less for the actual service and data per month, but full price for the phone, over 2 years. And you can pay your phone off in full, any time.
So once mom and I pay our phones off, which will be in about 14 months, or less if we choose to, our montly cost will go way down. But even now, we don't pay all that much.
I still remember my boss saying "why didn't you get the iphone 6?" which was brand new "its only a few dollars a month more" yes, but it was $100 more for each phone, which was already 550 each for the 5.