T-Mobile’s Challenger Strategy Continues With 100% Move To Value Plans In 2013

I’ve been saying this for months, but T-Mobile has made it official as the company will move 100% to Value Plan offerings in 2013. While many of you will be shocked by this move, I’m thrilled to see the company removing the two rate-plan scenario which confused far more customers than necessary. As the company sees 80% of all post-paid activations in stores as Value Plans, it makes sense for this transition to take place. With limited subsidies, lower monthly pricing and monthly installment options for phone purchases, Value Plans will certainly allow T-Mobile to continue working toward their goal as the best value in Wireless.

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  • john doe

    Never! Never will I leave my classic plan!!!!

    • Hazaa! Toast to the classic plan!

    • krelia

      You save money on value. Why not switch?

      • nmw407

        For those of us on a grandfathered plan, sometimes it’s actually cheaper than the value plan of equivalent features.

        • Yeah there are a few instances I’ve seen, since we launched EIP, where *SOME* Grandfathered plans are cheaper.

        • My Even More 3000 promotional plan still works out to be slightly cheaper than Value plans, so I might just continue to hang onto that one, unless I want to downgrade my talk time bucket. Then Value plans become significantly cheaper.

        • nmw407

          Yeah, mine was certainly cheaper, even now with 3 phones on the android preferred plan. Moving to value plan wouldn’t have saved me any money, especially since I got my phones heavily discounted (aka. free from loyalty)

        • Ordeith

          My grandfathered plan certainly is. I pay less for the service I get than the value plan without device “loan”, and I get subsidized devices. Bad for T-Mobile, great for me.
          If they make me move plans I may just have to move carriers. This plan is the only thing that has kept me with T-Mobile lately.

        • Yngwie

          an understandable sentiment. However if you were looking at switching carriers you might as well go to value as it’s still a better deal than current offers by competing companies.

        • Ordeith

          Competing companies have both better coverage, and better phones. And if I am forced to switch plans for some reason I don’t see why I would stay with the company that caused the issue in the first place.

      • Dakota

        every time ive priced it you dont save a lot – youre making payments for 20 months so youre only saving on month 21…maybe im wrong but thats been the case every time ive tested it…and by that time, many people are upgrading and starting the process again. If youre paying an additional $20, then the value plan wasnt really cheaper – it was the same as the classic

        • thepanttherlady

          I have 3 lines. I was paying $221 on the Classic plan. Now that I’m on the Value plan, my bill is $206 which includes 3 $20 payments for devices. If I didn’t have those, my bill would be $146.

          With or without the EIP’s, my bill is less on the Value plan than when I was on the Classic plan.

    • Ford_Thundercougarfalconbird

      I save $10 a month with my legacy plan over the Value plan.

    • interesting. You may in that case have to start bringing your own device as you may be forced to switch if you upgrade which would then defeat the purpose of being on a classic plan.

      • UMA_Fan

        Don’t even try. People are wired to think phone subsidies are the better deal that it’s frightening.

        • Thisisatest

          It’s not a black and white issue. I upgraded frequently on my 5 line plan. i was paying an average of $42 per line with 1000 minutes and unlimited everything else. I was upgrading all willy nilly.
          Value plan customers can also get gouged by paying 500 dollars for a phone that’s only worth 300 (I’m looking at your galaxy s2)

        • You could just buy the galaxy s2 at walmart for $300. There are also places like ebay and such.

        • Aaron Peromsik

          The price delta on the prepaid vs postpaid version of T-Mobile phones makes me hopeful that the switch to all value plans might reduce the price gouging you speak of.

        • Dakota

          Thats the danger if its not communicated effectively – people will immediately be turned off when they see their downpayment is the same as what they pay at other carriers, but then on Tmobile they have to pay more on every month for a carrier that has a poor reputation

        • purenupe1

          But even when you bring your own device you are locked in a contract. Why? what if you decide to leave? Then you have to sell YOUR phone to try and cover the cost of the early termination fee.

    • James Shaggy

      It wont matter because as soon as your contract is up there probably wont be an option to renew the contract at the same rate plan, so eventually everybody is going to be moved to value plans.

    • So you like throwing money out the window?

    • Dakota

      Well theres a good chance they will force you at some point – especially if they never subsidize phones before. Kinda like Verizon forcing their customers to buy a phone outright without a subsidy to keep their grandfathered plans

  • Here’s to still being grandfathered in on classic! Good ole classic plan I love you.

  • chris125

    So what exactly is the difference between value and classic plans? I am considering switching and am curious

    • kev2684

      you pay full price on value.
      with classic your plan is generally $20-30 up so almost same thing really.
      but with value you’re free to upgrade as long as you already paid the handset in full.
      you pay $0-250 up front then add 5/20, 10/20, 15/20 or $20/20 months. like a loan but without interest.

      value is generally cheaper than classic.

    • drivethruboy168

      The Value Plans are roughly $20-$40 cheaper than classic plans and if you are on a shared family plan, additional lines are cheaper as well. Well that price decrease is there because there is no discount on devices unless it is on sale. The rest of the phone if purchased is broken into payments between $3-$20 per month, the higher end smartphones being the higher monthly payment. Purchasing on a Value Plan also means you pay less upfront for the device you want ie: Galaxy S III on a classic in $329.99 +$18 upgrade fee if upgrading, and than a $50 mail in rebate card which brings the discounted price to $280. On a Value Plan, you would pay $150 down for the Galaxy S III and the rest of the device which is $400 is billed to you in 20 installments of $20 per month interest free. The payments usually take about 2 billing cycles to kick in. After the payments are completed your plan drops back down to it’s original price which is cheaper than the Classic Plans. The only reason someone would want to stay on the Classic Plan is to be able to take advantage of special offers on 3rd party retailers such as wirefly. In which with the difference of pricing between the two plans you could possibly end up paying for that phone you got dirt cheap because you decided to pay the extra $40 per month because you got the phone cheap. My professional opinion, the Value Plan is where its at.

      • Legione13

        Just to clarify, with a Value plan, you pay full price for the phone, which means you can pay the entire amount up front (or just get your own compatible device elsewhere), or you can finance it as drivethruboy168 described.

        With the classic plans, the phones were “cheaper,” but the savings on the device resulted in a higher monthly plan.

        I agree with drivethruboy168 in that Value Plans are where it’s at.

  • thatguy

    I agree that this is a great move by the T. I worked for them as a retail manager for many years and it is very difficult to get customers to understand the difference in the plan and equally difficult to get sales reps to communicate the benefits of the value plans.

  • terryjohnson16

    Unlimited loyalty plan in the house

    • brian

      That plan is more expensive than value you fool. Lol

      • terryjohnson16

        I dont buy into that classic vs value plan stuff. My unlimited loyalty plan is better.

        • TheSchwartz

          Same here. Find me a value plan that is cheaper than my 2 line unlimited everything for $130/mo plus free phone upgrades.

        • peelabrownie

          unlimited everything for two lines on value is 100…

        • Ordeith

          +a down payment, + a phone “loan” repayment.

        • peelabrownie

          as i posted earlier phones are relatively cheap via amazon/walmart/google gs2/iphone/nexus 4 are all sub 300. savings outweigh the other plan if you buy the phones upfront.

        • Ordeith

          Sure, If I want crap for phones.

          Sent from my Windows Phone

        • TheSchwartz

          That is for the 1000 minute plan, which we would go over. Unlimited everything is $120/mo, plus full price for devices.

        • Guest

          its 49.99 a month w/ unlimited minutes. i am on this plan with my family we have 4 lines total two with unlimited data/minutes our monthly bill is 100$ a month. – 15 percent business discount. significant discount over the other plans… plus we all bought phones of our choices inc the iphone/nexus 4 which is 300$.

        • peelabrownie

          incorrect the plan i am on is 49.99 per line unlimited everything for the first two lines. we pay for four lines and it comes out to 100 a month w/ unlimited minutes/text/data on two lines and basic 500 minutes each on the other two lines. considering phones like the gs2/nexus 4/iphone 4s can be bought for 250-300 on amazon/walamart/google and we save 60 a month over two years its definitely worth it.

      • terryjohnson16

        I dont buy into that classic vs value plan stuff. My unlimited loyalty plan is better.

  • Jay

    I feel this will discourage your average customer. Besides having to explain what exactly the value plan means, and them only really hearing ” you have to pay around 550 for a phone total “, I feel it will make people feel EVEN MORE locked into a contract. On top of signing a 2 year contract, even if you leave a year in and pay 200 cancel fee, your going to have to ALSO pay off the rest of the phone.

    • Whitney

      That what I thought as well until people over tmobile boards me about EIP which is choice for value plans customers only

    • Dakota

      yep

  • Mark Reese

    Its silly …20 dollars more a month with one plan over the other

  • Deadeye37

    My grandfathered plan is perfect for our needs – price wise & minutes/data wise. I don’t want to get forced to a value plan where I will have to pay more per month for more minutes that I’m not going to get close to using and data that I won’t come anywhere close to using.

  • rfgenerator

    It sounds like T-Mobile is basically trying to get rid of those of us who are on classic plans. Value plans are basically a scam if like me you are currently a 2 line smartphone classic customer. To go to value I might save 10 bucks a month, but removing the subsidy on the phones will cost me around $200 more over the length of the contract. The $240 saved over the length of the 2 year contract does not offset the additional $400 to $600 I will spend to purchase the phone. thanks but no thanks. One final note, am I wrong to expect that those of us who might try to cling to our Classic plans that we will be told that we can keep the plans but there will be no more subsidies at upgrade time.

    • thepanttherlady

      I suspect this may be the case.

    • thepanttherlady

      I suspect this may be the case.

    • Preach on!

    • Preach on!

    • Rose

      I’m glad someone sees it the same way I do!

    • Ceefu

      You hit the nail on the head. I’m in the same boat.

    • Storerep

      Actually, you math seemed skewed. 2 lines on value for unlimited talk,text and web is $120 per month plus a maximum of $40 additional for 2 new phones on EIP so $160 before taxes. Phone cost upfront is anywhere from $0-$250. Galaxy S3 for example is $150 down, $50 back in a rebate and $20 per month. So we’re back to $160. On classic, you’re paying $160 per month for the service, which sounds like the same until you consider this. 1. You’re paying more upfront for a phone, Galaxy S3 is $330 down and $50 back in a rebate so $280. You also get taxed on a higher amount because on value you’re taxed on $120 not the $160 on classic.

      • rfgenerator

        That may make sense for unlimited but I don’t want or need unlimited. What I have right now is 2 lines with the Classic $59.99 w/1000 minutes. No texting, don’t want or need it. I have an HTC Sensation 4G (cost me $199 on contract, upgrade fee was waived, and was given free shipping) w/the Preferred Android $20/mth 5GB of data. My wife has a Blackberry 9780 ($150 on contract) with the $10 200mb data (she never uses over100MB). Outside of TMobile to Tmobile, and Night/Weekend calls we only use about 80 minutes a month of our 1000 minutes. I have a corporate discount. My total bill with taxes, fees, etc. is $92 a month. Please do the math and see how migrating to another plan where I pay full price for phones while paying more money for features (additional minutes, texts, etc.) that I won’t use will be to my benefit?

      • Enzowned

        I’m curious as to how much other people paying on taxes. I may be wrong but they seem a little high on Tmo, and I just switched. It’s about $20 for me, where otherwise the bill should be about $80. $20 seems high to me for $80, they are however 5 lines, 2 unlimited talk, and only one data plan in there.

        On ATT, taxes were like $10-15 tops, but that was on a $160 bill. 5 lines as well, and again only one data plan. Should I be concerned?

    • Legione13

      Value plans may not work for your situation, but I happen to be on a two-line classic plan, and I purchased two Galaxy Nexus phones (directly from Google) a few months ago, for $350/each – specifically so that I could eventually go with a Value plan.

      Even if you take that $700 (for 2 Galaxy Nexus phones) and divide it over 24 months and then add that amount to the Value plan, the Value plan is still cheaper… so once my Classic contract is up this month, I am *definitely* switching to a Value plan.

      • thepanttherlady

        If your contact is up this month, you can switch now without incurring a migration fee.

        • Legione13

          I’ll give them a call later tonight, once I’m home from work. :)

      • CalicoKJ

        If you’re within 6 months of contract end you should be able to switch to a Value plan with no conversion fees.

    • Sam

      Perfect example. My dad had me in a family plan, once he moved us to the value plan we lost the ability to get a subsidized phone and the bill is more than before. I would rather have the ability to subsidize. It was cheaper for me.

  • Mark Reese

    I always see amazon offering phones for a penny on classic contract but they never offer a discount for people on the value plan.

    • thepanttherlady

      Perhaps that will change with the new direction T-Mobile is taking?

    • thepanttherlady

      Perhaps that will change with the new direction T-Mobile is taking?

      • 21stNow

        I would hope so. Many typical phone customers are looking outside of the bricks and mortar stores for deals on cell phones. This could actually lower the amount of new customers T-Mobile gets if they can’t rely on third-party sellers in the same way that most other carriers can.

        • thepanttherlady

          Me too. It would be a shame for them to say they’re going 100% Value plans but not give us some type of break on devices through 3rd party sellers.

          I mentioned this in a comment on another story here, there should be no reason 3rd party sellers can’t have access to T-Mo’s system (similar to the upgrade system) to let Value plan customer’s make a down payment and utilize the monthly payments. No reason at all.

        • Legione13

          With a Value plan, there’s always the option of getting a Nexus directly from Google, and calling it a day.

          $350 for an unlocked, current Android phone is hard to beat, and coupled with a Value plan, that becomes an even more attractive option.

  • Nearmsp

    Reading this news and the previous news item, I think, in 2013, Apple and T-mobile will launch products exclusively on value plans. Those who are on classic plans can continue but no new customers will be signed up on the Classic Plan. I am not sure why the T-mobile news item says that there will be cash flow impact. Is Apple getting upfront payment to develop products to suit T-mobile. In the worst case scenario, Apple might have frequencies compatible with existing T-mobile HSPA+. This will be good for those yet to buy iPhones. But those who have iPhones and buy until the “new Apple products are jointly launched” will be left holding a high cost lemon that works on spotty 3G network.

    • predation

      I Hope you’re right about the being able to keep the classic plans and subsidizes.

  • chris125

    Well looks like the iphone effect is already setting in, moving in this direction…

  • Hamster

    This move is clearly what’s allowed them to get the iPhone deal done. Not having to subsidize the iPhone eliminates a huge cost that would be associated with that deal.

    • 21stNow

      Probably. I doubt that Apple would have agreed to have their products being the only unsubsidized products in the store, if T-Mobile had tried to leave the Classic plans in place on other phones. This is how everyone is impacted for the decision to carry one phone.

      I normally don’t complain about T-Mobile getting the iPhone and actually wanted to see it happen at one point in time. But if they have to make changes across the board that affect non-iPhone users as well, then I don’t want to see the iPhone on T-Mobile.

      *this is if T-Mobile is getting the iPhone.

    • But it’s cheaper for the customer this way. Since the value plans are $20.00/month less then the classic plans, right now for example a Samsung Galaxy S III is $199.00 with a 2 year contract and $89.99/month for the unlimted 4G plan. With the value plans the same
      plan costs you $69.99/month. You pay $100.00 down for the phone and $20.00/month for 20 months with the equipment installment plan. So you’re paying the same $89.99/month anyway but only for 20 months and out of pocket was 100 bucks instead of 200 bucks. They even had a 2 day sale recently where they waived all down payments. Now the phone was free, you pay $89.99 for 20 months then $69.99 ongoing.
      400 bucks broken up over 20 months at $20.00/month for a $600.00 phone.

      • predation

        Not if Your grandfathered plan is better AND cheaper than the value plan…

        • Marvin Arnold

          Exactly! My grandfather plan is much cheaper than anything TMO has!

  • BAllen

    Are they going to eventually force us Classic Plan customers to switch?

    • Get_at_Me

      most likely no, but there will prob be incentives to get you to switch over

    • thepanttherlady

      I don’t think they can unless you choose to get a new phone (upgrade). It might be at that point you will have to make the change.

  • CalicoKJ

    I sat down and did the math the other day. I have 5 lines and was being encouraged by the rep to go ahead and convert the 3 that are not yet in $0 conversion. The difference between converting now and waiting until May is $135 (over the course of 2 years). Even adding the EIP payments in (which I won’t do on all phones since 2 of the lines are basic phones), I will save $250ish over the course of the next 2 years once I convert over. If I buy the smartphones outright it’s between $1000-1500. That’s enough to get my full attention.

  • Rose

    The way the tmobile reps explained the value plan is it is cheaper than the classic plan. But instead of getting a discount on phones you get the phone at the full price but pay it off in payments. I don’t understand how this is a good deal? If this isn’t true, I would appreciate someone explaining this better to me with sources so I can look into it more

    • Whitney

      EIP right? From I what I read is that EIP allows you to put a down payment on the phone and pay it off over 20 months. I want do that with the iphone

    • Whitney

      EIP right? From I what I read is that EIP allows you to put a down payment on the phone and pay it off over 20 months. I want do that with the iphone

      • superdry

        I’ve received confirmation from multiple t-mobile store employees that you can pay off the phone faster if you want or can (I think t-mobile still charges you the minimum on your bill, but you can pay more per month if you want). This works out nicely because once the phone is paid off, and, say, you don’t mind T-mobile service, you can easily upgrade to a new phone faster.

        • thepanttherlady

          You can, indeed, pay off the balance of the device sooner; however, it must be in full. Meaning, you can’t pay it off sooner by “upping” your monthly payments. If you owe $250 on the phone, you must pay the full $250.

          I love the EIP’s because as you said, I can pay off my device sooner to get the “next big thing” if I want and not be stuck waiting for the end of my 2 year contract to do so. I sell the phone I’m using to offset the cost as it works well for me. I keep my phones in pristine condition so I usually bring in a higher amount for them. What I NEED to start doing is using the $ I get from selling my devices, to pay off the balance of the new phone. Then I don’t have the $20 payments. :/

        • superdry

          Oh, you can’t just up the monthly payments? Didn’t know that. I was under the impression that you could up the monthly payments at your own discretion. Good to know. Thanks.

          I guess you can always put money on the side so you can pay off the rest of the phone down the road and then you’re monthly bill will be cheaper anyways.

        • thepanttherlady

          Unfortunately, it isn’t like a credit card where you can pay more and ask them to apply it towards your principle. It’s either $20 a month or balance in full. This can be done at any time though.

          I hope at some point this will change. I would love the option to pay more than $20 a month towards my device payment.

    • achusaysblessyou

      The idea is that the overall plan is cheaper month-to-month.

      Then you can use the savings to pay for the phones. If your plan was $20 cheaper per month, then over 24 months, that’d be $480 savings, and considering that even with a classic plan any new phone would cost you $200-$300 on the classic plan and $600-$700 on the value plan. It’s pretty much the same cost. Now, if you have more lines, that usually means more savings (depending on your plan, you have to do the math sorry!) The great thing with a value plan is that sometimes you don’t need a new phone and so you don’t have to pay for one, but with a Classic plan, half the payment for the phone is built into the plan (hence the higher month to month price, there ain’t no free lunch). Oh, and phones are usually cheaper elsewhere, rather than through T-Mobile.

    • Mike

      if on classic plan, you pay 20 more per month over 2 years. thats 480$ then add what you spent on your phone, and i bet you got screwed by classic plan. :]

      • therealmikebrown

        Not if my phone was on sale. BestBuy had GS3’s for $49 on black friday.
        Add the $480 and I paid $529.
        That beats $600, probably more. Screwed by Value. But at least you can think you’re saving money.
        Only idiots buy phones direct from T-mobile. Unless loyalty gives it to you free.
        The savings depend on how you get the phone. If you pay full price then value is cheaper. Add in special sales and rebates, it could go either way.

    • flan

      Just to get the math completed for you, your monthly rate on a value plan will likely be $20 cheaper. When you buy a new phone, you’ll be paying a down payment up front about the same as you would have paid for the phone on a classic plan (so in the neighborhood of $200 for a high-ish end phone), but you’ll be paying the rest of the phone off as 20 monthly payments of $20. That’s the EIP, or Equipment Installment Plan. So far, the value plans and the classic plans wind up being exactly the same. However, month 20 rolls around, and all of a sudden you’ve paid off the phone, and now your monthly bill is just the rate plan without EIP, or $20 cheaper. So if you keep your phone past month 20, that’s when you start seeing benefits.

      With the classic plans, you get full update pricing on a new phone after 22 months. So right there, even if you always want to get a phone as quickly as possible, you only have to wait 20 months instead of 22. You wouldn’t realize the benefits of a value plan if you always bought a new phone as soon as you were done paying off the last one.

      The other benefit you might see is if you buy a phone used. You would have to pay for the phone up front rather than getting a 0% interest loan from T-Mobile, but if you’re ok with the last generation’s technology, you could get yourself, say, a Galaxy S2 for $250 on ebay, and now you’re seeing benefits right away because you’re not paying for a rate plan that assumes you bought a subsidized phone.

      My theory is that today’s phones are spec’ed to last longer than the phones of the past few years. I had a MyTouch 3G that I was about ready to throw out the window after just a few months. My G2 lasted a little longer before it felt unbearably slow. I’ve got a feeling that my GS3 will last me well past the 20 months.

    • bleeew

      Its only a good deal if you are done paying the device, or brang your own. It might not be good for people who use their upgrades the moment they are available.

  • Get_at_Me

    i’m glad they’re shifting to one type of rate plan in retail

  • psaux

    Tmo used to be primarily unsubsidized plans… No one here remembers EMP and the stuff that came before it? Calling the subsidized plans “classic” is a *huge* misnomer.

  • melon3531

    My grandfathered plan plus unlimited (5GB) data equals $59.99 – In any given month I only use on average 30 minutes in talk time and maybe send five texts. I have no need for unlimited minutes and text. Switching to a Value Plan would cost me $5 more a month for comparable data PLUS I’d lose the subsidized phone pricing. So for me it makes no sense to switch to a Value Plan.

    • melon3531

      Actually strike that…it would cost me $10 more a month, with no more subsidized phone. For me sticking with what I have is a no-brainer.

    • melon3531

      Actually strike that…it would cost me $10 more a month, with no more subsidized phone. For me sticking with what I have is a no-brainer.

    • stormer78

      You should switch to the $30 T-Mobile Walmart prepaid plan for your usage (100 minutes / unlimited texts / 5gb data). For the $30 (or $35 if you count taxes) more you spend on the classic postpaid plan, you could easily buy a new Nexus phone every year.

    • Enzowned

      $30 Walmart/Tmo Online plan would be a no-brainer for your usage.

  • BallaOnnaBudget

    My decision to leave T-Mobile is looking better and better every day!

  • BallaOnnaBudget

    My decision to leave T-Mobile is looking better and better every day!

  • rfgenerator

    One further thought, it would seem that this would be setting the stage to dump the retentions/loyalty department of T-Mobile. If the monthly plan is non-negotiable and the pricing of the phones is pretty much always at MSRP, there is really no tools for the retentions/loyalty staff to work with. Dealing with T-Mobile becomes simply a “take it or leave it” proposition. I have to say this transition makes it increasingly likely that I will cease to be a T-Mobile customer in 2013 (I’ve been with them since 2004). I really wouldn’t mind the BYOD concept if the market wasn’t rigged such that all new phones sold outside of a subsidy scenario are sold at an inflated MSRP with very few if any discounts ever offered through official channels or sellers.

    • CalicoKJ

      Oh I think there’s still a place for retentions/loyalty. They are not going to want to lose customers so there will be deals like the one I have where they convinced me to keep my “extra” line and gave me a $10/month credit on my bill.

      • Steven Miller

        I had a line that wasn’t being used, and they wanted me to keep it. So I got the same deal. They are giving me a 10$ credit each month to keep that line.

    • philyew

      Since the Value Plan saves the customer $480 over the contract period compared with the Classic Plan, there probably haven’t been many discount promotions that offered real savings for customers who wanted subsidized phones – the deal generally just looked better.

      TM are still going to have to find a way of fueling promotions and getting rid of stock that is being overtaken by newer product releases. They will have to adjust from selling at the MSRP from time to time in order to do that.

      I do have some concerns about this:

      a) I can’t see how I can retain my legacy plan in future without paying full price up front for devices. Subsidized phones with older legacy plans can beat Value Plans, as was my experience over the summer.

      b) Without a Classic Plan to compare to, how does TM demonstrate the “value” in a Value Plan?

      c) I agree with 21stNow’s earlier post that this concept is a challenge for many customers to grasp, and may result in many people quitting under the misapprehension that they have to pay the full MSRP up front.

      • Legione13

        It is very possible that they’ll have trouble explaining what “full price” means to customers.

        Lots of cell phone customers on other carriers may not even understand that the $199 they paid for their phone was *not* full price.

        That said, they may be able to hook people in by advertising the low value plan rates, and then explain that they can finance the phone, if they don’t want to pay $599 (or whatever) up front.

        Still though, the entire staff, T-Mobile-wide is going to need to be on the ball, communication-wise. This entire effort is going to represent a customer education challenge.

  • Bratty

    This is probably good for the company but I suspect will lead to a smaller customer base, albeit a more profitable one. I dont think this move will increase the base much but is designed to stem the bleed and then flip the company into another entity. Again, not a bad move but will not attract the droves of customers especially if they require a 2-year contract on Value.
    Just my 2c. Happy to hear other perspectives.

  • mingkee

    Believe me or not, I moved from Even More Plus family plan to Value Family plan and saves me $60 after some optimizations.

  • mingkee

    Believe me or not, I moved from Even More Plus family plan to Value Family plan and saves me $60 after some optimizations.

  • casebea

    I switched to a value family plan over a year ago and haven’t looked back. Saving me TONS of money. That, and T-mobile (or any other carrier) branded handsets are crap- especially when they rip out useful features and add carrier bloat. The U.S. cell industry is so backwards from the rest of the world, it’s really stupid. It’s great to see a U.S. carrier being brave enough to buck the trend. Go tmo!

  • Makes since. #Shrugs..I buy Nexus devices so this doesn’t affect me anyway.

  • Makes since. #Shrugs..I buy Nexus devices so this doesn’t affect me anyway.

  • I recently stopped at a T-Mobile store to check out the nexus 4. i asked what kind of deal they could make me if I upgraded. after checking the numbers, the sales rep said they couldn’t touch what i have now and to stick with my legacy plan forever. she actually said I’m way better off buying unlocked Google phones as i will save a ton.

    • Enzowned

      Cool, and this move benefits you as well hehe. I love the move to unsubsidized. It pushes manufacturers too to price things accordingly. So you nor I will have to rely on upgrade eligibility or limited selection, given that the N4 is unlocked.

      • Jim

        Exactly. Eliminating the subsidies will create a much larger market for a decent $250-300 phone, and the manufacturers will find a way to serve it.

  • I recently stopped at a T-Mobile store to check out the nexus 4. i asked what kind of deal they could make me if I upgraded. after checking the numbers, the sales rep said they couldn’t touch what i have now and to stick with my legacy plan forever. she actually said I’m way better off buying unlocked Google phones as i will save a ton.

  • 21stNow

    I have a lot of thoughts on this one. I’m a supporter of BYOD plans. That said, this looks like a suicide move to me. Judging from the few people that I know on T-Mobile, they get confused by these plans. There are even people that take the time to visit tmonews that don’t understand the value plans. One person I know didn’t know what was going on when she went to upgrade her phone and they told her she had to pay full-price. I think that if she hadn’t been on a family plan, she would have left T-Mobile at that point. Another person I know thinks that the full price for a smartphone is $200-$300. I’m trying to picture that scenario if she had to convert to a Value plan.

    The other part of this that looks bad for T-Mobile is that they are basically saying that they want to get into the 0%-interest loan business with ~30 million customers. If 25 million of those customers had average EIP amounts of $200, that’s half a billion dollars out there that they will collect no interest on, nor do they have a lien against the property that is in the customer’s possession. This doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me. Maybe they have a great relationship with a good collections agency. I could see this ending badly for T-Mobile in about 5 years.

    • Roger

      I am also curious how they will handle requiring contracts since there is no reason to do so with the value plan.

      • thepanttherlady

        Value plans are post paid accounts, not pre-paid. With or without utilizing the EIP’s for devices, you can bet they’ll still require a contract.

        • 21stNow

          I think that they shouldn’t. What was the negative effect of not requiring a contract with the Even More Plus plans? I’d rather see T-Mobile get rid of the contracts and the EIP.

        • thepanttherlady

          I like my EIP!!

        • 21stNow

          I had it for maybe six months. I got tired of it and paid it off because it reminded me of the ball-and-chain feeling that I have with contracts and I came to T-Mobile to get away from that.

      • Dakota

        Yeah it depends how they change their prepaids. Many customers will find it cheaper and more comfortable to buy a phone that can be used on a prepaid carrier – if Tmobile or an MVNO has great prices. The only issue is some people cant afford to put down 500-600$ at one shot.

    • SouthernBlackNerd

      I agree to a certain point. I do not think this is suicide, but I do believe they are throwing in the towel for the postpaid game. Tmobile seems to be trying to become a full on prepaid carrier with their own network.

      Tmobile has been struggling in the postpaid department for a long time, and to me it seems like it has gotten worse ever since they started pushing Value plans down peoples throats. They are saying 80% of their postpaid additions are value plans, but they also lost 600k+ postpaid customers last quarter.

  • Enzowned

    This move alone has moved me to Tmo. I am now a big fan of their latest moves. It is great, and focused around the consumer. Can’t say that for the other players. 1.7M iPhones? Wasn’t it 1.5 weeks ago? and 1M a couple months ago?

  • Herb

    The subsidy model is broken and ridiculously expensive. People are wising up, ditching their CDMA phones, and moving towards unlocked GSM. Now T-Mobile is the only company on the market adapting and moving forward in this brave, new, subsidy-free world. Prepaid plans are the way of the future, and T-Mobile is shifting their postpaid focus to a model that is more closely associated with prepaid.

    A subsidy-free iPhone? That solves the problem most companies have in selling the iPhone – MASSIVE subsidies that cause the companies to lose money for a disproportionately long time compared to phones from other OEMs.

    I’m really excited to watch T-Mobile move forward. John Legere has made a huge impact in his couple months on the job and I’m excited to see what he can do with the company moving forward to LTE!

  • Tom

    While I’m not necessarily against moving to the Value Plan only option, the one major consideration that I haven’t seen anyone comment on is the issue of “liability” and “risk”.

    I am a Classic plan customer with a fantastically subsidized phone. If I break this phone midcontract without insurance and it becomes non-operational, I am not required to pay for it. Obviously I’ll need to obtain another phone, albeit with out of pocket cost, but I can shop through T-Mo, Google, or eBay for that.

    On the other hand, if I had a Value plan and broke a phone midcontract without insurance, I am still LIABLE for the old EIP and I also need the cash to obtain a new phone.

    I transfer liability and risk to TMobile on the Classic plan, while I assume liability and risk on the Value plan. In all the calculations I’ve run to determine the TRUE value proposition, the risk of “double” phone payments always trumps the scant savings incurred at the end of the Value plan (time value of money) once my EIP is completed.
    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    • bob90210

      There are “double” payments for the phone in both cases. The cost of the subsidy in classic plans is built into the monthly phone bill. In other words, $20 of the monthly bill is going to pay for the phone you got for “$199” regardless if you have the phone or not.

      If you upgrade every two years, the value plan works out to about the same as the classic (you only save a few bucks). But you will save more if you wait longer to upgrade (imagine that, saving money by not buying stuff). You will also save more money on the value plan if you upgrade often (much less than 2 years) since the early upgrade offers are not prorated evenly.

  • Bruce_Mc

    When will T-Mobile Value Plans let people forward their unanswered calls? It would make it a lot easier to use Google Voice if they allow this.

  • Dakota

    Not sure all customers are going to like this. But its been obvious as store displays only showed value pricing. But when other carriers are selling a phone for 199 and Tmobile says you have to pay 199 upfront but then we’ll charge you another 20 $ for 20 months, people may not be so thrilled. Yes the plan price is cheaper, but when you add your $20, it ends up being the same, and you only save money for a few months before you probably want to upgrade. Thats been the case everytime IVe priced it and even the Tmo store employee said its really not a big savings. It will be interesting to see if they can market this correctly and change their image. If they stay with the real unlimited plans, they really need to do a much better job promoting it. Not a single person Ive spoken to – including employees at tech-related stores- have known that Tmobile provides true unilmited data with no throttling. Its just been a terrible rollout. At least the sprint commercials mocking sharing get the message across – much better than a girl on a motorcycle. But then also most people dont need that much data – but I would think most people – esp families – wouldnt want a share plan but so far Ive known people with them and dont hear complaints so what do I know. I went to Straight Talk and get the same coverage for much cheaper.

  • sushimane

    I’m waiting for my contract to be over so I can go to the value plan if I move to the value plan now it would cost me 100. I really want the galaxy note 2 and unlimited data.

  • TMoFan

    I’m not too sure about this. We Americans (speaking collectively and not about myself) have been trained to think “new phone = $199”. When people realize they are paying full price they will just shutdown and not listen to any of the benefits. Non-subsidy model works in Europe because everyone does it. Plus if someone opts for the EIP then it will be value plan + EIP. People will just look at the total and they won’t the cost savings especially if they upgrade every two years.

    I guess I better use my upgrade while I have it. My grandfathered in plans are less than value so it looks like I’ll be buying future nexus. I wonder what will happen to all of the third party retailers like Walmart and Target?

    • mewj

      My prediction is they may end those partnerships for classic activations but remain in those stores as a prepaid option only. It makes sense because what they will gain with metro pcs stores converting to t mo stores will do wonders for cashflow and advertising. People are forgetting that metro customers are already used to paying more upfront….value only adds the credit worthy buyer to the fold willing to assume the full price in exchange for a lower bill.

  • j

    If you didn’t read Tmobile lost 500,000 member first quarter only. This is because of the Value plan. Its trash. if your a family your going to pay over $2000 in phones only. When people realize this they are leaving tmobile. example the first quarter results.

  • jian9007

    Yeah when I first saw this today I said “Pfft, David told us about this months ago. Where there heck where the other tech sites then?” The Nexus 4 is an even better proposition when this starts, as it’s so affordable unlocked. I got mine delivered today and am switching over to a value plan tomorrow. It will be even cheaper than my current grandfathered plan is (and no migration fee since I was 18 months past my last phone upgrade as of yesterday). As the graphic in the post states, T-Mobile also said 80% of postpaid are already on value so it makes sense. I’m fine with this, and wish all carriers in the US did away with subsidies like they do in Europe.

  • j

    This is bad news for Tmobile. The reason why they sold 80% Value plans is because that’s what corporate pushes and that’s what was marketed. Once family plans integrate there phone payments, it is way more expensive than any other carrier. I am a die hard tmobile fan. But they will be out of business soon if they dont offer the traditional method of contracts. How can they make a decision like this after seeing their first quarter results? 500,000 memebers left and majority where on the value plan.

    • UMA_Fan

      Dumb. The family plans are not more expensive with the phone payments. Youaare talking nonsense

  • Steve

    So when they offer all that free garbage online, on classic plans, how are we gonna say 100 percent value plans. It will never end!!!!!

    • mewj

      That garbage you speak of will no longer exist….When this change comes your only two choices will be Value or prepaid….that’s it. Older plan members will either switch,keep what they have or leave.

  • MEWJ

    Here’s my take…I’ve been on thr Value plan for over a year now. The one key principle this plan emphasizes even more than lower monthly payments is the ability to CONTROL when you can upgrade your phone….THIS NEED’S TO BE CLEAR, BECAUSE MANY OF YOU ON OLDER PLAN’S ARE HOLDING BACK AND BEING LEFT OUT BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO RETURN TO A CONTRACT….WELL, If you buy a phone off contract you’re still paying for a suggested retail value….SOMEWHERE!! So, why would you be opposed to a plan that you will get a lot more of compared to other carriers…AND you get a line of credit to use for buying new phones….interest free. Finally, who said you had to wait for 20 months to pay of a phone….you have the option to pay off any phone purchase early. All you do is call in get the pay off…and that line is open to be upgraded again….yes they extend your contract per line in question, but that’s just smart business, but again you can buy as many new phones you desire as long as the previous phone is paid off….SO WHAT ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT….VALUE IS A VALUE WITH PERKS YOU CAN LIVE WITH.

  • MEWJ

    Also, let’s ALL smarter than what were reading….
    The I phone coming…great thing! Now look in a little deeper….
    We still dobe realn’t know how the Metro Pcs purchase will be utilized….
    My hunch is it will do what more real estate, products, and people should, and my firm guess is having additional outlets can be a major plus if the proper marketing and new business models attract more people to the company.
    Let’s not for get LTE is in the works as we speak….
    Finally, the announcement of Apple and the decision to sell only Value plans is saying a lot…..SO MUCH, MANY OF YOU ARE STILL LOST IN YOUR EVEN MORE, LEGACY CLASSIC GRANDFATHERED WORLD……PLEASE JUST STOP IT!!
    YOU CAN BET THERE IS NO WAY THEY WOULD HAVE ANNOUNCED A FORCED VALUE PLAN TODAY ALONG WITH THE APPLE ANNOUNCEMENT….
    However, as a current Value Plan member…MY COMMON SENSE tell’s me that some type of revised Value Plan is around the corner. My guess is they’ll find a way to modify the current rates enough to keep current Value customers happy, while also making the choice to switch for others even more attractive.
    Finally…Let’s get real…you evenmoregrandfatheredlegacydiehards…..Nobody’s Grand-Father lives forever!!!! A FORCE is coming, but it wont happen until the revenues are where they want them to be. There will be many converts…T mobile has a real chance to put Sprint to rest if they do this right.

  • Mimo Dakdouk

    If this switch is being forced, does that meant that classic plan customers have to pay the fee to switch plans, or will T-Mobile wave that fee?

    • mewj

      No…the idea is they want you to stay. What they don’t want is to sell it to you for a third of its actual value. In exchange you spend less month to month for returning to this contracted plan and you control when you get a new phone.

  • ducter

    OK, question… I am currently on a family plan, 1800 minutes, unlimited text, android preferred internet on all five paying 230ish monthly. Contact is up in February if my cost to buy the phones are full price that’s almost 3k but my plan would be 20 bucks cheaper a month? Then add 20×5 for the installment plan… No way this ends up cheaper for me.

  • This sounds a lot like a company i used to know…. Powertel….circa 1996-97-98-ish

  • Yoda

    It’s all marketing propaganda from T-MOBILE saying that all customers love the value plan. In reality, Tmobile has no financial capacity to directly compete with the bigger providers through up front device subsidies, so the only to increase profit margin to offset the capital investments from DT is to eliminate subsidies all together. As a customer, the small amount of saving you obtain through the value plan in comparison to the classic plan is quickly squashed by the device installation payments, while you are still forced to pay the initial down payment equivalent of what the bigger providers currently offer. You can’t terminate the contract early, or else expect to pay the ETF on top of the remaining installation payments. So you are essentially trapped in a contract without too much real saving (especially for those with grandfathered plans), and after the 2 years, you will likely upgrade, so the cycle repeats again.

    • UMA_Fan

      The ONLY negative from a consumer perspective of the value plan is leaving Tmobile early in your two year agreement.

      Also there are no upgrade fees on Tmobiles value plan. The $36 upgrade fee that all the other carriers charge is what’s robbery here NOT the value plans

  • Tony

    T-Mobile just lost the battle with AT&T and Verizon with this stupid move. Consumers want subsidized phones. My 4 line family plan would have cost me more on Value Plan than Classic. When contract is up and consumers can get a Lumia 920 for $99 where do you think they will go??? Looks like back to AT&T after this contract.

  • JBLmobileG1

    I have a old grandfathered plan that is cheaper than the equivalent version of its value not to mention the fact that the value pricing is the same pricing before any tax and without my insurance added. So in reality I am getting a better deal now with my grandfathered plan because, I not only get the premium insurance, but I also pay less before taxes and get a subsidized phone every 2 years. Hopefully Tmobile will make it worth our while if they force us loyal customers with older plans to switch. Maybe a type of Loyalty Value plan?

  • mike

    So should I use my upgrade before 2013 and then I will have new phone without the 2 yr contract?

  • 80% of all T-Mobile’s contract customers are value plans. Most people realize that saving $20.00/month on the service is a much better deal then a subsidized phone as the savings go on as long as the plan is active. Bring your own phone to any other co. and pay the same as those who got a free phone. $20.00/month for a 2 year contract saves you $480.00. That will cover almost the full phone price. And if you’re not one who can lay out the money for the phone up front you just pay $20.00/month on your bill for 20 months with the equipment installment plan. By far the most innovative, flexible, and least costly wireless carrier available.

  • Guest

    Is this correct? For a single line on the value plan, the $20 non-subsidized phone installment payment and the $20 value plan monthly savings would offset each other. However, for families with more than one line, the installment payment amount increases by $20 for every new phone but the monthly savings does not decrease by an additional $20. For a family of five, there would be $100 per month in installment payments added, but the value plan would not decrease by $100 per month to offset that cost.

  • Guest

    I have a question. For a single line on the value plan, the $20
    non-subsidized phone installment payment and the $20 value plan monthly
    savings would offset each other.
    However, for families with more than one line, the installment payment amount increases by $20 for every new phone but the monthly savings does not decrease by an additional $20.
    For a family of five, there would be $100 per month in installment
    payments added, but the value plan would not decrease by $100 per month
    to offset that cost. Is this correct?

  • therealmikebrown

    impossible. My contract is not up until Sept. 2014.
    So that’s at least 3 lines still on Classic plans in 2013.
    And if I upgrade my girlfreinds phone That just adds to my contract length. I’m going to stay on classic until they make me move to a value plan. If I’m going to pay full price for a phone it won’t be a dumbed down T-mobile version of anything. Just international versions.

  • purenupe1

    This has been an ongoing rip-off with T-mo for a few years now, not in the cost of value plan vs classic but in the being forced to sign a 2 year contract and not getting a subsidy. What are they giving me for the time cost of my 2 year commitment?

    Example: those that start fresh, 1st time new service and bring your own device are strapped with that 2 year contract . WHY? They haven’t given you anything, whats their risk?

    • UMA_Fan

      A reduced monthly rate.

      Cable companies have been making people sign contracts for reduced rates for years. How is the value plan any different?

      • purenupe1

        Just like cable companies, they have no risk. You can’t run off with phone or cable service. The so called reduced plan price is what Tmobile is saying the service cost IS minus the subsidy so you aren’t getting a discount just service minus the subsidy. Their profit margins are unchanged, liability is reduced and customer locked in for 2 years. We get the same service as before. For the same price (remember the service cost is unchanged just no subsidy attached) with the same contract, and still pay full price of phone (through the $20 EIP, subsidy recoup, or MSRP BYOD).

  • predation

    My contract is up in Jan 2013…I’d like to be out of contract to negotiate a better deal + subsidized phone. Would it be better for me to pull trigger now in Dec? Or if I wait will tmo force me into value plan And I get screwed on a subsidized phone?

  • Mel

    The value plan is great! I got the GS3, on sale. I paid $ 200 dollars down for the phone and got a visa gift card for $ 200 dollars. I put that money back towards the cost of the phone giving me $400 dollars to use on the phone leaving me with a balance of 160 left to pay off the phone. I paid the $160 out of pocket and now I own my phone free and clear for just $360 out of pocket. I pay 80 $ dollars every month including the cost of the cell phone warranty and insurance. Sweet deal! I love the value plan.