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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  • SKA

    Why the cubs again? Come on now.

    • David

      Cub fan for life!

  • http://none billy v

    no offense but PROJECT DARK prices suck. I pay cheaper than that right now. I have UNLIMITED internet, texting & calls for about $84.99 per month. I am a tenured customer so I get a good deal, but seriously, $85 per month (92 ish after taxes) is a lot of money. Project Dark is not going to bring T-Mobile out of 4th place. Just aint gonna happen. No one even knows about Project Dark (normal people dont care about this stuff). We do, cuz we are Techies, etc..

  • SKA

    CUBS & BEARS UNTIL THE DAY I DIE.

    The new plans are good for customers new to TMO but not for us ol timers. If it keeps TMO growing then more power to them.

  • Matt

    When considering the U.S. population alone, 14,000 activations is a drop in the bucket. I am sure T-Mobile would have expected a higher and better turn out. Let’s also not give praise where it is not due. The Even More and Even More Plus plans are not really any better and most commentors have noted that the savings are miniscule at best, at worst they cost even more. With the explosion of the prepaid market, in terms of quality and coverage, those who do not need smart phones have no compelling reasons to go with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile. For example, while not having state of the art phones, Straight Talk at 45.00 a month for unlimited voice, text, and data makes a clear and convincing argument. Plus, Straight Talk includes 411 calls for free and has coverage that is more complete, nation-wide than T-Mobile. In a consumer driven market, the way to force prices down is to flock to the competitor if they offer better prices. People wanting fancy phones has kept the prices of service artifically high.

  • 30014

    U have to wonder how many of those 14k were subscribers from other carriers. If vz isn’t taking project dark seriously then u know at&t isn’t. No contract basically makes u a flex pay customer, I don’t see how that looks good to tmo’s bottom line.

  • Craiger

    Project Dark is a great plan to bring customers over from AT&T. Of course, if you’re already with T-Mobile it’s not going to be any better. That’s not the point! The whole story is the Even More Plus plan. Who cares about the Even More line? Just look at the T-Mobile main page to find out where the news is. This is for customers currently with AT&T who may get their phone unlocked and want to try out TMo for a change. They can sign up CHEAPER with NO CONTRACT. Don’t make it more difficult than it is.

  • Matt

    The so-called smart phones are what really has kept the prepaid armies at bay. Once the recession hit, consumer realize that the cost of using these devices is astronomical, hence the damn broke and the flood waters are rushing in. This is the moment the TracFones and fledgeling prepaid operators were waiting for. Consumers, instead of impulsive spending, are looking at cost of service as well as the cost of the phone. Many are realizing that they cannot justify the extra cost just for the features of the smart phone. Maybe, getting back to basics is just what the world really needs. No one, it could be argued, really NEEDS a smart phone – it could be done without. Wireless hotspots are all over. A basic phone for talk and text has become a necessity, more or less, for safety.

  • motoman

    And what about us, existing customers?
    I’m leaning towards VZW now, they do have better coverage, and with the new prices, i would pay (almost) the same. Not to mention, seems like they got a winner in the Android phone market

  • Ritchie

    To me it just means that unhappy TMo customers that dont like the EM and EM+ plans will leave especially if theres no contract.

  • gnd

    Forget about all of the hype about the plans for a moment. What happened to all of the hype about new phones and increased coverage and speeds? Rumors of a T-Mobile I-phone, new Nokia’s, and new Android phones were swirling around. I held off making a move until PD was released just to be sure that I was not going to miss out on anything. The big new phone release we got was a Sony Erickson phone that barely got noticed anywhere. Verizon, AT&T, and even Sprint are looking better.

  • Brian

    you know i wasnt happy at first but after talking to cs for a little bit i think this will work in favor of those that like to swich phones every couple of weeks…but other than that…well…i still wouldnt leave tmo…

  • Tito

    I’m surprised that I didn’t see anyone post this…

    These plans ARE incredible game changers. Not on price, naturally. But there’s something to be said about CHANGING the game at the same pricepoint instead of offering the same game at a lower pricepoint.

    Ok, Even More is the same old game, just simplified. Whatever.

    Even More Plus is where the fun is. Think about it. No contract, no phone discounts. And $10 cheaper. So basically now it’s obvious that the plan is more expensive to pay for the phone subsidy, except it stays the same long after that subsidy is “paid off”. The game is changed now. They continue to change the game further because they understand that a family isn’t going to pay $1000+ for phones for everybody, so they let you break it down over 20 months.

    Let’s look at the individual user. $200 for an average phone, over 20 months is $10/month. They’re effectively paying the same as Even More customers, but when it’s paid off the cost they pay per month drops!

    If you get a $400 smartphone then it’s $20/mo, but still manageable, and still the cost drops when it’s paid back (interest free, BTW).

    In fact, I can’t understand why ANYONE would go for Even More! I can’t think of a single instance where it makes sense over Even More Plus (for new customers, I mean)

    Granted, for most of us existing customers it’s a giant helping of “meh” pie, but it’s a Thanksgiving feast of awesome for newbies. :-)

  • spikes

    T-Mobile: Family plan w/unlimited Text & Data + 750 minutes = $139

    Sprint: Family plan w/unlimited Text & Data + 1500 minutes = $129

    What am I missing?

  • Kendel

    I’m an AT&T customer now. I am out of contract with them and was waiting until the new version (Fender) of the mytouch came out to switch to T-mobile. Before these new plans, my bill was going to go up $25 per month. I pay AT&T $50 for 440 minutes family plan, and one phone has $10 for data and $5 for 200 texts. This plan is fine and I never go over. With tmo I would have paid $60 for 700ish minutes, $25 for data, and $5 for the smallest texting plan. Now with the new plans I would have to pay $60 for 700ish minutes and $40 for data and texting. The data plan costs more now and there is no more $5 texting plan.

    To recap, it would cost me $100 per month to switch instead of the $65 I pay now or the $90 I would have paid before the new plans. Also, I am aware of the no contract plans, but I refuse to pay $500 for a phone. I know it’s supposed to be all the same in the end. But, when doing the math with it doesn’t make sense go with this plan when only one phone uses texting and data. So, I guess I am stuck with AT&T crappy service and poor selection of phones. God forbid they actually come out with a decent phone, don’t want to make Apple mad. :(

  • Mr. Stacy R. Parr

    Personally, I think the situation might be more analogous to boxing. I believe TMO missed a great opportunity at a one-two punch. They gave a decent first punch (not huge though) with the pricing, but didn’t land a second or third punch because they didn’t announce any new phones, didn’t clarify anything on any upcoming phones (like those from Nokia), didn’t announce new 3G cities, and didn’t announce any upcoming 4G plans.

    One thing I notice at night, while watching TV, is that I’m constantly bombarded with Verizon Wireless and ATT Mobility advertising. If TMO really wants to play with the big boys, they’ve gotta get their advertising quantity closer to Verizon’s. And, they’ve gotta stress the positives that TMO brings to the table, while clearly differentiating what they offer Vs Verizon and ATT.

    Those are my thoughts. Thanks for reading and considering.

  • M3M0R13S

    I like the BAD GRAMMAR in this article… I feel I reading little kid article!

  • Ken F

    And to think they charge you 35.00 to migrate to the new plans. Give me a break. Anything to make a buck. To save me money? Not. Sprint charges 69.99 for unlimited mobile to mobile, nights starting at 7pm, unlimited nights and weekends, unlimited data and text and a corporate discount. T Mobile is stopping corporate discounts on this EVEN MORE PLUS. And I get a cool phone. So this Project Dark is gloomy to me

  • kwill1000

    PSeriously relax guys,

    The new rates are much cheaper than any other national carrier. National advertising hasn’t even started. Lets revisit this after the holiday system.

  • 30014

    @M3MORI3S…this is a tmo blog site not a online college course. If the grammar makes your head hurt then stop reading.

  • M3M0R13S

    @30014

    So you are telling me that T-Mobile customers/fans/blogger’s are retarded and have bad grammar and have not gone to college??? No wonder T-Mobile is for little kids… I guess I’m in the wrong carrier.

  • Jaime

    I will bet you that US Cellular and boost mobile customer were the biggest people to sign up. THE REAL LOW END. They made no attempt to go after AT&T or Verizon. They can’t when 3G isn’t even built out to some pretty medium sized cities…

    I would bet cash that under 100 of the new activations were from AT&T or Verizon. You can’t bring an Iphone to T-mobile and have it work on 3g…so that ain’t gunna happen. And ATT (which is not as good as Verizon in my opinion) picks up more people from EVERYONE with that phone. It’s the freekin’ “Jesus” phone! And AT&T sorta sucks.

    Game changer would have been $10 cheaper across the board with phones and get the Iphone….

  • Marco

    This isn’t really even that good for new customers. It might be good if you could bring phones to any carrier you like (like you can with unlocked phones in Europe) but here you pretty much have to buy the phone from your carrier. So even new customers have to pay $500 for a BB 8900 to T-mobile when they sign up or pay it over 20 months…it might slighly beat AT&T on price but the 8900 has no 3g…but they aren’t really beating Sprint who has a 3g blackberry and it roughly equal in price and they have a much better voice and data network (they really do..they have bad customer service though).

  • Rob

    If you don’t use data then T-Mo is the best for you, but if you do need data and the reliability then T-Mo is not the best for you.
    Verizon customers use all of their services and pay the extra fee to have a reliable experience.
    I’m sure that if T-Mo had a 2000-4000 minute plan it would have attracted a lot more customers.
    The thing is that those 2000-4000 minute people are going to go to sprint.
    Verizon doesn’t need to react to T-Mo. They offer a better service.
    They are after all the benz of cellphones and their price reflect it.
    I bet you the industry would have reacted different if T-Mo had the coverage Verizon has.

  • mistermix

    The rates are a “meh”. The phones are not “cool”. Instead of actually expanding the network, they’ve decided to claim 3G without having it. It’s a real failure all around.

    Verizon has the high-end attention for the Christmas season with its Android launches. They also have a very effective ad campaign touting their network. Sprint’s addition of a couple of decent Android devices also got some attention. Ironic that the network that launched Android is sucking hind tit with the crappy cliq.

    Where’s the DT investment that was supposedly going to lead to a big buildout?

    And even if they can’t get a good Android device, why can’t T-Mobile just launch a couple of decent Nokia phones? The N900, N97, N86 and 5530 are all phones that you can’t get on other networks. Those would be “cool phones” as their marketing claims.

  • Rob

    cellphone companies. I meant

  • NiiDiddy

    OK GUYS…

    VZW not paying attention my a**!!! Its business…they are all paying attention. You don’t and you can get knocked off!! Maybe not so much to the pricing, but to a new way of doing business with the EM+…same as they all [including TMO] paid attention to Sprint with their by far, innovative “Any Mobile, Anytime” plans. Again NEW WAY OF DOING BUSINESS! While its not my cup of tea, I am a one in a million TMO customers [prospective of not] I am not bashing it…but I can guarantee it will be as successful as it it in Europe.

    If VZQ and/or ATT weren’t paying attention to what’s going on, esp ATT wouldnt come up with an A+ whatever plans. All of them are trying to find innovative ways of winning the majority…that’s all. Yes T-Mobile had the chance of driving pricing lower, and create that kind of competition – I still believe they did with the EM+ plans. We will find out soon how the EM+ plan is holding up. I bet VZW/ATT will be scrambling to try something else when the numbers are good!

    ….almost laughable…”Not paying any attention…” my a**!!!

  • mistermix

    Also, on the 14K activations, how many do they do on an average Sunday? 14K is on track to do 1.2 million adds in a quarter, but they report *net* activations, not gross adds. Who knows how many switched from T-Mob on Sunday?

  • Brent

    @Spikes,

    You aren’t comparing the exactly equivalent plans.

    T-Mobile gives you unlimited minutes + texts + data for $139. This includes calls to mobiles and landlines

    That plan from Sprint is $189 according to their Web site.

    My understanding of Sprint’s $129 plan is that calls to any mobile is free and then 1500 minutes for calls to landlines. Certainly that would more than cover most people, but you do get more from T-Mobile. And when comparing the absolutely unlimited plans, T-Mobile wins by a big margin.

  • mistermix

    @niididdy: Verizon didn’t say they weren’t paying attention, they said they didn’t feel the need to make any changes. And that’s right, because the T-Mob pricing isn’t crazy low enough to attract enough new smartphone users.

    The “missed pitch”, to use David’s metaphor, was the opportunity to open up the smartphone market to the next group of adopters: those who are willing to pay voice prices for data. T-Mobile’s pricing isn’t low enough to attract that next wave of customers. And their network isn’t good enough to get a sufficient number of VZW smartphone customers to switch. So status quo remains.

  • JB6464

    @Tito , wait until you have to shell out $900.00 for the new HTC HD2 phone(Retail price for U.S.). How many on the EM+ plan will chump out that cash up front for that nice new smartphone coming out.
    If not then that will be an extra $45.00/month on top of your EM+ plan for 20 months.

  • hi!

    wow…..

    Missed the pitch? Read that moconews article. Sounds a lot more like the last nail in the coffin.

    I’m so used to reading tmonews and the positive spin it puts on things that when I read that moconews article which spoke the truth it was almost a little shocking.

    Verizon and AT&T are doing NOTHING. Another way of looking at this is their customers will do NOTHING!

    They didn’t start a price war. They didn’t do anything game changing. And things are leaking very very bleak at the moment. Who cares about contract free in the US? TMobile has misfit frequencies and it’s not like in Europe where you could take any phone over to TMo…..that may have made a splash.

    In a nutshell…..beyond fail

  • Jim

    @Brent
    Am I missing something ’cause sprint has the Simply everything plan for $99 with phone subsidy for a Palm Pre.

    Everyone keeps comparing the $80 Tmo plan which doesn’t come with a phone! You would have to buy a $400 android phone over time.

    Sprint has full 3g/4g..

    What big margin are you takin’ about?

  • Simply Texan

    The savings between Even More and Even More Plus is incredibly small.
    Consider the MyTouch:

    Even More:
    $150 – phone
    $99.99 – Unlimited Everything
    $2549.76 – Total 2 year commitment

    Even More Plus:
    $500 – phone
    $79.99 – Unlimited Everything
    $2419.76 – Total 2 year cost

    Savings over 2 years? $130 (That’s $5.42/month)

    So, which plan should you use? If you leave early (Even More Plus), you’re still on the hook for the $500 phone which you can’t fully use (if at all) on any other network.
    I’m getting the Nokia N900 so at this point I don’t have a choice.

  • CellJunkie

    T-Mobile missed the boat on this one. Trying to get customers from VZW & AT&T to switch will be hard. All those subs do not mind signing a 2yr contract. So for those who do, enjoy paying a sub prime price for a phone or smartphone. I would also venture to guess most also upgrade to another device when eligible. I would think people like paying $200 for a device that normally costs $400 or $500. Then getting another newer device that costs $400 or $500 at a deeply discounted price with loyalty rebates 12 to 22 months later.

    So if we look at the numbers, contracts do not seem to bother VZW or AT&T. Time will only tell how many EM+ customers sign up.

  • rinklighter

    @ Stacy R Parr:

    Good points. ATT and Verizon ads are nonstop on pretty much every channel (just check out the annoying and loud ass VZW commercials during a hockey game on Versus). The only time you’ll see a TMobile ad is probably during an NBA game. This was a nice first step and now we’re waiting to see what’s behind it. I’m guessing they’re putting are their hopes on the holiday season.

  • shhon75

    what happen too the PHONES! I thought their was going o be a phone line up of sort with the price plans. “The PHONES you Crave” or “The phones to make your friends Jealous” LMAO. If T-Mobile had release Behold 2, Droid, N900 on the same day with the price plans, then the could have really made a true effort to move up to 3rd place.

  • jmastera

    Ok, so hows about we stop talking about Project Dark. For some it was good, for some it was ok and for some it wasn’t anything to write home about. End of story. Lets get back to the articles everyone really wants to read – all the new hotness in phones that may or may not be coming to our beloved Magenta!

  • Nerdlust

    $80 for unlimited everything! :) the battle is for premium customers! Tmobile is making the the big 3 very nervous. They can’t complete with these prices. Why spend $173 for unlimited blackberry talk,text, web on Vz or $80 for unlimited blackberry on tmob!

  • NiiDiddy

    @mistermix:
    I stand corrected…thanks for the help.

  • Josh

    In a word: yes. We are now in the process of moving our entire family over to Sprint from T-Mobile. Unlimited Data, Texting, Mobile-To-Mobile Calling (any network), & 1500 anytime minutes for $189 per month = win. T-Mobile’s new plans just can’t compete with this.

  • paul

    I’m sitting in my car tethering off my mytouch3g(what a country) reading all you have to say. I at first was NOT a big fan of even more and even more plus, however after speaking with a wonderful customer care rep. they walked me through all the possible scenarios for me. After many anxious moments it was obvious that I would need a few days to let this all sink in. Being part of the T-Mobile family means that you may not agree with everything someone does but you are there to support them. I believe in T-MO, I believe in there philosophy, and whether I’m on my current plan or one of the even more plans I believe they are trying to do something here, trying to be competitive and also give us some cheaper and flexible rates and options. We all like to complain,but who would you rather have as your carrier, T-Mo or AT&T ? my point exactly..T-Mo has now shown us that we can have it our way, change rates, stay the same, whatever you the customer wants, new and exciting phones on the horizon..a few future crazy phones running Android(HD2 ANDROID) faster 3G , what else could we possibly want?? Oh wait I forgot, we are Americans,,we always want more..and ya know what,,we should,,we should always want more,,that way we keep company’s like T-MO,AT&T and others honest..in summation I feel that we all need to keep the big picture in mind. This wasn’t only about rate plans, it was about new phones and faster speeds..freedom of choice is what their after, no commitment plans,more flexible phone options..just like my mom always told me..you have to walk before you can run,,,and T-Mo is just warming up….. peace…..

  • Broke

    The prices of these new plans suck. Maybe not for everyone, but they could have been so much better. The $35 fee sucks. I’m already with them. I shouldn’t have to pay to switch when I’m already a customer.

    I will not see the benefits of the new pricing unless I plan to keep my phone for about 3 years.

    That said, I think there is some miscommunication going around. I called in to do pricing for a new myTouch on the Even More Plus plan and I was still offered a $100 discount on the phone which would have made it $15.78 a month. Oh, but they did say I had to pay $100.17 on the first bill. All said and done with a 1000 minute plan, I would pay approximately $95 a month. That’s not bad. Its just not Earth shatteringly good either.

    I agree that the others have nothing to fear with the new structure. Its certainly yawn worthy.

  • http://www.cnn.com Richard

    The boys in Bellvue have no clue. Mothership DT must be pissed.

  • Marco

    Stats show that Tmo is picking up “lower” income subscribers (who were already no contract people with LOWER companies) and losing their higher income subscribers. Is picking up Boost mobile and MetroPCS people worth losing higher end people to AT&T and verizon??

    It’s really a question…is it?

  • James

    I beleive Tmo could have done better. Price wise, $10 less on all the plans would have made a bigger impact. But even at these prices, where is all the advertisement? I see At&t and those great Verizon “there is a map for that” and “droid” commercials all the time. Where is great phone line-up? The increased 3G coverage and rollout of 21mbps? We as bloggers and readers of blogs may not like these prices, but face it, lots of people dont read these blogs either. Lots of times I feel I have “inside” info with my friends & family. Tmo should have waited before a full release with PD..have the plans, phones, coverage ready and just unleash it all. That would have made a impact.

  • Brent

    @Jim

    I was comparing the unlimited plans from each carrier. There is a $50 difference between them with T-Mobile being the cheaper one. Granted is evened out some with the cost of the phone, but on Sprint you will continue paying for the phone after you have paid it off. On T-Mobile, if you aren’t a big phone geek you can pay off the phone and start realizing those savings. My mother for instance, hasn’t gotten a subsidized phone from AT&T in about 4 years. She more than likely paid off the phone she got from them relatively early into her contract because it was an entry level phone. But for this entire time she has been paying the price that includes the subsidy. Were she on the Even More + plan she would have been getting some pretty big savings this whole time. Which I have to think would have by now paid for an unsubsidized iPhone like she has her eye on.

    Comparing the individual plans is the same story. It might not be cheaper for someone who wants or needs a new phone every two years, but it would be cheaper for someone who keeps the phone beyond that time frame. And that is actually a surprising amount of people.

  • NiiDiddy

    I dont think Bellevue does things without “Mothership DT’s” some of of a stamp of approval…

    I think they know EXACTLY what they are doing, what their business plan is at this time of the industry and why they came up with such plans that dont overly shake up things in the industry. They know their bottom line better than we ever will. I am also sure as usual, T-Mobile has already tested this stuff in many different test markets like they did the Talk@Home, myFaves, UMA…etc…before they rolled it out.

    Like it or hate it, something will work for them. I dont know if judging by the rends what the outcome would be, but it’ll eventually catch on. All those plans I mentioned above caught on eventually. I am sure we had people who complained then, like they are now…

    I am sure the future [could be 6mos, could be a yr or more] there’ll be other plans coming [just like they keep coming up with new phones]…this is not the end – so current T-Mobile customers can hold on to their old plans if they didnt benefit with project dark and see what the future holds.

    Other companies may not see the need to respond – which is actually a good business move – as it’s too early to tell what this will do in the industry. It’ll be stupid to respond at this time…as any business person and they’ll tell you the same thing.

    If it eventually has an impact – yes…if not, well it was a good business decision not to respond to TMo’s moves.

    Peace out…

  • Queen

    I agree with Simply Texan.

    I am on ONE year contract and paid $149.00 for my BB.
    I pay $85 a month for Unlimited Everything.

    The EM and EM Plus plans DO NOT benefit me at all.

  • http://www.myspace.com/Dreama Dreama

    These Prices may not be DRAMATIC SAVINGS!!, its still a Little chump change back in your Pocket. I’ve been with Tmobile for 6yrs. I had the Loyalty plan with data so my Bill was about 85bucks plus taxes. I’ve been out of contract for over a year now. So I switched this morning to the EM+ Which is Cheaper paying only 79.99, plus I ordered the Cliq until the N900 Drops and have The 20 Month Installment Plans which I will surely pay off be4 then.

    It was a Win for me because I don’t want no Contracts. Even though Tmo Lacks in more of the Higher End Smartphones that most of Us DATA Folks Want, I have the best coverage. For my area including 3g but edge is pretty Fast alone where I am in Baltimore, so I have no Plans on Switching 2 Sprint,ATT,or Verizon. Sure they have Great Phones, But S***Y Coverage, and Expensive plans. Plus I have the IPOD Touch, which is my Iphone Fix so I am cool =)

  • xclngtgig

    T-mobile prices were already low enough. Why don’t they focus on better smart phones? Look at how many people switch to a suspect quality network just to get an iPhone. Even when they try they screw it up. When they released the MyTouch (HTC Magic) they gave it less memory than the HTC version. Why??