T-Mobile, Wireless Customers Need You Now More Than Ever

T_Mobile_negotiating_to_expand_4G_service_Catherine_Zeta_Jones_going_door_to_door

As I caught word this morning that AT&T was going to begin requiring customers to “swallow” $20 a month in data I am absolutely taken back. Look, I have come to accept data charges are now a requirement for most carriers for data devices and I don’t disagree with the policy. I am a member of the camp that subscribes to the notion that users who buy and use these devices should have a data plan, as is necessary to enjoy the full range of features. Wi-FI while useful and often plentiful in a big metropolitan area does not make up for the lack of a strong 3G connection when I walk 100 feet away from my local Starbucks. Trust me, I’m in Starbucks enough to single handedly support the employees and their families but even then, I don’t’ want to rely on them as my only connection to the internet for my device. Twitter alone mandates my need for constant connection. I’m not everyone, I’m a power user and a carriers dream customer, but in this instance, AT&T is going to be asking the people who simply don’t need it, to spend it regardless and it’s garbage.

So now, the moral of my story, T-Mobile should use this as another example of why they are a stellar company to use as a wireless provider. I saw yet another AT&T / Verizon commercial this morning and ignoring that the commercial is cringe-worthy, I ask why oh why T-Mobile, will you not go on the offensive? The time for polite talk and handholding is over, wireless is war and you need to show some teeth. The concept that I have to purchase at least $20 worth of data features is pardon my French, bullshit. This is ridiculous, insanity and a slap in the face to the customer. I accept data for Blackberry, iPhone and Android as you should have it but the 12 year old doesn’t need data on her Samsung Mythic.  I bet AT&T salespeople are doing face-palms right now en masse. This is just utter crap and I am sure it won’t stop AT&T and their monstrous growth on the back of the iPhone but for the average customer who has no need for data yet wants a cool looking phone this is preposterous, ludicrous, absurd, and nonsensical and whatever other synonyms Microsoft word has to offer here.

So I beg of you T-Mobile, show some teeth. Run a commercial that points this out to the millions of customers who are going to be subjected to this crap and show them you have no desire to stick them with features they do not need and prices they can’t afford. Show them your new upgrade plans and how existing customers are still important, loyal and worth rewarding. Put Catherine Zeta Jones on screen trying to make a phone call on the iPhone and 12 dropped calls later walking into a T-Mobile store. Boom, instant awesome! In fact, if you do that, I expect some kickback.

The reality is the wireless market is all but saturated and instead of gaining millions of new customers, it’s now about trading customers and T-Mobile needs to show more reasons why they are worth a second look. This AT&T ridiculous data requirement is even more reason to go for the kneecaps and hit the other carriers where it hurts, their customer count. T-Mobile, you have nowhere to go but up and your faithful are behind you, will you finally flex some muscle?

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  • ejaydroid

    I have to give it up to verizon their amazing for its ability to spin its way out of anything and at&t has a decent marketing team aswell but t mobile should now be flurishing in the wake of these new terror tactics from the larger two but i feel they will just let the ball slip like always . need some balls in there higher ups.

  • Inuendo

    I work customer care and I honestly had a person call and was upset because At&t was offering a 69.99 unlmited talk plan and tmobile was screwing her over. She was on the 49.99 ulo plan.

    After I was done stifling the laugh at how absurd this complaint was I realized how frustrated I was. I mean another company is offering the arguably the same service, charging $20 more per month for it, and this person really though At&t was the better bargin.

    Tmobile calls like this should scare the shit out of you. If you can beat a competitor to market by $20 a month (with no contract on EM+) and still leave people feeling cheated you are doing something wrong.

    • JB6464

      That’s because AT&T has a way more coverage than Tmo . Everytime i get just a few miles outside the major cities i start getting AT&T as my prvider on my Tmo phones. WTF ! $20.00 does’nt mean anything is the Tmo signal is limited and lets not get into their limited 3G .

  • beastly

    @David,
    I understand but disagree. Personally, I like the way T-Mobile does business, which is a big part of why I choose to do business with them.

    As a consumer, here’s how I feel: When I pay money to a company, I want that money to be a fair exchange for the services I’m paying for. If my wireless company spends their profits on network upgrades and lower-cost rates instead of advertising, I am a happy man.

    I also think it would be a mistake for T-Mobile to step too far into the ring at this point. If they challenged AT&T and Verizon directly, the result would be attack ads and lawsuits from the Big Two, and T-Mobile is not equipped to handle that. Have you seen the lawsuits between the other three? Verizon ads attack AT&T. AT&T files a lawsuit against Verizon. Verizon files a lawsuit against Sprint. Do you really want to see Magenta investing in lawyers and marketing experts, when clearly AT&T and Verizon will eat them alive in either arena anyway?

    No, I’d rather see T-Mobile continue playing the game it’s good at: investing its resources in substance rather than nonsense, and providing real value for its customers rather than an image. That’s part of why we love Magenta in the first place; I don’t want to see that go away.

  • Zack

    A couple of months ago I went to Tmo to add a line and my choices were limited. The representative told me if I chose a smartphone I had to add an internet plan, adding a line for my mother who doesn’t even text I was limited to a very select few. It seems unfair even if its not $20 more a month or if u can even remove the internet plan at a later date. Just doesn’t make sense either way, not sure if this is still going tho.

    • :)

      what makes u think if ur mom doesnt even tex she would be able to handle a smart phone.. phones are desing for people that need the internet pakages. not for someone who is simple n just need the phone to make calls…

  • chris

    been with t-mobile since 2003, im sorry, but they will always be #4 or worse. im getting ready to jump ship to verizon and that 3G map they got. im tired of t-mobiles network jumping from edge to 3g. its awful. not to mention, their service does not work indoors well.

    • JB6464

      ^+1 on that. I can barely make and receive calls evrytime i’m shopping indoors at major retail stores. But the rest of my family and friends on Verizon and AT&T can.

    • Big User

      11,000 minutes a month for almost 8 years on Tmo in and out of the city (ny) with hardly ever an issue. The two months last year that I moved to at&t were so bad that I gladly paid the cancellation fee to go back to Tmo.

  • adien

    Man, what a joke!!! AT&T really is gonna get bad kickback from this one… It seems even more ridiculous when you consider t-mobile’s SMARTPHONE data is only $25 on Even More Plus, and UNLIMITED text is $10… not to mentions on “feature” phones like that on t-mobile, you can even hook up your yahoo, aol or gmail account to your phone FOR FREE.

    I highly doubt T-Mobile will follow suit, with the required data/messaging, because unlike the other carriers, they actually give a shit about having happy customers, and at least they try to fix things when they do go bad.

    T-Mobile won’t jump on this, as they are very wisely staying out of the fray between VZW and ATT. And yes, they d need to fire their marketing team… it’s gotten slightly better but they still really miss the mark.

  • Tito

    You all are blind supporters and laughable.

    I have T-Mobile, and not switching any time soon, but they *DO* require you to have a data package if you have a data phone, unless you pay full price ($400-$500)

    They’re no better or different in that respect, which is probably why they’re not “going after them”

    • cheap

      i agree tito…t-mobile also requires data and messaging plans if you want to upgrade with a discount too! and for data you have to keep it for 2 years!

    • twitch110

      Yeah! How has nobody said this until now? I have the mytouch and i HAVE to have data with it. How is that any different? If At&t is making is mandatory for ALL phones, then that blows. But from what other articles are saying, this is not the case. It’s a “feature phone” type thing. Tmobile is doing the exact same thing.

    • David

      Did you really miss the whole part in the text where I wrote exactly that?

  • Omegajb

    I don’t see this as big news, all the carriers are requiring messaging plans with select devices. I would imagine with full keyboards they are protecting themselves from customers who do not have messaging plans calling to get credits because they sent too many messages and they didn’t know they cost this much.

  • http://amedy.de Amedy

    totally agree with David

  • JOSE

    THE GUY THAT WROTE THIS IS THE MAN!!!!!!! AND I DEFANITLY AGREE SHOW SOME TEETH T-MOBILE!

  • Matt

    Being a T-mobile customer (NOT a fanboy), I’d prefer T-mo to change their ad campaign, not spend more money on it. There’s no good reason to spend the money that should be going in to improving the network on bashing those other idiots. T-mo’s network is NOT very strong, coverage-wise, and if they start getting an influx of subscribers (which they won’t), we’re gonna end up in the same spot as AT&T. I’m happy with my service as is. God, I hope T-mobile never gets the iphone.

  • Matt

    Oh, and I’d like to mention that this article was pretty poorly written. I expect better even from online news sources.

    • David

      Please explain how and why you think its poorly written?

  • hmm?

    I think its a reasonable price!, I have T-Mobile Even More or whatever its called and pay $220.00 a month! For 4 lines! Tmobile is really outragues there plans are not cheap, their certainley expensive $$$ , they always try to sell you stupid things pardon me,, they try to get you to buy internet txting, they added internet on 2 of my lines just becuase they were sidekicks without MY PERMISSION! And now I cannot take the feature off! Their only solution is this “oh, could you bear with me one second thank you” ” okay thanks for holding I see you have a sidekick in 2 lines, and want to remove it wich is not possible” the only thing I can do is remove the sidekick unlimited and replace it with other features of the same price” now I’m stuck with a 2 year contract and can’t get out unless I pay $800 dollars for [4 lines]!!!!!! Bad, bad,bad, bad
    I hope they go out of business or another company buys them! This is a fraudalent company! Shame,shame,shame!!!!1!!

    • Wikkid

      I seriouisly do not see now you’re paying $220 with that plan. I too am on that plan with four lines and unlimited texting and barely pay more than $120. How are you getting these numbers? It’s $10 per additional line and $25 for internet per line. Maybe it’s because you unknowingly bought your phones with the plan and had to pay it off in monthly installations. You said you had two sidekicks, so that may jack up the price. I’m sure that if you had not gotten those expensive phones then your monthly bill will be as low as mine.

    • http://tmonews dcb

      You people that complain about companies requiring data for certain phones really need to get your head out of the sand…..why would you even buy a smart phone without having data????….if you don’t want to pay for data then don’t buy a phone that relies on a data connection for most of the features to work!!….t-mobile has by far the best rate plans and the best options for people who don’t want contracts….and those who say that t-mobiles coverage is horrible are just not being honest……I have had it for 5 years and footprint has increased 300% since then and if it doesn’t happen to work for you where you use it then go to a carrier that will work and quit reporting facts that are simply not accurate….t-mobile works well in some areas where the others don’t and vice-versa.

      • kershon

        Well said. I have 4 lines including 1 hotspot at home, 2 data, 2 unlimited everything,taxes and fees and insurance less than $200 on em+. Can’t beat that.

      • Outlander

        There is nothing in a smart-phone that absolutely requires data to work, it it a PHONE with thing added, things that work much faster and better in WiFi,
        Why buy a smart phone, they are the best phones, on should not have to get anything extra in the contract because of that, you can still drive a Ferrari with a normal drivers license. So it is time for you to get your head out of the tunnel before you ask people to get their head out of the sand. There are no excuses for forcing people to have something they do not want, just because you need to have your connection fix.

  • BGK

    Until manufacturers make devices with 850/1700/1900 high speed data radios there will not by competition for data pricing between GSM carriers. Without that feature phones are locked to their carrier for their best features, regardless of contract. Google blinked on the N1.

  • Outlander

    For any provider to add an enforced data plan just because a customer has a phone with the potential to use it, is absolutely ridiculous, That would mean that all males should be charged with rape because they have the potential to do it (borne with it).
    Let the addicts get their data charge if they choose to, for other (probably most of users), leave to up to the user, this is supposedly a free country, or were before the parasites (lawyers) took over.
    T-Mobile have the next best solution, pay full price for the equipment and use it at you normal rate (both customer and T-Mobile get screwed, no subsidized phones available, no chance to overcharge the customer for something they may or may not use.