Guest Post: Explaining The “Value” In Value Plan

Editor note: This guest post was written by a T-Mobile employee with hope of encouraging T-Mobile customers to select a Value plan by seeing the real “value” in your choice. With Saturday’s sale focused on Value plans we hope that this post will better explain to you what a Value plan is, why you might want to select it and if you can save money by choosing it. Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of TmoNews.  

There has been a lot of skepticism when it comes to T-Mobile’s Value Plans and I believe part of the blame falls on a lack of advertising and explanation. This lack of advertising and explanation on T-Mobile’s behalf has caused Value plans not to be shown as a great value.

To get straight to the point, Classic plans are the standard industry way rate plans have been done for years. With a classic plan you select a rate plan and receive a phone at the a discounted price, generally somewhere between free and $200. The following examples will all be examined using up to date plans and pricing, using nothing grandfathered as there would be too many options and too many plans to compare.

T-Mobile(Classic)-This is what all customers are used to. An HTC Sensation 4G on this plan costs $199 up front and is your overall cost for the device. With an unlimited everything plan(2GB Data) the plan is $79.99 per month.

T-Mobile(Value)-Now this one is where it gets tricky. The same phone costs $199 as a Down Payment and $499 total. Now before discovering the phone costs five hundred dollars, let’s try to see the other side of it. Value Plans lower the cost of your price plan and features.You also finance the full price of your device with no interest. The payments are split into 20 months that range from $5 to $15 depending on the price point of the phone. In the case of the sensation it is $15. The same Monthly rate plan as above but on a Value plan is $59.99 per month. When you combine the monthly plan and the price of the phone on the installment plan you end up at a total of $74.99.

BUT WAIT THE PHONE STILL COSTS $499. That is true but if you do the math, you are saving $5 per month for 20 months. At the 20th month you will be done paying off the phone and your price point will lower to $59.99 saving you $20 per month for the last 4 months. The total savings over the 2 years is $180. To some people this might not be worth paying the total cost of a phone over time, but every dollar counts.

The example that I use is just one phone example. That is the highest end phone T-Mobile has with the highest EIP. If you purchased a mid end phone with an EIP of $10, then your savings over two years would be $280. If you purchased a low end phone with an EIP $5 then your savings over two years would be $380. If you choose to do a family plan the savings double.

Comparing Data and Family plans from classic to Value- Family plan add a lines on classic can be either unlimited or 500 minute line. A 500 Minute add a line is $10 per month with the 2GB data for $20, making a total $30 for the additional line. With Value it can either be the same price or lower depending on the phone you are looking to purchase. If you are looking to add a top of the line phone as the Sensation then you would be looking to pay $5 per month for the line, however the same data feature is only $10 instead of $20 providing another reason why Value plans are great. Plus the installment payment of $15 bringing your total up to $30 maximum, once again depending on the phone you purchase.

The savings are there plain and simple…but not for everyone. Due to the migration fees.

Migration Fees- These are assessed based on contract tenure NOT upgrade tenure. This is like a cancellation fee. To go to a Value plan you are essentially canceling your current contract to switch to a different one. Although I believe it should not be viewed as that or represented as that, it is what it is. Anytime after 9 months into a classic plan one may switch to a Value plan, at 9 month tenure one would have a $200 migration fee. Every 3 months that migration fee will be lowered by $50. At one year to 15 months left you have $150, at 9 months to a year left $100, at 6 months to 9 months you have $50, anytime under 6 months you are free to switch over with no penalty. Anyone on Even More Plus plans automatically qualifies to switch over to a Value plan. This is where you would have to do the math, is paying that migration fee worth the savings?If you are paying about $100 per month I would say yes definitely because the savings would out do the cost in 8 months maximum(if you had a $200 migration). For others who are paying less the savings would take longer and not necessarily benefit them.

Not only is T-Mobile more affordable but I can speak from experience from working for all 4 carriers at some point, T-Mobile treats their employees the best and has by far the best customer service, you don’t have to agree but there are awards out there proving so. *Cough* J.D. Power & Associates  *cough*.

There you have it folks, hope some of you come out to the stores this Saturday the 19th for amazing sales, to save some money and get some great deals on the best phones and tablets T-Mobile has to offer.

This is a reprint of a post done in September for another Value Plan sale

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  • PhantomWraith

    so I called T-mobile to get clarity on this awhile back while speaking to the rep about these new plans she offered me 10$ off per month on my current bill for being a “loyal customer” so I was like well why not. The point in the call was me expressing interest in the new value plans, well after talking to my wife about it there was some unanswered questions still so I called back a second time. After the rep answered those questions I decided that sounded pretty good I wanted the value plan well come to find out by accepting that 10$ off my bill for being such a “loyal customer” I was not eligible for the value plan as the 10$ came with a 2 year agreement even though it did not change any plan on my account and I was not notified that by accepting a discount it would constitute a new contract that wouldn’t allow me to try these oh so wonderful value plans. I can honestly say I don’t really feel very valued now.

    • Zifnab2k

      Yea you have to be careful, they constantly try to rope us into new plans in order to reset our contract… They always say “ooo it won’t affect you getting your phone upgrade at the same time”… yea but its tieing me into being stuck with T-mobile for another 2 years while they’re clearly collapsing as a company. I can’t wait until i’m out of contract so I can get the f’ out of dodge. T-Mobile is really diving off the deep end. They’ll be down to Cricket level if they keep it up.

      • Plie_tendu

        Ha! The same thing happened to me. I received a loyal customer discount after realized they’d been billing me for an extra fee. Since they could only go back a couple off months their way of appeasement was a loyalty discount… Go figure!

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I always ask about offers like that, whether it resets my contract. They always try to pull fast ones.

  • Brandon Carpediem

    Your best bet is to buy the phone elsewhere (craigslist, Ebay, etc) and take the Value plan for the cheap monthly price. Installments for the phone are just a courtesy since you’re paying full price.

    • Michael Prentice

      Yes, that it definitely the cheapest option. It won’t get you the best phone on the market and it comes with some risks, but it saves more money than any other option. There are great phones out there on craigslist. Just make sure that the bands and such are compatible with TMO.

    • Thomas Brezinski

      That was a lot better option when new unlocked phones were plentiful and worked on any GSM network.  Now with everyone having different 4G tech and frequencies unless you are looking to pickup a used older phone for cheap you don’t save a lot by shopping elsewhere.  Also with smartphones you often want the Tmo branded ones so you can get items like radio updates OTA and not have to worry about hunting them down yourself.

  • ubrv8

    I understand the savings involved in going to a value plan but the fact that I have to sign up for a 2 year contract makes now sense. In the classic plan the contract is there to assure the T-mobile at least recovers the initial phone subsidy if the customer cancels. In the case of the value plan the only thing t-mobile has lost is a customer. Any balance remaining on the financing comes due at the point of cancellation. So why are value plan customers required to sign a contract and pay an early termination fee if they leave, it seems like a money grab on T-Mobile’s part.

    • http://benpike.net Ben Pike

      Well considering they are in the business of making money….

    • Gabe41521

      The reason for the contract is because we tried this with our even more plus plans and it didn’t work, people would pay the down payment and candle still getting the phone for a cheap price, and the biggest thing is every major carrier has contracts why shouldn’t we

      • ubrv8

        But I am not getting a deal on phone, ( I don’t consider paying full retail a deal, even if it is spread over 20 payments). Also if I bought the phone from another vendor ebay, etc.. I still have to pay an ETF if I leave t-mobile.

        This is a  bs anti-customer policy from a company that used to have great customer service. It really is sad to see it happening.

        Also I don’t remember the EMP plans have any kind of discount on the phone so what is the loss if the customer cancels?

        • Gabe41521

          When I said cheap price I meant they would pay first down payment and then cancel and bail on the final bill so the contract is more reason not to bail on Bill because that is more to be written off on your credit

      • Ryan

        With the EMP, if I financed my phone, but canceled my plan, wouldn’t I immediately need to pay the remainder of the price on the phone?  I could still waltz into a T-Mobile store, buy a phone for full retail, and go use it on AT&T.  That’s not really an excuse to have a contract.

      • Anonymous

        Just because people are being stupid and letting themselves be sheep-trapped, by contracts and unfair prices, doesn’t mean you should be the same. Tapping the same sheep means you’re just that desperate for money and subs.

        I agree that service and pricing wasn’t attracting customers, but I bet that was mostly iPhone related, not service.

    • http://twitter.com/TuckerPeterson Tucker A. Peterson

      I would think the contract is to keep people from buying TMo exclusive devices and then running over to AT&T if they are compatible.  The HTC Amaze apparently can do iy and I am sure several others can as well.  Just my thinking.  I just moved to TMo from Verizon and have the Family Value Plan myself.  I am not worried about the contract.

    • Michael Prentice

      Contracts help the company avoid going bankrupt and have a steady revenue stream so that they can research new technologies, deploy 42 HSPA+, buy large stocks of new phones, etc. If there weren’t contracts, one company could have the ultimate phone 3 months before the other companies and then 90% of the people could switch to get this new ultimate phone. This would cause all but one of the companies to go out of business and it would leave the winning company with an overloaded and unusable network.

    • Thomas Brezinski

      I never understood the contract either but I’m guessing it’s a combination of a few things.  First people are used to contracts.  Second, and probably an important one, you are guaranteed that rate plan for 2 years, regardless of what happens with the AT&T merger, so piece of mind there.  Lastly I’m guessing it might have something to do with who foots the bill if you up and stop paying.  I want to say a 3rd party backs the EIP (but not 100% sure) so maybe has something to do with who is expected to collect delinquent accounts, etc.

    • Anonymous

      Because they are subsidizing the plan instead of the phone

  • Jacop_s

    “The savings are there plain and simple…but not for everyone”

    hahaha Plain and simple
    my bottom.

    I called customer care
    last night to see if he could give me my monthly cost, and out of pocket cost
    if I decide to move to this plan. I was told they could not discuss prices with
    me until the day of the sale.

    • LC

      Well that seems silly given the fact that all the device prices have been posted by T-Mobile.

      • Jacop_s

        I have five lines I am switching from an older plan, but
        only two have data. I always feel like someone is trying to cheat me when they won’t
        give you the details to make an informed decision, and want you to decide
        without taking any time to think about it.

    • Michael Prentice

      The not for everyone only applies to people that are still within their initial 2 year contract period. The savings might even be worth it for people who are 20 or 22 months into their existing 24 month contract.

  • yggahs

    A question for the faithful…

    I have been on an Even More Plus family plan (and off contract) for some time now. I currently have unlimited data (no throttling). I am assuming that any change in plan will eliminate my truly unlimited data plan…can someone confirm this?

    • Michael Prentice

      You would have to ask a TMO rep at the time that you wanted to change your plan and explain the changes. Most likely though, you would loose the ‘truly unlimited’ feature. But how much data do you use per month now? Does your existing (old) phone even have HSPA+ 21/42? or is it just 3G?

    • Plie_tendu

      I still have a my faves family plan. If I change to a value plan I have to pay a $750 migration fee. I also have an old data plan. To switch to plans I would have to pay $10 more for what I already have for my data. all that to say if you switch you well likely lose all grandfathered stuff.

      • Tmosince2003

        If you have a MyFaves plan you must be out of contract. No migration fee to sign a Value Plan contract as I understand it.

        • Plie_tendu

          Nope I had an issue with over billing and they could only go back a few months to credit the money back so to fix they gave me a loyalty credit that extended my contract. So each my five lines has a $150 migration fee.

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t seen a reason to leave the EM+ plan for Value. I don’t see a drop in monthly, and I’m not interested in getting into a contract until the attmobile thing is resolved. Sprint is probably the go-to-guy for me if AT&T isn’t blocked.

      Also, the value plan isn’t very clear. How much is it for 3 lines for instance. Under EM+, it was $10 per extra line. I can’t tell what the Value pricing is. I think 200MB data is now $5 instead of EM+’s $10? Need clarity!

  • Kevweb32125

    That’s not true. I have an Sensation ans my monthly payments are $20. Plus, you still paying $500,for the phone and 2 GBP

    • Michael Prentice

      It isn’t clear what you are talking about here. I have a SGSII and my payments for the phone are $15 per month for 20 months.

    • NO 2 ATT

      paying $500 for a phone and 2GBP, one would think that’s a pretty crappy exchange rate as earlier it was around £1 = $1.58

  • Gps631

    And then they have this dopey little sale on Saturday that features the retail price of the Galaxy S II leaping to $599 from $529 and EIP increasing $5 to $20/month.  But don’t worry, they’ll mail you a Visa Gift card in about two months to make up for the difference. No thanks.

    Maybe someone should explain to T-mobile management why they are in last place despite having the lowest prices.

    • KsChRoE

      Maybe a little more research would’ve helped your argument, the Galaxy S II EIP was never $5. The end result is still a non subsidised device, however less to pay out the door on the day of the sale.

      • Guest

        Its stilk subsidized, just over the length of the contract instead if up front.

        If it was unsubsidized, there would be no contract terms. Put away the coolaid.

      • Gps631

        Increased $5 to $20..ie going from $15 to $20/month, a gain of $5. I am aware of the terms and the math.

        My family plan monthly cost would jump from $130 to $140 (for 2 lines) under their dopey sale. And I’d have to wait 2 months for their crappy Visa Gift card to arrive in the mail while they’ve pocketed my sizable down payment and collected interest on it.

  • Kevweb32125

    Plus, if you check the real prices of most of the smart phones, there are under $199

    • Michael Prentice

      Where are you finding these ‘real’ prices? Most unlocked phones off contract are $350-800.

  • Anonymous

    You know, this is a actually a nice plan system but i think that these plans may be perceived by average consumers as overly technical.  It’s definitely awesome to save money but I can see many customers possibly veering away from all of this because it may not be that simple immediately.  I think a consumer might feel that there are too many conditions and options to take into consideration up front. In the long term they may regret their choice once something doesn’t go to their immediate liking.  
    .  
    Also in reference to the JD powers brag, doesn’t t-mobile have the most complaints with the better business bureau? i could be wrong but i think i read that somewhere recently.  They may have amazing customer service but that could be a sign that some of their business practices are impacting some consumers negatively and are causing more churn and killing their profitability as a company. I say it often but i would like to see T-mobile more competitive, Their approaches to compete seem like acts of desperation to me at times.  I hope this merger either happens or gets denied, a resolution needs to occur so that T-mobile can do the right thing and properly fight.  I can’t help but feel that sometimes they are purposely setting themselves up for failure regardless of what they claim.  I think T-Mobile needs to change their approach, this potential merger is just holding them back.  I think they could re-invent themselves and do great but with their current way of doing things, i don’t see them prospering.  There are other ways to compete besides the walmart-ish,  super cheap “take it  home now  and hide the payments on your bill” approach.  I say bring back the “get more” days, i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again.  Those were T-Mobile’s days of glory along with my faves,   Some of you may disagree with me some may not.  This is not an attack or an instigation to anyone, its simply my opinions and observations of T-mobiles recent past and how they can possibly fix themselves.  Long live magenta if she allows herself to live and thrive!!

    • Michael Prentice

      The only reason that they are complicated is because most carriers don’t want to present customers with the total cost of their contract over the full 2 years. They just want to sell people on low priced phones (which are a terribly small % of the total cost) and then get their money back over the life of the contract.

      If carriers provided a quote for the initial cost of the phone/plan and then a total cost over 2 years, the difference between a Value plan and Classic plan would be obvious.

      • Anonymous

        That’s basically adds to my point in a way. The other carriers are making much more profitable decisions and. It losing earnings like t-mo. Marketing value only works when you have a huge volume to profit from. I don’t think their customer base is enormous enough. Even then it’s kind of a bad idea to be the value service proider. It may not be the way to attract customers who are ok with spending more.

    • Ryan

      So… T-Mobile Value plan are for smart people, the other carrier’s plans are for the rest of America.

      Well, my girlfriend switched to Sprint for the better coverage where she’s at and the (for the moment) truly unlimited data.

      • Bratty

        At the speeds at which the Sprint network operates, TMo offers truly unlimited data too. 

        • Ryan

          Oh snap!  Yeah, 3G on Sprint is about the same as T-Mobile 2G, not joking either.  Speed tests on her Evo 3D with Sprint 3G usually hover around 100-200kbps.

        • Anonymous

          Yea for sure, my buddy visited LA with his Evo Shift, and it was getting lower speeds on their version of 4g than my Nexus 1 was getting on 3g… like, half the speeds… really sad. I thought about switching to sprint for various reasons, but after seeing that, no thanks. I already wine about how slow the data is on my phone, I couldn’t move down to slower.

        • Bratty

          Ya dude – I’m not hating on Sprint. But we do have unlimited “edge” speeds and their network is slow. Plus we tend to be cheaper. But if she’s happy – who cares.

  • Roger

    The biggest problem I have is that you only get Tmobile phones from Tmobile because of their unique frequencies and especially if you need features like wifi calling (they have no coverage at my desk).

    And Tmobile gets to choose how to price the phones.  Since when does an HTC Sensation cost $499?  They’ve obviously bumped it up to that round number from what it actually costs.  If the prices charged for phones were competitive then this is a great deal, otherwise you are very much at their mercy.

  • Ryan

    “To some people this might not be worth paying the total cost of a phone over time, but every dollar counts.”

    What people don’t understand is, on the Classic plan they are paying more than retail price for their phone.

  • Tomas Arroyo

    the data plan really doesn’t matter, you’ll be throttled either way. don’t be fooled by that unlimited bullshit!

    • Deeg

      When you get throttled on contract plans, is it the same as prepaid?  Where you get 2G/dial up speeds.  Can someone here who has experienced that tell me how slow/bad it is?  Im picturing websites not loading, GPS not working, and lots of buffering which scares me to the point that Im seriously considering Sprint unlimited data before it becomes history.

  • Michael Prentice

    Great post. It is about time that this was clarified. I had to post a lot more math than this on the XDA forums to explain to people why Value plans made sense. So many people kept telling me that Value plans were a rip off and cost you more money in the end. But if you do the math, that is certainly not the case. Value plans save you hundreds of dollars in most cases over Classic plans. I am not sure why so many TMO customers hold onto their Classic plans like they are gold and Value plans are toxic.

  • caseybea

    Currently, I’m on a very old classic plan—   then added unlimited messaging (for the family), and then later (recently), added data – to just my line.    My total outlay on a monthly basis is about $125 – which is really quite good, considering we have a bunch of minutes (1000 shared), data (on my phone only), and unlimited texting for all.     But, my kids are soon going to need data, and my current data plan is only the icky 200MB one.       If I drop the entire plan I have now and go to the ‘best plan ever’ – my total cost changes all of 5 bucks higher – $130 a month.  And for that I get unlimited minutes on two of my phones, (500 mins each for the other two) – and ALL FOUR phones get the 2gb data plan.

    For me, that’s a no-brainer.   I’m going to skip the phones however, we’re happy with the phones we have.      In my situation, the new value plan is really quite astounding – I think with our family’s 4 phones, a comparable plan at a competitor would be near $200 a month.

    The new value plans aren’t for everyone, but for me- it’s a no brainer.   I’m calling tonight.   And if I need a phone – ebay has an unlimited supply of whatever I want.     Ever since I banned a used samsung galaxy S (intl) off of an auction, I’m never buying a phone from a carrier again.    I don’t care if I get some mail in rebate thing.   

  • TMoFan

    Thanks to the author for the explanation and to David for posting this. This is what the DoJ is talking about when they described T-Mobile as a maverick. I don’t see the Twin Bells and Sprint trying different things like this, except to price gouge you with their outrageous rates (more so the twin bells than Sprint).

  • Sohail Azeem

    Buy that phone off Craigslist for $400 and save $100 more …use value or classic, i prefer classic so I can get the latest at the lowest discount unlock it and sell on ebay! make some money to pay the bill for 6 months haha…OR get the latest Unlocked Phone that runs tmobiles 1700/2100 HSDPA+ network …enter GALAXY NEXUS

    • Ryan

      Or, do the same thing, and save money.  Actually run the numbers, it’d be cheaper for you to get the value plan with a phone and turn around and sell it.  Yeah, you’re still “paying” for it for another 20months, but with the classic plan, you’re still “paying” for it because your bill is $20 more per month.

  • HAHA

    Are you get Sensation $99.00 @ Walmart stores & sign Classic plan. HAHA

  • John

    People don’t want to count pennies and estimate costs over a 24-month period. People want simple and elegant. Charge me for minutes, charge me for data, charge me for my phone… But don’t make me play accountant when I sign up for a plan. When will one of the national carriers realize that?

    • Bratty

      This is how all the national carriers operate. I’m confused about why you need an accountant for what you describe?

    • Deeg

      Its called prepaid.  Boost Mobile, Virgin, Metro PCS, Straight Talk etc.  Pay for your phone. Check.  Unlmited talk, text and 3G data.  Check.  No need to worry or count minutes or worry about whether to text your mom or whether to open that website or stream that video for fear you’re going to get suckered with overage charges.  It actually exists.  They just need to get to the point where they at least offer people the highest quality phones if they want to pay for them…and then you’ll be set.  Plus no surprise bills…No bill that is supposed to be 79.99 but is really 95 when you add taxes and this special fee and that fee and this collection charge etc.  You want a $50 plan – pay $50 and use your phone for a month.   

  • BP

    Let me break this down even further.  T-Mobile was supposed to fold when they agreed to be acquired by AT&T.  As stupid as it looks, this “Value Plan” is their loophole to help consumers the best that they can.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Matthews/100000189923615 James Matthews

    Are the Springboard and Galaxy Tab Plus part of this weekends event?

  • BigMixxx

    I completely understand the clarification.  The long term costs are ok…

    But people want immediate gratification, and I’m sure folks don’t mind paying more for what they want.  There is too much math and too much explaining to show the long term savings vs. the immediate savings you get. THAT in itself will not drive customers in the store.  Explaining the plans won’t drive customers in the store.

    Understanding that T mobile has a GREAT value, but this is not the strategy to use to show that value. 

    It’s best you have an Android application for this sale…Hell if you are going to do this…MAKE SURE there is an Android app
    that they can be used to put the devices YOU WANT TO PROMOTE in their hands so
    that the customers can make those choices (you heard it here first) and get first feel of the premium handsets vs. walking up to a customer with an abacus in your hand to tell them ‘Oh what great savings you get with us!’

    Drive people into the store with “Get the fast HTC Amaze 4g for 199, this weekend only” or “pick up the Galaxy S 2, which Samsung says is the Fastest Galaxy S II phone (because they did)..”

    Put the Amaze in the red tights , hell have Captian Amaze-ing.  The the galaxy S II in space and fly it by ‘when you look in the stars, you see millions and millions of galaxies, but none like the Galaxy S 2 by T mobile or A science class or something”….
    or
    Offer first 3 months of data for 10 dollars ( up to 2 gig)
    Offer 3 accessories for 20 dollars with a 199 purchase and a 2 year contract and a data plan of 5 gig.
    Offer 3 accessories for free with a 199 purchase on a family plan and a 2 year contract with a data plan

    There are ways to get people in the store without giving telling your sales staff to walk around with Calculators…

    • Anonymous

      So I guess that means you’re not a fan of their orgy wonderland video? Lol.

      • BigMixxx

        That elf had the biggest hands on the planet.  I saw carly looking at him…Wondering if he was a tripod…(austin powers)

    • Ryan

      “But people want immediate gratification, and I’m sure folks don’t mind paying more for what they want.”

      The initial up front cost is the same for the phone. And the monthly payments are less.

      • BigMixxx

        If you have to tell me that as a consumer…what’s the value in me getting a value plan, when the long term cost savings start 20 months from now. 

        Using the above example, explain to someone, if you get the value plan at 59.99 and get a sensation with a 199 down payment, your EIP will be 15 dollars on top of the 59.99 you are paying…..so total you would be paying 74.99…a cost savings of 5 dollars a month at 60 dollars a year…

        with much less effort:  The phone is 199 for a 2 year contract and your bill will be 79.99 plus tax.

        you decide what you want to hear…

        • Cchrono

          Well u would be really dumb to choose the more expensive plan regardless how its explained. And the upfront cost is always cheaper with value becuase there are no mail in reabtes(except for sale this satyrday) galaxy ii is 279.99 w/$50 mir making it 229.99 on value its 229.99 amd u dont have to deal with a rebate. Also there are no upgrade fees with value plans so if u switch from old plan to go to value and upgrade u dont have to pay $18 value plans are cheaper whichever way u cut it.

        • Anonymous

          You are right in saying simplicity rules.  However, specifically with the Value plan customers are paying as a down payment the two year price of the device AFTER rebate.  Also the value plan plus the phone payment is cheaper every month than the normal plan.  So it’s cheaper up front and cheaper monthly.  The one thing that customers will never get over is that they have to pay full retail price on the phone.  That always turns them off.  When potential new customers are presented Value plans they always ask why they don’t get phone discounts.  Then they would have to be shown how if they got phone discounts their plan would be more expensive.  All this has to be handled delicately by sales reps because leading with a Value plan tends to make customers think classic plans are marked up.  When in fact the value plans allow customers to receive a plan discount instead of a phone discount.  Even then the Value ARE the best bang for your buck in wireless a lot of the intricities don’t sit right for customers.  It has to be presented just right.

    • Deeg

      An app or something on the website actually makes sense.  Let people put in their plan and device and show them the actual savings- Don’t make them have an MBA to figure it out.  And  give them a discount for a few months like cable companies do – or do what Verizon just did and double the data — or Sprint added extra minutes a few months ago – or do free mobile to ANY mobile like Sprint does (And ATT – but thats after you buy a $20 texting package)…Tmobile needs new marketing and PR people.  Also its too confusing to people with all these fees, and your rate is X but when you add 20 monthly payments, your real rate is Y and you won’t save money until a year and a half from now when you’ll end up saving $10 a month or so…Just silly season

  • Reginald Bearclaw

    First, people’s response to this just shows how dumb and lazy Americans are. This plan is for those who don’t care about instant gratisfaction and are concerned with saving money.  Second, I dont think t-mobile put this value plan stuff out for the general consumer.  They already are the cheapest major carrier but they put out this kind of sale and plan for the ultra cost sensitive.  The kind of people who would want this plan are the kind of people who DO get out their calculator and go through their bills lookin to pinch pennies.  I love how people’s reaction is , “They didnt put out something I want, man tmobile is idiotic”.  No they just didn’t make this for you..get over yourself. 

    • BigMixxx

      Long term savings is not what people want.  They want immediate gratification in cost savings.  This is one of the many reasons why T mobile can’t get people to flock to them as the value leader amongst the major 4 carriers.  Their is no question about the plans.  While yes, long term costs savings is ok, short term costs savings is NOT THERE. 

      Remember, studies show people will pay for what they want.  It’s a matter of convenience (iPhone), and awesome (consitent) experience (iPhone), Leading edge (Android), Access (Verizon’s network), speed (Android + LTE or a really good HSPA+ connection)….

      This sale meets none of those requirements…

      • dothemath

        The front end savings are there too…in every case the down payment is lower than the subsidized price because of the mail in rebates…so both short and long term you spend less

        • BigMixxx

          Please clarify when comparatively, I can go to Walmart/Costco and get a SGS2 for 149 to 174….up front…and done. 

          Rebate cards don’t equal immediate gratification. 

        • Purenupe1

          Rebates SUCKS! and why am i in a contract if i paid full price?

  • Lee

    You want to see value? Wait for the nexus 3 months down the line and start up an account (value plan).

  • Plympton

    This sale is really a “bit” of a con – not huge, but it is for sure jacking the price up to make it lower.

    SGSII phone list = $530

    - Value 500/Unlimited text = $45/month x 24 months + $530 phone = $1610 over 2 years
    - Classic 500/Unlimited text = $60/month x 24 months + $229 (after rebate) = $1669 over 2 years
    (not a huge savings, but it’s there, and then goes ^ for every month you stay > 24 months)

    - Sale Value 500/Unlimited = $45/mo x 24 + $20/mo EIP x 20mo (?) + $50 (after rebate) = $1530 over 2 years
    ($80 savings, and have to deal with $150 rebate worries)

    - Regular Value 500/Unlimited = $45/mo x 24 + $15/mo EIP x 20mo (?) + $229 (after rebate) = $1609 over 2 years
    (exact same price if you buy the phone outright vs. “finance” at 0%)

    • Plympton

      PS: I *DO* like the Value plan (I’m on a Value family plan now) – the concept, the honesty, etc.  It’s just that this sale has some major manipulation going on…

  • Anonymous

    This is not a good explanation of the Value plans because it’s filled with Jargon like ‘EIP’ which is only relevant to T-Mobile employees.

    A BETTER EXPLANATION is that between Classic or Value plans is that you either get a phone discount or a plan discount.  If you go with the plan discount, you can make a down payment on the phone equivalent to the discounted phone price and finance the remaining balance of the full retail price of the phone on your bill across 20 months.  This is without interest or finance charges.  The cheaper discounted ‘Value’ plan plus the monthly payment on the phone comes out cheaper monthly than the Classic plans where you received a phone discount.

    • Anonymous

      EIP stands for Equipment Installment Plan, which is definitely relevant to customers.

  • Guest

    T-Mobile changes us over to one of their new daily plans and added a year to out contract (reset the date) then the woman on the phone lied and told us it was noted on our account that we were notified. I hang up in her face, called back, and got someone to fix it after much vulgarity slinging.

    Then they charged us $50 for minute overages because:

    1. Their mobile to mobile us terrible (not many people have T-Mobile) and
    2. Their My Account app shows the wrong minute count on all three phones. So when we thought we were at 786/1000, we were actually over our minutes.

    We plan to ETF all three lines next month and go back to AT&T. some things really are worth paying more for.

    Not to mention we went from barely getting GPRS to having full T-Mobile, but can’t get more than 1mbps down/0.5mbps up speeds).

    Just terrible.

    • Guest

      I meant new RATE PLANS.

  • ETF+Balance of EIP = Ouch

    Value plans are great…unless you have to cancel because you are then on the line for the ETF max 200 in addition to what you owe on the phones max 300, always something to keep in mind…

  • 4G

    http://m.bgr.com/2011/11/17/samsung-galaxy-nexus-hands-on/
    Read the first paragraph of this article

    YES YES YES

    • 4G

      I’m sorry second paragraph

      • Richardthegrape

        :)

  • Deeg

    Just the fact that it took so long to explain and you admit the poor advertising the company has done – that is A PROBLEM.  I guess theres an advantage if you can’t spend the $500 for the phone all at once, but otherwise wouldn’t prepaid be a lot cheaper?  And NO CONTRACT!  So if you want to leave at any time, you can.  Factory reset your phone – sell it – and be done.  No cancellation fees.  The 2gb plan is $60 period – no taxes, no fees..the 5gb is $70…My postpaid bill had about 20% in additional charges.  I don’t know that all Tmobile customers are math experts…and it is hard to explain.  People see headlines and they see prepaid unlimited everything for $50-55 on other carriers. (I know lower quality phones and 3g – not 4g)  As for customer service, I will cough – Tmobile service used to be great…lately it is pretty poor at all levels.  And I have a lot of personal experience- names and employee ids included – at all levels.

  • Jim Thomason

    The examples in the article utterly confused me. I’ll recap:

    So, with the classic plan, I’d pay $199 for a sensation, then $79.99/month after that for at least 24 months.
    With the value plan, I’d pay $199 for a sensation, then $74.99/month after that for 20 months, then $59.99 for the last 4 + however many after that.

    So if I went with the classic plan, I’d pay $5 more per month forever. The value plan is $5 cheaper per month IMMEDIATELY + eventually drops to $20 lower.

    And I’m left wondering, what the hell is the worth of the classic plan? When spelled out this clearly, the classic plans look like nothing more than a way to fleece customers. If it’s all the same stuff, why would I want to pay more for it?

    The only issue I see is that if you cancel a value plan early, you’re still on the hook for the price of the phone. So basically, you agree to a higher ETF, which decreases monthly as opposed to in baloney 6 month increments.

    The explanation actually pisses me off since it looks like t-mobile’s just trying to screw me over even more

    Not that it matters at all. I’d have to pay an $800 ETF to migrate my 4 lines to a value plan, and it’d take forever to make up the ETF charges in the monthly savings AND I’d need to re-sign to additional 2 year contacts on all 4 lines, locking me into t-mobile even longer.

    If I’m paying the ETF I’d rather jump ship and finally get an iphone, and otherwise just waiting the year ’til I can jump ship’ll do it for me.

    No iPhone + all of this pricing nonsense has finally done me in and they’ve used up the decade of goodwill they accumulated with me surprisingly fast.

    • pinto

      jim, basically all they are doing is making it easier to pay full price for the phone. its nothing crazy. in the end, you will save about 80 bucks with all the rebates and things after taxes. its like MetroPCS, where you buy the phone outright, and then your plan is rather cheap. i personally buy all my phones outright. this just makes people more aware that Tmobile allows you to do this.

      say i want the sgs 2. its 529.99. i put down 200 on the phone, and then have 20 months to pay off the phone at 0% interest for the remainder 329.99. they add on the 15-20 bucks that it will take to cover the cost of the phone to your bill in 20 months. if you decide to pay more than 15 bucks extra a month for the phone, then your total monthly cost will go down a lot faster. say this month, you pay 200 down on it, and next month you pay another 200. you now have a remainder of 129.99 to cover in 18 months at 0% interest. which in turn comes down to about 7.25 added to your bill.

      its not complicated, its for those out of contract, or new and want a new phone, but want to be able to penny pinch here and there.

      • oldfart

        They have the total price as $599.99 if you buy it on the value olan and the payment is $20/month.  Sensation is not the highest price SGSII is.

        • pinto

          i just hit buy phone on value plan at 529 online. i have no idea what they will do in store however. a lot of people are reporting the change in price, however i have yet to see this so called increase in phone price. its the rebate and taxes maddness that you will pay for the phone that increases the price. perhaps this “increase” in price really is just the taxes and activation included???

          529.99 + 6% tax = 561.79 + 35 = $596.

  • ValuePlan_Fan

    OK, a value plan costs $20 less per month for a 24 month contract = $480 savings right off the bat.
    Down payment on the phone is $200 on either plan,that’s a wash….I’m still $480 ahead.
    For 20 months I pay $15 for the phone = $300 cost…I’m still $180 ahead.
    After the 2 year contract expires, I’ll pay for 1 more month,= $200 savings….now I’m $200 ahead.
    I wonder what I’ll do with my $200 savings…..maybe use that for a new phone down payment.  Ka-ching!
    Final Analysis, the Value Plan can save a signifigant chunk of change, thank you T-Mobile!

  • Joshuag941

    what if you have a family plan like me with 5 lines in total? with 2gb data and unlimited text messaging for everyone, would it be worth it to go to a value plan?

    • Jacop_s

      I am in the
      same situation, and after doing the math it is not clear how much if any there
      will be. It depends on what phones you are looking at, and what plan you have
      now. These deals require the Unlimited Value plan. I tried to get more details,
      but was told I have to wait until Saturday before they could give me an accurate
      monthly and out the door price.

      • anon

        DOUBLE POST BUT HERE YOU GO…

        assuming you have 5 galaxy 2′s on a value plan with all phones on EIP (equip installment plan) its going to be a total of $280 not including taxes and insurance
        line 1-2 = $99.99 – unl min, msg, 2gb data
        line 3-5 = $35 each – unl mn, msg, 2gb data ($105)
        5 GS2′s w/ EIP = $75
        Total = $280/mo
        Total for two years = $6420
        Total for two years including phones @ $230ea = $7570

        - – - – - – - – - NOW, Same plan with Verizon using Droid Razr – - – - – - –
        Lines 1-5 = $399.99 – unl min, msg, 300mb data (only $20/mo data available)
        Total = $399.99/mo
        Total for two years = $9600
        Total for two years includng phones @ $300ea = $11,100
        Difference of…drum roll please… total = $3530 over two years, $1765/yr, $147/mo (from grand total). Thats three (3) times my monthly car insurance cost.

    • anon

      assuming you have 5 galaxy 2′s on a value plan with all phones on EIP (equip installment plan) its going to be a total of $280 not including taxes and insurance
      line 1-2 = $99.99 – unl min, msg, 2gb data
      line 3-5 = $35 each – unl mn, msg, 2gb data ($105)
      5 GS2′s w/ EIP = $75
      Total = $280/mo
      Total for two years = $6420
      Total for two years including phones @ $230ea = $7570

      - – - – - – - – - NOW, Same plan with Verizon using Droid Razr – - – - – - –
      Lines 1-5 = $399.99 – unl min, msg, 300mb data (only $20/mo data available)
      Total = $399.99/mo
      Total for two years = $9600
      Total for two years includng phones @ $300ea = $11,100
      Difference of…drum roll please… total = $3530 over two years, $1765/yr, $147/mo (from grand total). Thats three (3) times my monthly car insurance cost.

  • dan

    Well, debate the pennies saved each and every day, but know this – it’s many hundred dollar billss difference as compared to two snappy phones on big red!

    I’m dumping 2 lines at Verizon as I’ll bleed 160 plus taxes every month and still need to from $450 for equipment!

    2 years, two lines, 2 handsets is north of 3k!

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    I agree with others that if you have to explain these plans and pricing someone is doing something wrong.

    And I also agree that this article, written to clarify things, is simply more confusion.

    Lastly, it is poorly written. E.g., the author writes “There has been a lot of skepticism and backfire when it comes to
    T-Mobiles (sic) Value Plans and I believe the cause or blame lies on
    improper advertising…”

    Using the word “lies” is not the best choice when talking about T-Mobile’s behavior. The innuendo is self-explanatory.

    And writing “improper advertising” is describing T-Mobile’s advertising as illegal, false or dishonest.

    Then again, perhaps you subconciously intended to depict T-Mobile’s deficient marketing as attributable to “lies and improper advertising.” If that is so, never mind.

  • Rayen321

    The ads should read like this;

    Classic Plans- you pay less for the phone but more for the plan 

    Value Plans- you pay more for the phone but less for the plan

    • Anonymous

      Even that would be incorrect.  What you just wrote implies the Classic plans are marked up.  They are not, in fact it’s the standard rates.  They should be presented as:

      Classic Plans – Discounts on Devices with a two year contract

      Value Plans – Discounts on monthly services with a two year contract with interest free financing for devices.

      • Rayen321

        Its the same thing either way. The classic rate plan is higher because the device is sub. The Value plan is lower because the device is full cost.

  • hello1234

    At the 20th month you will be done paying off the phone and your price point will lower to $59.99 saving you $20 per month for the last 4 months. The total savings over the 2 years is $180. To some people this might not be worth paying the total cost of a phone over time, but every dollar counts.—-
    WHAT ABOUT WHEN I NEED A NEW PHONE AFTER 12 MONTHS OR EVEN AFTER 20 MONTHS? IS ATT GOING TO LET ME SPREAD THE COST OUT ALSO? I THINK TMO NEEDS MONEY NOW IS THE REASON THESE PLANS WERE INTRODUCED! QUIT DRINKING THE KOOL AID!

  • CRT24

    I truly cannot believe we are still having this debate and still trying to explain how the value plans are.less expensive than the classic plan. Bottom line is that you monthly payments are ALWAYS less on the value plans even with the phones included, period end of story! But no matter whether you choose classic or value, you still pay less overall and less per month than Sprint, Verizon, or ATT for a comparable plan. Save the fact that T-Mobile doesn’t have advertising explaining every little detail of the value plan, it really isn’t complicated at all.

    • Jacop_s

      Unless you do the math, and it works out that your current plan
      is cheaper. For most I think the value plan is probably cheaper,  but not “ALWAYS”.

      • anon

        not many customers do the math (maybe 1%-2% but thats it) or even educate themselves on other carrier’s rate plans. all they care about is if there is a free phone they can have with a plan. paying $80-$100/mo for a plan is totally fine when you get a “free” phone for the majority.

        • Shaun9778

          I agree with this 100%  Problem is that people don’t understand this who don’t work in retail.  The folks who come up with this value plan garbage and expect it to sell just don’t know what customers really want

        • http://tmonews.com David

          This.

  • KA

    As a T-Mobile Retail Sales Rep, I must say this is a really poorly written explanation of our value plans. It was confusing to me and I explain these plans 4 days a week to customers. EIP? Really? Non-T-Mobile employees don’t understand that. EIP = Equipment Installment Plan…the plan you set up to pay off your device over the 20 months (just in case anyone is scratching their heads). Also, the migration fee is $200 when you are 0-8 months into your contract. It goes down to $150 once you’re in the 9th month of your contract and continues to decrease from there…

    The bottom line is, the “value” in a value plan is that you pay less for your bill each month and your upfront cost for the phone is cheaper since you don’t pay upgrade fees or have to worry about mail-in rebates.

    I must say though, as a side note, I am pretty annoyed that they conveniently bumped up the full retail prices of many of our phones for this promo on Saturday. The Galaxy S 2 is normally $529.99 and is listed as $599.99 for the day of the promo. Prior to this promo, the highest monthly payment for a phone on a value plan was $15. For the promo (since they increase the full retail prices) the monthly payments for our best phones will be $20, making the Value plan cost $79.99 while you are paying off the phone–the same cost as the comparable Classic plan. The customers that are smart will increase their down payments on the phone since they will be receiving a mail-in rebate so that they can further decrease the monthly payment for the phone, but I doubt many will do this.

    • Realcool2000

      The other guy explained it better…

  • jon

    Wow. Some people just aren’t happy unless they have something to b!tch about.

  • Corepreacher

    When you get your rebate. Be smart and use it to pay down your installment. That will lower your monthly payment as well.

    • anon

      you cannot apply a payment towards your remaining installment balance unless youre paying off the entire remaining balance.

      • pinto

        unless things have changed rather recently, i have never had an issue paying it in large chunks over a couple months. then again i always stepped into a corporate store to do so.

  • Ltgisabeachbum

    I still don’t see the value. Buy the sensation for $500 bucks with cash, credit card, who cares. Then get the $60 monthly 4g plan, and not have a contract. Why are you signing a contract for no subsidy.

    • Jweimer02

      Tmobile payment is interest free, and when you have said contract you also can use tmobiles roaming partners. In addition you aren’t prepaying for any additional services.

  • anon

    FRST OF ALL TMONEWS, YOU HAVE SOOOO MANY SCRPTS RUNNING ON THIS SITE THATS ITS EATING UP ALL MY RESOURCES. WTF. LEARN TO CODE BETTER!

    • Realcool2000

      Get a computer newer than 1999 and u will be ok…

    • Anonymous

      Seems to run fine on my cpu.  But I have 1GB of RAM and a 1.2Ghz Dual Core processor.  Oh wait, even my phone can handle it.

  • Guest

    I heard there is a sale going on saturday is it for prepaid, walmart prepaid powered by tmobile,classic,value.  Do you need a contract? Do i have to pay eip or do i get a free phone. If i get a Smartphone do i have to get an unlimited data plan. what unlimited data should i get, is there overage with unlimited. Will i get an upgrade on all plans. If i pay phone full price at time of purchase will i be able to upgrade later. Can i go to classic if i get value. Can i get value if i start classic. Will the sale include 49.99 family plan. Are tablets and web things included? Is there a discount if I get a phone and a web stick? What prices for phones and plans do we get the one on commercials or on website

  • http://twitter.com/r_pad Raymond Padilla

    If you need 800 words to tell consumers why a deal is a deal then you’re doing it wrong.

    • Jweimer02

      Wow, you are ignorant

      • http://rpad.tv RPadTV

        That was helpful. Stop being a schill.

    • Realcool2000

      If u didn’t understand how it saves money then ur an idiot.

      • http://rpad.tv RPadTV

        I have always understood it, but general consumers don’t. That’s a mistake on T-Mobile’s part. The “keep it simple” method is the best way to attract the most consumers.

    • Drew

      Hi, my name is Raymond and I count words on a page…but I don’t understand what they mean. Am I stupid?? Please don’t laugh at me…

      • http://rpad.tv RPadTV

        I actually didn’t count. No need for the insult. You honestly think messaging is clear on this product?

    • Anonymous

      “if you do the math, you are saving $5 per month for 20 months. At the 20th month you will be done paying off the phone and your price point will lower to $59.99 saving you $20 per month for the last 4 months.”

      If you feel 800 words was needed to tell why this is a good deal then you’re reading it wrong.

      • http://rpad.tv RPadTV

        You’re missing the point. Most people that walk into a T-Mobile store will not understand this plan. The most appealing products do not require a lengthy explanation.

        • Anonymous

          I can respect that.  I can’t say I know how people act in the store while listening to the spiel but I have an understanding thought process so it just doesn’t seem that complicated.

  • Jacob

    Wow this was very very helpful!!

  • Anonymous

    Compared to Tmobiles own plans, the value plan is cheaper up front and cheaper each month. Compared to Att Sprint and Verizon, you are saving a ton of money over 2 years and up front.

  • Boss302Owner

    Don’t know why David even posted this….How about some real news….Like if the Galaxy Nexus is on it’s way to T-Mobile or what’s the next hottest phone coming in 2012….

    • http://tmonews.com David

      I posted it because some people had asked how to decipher the value plans. Also, I don’t know the answers to your other two questions. When I know them, I’ll post the answers as well. There are other things going on besides phones in the T-Mobile world and that all gets posted.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve asked you before and i’ll ask you again, Why do you put up wish such disrespect on here?

      • http://littlebigideas.tumblr.com/ JakeMG

        Dude, you don’t need to feed the trolls or explain yourself.  Post whatever you want.  When there’s an article I’m not interested in, I just skip it.  People are honestly just idiots.

    • Realcool2000

      This is real news fool, cause so many don’t undersatand how this deal actually saves them money….and complain and act like it doesn’t save anything or even cost more…but this spells it out lain and simple that everyone can understand.

      I’m glad the guy wrote it and I’m glad David posted it.

      If u had any brains u wouldn’t have bought that stupidslow ass boss 302, and got a real car. Do u go fast from stop light to stop light? Fool!

    • Techhi

      yes Im on ATT for last 9 years and may switch to TMo because of Data and limits – But I want a 4G Phone with a screen 4.5″ or bigger Im using a INFUSE now but DATA is slow and Customer service won’t let me get a SkyRocket under $500. I know the GSII has a 4.5 screen but want something even newer like the Galaxy Nexus or similar..SO WHAT NEW PHONES ARE COMING OUT IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS,, also TMos plans are so confusing. 

  • Junkgraff

    the sales rep at the tmobile store today even admitted that this sale is really no sale at all, but a big joke.

  • Junkgraff

    tmobile wants $300 for the phone. walmart will sell it to me for $180 plus they’ll give me a $100 gift card. 

    why, then would i buy a phone from tmobile?

    • Realcool2000

      For what phone exactly….”the phone” as u put it, is any phone and I doubt walmart is selling everyphone for 300. Why don’t u explain yourself because then we will see that ur lieing…

      • http://twitter.com/Lawless_1 Lawless_1

        the walmart I was at tonight had the HTC Amaze 4G for $189. Not sure about a gift card  but the phone it’s self was $70 less.

        • Realcool2000

          And what was the contract? You have to include all details to make sense.

        • Giraffe

          Walmart doesn’t sell value plans, so it would have to be a classic contract.

          $260 is $70 more than Walmart’s price up front, but $75/mo vs $80/mo saves you $120 over the course of the contract.  Depends on what money you have to spend today, I guess.

  • Anonymous

    To sum it up, on a Classic Plan you pay for the phone forever whereas with a Value Plan you finish paying for it and then reap the benefits.