T-Mobile Posts Third Quarter Results

lolkara

T-Mobile reported third quarter 2009 results this morning and the numbers are less than impressive. Let’s just get right to the chase and mention they reported that in the third quarter of 2009, total customers declined by 77,000, compared to net additions of 325,000 from the second quarter of 2009. Comparatively, the third quarter of 2008 was met by net customer additions of 670,000. The number of contract customers declined by 140,000 in the third quarter of 2009. The report claims the losses are due to an increase in the higher churn of contract customers, specifically from FlexPay customers. Contract customers compose 80% of the T-Mobile subscriber base, down from 81% in the previous quarter of 2009.

Churn was at 2.4% in the third quarter of 2009, up from 2.2% in the second quarter of 2009. T-mobile states that the reason for high churn was ” due in part to competitive intensity, including handset innovation, and the seasonal impact from the “back-to-school” window.”

That’s the bad news and really, it isn’t good. We’re T-Mobile cheerleaders around these parts but a net subscriber loss is a net subscriber loss, spinning that in a positive light is in a word, tough. With the introduction of the Even More and Even More Plus plans T-Mobile is gambling once again that lower rate plans are enough to attract the customers and frankly, they might succeed to some extent. To really make it happen though, to really get back in the game it’s going to take one thing, marketing. “It’s the marketing stupid” is a phrase that should be rife in Bellevue right about now. T-Mobile has what it takes to succeed, it just needs a better way of showcasing that it does, and current marketing isn’t cutting it. I love Catherine Zeta Jones but she hasn’t really been hot since Entrapment, so it’s time for a new spokesperson, a new ad campaign and a serious push toward serious business people. An unclogged, reliable, less expensive 3G network can make for a good case to business users and high dollar consumers so it’s time to give them the handsets to boot.

I hate to see negative numbers knowing the inevitable gloom and doom comments they will bring across the interwebs, never mind the certain comparisons to (shuddering)…Sprint. The fourth quarter is where it’s really at, where the Even More and Even More Plus plans really need to shine, we heard a big marketing campaign is coming and it had better be big, loud and with some chest pounding.

On that note, it’s time for some highlights:

  • On August 13, 2009, T-Mobile USA achieved the highest ranking in a tie for the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Wireless Customer Care Performance StudySM – Volume 2. Since 2004, T-Mobile USA has received the highest ranking, including two ties, in nine of the last 10 Customer Care Performance Studies conducted by J.D. Power and Associates.
  • In August T-Mobile USA’s products and services started being offered in more than 4,000 RadioShack stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, almost doubling our national retail distribution network.
  • On September 17, 2009, T-Mobile USA received the highest ranking among national wireless carriers in the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Wireless Retail Sales Satisfaction StudySM – Volume 2. The award further reflects T-Mobile’s continued achievements for overall customer experiences, whether in-store, online or on the phone.
  • On October 21, 2009, T-Mobile USA announced the fourth quarter of 2009 availability of the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9700 with Wi-Fi Calling from T-Mobile. It will be the first 3G-powered BlackBerry smartphone available through T-Mobile USA, adding to the holiday lineup of 3G converged devices such as the T-Mobile® myTouchTM and recently announced Samsung Behold®II. Additionally, on November 2, 2009, T-Mobile USA launched the national availability of the MotorolaTM CLIQTM. This is the first AndroidTM-powered device with MOTOBLURTM, a solution developed to manage and integrate communication sources together on the home screen.
  • On October 25, 2009, T-Mobile USA unveiled its new ‘Even More’ and ‘Even More Plus’ rate plans. These plans respond to customers’ needs for affordable nationwide calling, texting, and data plans; while providing new ways to get new phones and data devices with equipment installment plans.

Yahoo Finance

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  • jkspike3

    Shenanigans I call it!

  • hi!

    wow….I mean I guess anyone with a brain saw it coming but that hurts.

    Keep in mind that we’re ALREADY in LAST PLACE. So with this…..we’re THAT MUCH FURTHER down….damn.

    TMobile reeeeally needs to step it up. The sidekick disaster, yesterday’s voice outages, yikes. Honestly I don’t think they need some huge boost in advertising. I mean, realistically what are they going to advertise? That you might lose your data. There huge lack of 3G coverage? The lack of a single desirable phone they have?

    These new plans are awful too so I’m calling it right here…most lost customers in quarter 4. Do you think people want an iPhone for Christmas or a G1? hahahaha

  • watbetch

    Piss poor marketing, piss poor handset options.. what else is there? Coverage isn’t the best.. they need to drop the trivial marketing and just be direct like I said before. I think Even More/Plus speaks for itself but the marketing is still horrible. They don’t advertise the fact that you can bring your own handset.

  • Achilles

    T-Mobile keeps leaving features off of its phones! The Cliq: no camera flash! The Behold 2: No slide out keyboard, The G1: No camera flash, The MyTouch: no camera flash or slide out keyboard, The Memoir: no Wi-Fi, The HTC Touch Pro 2: no camera flash! If they can make more complete devices, it will only help them!

  • 30014

    Its time for better marketing and better phones. Some people on the blog defend tmo religiously, I hope these numbers show them how bad tmo is messing up right now. I want tmo to succeed, but I also want people to see that the current business game plan needs some serious tweeking. A mid range smartphone is the companies flagship phone. Am I the only one that can see a problem with that.

  • mistermix

    While I agree that T-Mobile marketing isn’t very good, the notion that marketing alone will change T-Mobile’s fortunes is ridiculous. Cellular service is a mature product and users have a view of the current state of carrier service that defies clever marketing.

    Example: When I discussed switching our cell service to T-Mobile from Verizon, I was met with howls from my teenage daughter. It wasn’t because she didn’t like Catharine Zeta-Jones, it was because she had heard from all her friends that T-Mobile “sucks”. How can any kind of marketing dislodge that negative predisposition?

    The cell market is also saturated — everyone who wants voice/text service has a phone. The market that is up for grabs is the smartphone market, and T-Mobile could have gotten more attention from current price-conscious voice-only customers by offering compelling pricing for smartphone plans. But they didn’t — they did a “me,too” with Sprint pricing.

  • rushmore

    I guess these results will shut all the fanboys up. It is the PHONES people that bring the customers in and now add 3G to the mix.

    Sucky phone portfolio equals sucky results.

  • efjay

    Better coverage, better and wider choice of phones. Launching HSPA+ in one, small, selected market doesnt impress when for most people even EDGE is unavailable. And putting all your hopes on one mobile OS isnt the best idea either. To compete, T-Mo has to step it up on all fronts.

  • justme

    Their marketing sucketh like a tornado. Moving away from the teenie bopper phones and more towards the adult/biz demographic a bit could solidify their base. Not to mention real 3G coverage (something I *still* don’t have where I live).

  • rfgenerator

    Downplaying if not eliminating UMA and My Faves, along with pushing people to unlimited plans that don’t need or want them is a move in the wrong direction. Not to mention the constant barrage of new or increased fees over the last year. It also doesn’t help that not only is 3G only in some urban areas, but you don’t even get EDGE in many many parts of the country (within one mile you go from 3G in Worcester, MA to GPRS as soon as you go one town west). I have a feeling the next quarter is going to be even worse as their Even More fiasco continues to roll out.

  • Wendy

    The new plans just are not impressive imho. I have a family plan with my faves. It works for me because most of the people I am in contact with are on tmobile… the new plans are just too much and a majority of the people on my family plan are teenagers. I’m sorry, I just do not think my high school kids need distractions such as internet and the whole 3G thing in school. We need marketing and a plan that will WOW us… I’m still not wow’d… !!!

  • Jason

    How about charging people $1.50 just for the privilege of receiving a paper bill? Remember that whole fiasco a few months ago? Something has got to change at T-Mo’s mgmt!!!

  • rushmore

    It is only going to get worse with Droid. Expect Tmo to lose a lot more this quarter. What good is the price arguement if Verizon has rock solid 3G everywhere and a device that will be perefect f

    Tmo does seem to be clueless. They release second tier phones and say “It’s the phones you crave”, while they are being upstaged and frankly forgotten due to Droid and other phones.

    NO it is NOT the spokesperson- it is a LACK OF GOOD PHONES. Releasing same hardware in a new shiny case no longer works and consumers know this now.

    BTW, Verizon prices are NOT that bad and if you want great 3G almost everywhere, the extra $10 a month is worth it if you consider what you get. One thing that helps Tmo is Verizon does not use SIM cards. If they did, Tmo would probably be losing even more customers.

    Spinning this is still a dive to the ground. The most important people get it though- consumers.

  • watbetch

    I think people with Myfaves is not who they we’re targeting with the new plans. – As you can see it’s CERTAINLY not keeping them at T-Mobile.

    The new plans are very nice. T-Mobile just has such a poor way of marketing it.

  • http://trancemist.com/ TranceMist

    Congratulations, you’ve managed to write an entire post about quarterly financial results without actually stating them.

  • James

    Tmo could have priced their plans a lil better..even $10 less than they are now would have been great. The rumored $50 plans would have been crazy!! People at my job were talking about leaving At&t, Verizon and Sprint for those prices, but it didnt happen. Another thing are the phones..like someone mentioned in the above posts, a mid range phone is the company’s flagship. A shame really. Overpriced phones is another issue..$169 for a 3G dash?? WTF? The other carriers were offering the same phone for $99 and less. The TP2, MT3G, Moto Cliq and the soon to be released Behold 2..all overpriced. One issue that is close to my heart was the decision to grab the “Magic”(MT3G) instead of the Hero..that was a big mistake. Instead Tmo went with the safer more “iPhone” looking device. The Sense skin coming to Tmo first, could have been a big hit. Oh well in the end im not going anywhere..yet. Tmo has a lot to show me in 2010 or Droid here I come.

  • Stroke

    Right now T-Mobile is floundering; and loyal customers – people like me who have been with T-Mobile ever since their original launch, will find it hard to stay. And if this is how loyal customers feel, imagine everyone else. So, their numbers are not a surprise. These numbers are really bad and there is no way to spin that. Project Dark (or Black), once revealed, should have raised more red flags in the “fan” community. When a company starts competing only on price they are saying one of two things; 1) That their offering is essentially a commodity, which often means they are looking to be the low cost provider, or 2) they don’t have anything else left to offer that their customers would perceive as valuable.

    Competing on price alone is a very dangerous game for T-Mobile. Why is it dangerous? In the first case, they haven’t lowered pricing low enough to be the low cost provider. There are several regional providers with far lower all-you-can-eat priced and Walmart has entered the arena with a low-cost national offering. So, unless T-Mobile drops their prices further, they won’t be the leader on price. And I don’t think they can drop too much further without really hurting their bottom line (although I really should look at their annual filings before saying that definitively). Now consider the second case – offering. Looking at phone vendor market share, Nokia had the most sales in 2Q09 (Source: CNET) followed by Apple. What’s interesting here is that Apple has only one produce on one network – and yet, they are number 2! That tells me that the iPhone is a very compelling product. What was T-Mobile’s answer? Android. I have an Android developers phone and it is a very nice phone. But it is not an iPhone (partly due to ease of use and partly due to hardware performance). On top of that, Android is going to other carriers; apparently with better hardware. Again we find that T-Mobile isn’t the leader. Bottom line: If you want better pricing, you go elsewhere. If you want better phones (including Android phones), you go elsewhere. If you want better 3G coverage, you go elsewhere. So, what is T-Mobile’s value story? Answer: They don’t have one.

    Fixing their problem is not going to happen with “marketing”; it’s going to take strategy. First, T-Mobile has to decide where they want to lead and who they want to attract. Do they want to be the price leader? Phone offering leader? Coverage Leader? Do they want to attract students? Business Professionals? Soccer Moms? It doesn’t matter how they answer these questions; but it does matter that they do answer them. Only then will they be in a position to appropriately build their offering and marketing campaigns.

    I don’t feel that T-Mobile is out of options. For example, Assume a $90 all-you-can-eat monthly plan. “If” T-Mobile was willing to go to $45 a month, that would make them compete with Walmart and on Walmart’s terms. This isn’t somewhere I would want my business to be for very long. But let’s say they stayed at $90 and instead offered any headset for free. Further assume an average headset price of $450. T-Mobile might get a lot of people – loyal followers and new customers – because their phones are free. And then people would feel that $90/month is a good price because of “value.” T-Mobile recovers their cost in less than one year. Now, they don’t have to every phone to every customer for free. For example. At the $70/month price point; you can choose phones from category A. At the $80/month price; you can choose from A or B; and at $90/month; you can choose from any phone. Then let customers get new phones every year – since waiting two years is really an eternity in “phone years.” That’s just a quick idea, and I think it would shake up things. But this example aside, it points to a much bigger problem – Leadership. T-Mobile Executive team doesn’t have a clear vision of where they want to be nor how to get there. The either need to figure that out PDQ, or they need to be replaced.

  • watbetch

    Verizon offers them so cheap because they make it back over the contract. And now they will get it from you either way with the $350 ETF on Smartphones (I think it’s only smartphones). The HTC Snap @ Sprint is $200 before rebate and $100 after. Good luck redeeming that rebate. Going through a third party will get you the HTC Dash/Snap for free.

  • Bill48105

    TMobile needs to expand coverage like yesterday or at least give people like me who have huge dead zones a roaming add-on option if they won’t deal with ATT because we lost 1/3 of our coverage this year. Everyone whining about their slow 3G can come visit here & get no service or GPRS and see them quit their bitchin.

    Bring back unlimited MyFaves & UMA WiFi calling for $10/month.

    Have overage minutes prices reasonably, say $0.20/minute, so people aren’t so scared of the minute plans who don’t reallyneed unlimited. Extra minutes definitely shouldn’t be more than 10% extra over included minutes.

    Bring bank non-unlimited text & data plans & have reasonable usage charges for pay per use or overage. $0.02-$0.05 per in/out text or MB and sounds reasonable.

    Some type of rollover minute bank security blanket for people who don’t need unlimited.

    For unlimited plans, have more than unlimited or 200 min line add-on. Either a few options or better yet a mini-pool for the non-unlimited lines to share.

    For family plans put in the missing tier between 1500 & unlimited.

    Expand phone selection, especially higher-end ones that people are clammering for as they are the ones that are willing to dish out $30/month for data. (Assuming coverage & speed are there)

    Don’t force smartphone users to have data plan and don’t charge extra when they do. Not all smartphone users hog bandwidth and if there were options besides unlimited it’d be fair to those who don’t.

    Have UMA WiFi calling on about every phone. Hell call it 5G and lemmings will eat it up.

    Good marketing to show people how great those things listed above are and how much it’ll save people.

  • watbetch

    Stroke

    You’re speaking a lot of nonsense and talking about a lot of stuff that doesn’t even matter, like Tracfone’s Straightalk. This is not an option for anyone that wants newer device, 3G data, or anything else besides a crappy phone to talk on. ST only works on Verizon’s 1xRTT network. That’s why it’s so cheap. I can’t bring my iPhone to Straightalk.

    Marketing has a lot to do with their success. They could easily push the fact that their network is much larger than either Cricket or MetroPCS, with more 3G and customer service that is x500 better and the ability to bring any unlocked device to their network. Boost mobile is a sad joke.

    T-Mobile updating their customers on phones. Verizon is the only carrier that I know of that will give customers new phones every year they extend their contract. Makes sense with the prices they’re paying. Sprint is every 18 months. AT&T is basically every 2 years or 18 months for a lower discount.

    T-Mobile is obviously taking care of their handset issues, They have a host of smartphones ready to roll and they keep spreading 3G love around as fast as I think is possible for a larger carrier, especially if any of that requires new towers.

  • watbetch

    Bill48105

    You’re asking for way too much

    You shouldn’t be going over your minutes. Get flexpay if you desperately need 20 cent’s per minute over a regular rate plan.

    If you get a subsidized smartphone, data is required on any of the major carriers. It shouldn’t be/isn’t different for T-Mobile.

    Rollover, the people that use it don’t even need it. All I hear from them is “I have 4000 minutes in my rollover account”. Rollover is little gimmick and it certainly isn’t needed with the price of T-Mobile’s unlimited plans. Nor is 20 cents per minute ($1 gets you 5 minutes – for 9 more dollars you can get 500 more minutes or UNLIMITED minutes with an individual plus plan)

    If T-Mobile doesn’t have the coverage you need, they’re not the carrier for you. Simple as that.

  • John

    i have to say, tmo has got the good intentions, i just went to the store yesterday and came back amazed by the service and their offerings. However they really need to learn how to sell it, and get better phones.

  • NiiDiddy

    Damn, damn, damn…OUCH, anyone?? Please read on below…

    These numbers are very disturbing? Do we have any T-Mobile employees here who can point the big wiggs to this blog and other blogs so they know how T-Mobile customers really feel??? If not, we better get them on here somehow to keep up. T-Mobile is either “asleep” and needs to be shaken up somehow or they dont care!

    1) What is the first thing customers [in ANY industry] spend their money on first and foremost? — THE PRODUCT, THE PRODUCT, THE PRODUCT. What is the product in this case? Great, complete, tech savvy phones that compete well with the other carriers. T-Mobile doesnt have them!

    People think product before they even think anything else [...like the service they get with a product]. This is very true in every industry. Fact is, T-Mobile doesn’t have the product everyone wants to see and retain – great phones!! ATT for instance, have one of the worse services (customer service and dropped calls) however people stick with ATT because of the product – the ever so addicting i-Phone. T-Mobile, you gotta take lessons from ATT, VZW, Sprint for offering a better product in phones!!!

    2) Marketing: If you have a great product in a phone device, you dont need a lot of marketing. The product sells itself. Again in the case of the i-Phone…they have sold over 77 million units! Think all that came from Marketing? Think again!

    3) Pricing: Phone pricing at T-Mobile sucks! Overpriced!!! Again, you can get an i-Phone so much cheaper than you can get any of our new smartphones released starting with the G1. Also new, and better smartphones coming out of VZW and Sprint are all cheaper than T-Mobile’s. No excuse…and that will make people leave. Why??

    4) Plans: As for plans…I am not even going there. Yes, I saved a little unlike many of you, but boy do they still suck! People will not leave the iPhones/Droids/Heroes to come to T-Mobile because of a no-contract plan. Again, it comes down to the product [devices]. Also, Getting rid of UMA and myFaves and probably the stupidest decision ever made by T-Mobile. Instead of getting rid of myFaves, they should have increased the number of contacts on myFaves – that would be a better hit that these stupid plans.

    Why I am still here with T-Mobile beats me. Am I that loyal or just plain stupid? Me, I want an AWESOME phone. I have given them benefit of the doubt a little too much as you can see I have defended T-Mobile pretty much across the board in my comments. But this is uncalled for! We need change!!!

    Someone vote NiiDiddy the new, hip, tech savvy T-Mobile CEO and I will make major changes! Lol…it was a joke, but not really!

  • watbetch

    ^ Your whole post was a joke? I hope it was. I wouldn’t even know where to start.

    Some of you are just ignorant. You don’t need to have AT&T to have an iPhone. 3G yes, but the 3G coverage is only better than T-Mobiles and that’s not saying much.

    I WANT $50 unlimited everything! MORE COVERAGE + MORE EXPENSIVE ROAMING + FREE iPHONE’s/HD2′s!!!!!!! oh yeah, NO CONTRACT!

  • Stroke

    @Walbetch, You disagreement is followed by statements that seem to support my analysis. I suggest that TMO is not the low-cost leader and you essentially say that there are lower cost carriers. I say that TMO isn’t the leader in phone offer and you say that you’re using an iPhone – which isn’t one of the phones TMO sells. The only area left is 3G coverage, where I assert that they don’t have the largest 3G footprint. I think we can find enough source that would support that statement.

    Customers have choices. Straightalk or Boost or MetroPCS are not going to be right for everyone. As you’ve pointed out, they aren’t right for you. But, at least they hare a story and they know who they are attracting. Let’s not forget that some low cost carrier let you take your phone with you – (e.g., for people that move from Sprint to Boost, for example and take their Insights). So, like you and your use of the iPhone on TMO, I think we’ll find that some of the low-cost focused customers on these other carriers are using some nice phones too.

    You feel this is a marketing exercise, and you could be right. If you’re right, TMO will not have to have changed anything else to rise from 4th place; except to increase their marketing activities. Personally, I don’t think that’s enough. Fortunately, this isn’t something we need to debate. The market will give us the answer; so let’s check back 12 months and see where things stand.

  • mrvideo

    I got rid of TMOBILE recently and it’s the best decision I have made in awhile. I switched to Sprint and got 3 HTC Hero’s for my family. Tmobile’s new plans are stupid, they make you pay more if you are a contract customer! I got the phone subsidy and a cheaper rate with Sprint + better phones!

    TMO You lose!

  • NiiDiddy

    So you get it, we are talking price points between carriers.
    Duh – everyone knows you can get ANY phone without having to be with the carrier.

    And – No the CEO part was a joke. If you want to take me on…bring it.

  • Bigg

    Well we can all go to Tmobile official forum and create a new post there and tell them how we really feel, there are plenty of Tmo employee there!

  • rushmore

    Lots of spin here, but Tmo is STILL losing customers. Being the cheapest gets you the cheapest. Weak phones and slow progression of 3G coverage.

    If customers begin shifting to where they consider 3G important for service and with Verizon offering SIM phones in late 2010. Tmo is DEAD unless they expand 3G more quickly and offer better phones.

    If Tmo marketing uses the same false securities some post here, they may be dead already.

  • Bill48105

    @watbetch
    Perhaps I am asking for too much but then again I wasn’t saying I expected it all.. I was just listing out some things I think would help.

    Thanks for your input but that is stupid telling me to not go over my minutes. DUH! Sh!t happens & that’s why I suggested those safety net items. Not everyone wants/needs unlimited everything & TMobiles new plans are saying “take it all” or else. Explain to me what plan options (past or present, any carrier) work for someone like me with:
    1. @Home line (Can’t do on FlexPay)
    2. 4 additional lines, 2 do 750-900 minutes per month & 2 that do 250-300 min per month
    3. One line does 200-400MB of data & 10-20 texts per month, one line does 10-100MB data & 10-20 texts, 2 lines do 0 data & 0 texts & @Home obviously does 0 as well.

    Anyway as you can see the new plans suck donkey nuts for me. I can do unlimited & pay 2x as much and be a MAJOR waste for the 2 low-use lines. The 200 minute add-on isn’t any good since they’d go over almost every month. There is no shared minute option higher than 1500 minutes which we’d likely go over every month. If the overage minutes weren’t such a ripoff we could survive. I can’t do Flexpay because then I can’t have @Home. If TMobile can offer $0.20/minute extra minutes on FlexPay I see no reason they can’t do the same on post-paid accounts. On the old plans, MyFaves & unlimited WiFi calling helped but they still weren’t ideal and still rape overage charges if we weren’t careful.

    As far as data requirement by all carriers, that is a cop-out answer. Just because everyone does it does not mean it makes it right or that is what people want/need. Last I checked unless there is a special sale going there isn’t usually an additional discount for a smartphone.. If there is there should be extra termination charge option instead of required unlimited data plan. Unlimited anything is just asking for abuse (look at the latest terms & conditions of all carriers.. No such thing as unlimited) and forcing people who use a little to pay more proportionally than people who use a lot. (How is it fair for me to pay $25 for entire family unlimited texting when @Home line can’t text, 2 lines never text & 2 lines do 20-50 combined (that is $1.25 per text on slow months!) when someone else pays the same $25 & does 1000′s of texts? Same is true for data. That is why I am saying there should be non-unlimited text/data add-on’s and reasonable per-use options. It is stupid that our break even point is like 85 texts from pay per use to unlimited..

    I agree, rollover IS a gimmick *BUT* it serves a purpose for people who aren’t on unlimited: It allows you to build a buffer to safe-guard from arse-rape overages for people who can’t justify extra expense of going unlimited. Of course most people will build up big bucket & just waste the minutes in the end but that safety net is there and unless you can go to a lower plan it was for free. I’m sure ATT has lock on rollover & no other carrier can do it but my suggestion was something similar as a safety net. Let customers by 1000 minutes at a discount from the $0.40+/min overage costs to keep on hand to use when needed. Give free minutes each month as a reward for being a customer that can be banked up. Again it wouldn’t be needed if overage rates weren’t such a ripoff.

    Don’t get me started on coverage! If you had read what I wrote you wouldn’t have missed that we lost 1/3 of our coverage this year because TMobile & ATT didn’t renew their roaming agreement!! So I’m supposed to pay $200 per line to get out of my TMobile contract because of that so I can move to another carrier otherwise live with the new reduced coverage? Hogwash! TMobile should have replaced that coverage with new towers before the roaming agreement ended.

    My post wasn’t about bashing TMobile. I was trying to provide a list of things I think TMobile could do to help.

  • watbetch

    And – No the CEO part was a joke. If you want to take me on…bring it.

    Like I said, I wouldn’t even know where to start. I basically summed it all up where I said you would have to be ignorant if you think their handset prices are too high, prices are too high or whatever other “problems” you think T-Mobile has.

    Duh – everyone knows you can get ANY phone without having to be with the carrier.

    No they don’t. Even so, if they DO know it, bringing it up an in advertisement will refresh your memory. People rarely think about how can I get an unlocked device at T-Mobile. That’s why 80% of their subs are contracted.

    I said marketing was a place that needs major improvement. It will help more over the garbage they have infesting my TV telling me that I should go to billshrink to “find out more”.

    They’ve already the wheels in motion for more 3G & better handsets. I said a huge advantage over any of these cheap CDMA carriers is the ability to use your own device.

    If you think T-Mobile is so overpriced go over to Cricket or Metro and pay $70 for a phone that can barely do anything besides make calls.

  • watbetch

    If “shit” happens, learn from it, upgrade your plan and NEVER pay overage fees again! They will tell you when you’re about to go over now and you know what you do when you get that text, you call and change your plan!

    Always having the ability to roam on AT&T is not in your contract. Read it again.

    The point of these new plans is to NOT have limits, so what if you don’t use as much as the next person. It’s unlimited so you can use it as much as you need to.

    It costs T-Mobile more to monitor data usage which is why they did away with 100mb data a long time ago.

    T-Mobile has minute plans, it’s not ALL unlimited like you’re suggesting. If you need MyFaves Unlimited is the next best thing and cheaper for most new subs in most cases.

    You just flip and flop back and forth. I want unlimited calling to five people! I want more minutes for added lines! I want $10 unlimited WiFi calling on top of my $20 cheaper-than-unlimited minute limited plan! But I want cheaper overage minutes, and limited data, and limited messaging!

  • revdee

    Bottom line is this – T-Mobile needs to come out with better phones. I’m switching to Verizon b/c of the Droid. People want quality phones, and it seems T-Mobile releases cheap substitutes (aka the Cliq).

  • NiiDiddy

    @watbetch:

    What the HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?? You can’t comprehend??? Someone else help me here…I ain’t dealing with this fool!!!

    All I am saying is our phone selections SUCK A$$ – period! How can you compare a lame Behold II price offerings for instance with what Droid price points? That’s the point!!! And I will leave it as that because I can continue to compare device price offering between the 4 MAJOR COMPANIES!!!

    AGAIN YOU ARE WRONG!!! The fact is it’s not everyone who feels comfy to shell out money to buy unlocked phones…so they feel better signing contracts! Majority of them know they can get an unlocked phone and use it wherever. No brainer.

    Again the point you are missing is the fact that whatever phones are being offered by T-Mobile doesnt even tough what the other 3 MAJOR CARRIERS are offering price-wise. Besides, their phone are even better under the hood with better interfaces..etc.

    AND YES – T-Mobile phones are overpriced – I don’t need to go to Crickett …all I have to do is sign with the other major companies and I get an better phone with a better price point!!!!

    Boy you must be dumb!!!!

    And thats my point all along – PHONES!!!

    I am a die hard T-Mobile, but I call it as I see it or deem fit!!!

  • zuben

    UMA enabled dumbphones. I don’t need a smartphone – I have a PDA that can do everything but make phone calls – so why should I buy a smartphone? Plus the PDA has a full qwerty keyboard, camera, video camera, wifi, bluetooth.
    I have no objection to paying for a dumbphone that has UMA.

  • tmogeek

    T-Mobile is in a tailspin. Management has made several miscues and recent network issues don’t do much for customer confidence.

    TMUS has to stop trying to be VZW. Currently TMUS is a solid 4th place carrier. It may be possible to overtake Sprint to become #3, but not with current strategies.

    TMUS abandoned its position as the value leader to chase those high end customers the BIG2 own. Now TMUS finds that doesn’t have the network or handsets to attract high end clientele and the value customer began its shift to Boost, Cricket and MetroPCS.

    Clueless TMUS management has now changed its mind yet again and rolls out EM and EM+ in an attempt to regain the value crown. Befuddled, TMUS resurrects CZJ in an attempt to return to the good old days of quarterly growth, pushing billshrink.com to demonstrate TMUS value. Now there isn’t any mention of billshrink.com on t-mobile.com. Poor promotion of UMA and missteps like the Cameo and @Home service serve as examples of the befuddlement at TMUS.

    The two big reasons that customers leave are network, and handset selection. TMUS was late to the game with 3G and can’t be faulted here since they did not have the spectrum until 2007. They do take the hit for not offering EDGE at all sites. There is no excuse for that. It is a minor change to switch gprs radios for edge radios and in some cases add T1 capacity. The wait for 3G in hundreds of markets could be made bearable with EDGE availability.

    As far as handsets TMUS lags again. First Apple partners with ATT for the iPhone release in the US and then TMUS only offers mid level Android phones because they lack gravitas with mfgs. TMUS gets the Cliq and Moto’s flagship Android phone the “Droid” goes to the 800lb gorilla. Waiting in the wings are the Nokia N900 and the Sony X10, both AWS compatible, but not announced by TMUS! C’mon TMUS sell your soul and get these phones.

    Even in the current economic downturn the wireless industry is still posting growth, albeit in the single digits. Current conditions point to a lackluster Q4 for TMUS unless it can stop the bleeding. New customer adds are not down significantly. The sales team is doing its job. The problem is the droves of subscribers leaving. Adding 500k new customer isn’t any good if 600k leave. TMUS must step up and give the retentions department the tools it needs to save customers. It costs $200+ to acquire a new customer. Spend some of that money to keep the ones you already have.

    TMUS had better turn things around quick or DT will have to make changes to protect their investment.

  • zuben

    @watchbet- changing your plan may not be an option. I can do just fine with the 1500 minutes most times. There are times when dealing some companies and bureaucracies over the phone can chew up your time. I have 4 phones on my account. Upgrading to unlimited would limit the other users. And then the hassle of switching back when we don’t need the extra. Besides which, we don’t really need the unlimited. Being able to just purchase 200 minutes for a reasonable price would be a big help.

  • rushmore

    zuben, based on marketshre shift, you are now a very small minority. PDA function is very very very quckly shifting to phone devices. Try the N900. You may be converted.

  • Bill48105

    @watbetch
    I’m glad you have all the answers, yet none. What part don’t you understand about no family plan over 1500 minutes except unlimited? That is a waste of money for us most months and since the unlimited plans only allow EITHER unlimited lines *or* 200 minute lines. That doesn’t work for us and I’d imagine doesn’t work for many. Price out the new plans with our situation & you’ll see. We are essentially forced into unlimited for being just over the threshold but end up paying 2x as much.

    Quit bein a Dick. I never said it was in my contract. But I did say TMobile needs to expand coverage to make up for that lost area. Guaranteed or not that coverage WAS there and now it is not. Period.

    Unlimited is a LIE. Read the fine print. There are still limits. And you obviously aren’t even reading what I’m writing or your replies wouldn’t be so off-base. My example was the texting.. How is it fair for us to pay what works out to $1.25 per text on the unlimited texting option? Unlimited is not for everyone so there should be other options.

    Umm so they don’t monitor usage anymore but their terms say you can be booted for using too much? Umm.. That almost make sense..

    I’m not flipping or flopping, you just can’t read. I don’t want or need unlimited EXCEPT for the fact the cell companies charge astronomical overage fees when people happen to go over a month. I gave suggestions to help TMobile out, even if they don’t apply to me. I gave examples, one was my personal situation & others had nothing to do with me but others could benefit from. In the end people want OPTIONS because that allows each person to customize to fit THEIR needs. THAT was my point. Those options allow someone like me with a unique situation build a plan that gives us the most bang for the buck. I don’t think that is too much to ask of a phone company.

  • bob

    T-mobile is in a death spin. It appears to be with intent. looking to be brought out.

  • Buck

    Coverage…Tmobile needs better coverage and better roaming agreements, especially in high population areas of the NorthEast. Even Sprint, who has a similar native coverage area as Tmobile, roams on Verizon and other smaller CDMA carriers to get complete US coverage, very similar to that of Verizon. Tmobile needs to do the same with ATT and other smaller GSM carriers. I live in rural Minnesota and have decent Tmobile coverage where there are very few people living, yet I go back home to visit family in Upstate/Central New York and there’s only coverage on the major interstates or within city limits. Why not cover the thousands of people living in those rural areas and help all the people who live in NYC, Boston, and Philadelphia who travel and go to their cabins at the lake in these rural areas all summer long. AT&T has great coverage throughout these rural areas, even better than Verizon’s where my family resides. Why not suck it up, and get a decent roaming agreement with AT&T in these areas. I’d go back to Tmobile in a heartbeat if they simply improved their coverage.

  • zuben

    @rushmore
    I don’t want data. The smartphones don’t have anything like documents to go on PALM
    I carry a computer on any overnite trip as I am into photography. A smartphone cannot deal with 10M RAW file.
    I also have a GPS unit so I don’t need that in a phone, either.

  • Bill48105

    @zuben
    Sounds like we’re on the same page. UMA is a nice feature & TMobile should have put it on almost every phone. Not everyone needs a cell phone with 10″ screen, 2Ghz processor & 4GB ram. (Exaggeration obviously but the point should be clear)

    Exactly! You understand where I’m coming from when you are close to or teeter from one side of the minute limit to the other each month. Why should we be forced to choose between getting raped with crazy high overage minutes OR go with a higher plan & probably pay for minutes we won’t use. That is why I said I think TMobile is going the wrong way with their plans. Not everyone needs unlimited and as I said before unlimited is a big fat lie because if you read the fine print everything has pre-defined limits anyway.

    Unlimited is a marketing ploy to get people who are fearful of ripoff overages to upgrade to a plan they probably don’t really need to help pay for the people who abuse the system and use significantly more than the average user.

  • watbetch

    All I am saying is our phone selections SUCK A$$ – period! How can you compare a lame Behold II price offerings for instance with what Droid price points? That’s the point!!! And I will leave it as that because I can continue to compare device price offering between the 4 MAJOR COMPANIES!!!

    AGAIN YOU ARE WRONG!!! The fact is it’s not everyone who feels comfy to shell out money to buy unlocked phones…so they feel better signing contracts! Majority of them know they can get an unlocked phone and use it wherever. No brainer.

    Again the point you are missing is the fact that whatever phones are being offered by T-Mobile doesnt even tough what the other 3 MAJOR CARRIERS are offering price-wise. Besides, their phone are even better under the hood with better interfaces..etc.

    AND YES – T-Mobile phones are overpriced – I don’t need to go to Crickett …all I have to do is sign with the other major companies and I get an better phone with a better price point!!!!

    Boy you must be dumb!!!!

    And thats my point all along – PHONES!!!

    I am a die hard T-Mobile, but I call it as I see it or deem fit!!!

    T-Mobile phone prices reflect the monthly prices you pay.

    Verizon is has more expensive rate plans than T-Mobile. THAT’S why their phones are cheaper
    Sprint either on-par or more expensive than T-Mobile. Especially if you get a truly unlimited plan. Anytime mobile. I’d like to hear from anyone that used more than 2000 minutes Via Anytime Mobile.
    AT&T has more expensive rate plans, that reflect Verizon’s prices.

    What was your point again?

    That’ is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. People aren’t comfortable with buying unlocked/used devices and that’s why they sign contracts?

    People sign contracts because they’re lazy or uninformed or too cheap. T-Mobile is TRYING to change that with a lower priced no-contract rate plans over contracted plans.

    Who said Behold II? Did I mention a Behold II anywhere?

  • Brie

    I absolutely agree with this article. Just a note, I dont think CZJ actually uses a phone, I see someone bringing her her messages. Any hoo, I like the price of the new plans but I really like the MyFaves and due to the lack of them in the new plus plans I have not switched over.

    A new look and spokes whore is really over due. I am a Tmo user and love the customer service also really love android and I am happy that Tmo broke the cherry with android but their choice of phones suck.

  • zuben

    @bill
    I’m usually in a minority. But I had the PDA long before Palm brought out the TREO.
    Phones didn’t have any capabilities. I already own the stuff. Why should I pay for it again? Some simply can’t understand those that want less than they do. Neither you nor I are saying we want unlimited at $50. We are also willing to buy our phones outright, but feel that there should be a choice as to what we want. I am waiting for all these newphone people to panic when malware hits the phone. It’s coming as if there’s fast money to be made illegally, someone will do it.
    Are you a geek-type computer user by some chance?

  • Bill48105

    @rushmore
    Yes market share definitely is going towards smartphones and for many that is great but the biggest issue is phones still need to be phones & easy to make/receive calls. Many have too many bells/whistles for the average person so I don’t see smartphones replacing a normal phone any time soon. Touch phones are especially hard for many to use & tough to avoid inadvertent use in pocket/purse, etc. Heck I have a hard enough time explaining to my 80 year old grandma how to use her plan Sony flip phone let alone an Android or Windows phone. lol Plus not everyone wants to carry around a $900 piece of electronics in their pocket. ;)

  • Cliq Cliq

    Honestly, T-Mobiles problem is a lack of focus. They have many analysts that get paid to find out why others choose Verizon, ATT, etc and nothing comes of it. The business plan seems to change every few months which leads me to believe our corporate people over in Washington have no idea what they’re doing. We win a JD Power Award, and then we have to change everything we do at the call center level. It is simply disheartening.

    We don’t offer product people want. These Android phones are great, but they aren’t going to get people to T-Mobile. Our coverage is lacking, and they all but abandoned UMA with no other for customers that would like to continue to use the services. The Droid hasn’t even been released and it is one of the most talked about devices. Not to mention, the marketing makes it seem like an Android device never existed before it. That is just really bad by T-Mobile.

    The new rate plans make it somewhat easier to understand, I must give T-Mobile credit for that, but even with the way the new EIP works, they simply won’t bring in new customers the way they’re expecting. Even though times are tough, people still want reliability (which brings me to my next point), at an affordable price. Offering handsets at an arm and a leg simply doesn’t work. The new EIP was a step, but it doesn’t change the fact that when a customer hears 350+ bucks for a new phone, they’re better off spending 200 (and sometimes less to cancel) and getting the type of device they really want and save 50 bucks with another provider.

    Finally, these outages need to stop. We posted Q3 losses with a new flagship device (basically a G1 without a keyboard), how do you think Q4 will shake down with the sidekick issue, and now most of America being down. Trust me guys, the PR agent for T-Mobile was very generous with his 5% customers impacted statement.

  • Ann

    I think the whole Sidekick fiasco hurt T-Mo more than people think. If people are under the impression that only a handful of teenagers were the only ones affected, they’re wrong. I’m an adult who has used Sidekicks for 3 years because of the ease of use & multitasking abilities. After the outage many adults using the phone quickly jumped ship & switched carriers (sans ETFs). Many of the kids yelled & screamed until they got discounted or free phones. Yesterday I called T-Mo for an update on if we’ll ever see our stored data like calendar events, notes, web bookmarks, etc again because it’s been over a month since the initial outage. The rep apologized profusely & offered me a full upgrade to the BlackBerry 9700. Now how can I resist that? The point is, I’m sure T-Mo has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the Sidekick outage.

    Also, marketing is EVERYTHING. At the end of the day, the iPhone is a good phone w/ a BRILLIANT marketing plan. Think about how limited the first one was, but EVERYONE wanted one because the marketing made it seem like this phone could do things that current smartphones couldn’t. Everyone knew about the iPhone months before it actually came out because the TV spots were on dozens of times a day.

    T-Mobile’s marketing, however, is simply horrid. They hardly ever showcase their good phones, which is really what they need to do. If they step up their game & get awesome handsets, & really rev up their marketing plans, they can be a contender again.

  • Queen4111

    I really like TMO, but they need a drastic improvement.

    For example, I would love to get the BB 9700, but TMO 3G is NOT available where I live. So now, I’m stuck with my BB 8900.

    VZW works best in my area, so I think I will drop TMO to a Prepaid service instead of having a contract service and get a contract VZW BB w/ service.

    Sorry TMO, but you got to do BETTER……..