Did T-Mobile Let The Pitch Go By?

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Sat at the keyboard all morning wondering how best to word this article. We’ve been talking about Project Dark for almost a full two weeks, and after all speculation, hype, and confusion and questions still remain. We have concluded however, that we really don’t what kind of  impact these plans will have. We’ve been a little rough on the magenta lately, yet let there be no question we want the Even More and Even More Plus plans to succeed.  Not only because we are fans, but because we are customers as well. Basic economics says competition is a good thing and hopefully will continue to drive down prices. I think we can all agree they are already higher industry-wide than we would like. T-Mobile took a big gamble on the Even More/Even More Plus plans and we won’t know if it paid off for some time. We did learn, however, that first day numbers weren’t shabby as word has it that T-Mobile did 14k activations this past Sunday alone. What remains is if they can keep that number constant, or exceed it.

With my rambling above in mind, MocoNews has an article up this morning discussing how T-Mobile could have started a price war, but didn’t. They quote Verizon as saying they didn’t see a “need to respond to them” in reference to T-Mobile’s new pricing. MocoNews points out that T-Mobile needs to shift focus on keeping its high dollar customers.

I’ve tried to keep up with your comments and I know some of you who originally thought the worst, fared a little better in the end. Some of you saved money, a few of you saved a lot of money and some of you see no reason to change plans at all. So what say you on this MocoNews article?

MocoNews

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  • Grr

    It amazes me how much people let commercials influence their perceptions.

    Sprint’s 4G? – Pfft. Whatever. Its like what, 2 cities? On top of that, they are having speeds of 3-6 Mb/s on it. T-Mobile is already has trial markets crushing those speeds on 3G HSPA+.

    AT&T’s more bars in more places? – 99% hype. Their coverage is only slightly better than T-Mobile’s in most places. AT&T is no where near as good as Verizon in coverage.

    Verizon – Verizon is really the only carrier I’ve seen that lives up to what they advertise for the most part. The only bad thing about Verizon is you definitely pay for it. The only thing keeping AT&T up with Verizon is the IPhone.

    T-Mobile – They deliver on value for the most part. The hype of the customer service is over-rated.

    I’ve used about every carrier over most of the country. I can tell you one thing about Sprint, having 2-4 bars on your phone doesn’t mean anything. A lot of the time I still couldn’t make a call.

    Anyway, did T-Mobile over hype this? Probably not. Only a handful of employees knew about it and it just happened to get leaked. The people blogging about it overhyped it. The prices aren’t bad at all especially considering how quickly T-Mobile is improving their data network. There are cities still in the works, but I’ve already seen some T-Mobile 3G sites come up where there are no AT&T 3G sites. T-Mobile already has some 21Mb/s coerage areas they are trialing while AT&T promises to deliver 7.2 this year. Sprint’s 4G is does not deserve to be labeled 4G.

    If T-Mobile delivers on the N900 and HD2…and keeps moving in that direction on phones and data, then they are heading in the right direction. Their biggest obstacle right now is that a lot of people are sheep and believe anything they see on TV … and everyone knows that T-Mobile’s advertising is unable to capitalize on that.

  • MaysBerry

    Sales in my neighborhood locations are up a STAGGERING 50-75% daily :D stay near a TV set and watch the beauty unfold.

  • smithticuffs

    so they’re offering the best deal on no contract agreements? if you’re in a contract they suggest you cancel, pay the etf, and enjoy the savings? yeah paying $200 in ETF’s for 2 lines plus the $35 a line migration activation fee even if your already a customer + full frice for a touch 3g ( $399 ).. Sounds like a deal, only around $900 in startup costs LOL the funny thing is that reps are trying to talk people into it like it”s the greatest thing ever! maybe if you are out of contract! way to screw your loyal existing customers T-Mobile

  • bob

    the big suck is that T-Mobile was the leader in Android phones… but Verizon is totally upstaging them now by getting the first Android 2.0 phone. So if Android 2.0 is ready.. when will the REST of us get it?

  • Brian

    Phones you crave?
    Here is CNET’s top tips for phones. Oddly, two are Sprint exclusive. NONE are T-mobile exclusive.
    http://reviews.cnet.com/best-cell-phones/?tag=rb_mtx;wp_body

  • Matt

    @MaysBerry – Where is your proof? Sounds like you are trying to do a pump and dump.

  • Bill48105

    Wow some TMo reps are lost, or perhaps it’s just me. Just talked to another person there & they were giving me different pricing than another rep had yesterday so hard to say which are true at this point. One thing I wish is that TMobiles site was better.. Why don’t they have simple charts to see everything in one place or hell a wizard to do what-if scenarios to compare side by side? Might need to hold off making any changes until the dust settles because it’s impossible to make an informed decision when you’re told something different every time you call. ;(

  • casualrepartee

    MAKING THE CASE FOR SPRINT:

    I’ve been a T-Mo customer since 2000. After doing an exhaustive review of my current loyalty plan on T-Mobile for family, I was told to take a peek at Sprint. What I’m reading in the comments is that everyone is comparing T-Mo’s new rates to ATT and VZW; as such, Verizon still is the highest price point (T-Mo wins for the penny-pincher), and ATT has the iPhone (but exorbitant prices for such a spotty/unreliable network). Here’s how Sprint adds up currently.

    Right now, I’m paying $130 a month for 3 lines, 1000 minutes, unlimited texts, and data for a G1 on T-Mobile. That’s with quite a few rollover perks, like $10 unlimited text messaging for families, etc.

    If you didn’t know, Sprint offers discounts for business and organizations ranging from 15%-25%; all you have to do is go to the business section of their website, enter your email address, and they’ll tell you whether you qualify for the discount.

    Because my law school is part of a university system participating in Sprint’s program, I’m eligible for a 15% discount. I can get the unlimited everything data package (unlimited texts, mobile to any mobile, data, tv, nfl, gps, 450 minutes to land lines) for $59.99. For a family plan for 3 (same as I have now), I can get the same unlimited everything data with 1500 landline minutes for $127…3 dollars less than what I’m paying at T-Mobile as a longstanding loyalty customer, but with unlimited data and minutes for all.

    The argument against Sprint and for T-Mobile due to customer service fails, I think. While good, T-Mobile’s customer service has continued to top the industry because T-Mobile retains low to mid range customers who are satisfied with what they are getting, and don’t leave. For those customers, this is a steal. But to say that Sprint doesn’t or can’t have comparable customer service would be an error.

    Sprint and T-Mobile are at the bottom of the top 4, with sprint sitting in the 3 spot. But Sprint wants to get on top just like T-Mobile, and took steps to do so with the truly competitive new pricing plan for unlimited everything. Further, Sprint’s customer service by phone, from what users of the service tell me, is just as willing to accommodate customers’ needs as T-Mobile’s. If you’re going in-store to get help from T-Mobile, you’re likely to get an idiot who answers your questions just as ineptly as someone from Sprint, Verizon or ATT.

    I haven’t decided to make the switch yet, but there’s a trial period, and if you sign up online, you get $25 off your first two months’ bill.

    For those high-end customers looking to switch, but not wanting to pay out the ass for verizon or suffer the pathetic network woes of ATT, I’m just saying Sprint seems awfully viable.

  • casualrepartee

    Oh, also: Sprint has the Pre and the Hero. Until the Droid announcement, the Hero was considered to be leaps and bounds beyond the T-Mobile Android offerings, especially with HTC’s Sense UI. Both of those phones, in my mind, top the noise streamy Cliq. It does come down to the handset at the end of the day.

  • http://www.cnn.com Richard

    Being first to market and exclusivity makes a huge difference. T-Mobile USA will never catch up to AT&T or Sprint or Verizon nowm, it’s simply too late and the market is already saturated. They had a chance with exclusive Android phones, but they didn’t want to cough up the cash for it. Look at how the iPhone has sustained AT&T. It’s too bad.

  • Grr

    The problem with basing it on the handset is, there is always a better handset coming to another carrier in the next couple on months. I’ve been with Sprint, and find them to be a poor choice. Here are the problems I see with Sprint:

    1. Too many networks for their own good. You have to worry about the Nextel network, the CDMA network, and now the Wimax network. It has been my experience that they do a poor job of taken care of the networks they already have.

    2. LTE > WiMax. With Wimax you need a separate network for voice. That means Sprint will have that same crappy voice network as they have now as they go “4G”. With Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T being LTE how many phone manufacturers will be jumping out of their seats to make a special phone for Sprint on a different technology? Beyond that, the data speeds are not even that impressive compared to LTE.

    If I was not with T-Mobile, I would basicly go for anyone besides Sprint. That would be my absolute last choice unless I only wanted a data provider. If you want to choose a provider, I would first base it on who can give you good coverage for you and how much is it going to cost. After that, then the handsets come in to play for me. Carrier quality can be vary greatly depending on your region, but Sprint’s network is pretty pathetic where I’ve used it.

  • CellJunkie

    Do we have to bring LTE vs WiMax in the mix everytime carrier debates happen? I am no tech person or understand it to its full potential but I’m tired of hearing, LTE, NO WiMax. Having 4G technology in general is good for everyone no matter the carrier. Does T-Mobile own 4G spectrums? I read on some financial/news sites that rumors of them buying MetroPCS for their AWS spectrums to start on 4G. So they do not have any to start building out?

    Maybe stop messing with plan changes and start building out 4G. So in 2010, Verizon and Sprint will have plenty of 4G cities running. Not sure about AT&T. T-Mobile needs to be more aggressive in build outs not plan changes.

  • CellJunkie

    I have nothing against any carrier. In Fact, in my life between family and friends they are all on all 4 carriers. I have no bad stories to say for any carrier. All love their carrier and unless a device, like the iPhone comes around, most or all stayed put because it works for them.

    So if for me, choosing based on coverage or data speeds is not an issue from people I know. Yes I do agree there will always be a better handset or newer handset on other carriers.

    Between VZW & AT&T, there are enough new customers for both T-Mo and Sprint.

  • Eric von Michigan

    I got a Sprint employee referral and made the switch from T-Mobile to Sprint this morning. I never thought I’d ever go there thanks to lots of customer service horror stories and generally great service with an unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile, but these new plans just don’t do it for me. After taxes and fees, I’ve been paying about $65/month for 1000 minutes, unlimited text messages and unlimited data on T-Mobile. However, that doesn’t include unlimited nights and weekends, and there’s no way to add it on.

    Data has been solid, but SLOW. In my town, two thirds of my closest tower are EDGE, while the other sector is GPRS only. There were several months this year where they deactivated EDGE on the tower altogether, leaving me with dialup speeds on my phone. Their 3G network in Detroit ends one town over from me, so even if I had a phone that supported their 3G frequencies, I’d still be poking along at around 5-6K per second in many places, or 25-30K in the right spot.

    This is, in a word, pathetic.

    To their credit, it’s been almost impossible to drop a call on T-Mobile. There’s one intersection around here where it will almost always drop, and that’s it. Their voice network has been rock solid for me. Even driving 1300 miles from Santa Clara, California to Boulder, Colorado, there was about one mile where I didn’t have service. THAT was impressive.

    Now, for that same ~$65/month on Sprint, I’ll get 500 weekday minutes to landlines, unlimited airtime to and from any other mobile carrier, unlimited nights and weekends starting at 7pm, unlimited messaging, and unlimited FAST data. I’ll also have GPS for a change. At most, Sprint will probably have slightly higher taxes and fees, but I can deal with a couple more bucks per month. I don’t feel like I’m being whiny or acting like a spoiled brat because Even More Plus wasn’t enough to keep me; this will just be a better price point for how I use my phone. They’re just cell phone companies — I’m not married to them, and T-Mobile isn’t going to care if I leave. Besides, chances are I’ll be back some time in the future. Tmo isn’t going anywhere (I hope — competition is good).

    I know I’ll have to call customer service at some point. But from what other users have told me, they’ll always at least offer something to rectify problems. T-Mobile *never* did that for me. I’ve had issues where charges to 411 showed on my bill (which I’ve never called) and picture messages supposedly sent from my phone which can’t even do MMS, and they either claim they can’t do anything to help, or they tell me the charges will be credited on my next bill, which doesn’t happen.

    The only reason I have to stay with T-Mobile anymore is free text messaging when I’m in Canada, but that won’t stop me from jumping on this pricing while I can. Goodnight, Mrs. Zeta-Jones… wherevah you ah.

  • keekolacita

    Does anybody even know how to read? Or listen? The only way you have to pay that $200 ETF to enjoy the plan is if you reupped your contract with TMobile AFTER the 25th of October. Otherwise, as an existing customer who signed a contract as LATE AS OCTOBER 24th, you can got to the EVen More plans without AN EXTENSION of CONTRACT and if you want the Even More Plus, you just pay the $35 fee and carry out your existing contract. They tried to make it as stupid simple as possible and people who can follow that logic are the ones making out with the savings. I wouldn’t save money on the plans, but that doesn’t mean my parents, and my sister didn’t save a whopping $900 bucks a year between the 3 of them.

  • 30014

    @Grr….what u are not understanding is that while it may be true that a newer, better handset is always coming, tmobile always goes with the middle of the road offering. With the verizon droid being officially announced today, there have been a ton of reviews. Everyone is saying the droid is a beast of a phone and that it’s a legitimate iphone competitor, while the cliq is just called a decent upgrade from the g1. It’s time to do away with “the phones you crave” tagline.

  • TK421

    I am saddened by the Moconews article. Really. I was truly disappointed with the price points because I was expecting it to make the rest of the industry shudder, like what *didn’t* happen in the Moconews art. That’s what I wanted. I wanted T-Mo to make a stand and put their flag out there to differentiate them from the rest of the companies, and hoping this was a prelude to a kiss – High end phones, acquiring Metro so they could fairly easily ‘flip the switch’ on 4g in more places than the rest, as internally the say they’re going to do.

    It’s depressing to think of what could have been, and what’s not. Did T-Mobile miss the pitch? I hate to say it but they did. If it wasn’t for Sprint’s gosh awful multi-network debacle (Who uses CDMA anywhere else in the world anyway) they would be contender for #2 spot. Don’t get me started on how ashamed I feel about the entire Android flop. It sickens me every day to hear about Vzn’s Droid marketing and how close T-Mo had to capitalizing on the droid but let it slip thru. Granted, that has a lot to do with Google not wanting to be a one carrier op sys, which I applaud them for. I’m all for the truly open op mobile phone. But ye gads T-Mo, did you have to *let* Vzn tear down your Android flag, cover it in poop, refuse, burn it, then hang it half mast, because droid is gone from T-Mo. Will the ever have an edge like that again?

    So I’m waiting for the day when the stormtroopers march in and rifle butt us in the heads telling us to start wearing orange or yellow or whatever O2 color is that they’re now changing the name and pumping more money in it than ever before and will dominate the market forever until an updated Sherman Anti-Trust act comes in to stop it. When will the depression end?