Editorial: What the Big Carriers Don’t Want You to Know and How the Uncarrier Plans to Disrupt Them

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What if you financed a car though Honda, but they decided to continue charging you “maintenance fees” surprisingly equal to your car payment at the end of the financing agreement despite you having completely paid the balance? Or perhaps you have car insurance through Geico and they insist on charging you not only the cost of their service, but a car payment as well, even though you never bought a car from them and you own your car flat out? Would you let Comcast dictate which TV or computer you can use? You would deem these practices unacceptable and take your business elsewhere. Yet we condone this behavior with our wireless service providers by paying them every month.

To understand the analogy, let’s look at how the wireless industry of the US works right now.

If I’m like the vast majority of cellular service customers in the country, when I want a new phone, I go to my carrier’s retail store or website and buy one. Only, I don’t actually *buy* my shiny new phone in the sense of the word; I finance it with a subsidy and a two-year service contract that guarantees my carrier receives the money they put forth to subsidize my device in the first place. When I buy my new phone for, let’s say $200, that’s actually a down payment on a $650 phone, followed by a two-year contract’s worth of payments toward the complete cost of the phone.

$650 minus the $200 down payment leaves a remainder of $450, assuming the carrier doesn’t get the phone at a discounted bulk rate. The remaining balance over the course of a twenty four-month service agreement can be split into $18.75 a month. The carrier has to be profitable so let’s bump that up to $20 a month so they can grab 5% interest. So far, that seems rather fair.

The disruption occurs, however, when I either bring my own phone or I complete my contract. Verizon and Sprint won’t let me activate a phone they didn’t sell, period. I can never buy a Cricket phone and activate it on Verizon, even though the network technology is identical and the phone is physically compatible. I can’t even take a Virgin Mobile phone (though Virgin is owned by Sprint and runs on Sprint’s network) and activate it on Sprint. Just like aforementioned hypothetical scenario in which Comcast gets to choose which TV or computer you can and can’t use with their service, we allow Verizon and Sprint to decide what device we can and can’t use.

But let’s say I own an unlocked Galaxy S3 that I want to activate on AT&T’s network. By bringing my own device, I just saved AT&T a couple hundred dollars on a subsidy because I didn’t finance my phone through them. There is no risk on their part because I brought my own handset. Yet, when I do so my bill is the same as that of someone who purchased their device with a subsidy. Why should my bill pay for a phone I didn’t finance? That’s like an automobile insurance company charging me a car payment in addition to the cost of the insurance despite my having brought my own car to the service, so to speak.

The same thing occurs when I reach the end of a wireless contract. The contract is in place for the carrier’s protection: If they are going to lend me $450 for a shiny new iPhone, they need a signed legal document to ensure that they have a means of recovering their cash. That part is fine, but what isn’t okay is that when I complete that contract, the carrier is absolving me of my obligation to pay them, and the only reason a business will let me off the hook is because I have already paid what’s due.

So my contract is complete and I have paid off my phone, but yet, my bill stays the same. They are still charging me for a phone I’ve paid off, but now it’s all profit. They’re just pocketing the difference. If I choose to keep the same device to save money instead of buying a new handset, or maybe buy a pre-owned device from a Craigslist seller, I’m still forced to make payments on a phone I own just to stay connected.

Enter T-Mobile. With the Uncarrier initiative, the folks at T-Mobile are dropping anticompetitive service contracts and separating hardware and service costs. When you pay off your phone, you own it and your bill drops by a pre-disclosed dollar amount because, well, you shouldn’t have to pay for something you own. Your phone can also be unlocked so that if you’re displeased with the performance of the network, you can go to whatever GSM carrier you desire. T-Mobile are also allowing customers to bring whatever GSM handset they desire to the network and are even modernizing the network to allow full compatibility with international/unlocked AT&T handsets.

T-Mobile has recently come under fire, however, for their advertising of the new Uncarrier plans as ‘contract-free.’ According to CNet, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson finds T-Mobile’s promise of no-contract service to be a misnomer, citing that if a customer purchases a device from T-Mobile with financing but decides to leave T-Mobile before the device is paid in full, they must then pay the owed balance of the device.

Ferguson’s ruling holds some water, considering that in a sense, though this is strictly a financial contract, it is still a contract. There is no ETF, per se, but rather, the customer *does* need to pay the remaining balance of the device. T-Mobile reached an out-of-court agreement with Ferguson, willingly complying with the Washington AG’s ruling by agreeing to discontinue advertising it’s service with no restrictions.

Even bearing this in mind, T-Mobile is breaking away from the established status quo by being upfront with customers and separating the cost of hardware and service, something its larger competitors have yet to do. Unlike Verizon and Sprint, and even smaller carriers who operate similarly to T-Mobile, when a T-Mobile phone is paid in full, the device is unlocked and can be used with any GSM carrier.

The only way we are going to see change and true competition in our wireless industry is to show the carriers that their practices are unacceptable by voting with our dollars.

  • Also, with contracts, there is every incentive for off contract phones to cost as much as possible. That’s why it’s such a good deal to take the subsidy. When the phone makers have to compete directly for the consumer, phone prices should drop as well.

    • mmunson

      Such as the Galaxy phones at 699 bucks at Best Buy to force people to go on contract.

      • ceegii63

        yep bestbuy should get SUED for false advertisment of the PRICE MATCH thing, since they can even price match Phones

  • mbcls

    these STUPID articles need to stop!
    how about this, if you sign up for 2 years contract on a car, they gives you 66% off on a new car every 2 years!

    • ceegii63

      you realize cars and phones both cost and work differently

      and what dealership sells/leases cars in 2 years?

      • mbcls

        let me replace the word car with cell phone to make it easier for you FOOLS to understand! I get new phone at 66% off every 2 years with contract. with no contract, you will always stuck paying full price on phones!

        • Thomas Vu

          Not sure if trolling, or just stupid.

        • sincarafan247

          Unintelligent is more like it.

        • Jose Hernandez

          trolling.

        • Esechico

          You think you are getting a discount on the phone every 2 years because you might only pay $200 for lets say an iPhone. But with other carriers that $20 a month is hidden in your plan and even after you pay off the real price of the phone (usually $500 to $600) you are still over paying about $20 a month afterwards. The only time a contact makes sense is if you are on a corporate plan and paying $50 to $60 a month and getting a new $200 device every 2 years.

        • mbcls

          where is the hidden 20$ monthly on contract? att plan starts at 39.99 plus 30 for data equal 69.99 a month on att. tmobile no contract plan starts at 70. where is the saving?

        • Verhouze

          Totally agree. Before I payed $60 with subsidy. Now I pay $60 without subsidy. I lose.

        • Inkdot23

          The AT&T plan that starts at $39.99 + $30 data gives you how many minutes and capped data for that price? Tmobiles $70 plan is unlimited everything with no data caps. there’s your difference.

        • mbcls

          att 39.99$ plan give you 450 minutes, that’ like 1.8 hours each week, do you talk that much in a week? i dont. 30$ data give you 3gb LTE, that’ more than enough for most people! your no contract plan and my att contract costs about the same, but i getting galaxy s4 at 149.99, you paying over 600$ full price. that’ your difference.

        • Verhouze

          I have 1000 anytime minutes and unlimited data for $60 WITH subsidy. You cannot beat that. If I lose subsidy and purchase a phone I go to $80 per month. I never go anywhere near the 1000 minutes and I cannot use more than unlimited data with NO cap. I use Google Voice for text. For those who say “hang on to your plan if you like it” that will be fine until I have to get my next phone.

        • Jose Hernandez

          Just buy your next phone full retail, at eBay or Craigslist. Problem solved.

        • IPlayIngress

          It works for most people but there are a few of us who are grandfathered into old plans that are either cheaper or equal to the current non-subsidy plans.

          My bill currently works out to $40 a phone plus $20 for data per line. If I were to switch to one of their current plans my bill would drop $60 which is a good thing. Until my family starts purchasing phones.

          If we were all to get high end phones, which we all probably would, my bill would increase by $100, neglecting the $60 I would save and adding $40 to what I currently pay.

          In the end the subsidy model saves me $40/per month. There is the argument of the contract ending and continuing to pay the extra cash but then you just rinse wash and repeat.

        • Come on

          Yes you are a loser if you cannot understand you are taking advantage of an ancient rate plan that does not take into account inflation and the new cost of doing business. No other carrier is allowing their customers to continue using unlimited data without a throttle. Even sprint with unlimited is MUCH slower than their competition. Quit trolling with your inane half-wit arguments.

        • Adrayven

          Duh.. after phone is paid off, it’s $50/mo on tmo, and still $70 with att… do you practice dumb?

        • mbcls

          duh. after phone is paid off in 2 years. i’m eligible for upgrade again! in 2 years i be getting galaxy s6 or note 5 at 199$. you FOOLS still stuck paying full price over 600$!. it’ really is true, there is no cure for stupid!
          update: you dont pay 50$ after phone is pay off. you pay 70$ after phone is paid off. 70$ for no contract PLUS 20$ for phone installments! so total you paying 90$ a month!

        • Adrayven

          Really, you forgot, you have to pay extra $20 for ANY form of texting.. and you ONLY get 450 minutes of talk and 3gb data. thats not even close to unlimited text, unlimited talk, and unlimited data you compared it too.. At least have half a brain and compare it to something equivalent.. pfff.. troll.

          You want to go for low plan to low plan.. then compare to $60 base from t-mo (unlimited talk/text and 2.5gb data) to $110 base from att (900 min, texting, and 3gb data)

          Thats much closer feature wise .. but then, you pay threw the nose for it.. even when you add on a high end phone from t-mo at $20/mo (total $80) still kicks att’s plans butt.

          So yea, if you plan on not using talk or text and only want 3gb data.. and want to pay the same for less.. go for it.

        • mbcls

          20$ unlimited texts? only DUMBASS like you need it! GOOGLE VOICE GIVE YOU **UNLIMITED** INCOMING AND OUTGOING TEXTS FOR ***FREE***. dumbass!

        • Esechico

          For one its about convenience, I have google voice set for a business line but wouldn’t want to text using the business line or another app when I could have do it on my main line. You also need to remember that even though I agree that $20 for ULMT Text is a ripoff, the main reason for adding this feature on AT&T is because it adds ULMT Mobile to any mobile. 450 minutes is nothing for a month. While on AT&T on that plan I would use about 2000 minutes a month (using only mobile to any mobile) and sometimes I would even go over my 450 minutes that where only being used for landline, and maybe 1500 out of the 5000 night and weekend minutes. Thats really were its worth adding the $20 feature comes in handy but now that im with T-mobile I don’t even have to worry about keeping track of my minutes. As for data I had 5GB under my promo and used about 4GB of it a month. The only reason I was on that plan was because it was the only one that was being offered as a corporate line for $64.99 (450 minutes, 5000 night and weekends min, ULMT text, mobile to any mobile, and 5GB of data with Hotspot. When things changed that planed wasn’t worth it anymore, they were forcing everyone to go to the mobile share plans and only discounting 25% off of the data portion only. Bill rose to $96.00 with discount and I dropped them.

        • Mark

          My reservation about the new plan is the forced bundling of data. The unlimited minutes do nothing for me; I don’t use all the minutes I have now but TMo won’t let me drop back down to my old 700 plan. The 500MB data for 2 of the 3 lines on my family plan is a waste that I wouldn’t like to have to pay for given that they’re effectively on Samsung T159’s; it’s like if McDonald’s only sold value meals regardless of whether you were allergic to fries. That’s also unlikely to change; the lady of the house is firmly on record that in her opinion mobile Internet is a stupid waste of money, she’d prefer me to drop mine and has no interest in it herself.

          So, if TMo really wants to present me with what I’d consider an actual Value Plan, give me some additional SKUs that represent a cost savings over what they’re offering now but minus the data. Say, on a family plan, $20/month for the second line and $7 or $8 for each additional.

        • Esechico

          “it’s like if McDonald’s only sold value meals regardless of whether you were allergic to fries.”

          You do know you can substitute the fries for a salad don’t you? :p

        • lolol

          you can upgrade your phone at anytime with the unsubsidized plan and there wouldn’t be any penalties/fees to go on top of it. Also there isn’t a $200 early termination fee :P

        • Verhouze

          Someone who says it right.

        • Jose Hernandez

          You stop paying the $20 on your bill the second your phone is paid off. That’s where the savings from a subsidy come from. Your right, there is no cure for stupid.

        • mbcls

          when you finished paying off that 20$ installments in 2 years. i eligible to upgrade again. i getting galaxy s5 or note4 for 199$ ! how much you going to pay for a new phone in 2 years? still stuck paying at FULL PRICE! stupid!

        • Jose Hernandez

          mbcls, listen Stupid! (I did not call you names, but since you are going there, I guess I will too) you have AT&T as your provider and you are happy with what you pay. Great. Then get the hell out of our T-Mobile site and stop wasting our time. We are happy with our carrier, we love the prices and the plans as they are. If you are not even a T-Mobile customer, why on the hell are you here trolling? Be gone Fool.

        • mbcls

          oops, i didnt realize i’m at tmobile site. i must have “Like” this site on facebook long ago, let me go “unlike” it now.

        • Jose Hernandez

          trolling

        • Esechico

          Not sure why you are comparing a lesser plan from AT&T but ok, lets compare. AT&T = $39.99 for 450 minutes, $30.00 for 3GB of data, and $20 for ULTD MSGS which also upgrades you to ULMT mobile to any mobile. Thats $89.00, I added this for you so it can actually compare somewhat to T-mobile’s offerings, but without it its $0.20 per text and mobile to mobile (AT&T to AT&T only). If you want to come closer to what T-mobile offers then you are looking at AT&T Mobile Share: 1GB at $40 plus $45 for a smart phone = $85 for UNMT minutes and Text but still limited to 1GB. Upgrade to 4GB and now your at $70 + $40 for a total of $110.00. Source: http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans-new.html#fbid=aDIqFK00khm

          T-mobile: $50 = Unlimited everything with 500mb of 4G data,

          $60 = Unlimited everything with 2.5GB of 4G data, and

          $70 = Unlimited everything with Unlimited 4G data.

          Source: http://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans

          Where is the hidden cost? Well they are not going to tell you how they break it down, but being that their 4GB plan is $40 more than T-mobile, thats a pretty good indication where its at. It could also be that $45 fee they charge per smart phone or the over priced data plans. At least with T-Mobile they charge $20 or less a month for the phone until its paid off and then reduce the monthly fee.

        • mbcls

          why am i comparing a lesser plan? why are you wasting more money each month when you dont have to? and why do you fools keep saying att plan doesnt include unlimited texts? why should i waste 20$ on unlimited texts each month when it’ not needed? google voice gives you FREE unlimited incoming and outgoing texts!

        • Esechico

          You have stock in google? There really is no point to continue this discussion with you since you are clearly not reading other people’s responses. You have asked the same question over and over and several people have proven you wrong several times. I picture you as a bitter old man, afraid of change just wanting to hang on to your precious AT&T and put down everything else. Its ok, we know this is the only time you get to interact with people, so you have to take advantage of it and keep stirring things up. I think its time you just take a deep breath, calm down, pour yourself a glass of wine and relax. Turn on the TV and watch the movie “Idiocracy” it will give you a glimpse into your not so distant future! :p

        • mbcls

          yeah. i’m afraid to change! i paying 69.99$ on att. why pay more at tmobile with no contract at 70$ and still have to pay FULL PRICE for phone?
          hey stupid, do you know why google stock is at 801$ ? cus you can find lots of useful info by just doing google! no contract plan is for dummies!

        • Daniel

          Can you send me an MMS please?

        • mbcls

          hey Stupid! I rarely send MMS, but if I wanted to, it’ 35 cents each, I think.

        • Roberttttt

          AT&T, 39.99 for 450 min, plus 20.00 for 300mb data, plus 20.00 for unlimited texting. That equals to 79.9 as for tmobile, it’s 50 for unlisted everything with high speed of data up to 500mb. Cost difference, 30. Add the cost of your galaxy s3, it’s 70… Still a 10 dollar difference.

        • Genecio

          Um, SMS/MMS isn’t included in that $69.99

        • ShermCraig

          ATT for $69.99 that has ZERO data. That’s a minimum of $20 and up to $50 per month, and that isn’t unlimited. So now your magic $70/month is up to $90 or $120. Add $20 for unlimited messaging, you’re at $110 – 140. That’s just the beginning with AT&T because every other service – some of which the average person may want – is extra. So, mbcls, either you are lying, or perhaps you need to ask mommy for the bill so you can see the real charges. Nonetheless, I think AT&T is perfect for you.

        • mbcls

          i suggest you learn how to use the internet before you open you mouth! att individual plan starts at 39.99$. 3gb data is 30$. total is 69.99$ a month! and dont say att doesnt included unlimited data.

          why should i waste 20$ on unlimited texts when google voice gives you FREE unlimited incoming and outgoing texts!

          http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans-new.html#fbid=-W1Z6JjYSj-

        • mbcls

          i suggest you learn how to use the internet before you open you mouth! att individual plan starts at 39.99$. 3gb data is 30$. total is 69.99$ a month! and dont say att doesnt included unlimited texts.

          why should i waste 20$ on unlimited texts when google voice gives you FREE unlimited incoming and outgoing texts!

        • Verhouze

          If I am paying $60 INCLUDING subsidy and I get a phone my rate stays at $60. If I don’t have subsidy and I get a new phone my rate goes to $80+, how is that better? I have been with T-mobile for 12 years and have never payed more than $199 for a phone and usually pay much less. Typically around $99 and my plan stays the same. I would still pay the same upfront costs +$20 per month making my plan much higher. These plans are not good for me. Oh, and by the way, I have unlimited data

        • Esechico

          lol, no one is making you switch. If you are happy with your contract and only pay $60 for unlimited everything then stick with it. I was with AT&T on a corporate discount plan for $60, once they took it away I took my iPhone 5 to T-Mobile under the no contract plan and haven’t looked back. I now pay $50 a month plus $10 for the ULMT international calling and text. If I want a new phone I can either buy it outright or make the downpayment and pay $20 a month until the phone is paid off. Here’s the advantage; if you get a phone lets say BB Z10 when it came out $99 down and $20.00 a month and now the GS4 comes out and you like it better, under contract you are stuck with that phone for 2 years before getting another “discount” on the purchase of the new phone or you have to purchase outright. With new plan you simply turn in your device and get a credit for it (varies on every device) pay off the difference (leftover balance) then pay $149 down and continue paying $20 until you pay off the GS4. This is especially helpful for people that like to have the latest phones when they come out and not have to wait 2 years until they can make another purchase.

        • Jose Hernandez

          This plans don’t work for you. We get it, so don’t go in to a new plan and buy your phone full price, from eBay or Craigslist. Problem solved.

        • Esechico

          LOL, actually its best to just buy it full price from a retail store or directly from T-mobile. Theres a new scam on eBay and especially on Craigslist were you buy a phone from someone and after trying it out and making sure it works you give the person the money and they disappear. A day later they report their phone lost or stolen and get a new one from their insurance. Once the new phone is activated the old one is blacklisted on AT&T and T-Mobile and you are screwed because you can no longer make calls.

        • Jose Hernandez

          That’s is very true. Buy at your own risk.

        • Just me

          Sorry, got no sympathy. I understand why you’re mad, but I don’t see why you deserve a phone subsidy AND a rate that’s less than what any other customers would pay. Shop around and see if you can find a better deal, and if you can, then do what any smart consumer does and take advantage of it.

        • Dion Mac

          Yep, always stuck paying full price on phones and always stuck paying much much much muchmuchmuch lower prices on plans… You done? You’re done!

        • Kenan Jackson

          You do realize that device cost are rolled into contact pricing right? Verizon/AT&T/Sprint still get their money for the phone.

        • ShermCraig

          No Kenan. mbcls doesn’t realize that. She doesn’t get it.

    • Jose Hernandez

      That would be a lease, not a purchase. And even then, your argument is ridiculous.

    • Jason Crumbley

      You don’t get 66% off. The rest of the cost of the phone is added into the monthly payments of that contact you just signed. It’s not rocket science. Well, maybe it is for you.

    • WW

      What you’re failing to take into consideration is that if you don’t jump on a new phone as soon as you qualify (I used to hold off if I was holding out for a particular phone to release), you CONTINUE MAKING PAYMENTS on the old ALREADY PAID FOR old phone you’re still using.

      • mbcls

        no, that’ just you! i even tell my idiot friend “the sooner you upgrade, the sooner you can upgrade again!”. i going to get att galaxy s4 at frys for 149.99$ ! have fun paying full price over 600$ with no contract!

        • bleeew

          Lucky i have Verizon and I have a Droid DNA. We have to wait 2 full years to upgrade. They pretty much make $ on the 4 extra months. Yea, it depends how early you upgrade to ofset the contract price with full price. But some people like buying unlocked and not paying for an unknown device subsidy.

        • Ashkid

          This is the reason why education is sooo important in this world, and why the US, is falling behind the rest of the world….because of people like mbcls. Just sad.

        • mbcls

          are you talking about my grammars?
          “only wieners care about grammars!” -Conan (fan corrections) on TBS

        • Chilehead

          I doubt you are serious but I’ll humor your ridiculous comment….you DO realize 149.99 is a down payment right??? Enjoy ATT for the next 2 years I guess.

        • mbcls

          hey STUPID! call it down payment or whatever you want! I pay 149 for galaxy s4 and 69.99 monthly on att (39.99 plus 30 for data) . how much you paying on this no contract plan? haha

        • Chilehead

          I pay $134 per month for three 4G phones (iphone 5, GS3 and a WP8 Lumia to play around with) with unlimited talk and text and unlimited data which also includes insurance on two of them. I’m also not bound to a 2 year contract so I can cancel whenever I want. Your point is?

        • ShermCraig

          Chilehead, she isn’t serious. She’s a troll. Take a minute and look over her history of posts. Nothing but obnoxious and immature posts, calling anyone that disagrees with her “stupid” or “dummy”. I have yet to see any useful comments, just childish drivel. If you ignore her, hopefully she will go away….

        • WW

          And pay about $500-$1000 more (including phone costs compared to T-Mobile) by the time your 24 month contract is over based on current rates.

    • scoot

      Please, looks like you didn’t read the article…. You are not getting a discount with the other “big guies”

    • Mirad77

      wow what a rocket scientist you are. Your mum must be proud of you.

    • Drew

      Only thing ‘STUPID’ is your comment and it seems the 14, oh wait now 15 people seem to agree…

      • mbcls

        you do know there are more STUPID people in this world than SMART people, right?
        that is why not everybody can be a doctor or a lawyer!

      • Dion Mac

        17

    • Guest

      you made the exact same comment earlier and your argument was proven invalid.

    • Nearmsp

      everything you say PLUS – You Must buy overpriced gas each month only from us to make up our 66% discount and more so we can pay our shareholder’s one of the highest dividend yields in the list of 30 companies that make up Dow Jones Industrial Index. I still own T stock. Be my guest and keep service with AT&T:)

  • Christopher J Sacra

    Right on. The car payment example is how I to try to explain it to people also. Why does ‘t the power or cable company require a contract for their service? Because they are a utility, just like a cell phone provider. Contracts should be federally banned as anti-trust because they force you to stay with a company even if the service is sub-par. When I got my first cellphone in 1998 with Sprint, they advertised “you buy your own phone, but no contract.”” What happened to this business model and advertising campaign?

    • Stephen McAteer

      Except some cable companies do require a contract to get the best rates.

      • Deadeye37

        And when the contract is up, your rates go up because the promo period is over. LAME! If you call in and threaten to leave for another cable company, though, they’ll usually discount your service.

    • Of course when it comes to utilities, you generally have only one choice making contracts irrelevant in the first place. If I am unhappy with Xcel Energy, I have to move in order to get out from underneath their umbrella.

    • Dakota

      Well Verizon and AT&T already implied they’d switch to the same system if T-Mobile experiment works. They just want T-Mobile to do the heavy lifting. It’s all going to depend on whether T-Mobile can change its brand perception. They also need better coverage and speeds and LTE (just to sounds competitive if nothing else). And they need to do a better job in explaining the uncarrier. People on these blogs aren’t your average customer. Not a single person ive talked to, including a couple peoplelooking to buy a new iPhones, knee about things new pricing structure, their unlimited data plans or even that they had an iPhone

  • BrianTessier

    I actually just got an email last week that I had finished paying off my Sensation 4G. I’m glad they have the courtesy to let you know that your payments are going down. I haven’t bought a subsidized phone since TMO started the Even More plus plans, and I never will buy a subsidized device again.

  • Stephen McAteer

    This article reads like it was written by T-Mobile.
    if you are going to mention Verizon you can’t really call that a fair comparison since the network is so vast, even with lte.

    • jarrod

      will you please point out where in this article it was talking about coverage? Its comparing the pricing strategies among the top 4 carriers of the United States of America.

    • Jose Hernandez

      And this post was written by a Verizon loving fan. This article is about pricing, not coverage. And the post talked about all of the national carriers, not just Verizon. Take it some place else please.

    • Thomas Vu

      Replace T-mobile with any international carrier. The argument is still valid

  • JakeR

    Can anyone help me? I got the lg.optimus l9 a month ago . When i went to the tmobile store i told the guy i didnt want a contract. I tought i was gonna get the monthly 4G or something. But he never mentioned monthly 4G . He asked for my social i gave it to him which i tought was weird because im not signing up for a contract he called somewhere and he told me i qualify for up to 5 lines. Right then and there i told him i wasn’t interested because it sounds like a contract i even asked him why he needed my social if i just want a prepaid phone! He said again that its a requirement. But since i needed a phone badly i just told him to activate me 1 line . Again he assured me its not a contact. So everything went fine for the month but yesterday i got a letter from tmobile on the mail i opened it up and its like 4-5 pages and on the first page it says MONTHLY STATEMENT and i gotta pay $134.50 ! I went over all the pages and it says i have unlimited data,mins,texts etc which is fine with me . But why the hell did i get a bill??? Its just like having Verizon all over which i hated. i tought that if its prepaid i shouldnt get a bill?

    • Dj Chea

      sounds like your on the none contracted plan… How much did you pay the day you got the phone… if you didn’t pay close to $300 that day than your not on monthly 4g you on the non contract plan

    • Esechico

      Also your first bill is always the highest. You are being billed a prorated bill for the days leading into your billing cycle date and a month in advance. After that bill you will see a drop to what’re you signed up for plus taxes.

    • Esechico

      There are two different plans with no contract: Prepaid and Postpaid. On a prepaid there are no credit checks and you pay your month in advanced at the store or by buying the cards. The disadvantages for this is that 1) You wont be able to finance a phone, only buy it outright. 2) You will be limited to using only the towers that are set aside for prepaid, which means less coverage. For postpaid service you will have access to all towers and are able to finance any phone they sell. The disadvantages of this is 1) Theres a credit check and 2) You make monthly payments just like any other carrier. Since there is no contract you can cancel at any time with no ETF fees and if a deposit was required you will get that back if your account does not have an outstanding balance. You will however still be responsible for the balance left on the phone (if you financed it) and if you cant afford to pay it in full you can turn it in and they will give you “fair market value” but usually there will still be a balance after this. I was told if you do turn the phone in they will make a payment arrangement for the rest of the balance if you cant pay in full. Because you gave him your social and was told that you were approved for 5 lines, and received a bill afterwards tells me that you are a postpaid customer.

      • JakeR

        Then what am i? prepaid or postpaid? Sorry im.just kinda confused? Because like i said.they did a credit check n said i qualify to get up to 5 lines.. But like i said i dnt think im on monthly 4G so i guess im postpaid? So does that mean i will be able to take.advantage of all of.tmobiles network or only the one prepaid users use? And in case i wanted to get the new s4 how much would i have to pay $149 or full retail price? Because i hate the lg phone it sucks lol

        • Esechico

          You are postpaid, based on the reasons I stated earlier. Yes you will have access to all towers on T-mobile. That depends, did you have to pay a deposit? Did you finance that LG phone or did you BYOP (Bring your own phone)? I can tell you that I joined under the BYOP no contract plan. I was approved for 5 lines with a $50 deposit and had to pay $10 for a nano sim card for my unlocked iPhone 5. I was told if I wanted to buy a new phone at a later date I could either pay for it outright or convert my plan to the regular no contract plan by paying an additional $50 deposit (for a total of $100). The BYOP plan is the same as the rest except since you are bringing your own device they reduce the deposit (for those that require a deposit). I was approved a credit line of $500 to purchase any device they sell (adding $20 a month to plan) If I want to buy a $700 device then I would put $200 down and the $20 a month. If I want to take advantage of that credit then I just pay another $50. Everything depends on what you where approved. Im surprised that this wasn’t explained to you, as they made me sign a paper stating that they explained everything.

        • JakeR

          Well i did bring my own phone the lg phone my dad had gave it to me.I just paid for the sim card. And yes the guy didnt really tell me anything he just said that i am approved for 5 lines, and showed me which plans they had i chose unlimited everything including data and 10 dollars more for international calls and phone insurance. But then again i ADmit its also kinda my fault for not asking any questions. But since i saw on the tmobile website that for the s4 is available for 149 dwn if i was able to do that then i would be happy cuz the lg phone is giving me lots o problems speaker stopped working etc..

        • Esechico

          Yeah the $135 makes more sense now. $70 + $10 + $7.29 = $87.29 plus tax plus whatever was prorated. If you didnt have to put down a deposit then the might now require anything to move you from BYOP to regular. You can also easily check online sign into your online T-mobile account (if you don’t have one then just create one) Once signed in look at your main line info its towards the middle of the page, (it reads “MY PHONE”) it usually has a picture of your phone next to your number or you have to add what phone you have. On the right side there a button that reads “Upgrade this line”.
          Click on this button and it will bring you to the upgrade page with a list of the new phones. On mine it shows all of the new iPhones they sell and it gives you a price (mine says iPhone 5 pay today $579. Above the green add to cart button mine reads “not available for installments” (as I explained earlier I cant do it without paying more deposit) If you are eligible then it should give you the installment details. Don’t select anything because you want the GS4 and its not available yet but looking at this should reveal if you are eligible for installments, and when GS4 comes out do it again and select GS4 and make the downpayment. Remember your bill will go up $20 a month (goes towards the phone) until you pay it off. If it says not eligible for installments you’ll have to call T-mobile to find out what you have to do.

        • JakeR

          Ok.thanks

    • CRT24

      If you activated after 3/24 then you are on postpaid but it is no contract. You would still have to pay monthly on prepaid regardless if you are doing one of the unlimited plans. $135 seems kind of high for one line though, even with the pro-ration so you might want to confirm the act fee was credited as it was supposed to be.

      • JakeR

        i agree 135 is high but i tripled checked 1st page says how much i need to pay ,2nd n 3rd page shows all the numbers i called etc…

        • Esechico

          Its not really that high for your first bill. Mine came out to $115.00 and im on the $50 + $10 ULMT International + $7.29 for insurance. Plus I get a corporate discount of 15% off my bill and the first one still came out to $115. Im supposed to only pay $67.29 and the discount pretty much covers the taxes. I did have $13 of extra stuff I used that was included but if you subtract that then im at $102 – $67.29 = $34.71 (which what was prorated) plus the $67.29 (you pay a month in advance) makes total bill $102 plus any extras you used. Once this is paid my second bill (and all future bills) will only be $67.29 unless I add features or finance a new phone.

        • CRT24

          It really depends on your bill cycle….most bill cycles are no more than 4 days from the start of service so if you are on unlimited everything with insurance then your first bill should roughly be around $100…..check and see if there is a credit for your act fee because that would about the difference. ….also if you are set up for a corporate discount through your job then the bill cycle could be more than the 4 days which would also cause a higher first bill, but you will also pay it later as well.

    • iCarly

      You deserve what you got. No one badly needs a phone that they would allow themselves to believe they were tricked into entering into a contract. This sounds like a fake story or you are pretty dumb an irresponsible with your financial responsibility.

      If this isn’t fake, welcome to T-Mobile. Hahahaha – dumbass.

      • JakeR

        diiik ur dumb yes i needed a phone u dnt even fukinqq kno me n ur talkyin shitt i needed a phone because my mom was in an accident waait why the hell should i even tell u ? i dnt kno u so why should i tell u my family crisis haha n why i needed a phone .. Yes i needed one because i had cancelled my Verizon account.

  • mingkee

    It sounds like a fair play.
    If you can pay your phone in full, you won’t be binded by contract, or once you have finished your gear’s payment, you’re free to go and having your gear unlocked.

    • Dakota

      That’s fine if it’s explained clearly.. But as was stated above is not like you have manyi choices.. They cant take it to Verizon or Sprint Or Boost, etc. IF the phone works with AT&T, they’re Gonna pay the same price as of they had gotten a subsidy. An mvno will still use the Tmob network
      .
      The best bet I’d probably to try to sell it

  • drivethruboy168

    Well said!

  • ragumaster

    The only thing I dont like is I pay 199 for a phome 2 year contract then lets say month 2 I pay 200 pff contract then everything came out 399, now I have yo pay full 579 iphone 5 or htc case my only thing with this

    • unless your talking about a feature phone, no one has $200 ETF anymore.

  • How about ATT.. Recently my dads flip phone broke and i gave him one of my unlock tmobile blackberry for him to make calls and recieve texts as an emergency. ATT added a 30 dollar package to my plan without my knowledge and when i called the supervisor laughed, was rude, told me to get my dad a landline and in top of it told me he was bot going to remove the package. That is an unfsir practice. This is an unlocked phone and they shouldnt force me to pay for a data plan and added without my permission or knowledge. Att add a line 10 plus 30 data = 40 only allows him to share 750 min no messages and 3 gb odf data . Tmobile add a line 10 dollars unlimited talk text and web

    • TMFAN77

      Suggestion (only): Report the incident to the Better Business Bureau asap.

      • CactusCat

        And get off AT&T dude…. Tmo has brought it… time to use it.

      • 21stNow

        It probably won’t get far with the BBB, as AT&T has disclosed this policy both in writing and verbally to the customer. It’s up to the customer to agree or not agree to the service at that point.

    • Dion Mac

      Sounds like a good ole law suit to me.

      • fentonr

        Doesn’t it? Only one problem, you can’t sue the carriers. Arbitration is unforced as part of the terms of service. You could use arbitration to recover some of the costs, but it won’t provoke AT&T to change their practices like a lawsuit would.

        • Dakota

          There probably some clause that also says you have to have a data plan if you have a smartphone.. Of you’re not taking a subsidy, it shouldn’t matter but again it’s something T-Mobile would stress

        • Will

          That depends upon the state. Some states don’t allow you to waive your right to litigation. However, a lot of states (including here in D.C.), people are forced into arbitration for every case before a judge (or jury) will here it. If you don’t reach an agreement in arbitration, you still have the right to a trial.

      • MoonlitReigns

        Actually, you can take att to court. Small claims court. You just can’t do a class action with a bunch of other people.

        • Will

          Class action lawsuits only benefit the lawyers. For example, the class action suit for the iPhone antennae issue resulted in a $15 refund check for each person. However, the attorneys received $16 million.

      • Will

        He would only be able to receive actual damages, since this would be contracts case. If he was actually able to prove that AT&T breached a contract, then he would have to prove damages. In this case, damages would only be limited to actual loses (the added data). If he used the data even once during that month, then he had no loss.

        In other words, this is only going to result in yet another idiot thinking they can sue and ending up on Judge Judy or one of those other silly court shows where they embarrass themselves in front of 10 million people.

    • LOVE

      ATT is the devil

    • Marco Braggion

      Right then and their would be where I would remove my service from AT&T! I would not stand for that. When you say the words “I’m leaving your network and going to T-Mobile” They get all nice and offer all these credits and all this good stuff.

    • Dakota

      Sounds like how T-Mobile custserv had treated me last year before I moved to an mvno. Consumer reporter Clark Howard always days to stay clear of AT&T unless they are the only carrier with coverage in your area. He always complains about their policies and treatment of customers. Yet y friends and family have iPhone on AT&T and ice never heard then complain…

      • murdoxin

        +1 for referencing Clark Howard…

        -1 for spelling errors… Oh well.

        • 21stNow

          I would have done a -1 for mentioning Clark Howard.

    • Kale

      It definitely sucks, but switching from a non-smartphone to a smartphone & having a data package added is in the terms/conditions, if the customer doesn’t come forth to add a plan. Also, a system generated text message is sent to the phone saying a smartphone has been detected. You should bring him over to Tmo…get better pricing!

  • Verhouze

    This is all nice but I have a bottom line. It’s called money. With the new plans I would be paying $20-$30 more a month to meet my needs. That is unacceptable.

    • CRT24

      You don’t have to change to the new plan if it doesn’t benefit you or if you find it “unacceptable” ….stay on your current plan and buy the phone at full cost or supply your own device if that’s a better deal for YOU. Bottom line is that regardless of whether the new t-mobile plans are better that your current t-mobile plan, there is no question they are better than AT & T, Verizon, and sprint even with the phone payment included. So if that’s unacceptable to YOU then you will just have to get over it.

      • the2000guy

        Exactly, in the case of ATT the will force you to take data plan for an iphone if just wanted to used it to send texts and make calls even if you buy it directly at the att store. I ask a representative and they told me that I have to pay for a data plan if I switch to their companyy and used my current Iphone. And I say thanks but no thanks, My iphone stays in TMo with less data possible.

      • Verhouze

        It is not better for me. Like I said, I pay $60. Before if I needed a phone I would get it subsidized and my monthly would stay at $60. Now if I get a phone it will jump to $80+. How is that better for me? I don’t get how some of you keep saying that is better for everyone. It is not. It is better for some of you who have family plans or who use a lot of minutes.

        • CRT24

          I didn’t say it was better for everyone nor did I say it was better for YOU…..hence the all caps on the word YOU which is meant to emphasize the word YOU. The fact is that the new plans are better for MOST customers but as I said if it is not better for YOU then you will have to get over it because the options on other carriers are even worse….and btw you can still get a subsidized device through wal-mart if that’s the way you want to go……not sure what plan you are on now but 60.00 on the new plans gets you unlimited everything with 2.5 gb of 4g so your bill would go up $20 at the most for the high teir phones and your down payment would likely be less than what the discounted pice used to be….gs3 down payment now is $70 and the discounted price on classic was $348 with a $50 mir. So maybe you are not considering all the options

        • Drew

          Sometimes it takes just a few MORE paragraphs for the ‘slower’ ones to get it…

        • Dion Mac

          lol

        • Dion Mac

          I bet your call resolution time is wonderful. I would love for you to be my rep because well… you just make sense!

        • CRT24

          I’m on the retail side actually and a little higher than a rep ;)…..but thanks none the less!

        • ShermCraig

          …or its better for EVERYONE that uses 4G Data with their Smartphones. If you use a simple phone, with no data, you should buy a subsidized phone at Wal-Mart or Best Buy. Pretty simple.

        • Verhouze

          Good grief. I have a Galaxy 3 with unlimited 4g data. No one here using a simple phone.

        • ShermCraig

          You’re the exception Verhouze. You have a plan that isn’t available to anyone anymore. You really don’t have any vested interest in this conversation, unless of course you are forced to change plans at some point, or want a new phone. Otherwise, you are clearly better off staying with what you have.

        • Verhouze

          I am ok for now. But when it comes time to get another phone I definitely like high end phones. I would consider a Nexus a downgrade. Maybe I am the exception but there are quite a few of us that I see on other forums.

        • Jose Hernandez

          Verhouse, that is very understandable. There are others that feel the same way. But for the vast majority, this plans a the better choice. When you want to buy a new phone, use eBay, Craigslist or get a Nexus from Google. That way you can keep your out of pocket for the new phone as low as possible, and also keep your current plan. Unfortunately, that is probably your only options at this time.

        • Just me

          In other words, your gravy train of getting 400-500 dollar discounts on phones while still paying less than everyone else for service for years is finally over and you’re pissed. My heart bleeds.

        • Verhouze

          You sound like someone who would bite off their own arm just to make some kind of invalid point.

        • Just me

          Nope, I like my arm too much. And just because you don’t like my point doesn’t male it invalid. By his own admission, he IS paying less than other customers AND thinks he should still get his shiny new 600-dollar phones for 75% off. But thanks for the weak reply anyway.

        • verhouze

          But I get less which I don’t mind. My whole point is that not everyone needs unlimited everything and shouldn’t have to pay for what they do not use. There needs to be a lower minute plan.

      • 21stNow

        Part of the issue is that T-Mobile continuously pushes the change on those of us that the new plans don’t benefit. I have received help from one person in the company who continuously says “I don’t know why you won’t switch to the new plans” when I have said that it would cost me more to do so (by over $20 a month).

    • S. Ali

      So switch, no one is forcing you to stay, that’s the point.

      • Dion Mac

        Your comment should read… So switch and pay even more, no one is forcing you to stay, that’s the point.

    • TechHog

      How on earth would you be paying that much more?

      • Dion Mac

        And if you read down at his/her comments, they talkin bout how they don’t talk that much on the phone and only need 3gbs on data. Some people are lonely and their only source of entertainment is to come on a blog and swim against the current. I’m over it.

        • Verhouze

          Some people don’t like misinformation. And for the record I have unlimited data not 3 gig. Are you still over it?

    • fentonr

      Then these plans are not for you. You can keep your service on your grandfathered plan. If you want a subsidized phone, I suggest another carrier. For most people, these plans offer real savings. If you don’t like them, then perhaps T-Mobile isn’t the right option for you. I’m pissed i can’t buy a new Fusion from Ford for 6k less than the list price, but I respond by either deciding to keep the car I have, purchase something else or go pay the price Ford charges. Before someone picks apart this analogy with a bad argument, the point is, thus is what they are doing, it is a great deal for most, if it isn’t for you, find something else.

  • archerian

    T-mobile is doing the right thing by properly delineating the device and plan, but the surprising thing for me is their base rate is $50 for UL talk and text. If the same can be given by their prepaid GoSmart division for $30, why is it $50 for Simple Choice? I know postpaid offers certain advantages like roaming and 500MB data, but that surely does not cost an additional $20. The price matches GoSmart pricing only when there are 3 lines in the family plan, it kind of skews the pricing in favor of family plans.

    • Eric

      LTE and HSPA+

      • archerian

        the $30/$50 cost is for basically the Voice and Text component, so LTE/HSPA+ really doesn’t matter. Data is an add-on service, and charged separately. My point is if UL text and talk can be offered for $30, why cannot the same feature be offered for around the same price in postpaid? Remember, this is the ONLY choice, even for people who do not need data at all.

        • fentonr

          I’m only guessing, but I would expect that it has to do with the different target markets for each service. T-Mobile is targeting data users and families with their T-Mobile branded plans. Considering this, they want to include data to remove the possibility of overages, so they bundle data. I expect they would say that if that doesn’t work for you, look at something offered under the GoSmart or MetroPCS brands. Admittedly, these are not available everywhere, but I expect that to change. It just takes time. Of course, I’m only guessing, I’ve no idea what the actual reason is.

    • Robert

      Plans will always skew towards bulk. Just like Sam’s or Costco, the more you buy, the more you save :-)

      • 21stNow

        And I avoid Sam’s Club and Costco for this reason.

    • Dion Mac

      Roaming cost more than you think, plus you get data, you get real customer service(not cheap) and if you’re in a bind, you get payment arrangements… not something you can expect with prepaid. Worth $20 to me.

      • archerian

        yes I agree roaming is costly, isn’t there a limit on roaming allowed per month? a regular postpaid user wouldn’t be a regular roaming user so will the capped usage really justify the extra cost? Customer care – if I remember correctly you worked for T-mobile so you must be correct it will be better for postpaid.

        In the end its all about ARPU, and in order to meet the total ARPU (data + voice/text) I’m guessing $50 must have been the sweet spot to start offering service, when other rates like $20 for data, $10 for Add a Line etc. are fixed.

        • kalel33

          They don’t have a cap for voice but if you do more than 75% of your voice calls(from what I remember) while roaming for so many months then they drop you. There is a roaming data cap though.

        • fentonr

          Its actually fairly common to have people who roam a good amount of the time each month. As to cost, when there was the change limiting the amount of roaming data that could be used, I believe T-Mobile said that they expected the change to affect around 10,000 customers but save 400 million a year. I would think that roaming costs for data are higher than voice and data…but still…

    • Long Island Steven

      Plus, with prepaids they restrict you on voicemail forwarding. This maybe a nonissue for most, but if you use Google voice, you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of forwarding unanswered calls to GV voicemail.

      • archerian

        I use GV to place free calls as I don’t have an UL talk plan, but this would be moot for the Simple Choice or $30 Gosmart plan as they offer UL talk. Just so I know, is there an added advantage of GV voicemail other than voice to text transcription?

        • Long Island Steven

          GV vm is just more convenient all around, not just for not having to use your minutes. If you don’t mind calling into your carrier’s vm system then I guess it doesn’t matter, but I hate calling into my vm just to deal with messages.

    • kalel33

      I wouldn’t be a T-mobile customer if I couldn’t roam. T-mobile’s network is just way too thin to rely on it, unless you never leave the city.

  • Scoot

    I wonder if the AG in Washington considers
    a car payment a contract. If you choose to get another car you must either pay
    the current model off or roll the negative equity into the new car. I find it
    crazy to think that the American public is stupid, that is what the AG is
    saying. You choose to buy are phone on payments, it only makes sense that you
    would have to pay it off in full, or be charged for the remaining EIP…..

    • Mark

      He’s not saying that what TMo is doing in terms of the plans themselves is improper or illegal, he’s saying that saying “no contracts” in their ads is deceptive because you do have a contract for the phone itself (the EIP) that needs to be fulfilled.

  • CRT24

    I dont see how this is false or even misleading advertising. …..we are advertising that there are no commitments for the SERVICE which is absolutely the case. For customers that do buy devices, they are provided with and sign an eip disclosure saying exactly what their payments are, when they start/end, and how much is left on the balance, and for customers that bring their own device, there are no commitments…wtf?? I guess in the interest of fairness this dude will now required the other carriers that subsidize phones to disclose how much people are actually paying for their “discounted” device……right?

    • Esechico

      You mean if I finance a phone through T-Mobile, and cancel the service before I pay off the phone I’m still expected to pay for the phone? This is an outrage!!! The phone should default to “paid in full” and T-mobile should gift wrap it for me and include a free car charger!!! LMAO!!!!! I guess this guy from Washington is clueless on what a ETF is on the regular carriers…

      • ianken

        But that’s not what the ADVERTISING says…

        RTFA.

        • Esechico

          LOL, Hey aren’t you a writer?

      • Dakota

        It just wasnt explained very clearly… Some people think it’s like renting a phone. They hear no contract and that you can leave whenever you want… so the implication is that if you’re not happy, you return the phone and youre done… Again most people aren’t following this closely. Buzz words have been no contract and you can leave when you want

        • fentonr

          Yeah. I agree, the problem is people don’t pay enough attention.There is something to be said for the argument that T-Mobile states how phone purchases work but not clearly enough for all consumers to notice. I liked how T-Mobile handled the situation. They said that while they felt that their advertisements were clear, they’re trying to be as upfront as possible, so they will try to make things more clearly stated. Treating the situation as constrictive criticism is smart. Makes them look better and tries to resolve the situation.

      • mdosu

        yeah, I would have expected TMo to send in a gift basket with an apology. I usually do this at my Ferrari dealership. I show up with $10k downpayment, drive out with a 458, stop payments, then tell them to go screw themselves. They usually send me a letter to say: “Sorry the product didn’t meet your needs, please keep it free of charge.”

    • Dion Mac

      HA!!!!!!!!!! OMG OMG, I would actually join whatever forces that be, to bring this to whoever’s attention. If yall gone do this to T-Mobile, then do that to the other carriers! I love this CRT24

    • ianken

      Yeah. That’s why TMO decided to change the advertising Because they were totally right to begin with.

      Or not.

      • CRT24

        They changed it because they didn’t want to fight or have negative publicity around it….t-mobile has lawers too and I’m sure it was determined that the ad’s were legally sound……..amazing that this Douche in was the only one that made an issue of it, isnt it?

        • CRT24

          *Douche in Washington

  • Mirad77

    David you do a great job almost always but this is one good write and read. This is what some can’t realy understand from the uncarrier and at times most sale rep cant seem to explain. Good write and good read.

    • tmo_rep

      You do realize that Brad wrote this right?

      • Mirad77

        Thanks for pointing that out. Bottom line is ” a good write and good read”.

  • LordCaliban

    I think the easiest way to do this would be to separate the 2 agreements (which may already be done, I don’t know what the I digitally signed online :P ) for both your “UnCarrier Plan” and if you choose to purchase a phone a 2nd agreement not tied to your service. Thus there shouldn’t be any confusion.

    Sure you may have a few individuals who will try to purchase a phone only to cancel service, but will be fully aware they are still required to pay back the phone so there shouldn’t be any confusion. I’m actually trying to throw more than the $20/month towards my HTC One so I can have it paid off quicker, but I haven’t asked T-Mobile yet if I can put overage on my bill towards that or if I should just save $10-$20 each month on my own and pay it off when I have enough.

  • Tmosince2003

    Really good except for the incorrect apostrophe, it’s means it is. No exceptions. Third paragraph from the end last sentence. Please run a grammar check, make your work look polished. Looking forward to more articles.

  • Dion Mac

    OMG David. This has been my biggest argument about the whole uncarrier deal. Forget the EIP or the no contracts… Its all about why am I paying a monthly plan as if I subsidized a phone. TOTALLY UNFAIR, yet that’s actually what T-Mobile was previously doing and what the other big three are still doing. I’m very upset with that AG tho. I did not see fit for him to jump in on this matter is if its any worst than what the other three are doing… In fact its not even half as bad, people just have to use common sense and stop being spoon feed(or stop being lobbied to pursue an uncarrier like this)… But you nailed it on the head and that’s why I’m a loyal fan of this site!

    • Alex Zapata

      For those of us who paid attention, the article was not written by David. It was written by Brad.

      • Dion Mac

        Your absolutely correct. I was clearly not paying attention. It indeed was Brad that made this post and not David. Now my comment is irrelevant. Thank you so much for pointing that out for me. I’m such an idiot!

        • Well, I hope you’re still a loyal fan anyway!

        • Dion Mac

          No David, I’m leaving you for another blog lol

        • Alex Zapata

          Also, the whole tone of voice thing doesn’t work with simple text. That reply was meant to be playfully sarcastic. Either way I still love this sight and T-Mobile so it’s all good.

    • Dakota

      Most people on other carriers don’t buy unlocked phones and many if not most also regularly get new phones every 2 years, especially with technology changing so much during that time period

  • Andromedo

    The financing by iteslf is not misleading. I think everyone can understand $20/mo for 24 mo plus $100 down is no interest for $580, and you are obligated to that regardless. Easy enough to understand.

    The service is not misleading. $x/month for however many months you keep it. Also easy to understand.

    If that was the end of it, nobody would be confused. The AG of WA wouldn’t be involved. There wouldn’t be pages and pages of uninformed postings with people talking past one another about what this all means.

    But here comes the “gotcha.” The two are tied together. You can’t keep your financing for two years without keeping the service for two years. There is no clear corollary to this situation anywhere in the car financing world.

    Somebody six months in, doesn’t want to keep the service, say, because they find their reception spotty. They are honest, so they know they are obligated to the remaining $360. They figure it will still be $20/mo month, per the original deal.

    Whether or not you call it a “contract,” there IS an “obligation” to maintain service if you want the financing. Anybody not expecting to have to come up with $360 right away to stop a service that only costs $50/mo with “no contract” is definitely in for a surprise that they are obligated to cough up the whole $360 right there on the spot.

    I’m honestly shocked that T-Mo decided it would be better to try and explain this “gotcha” to a potential new customer than just really, honestly, separate the financing and service. Telling a customer that there “no 24 month contract, just a 24 month obligation to maintain service to keep your financing” isn’t going to impress anyone.

    • Verhouze

      What I don’t understand is how people an think $60 WITH subsidy isnt better than $60 without subsidy. This is my case. My rate went up at least $20 per mo if I get a new phone

      • ShermCraig

        There are new plans – this isn’t rocket science.

        • Verhouze

          And your point is?

        • ShermCraig

          My point is as I explained above. You have a grandfathered plan. I don’t really understand why you’re even discussing this. It wouldn’t make sense for you to change!

        • Verhouze

          Because from what I understand if I try and get a subsidized phone now I probably can’t. I would have to pay full price.

        • Jose Hernandez

          Correct, unless you buy your phone from eBay or on Craigslist.

        • Kenan Jackson

          And you have a plan that is not available to 99% of customers. No one can get your grandfathered plan. I can also bet providers are getting sick of losing money on your plan and will force you to switch or leave soon.

    • milanyc

      You can totally return your financed phone at the time of service cancelation, and get a “fair market value” amount towards your remaining equipment balance. Nobody talks about that, but everyone is getting pissed for some reason…

      • Andromedo

        Fair enough. So I can update my post above with the appropriate scenario, what is considered “fair market value” of a 6 month old, gently used iPhone 5?

        • Esechico

          Apple iPhone 5 16GB Black – Apple-Generic – MD239LL/A
          trade-in value$267.99

          Source: http://www.t-mobile.com/DeviceRecovery/cell-phone-trade-in.aspx

          If T-mobile uses the same info they offer for trade ins as the “fair market value” then you can use link above to get an idea of the value. I would guess that you will get at least the minimum trade value offered, but it could be more.

        • Esechico

          Apple iPhone 5 16GB Black – Apple-Generic – MD239LL/A
          trade-in value$267.99 Source:
          (add www.)
          t-mobile.com/DeviceRecovery/cell-phone-trade-in.aspx

          If T-mobile uses the same info for “fair market value” that they do for their trade-ins then the above link should help you out. You would probably get a bit more but that should be the minimum.

        • milanyc

          Those questions are to ask T-Mobile. I’m pretty sure it’ll vary on the date of purchase, condition, etc.

        • Andromedo

          Ok. But it is hard to make the argument that having to guess at all of this makes for a “simple choice.”

        • milanyc

          That’s not an argument we are having. The argument is that AG of WA has issues with truthfulness of T-Mobile’s advertising, ETF, etc. There is no ETF. You either pay off your phone and leave, or you turn in your phone and leave.

          As far as fair market value, I’d guess your nearest Retail Store can give you an estimate. The option is there.

        • Andromedo

          The AG argued that the distinction between an ETF, or the loan getting called in based on service termination, was not meaningful.

          T-Mo chose to not dispute that assertion, and agreed to make this clear to customers going forward.

          I think we are saying the same thing.

      • archerian

        “fair market value” – is there a website that lists it for current devices? I’ve seen the “fair market value” for common devices in some sites that offer free collection of phones (like selling Gold ;) ) and they offer really low prices for the device.

    • Brian T.

      “Whether or not you call it a “contract,” there IS an “obligation” to maintain service if you want the financing.”

      This is the crux of the argument, as I understand it. That it’s locked to T-Mo until it’s all paid off. I wish T-Mo would just only sell unlocked phones (even with the financing option) so you’d be free to leave the service whenever, and the whole thing would be a moot point. A vast majority who keep the phone past the buyer’s remorse period wouldn’t switch anyway since the service is so cheap and mostly pretty great, with an awesome future. Why lock it until it’s paid off? They have a binding contract that you’ll pay the phone off either way, so what’s their incentive? It’s an AWESOME idea to separate plan and phone payments, one that makes the other carriers’ ideas seem just silly as David describes well, just confused why they didn’t separate them completely and sell only unlocked devices.

      • Andromedo

        Agreed 100%. Now that would make this a “Simple Choice.”

        Frankly, coming from VZW, this has not been simple.

        The legalese in the financing and unlock policies of “Simple Choice” is worse than Verizon, which wasn’t cheap, but was simple to understand.

        Seriously, right this second I can stick any ATT, T-Mo, or ANY OTHER SIM in ANY ON-CONTRACT Verizon iPhone 5. No questions asked.

        When people on this blog don’t even get the fine points of your “simple” offering, you know it is going to be a mess for the general public.

    • William Brubaker

      That in comparison is like saying I would like to move out of country but not pay what I owe for my car before leaving. Thereby leaving the dealer in the hole for the remaining cost of the car.

      And no just like if you cancel an account with any other carrier as long as you are making payments they can not send you to collections to ruin your credit. So no the financing is not tied directly just gives those who want the option to do so while reducing the monthly cost to those who like obtaining phones through there own means.

      I have been a customer for 3 of the big 4 and so far this is the best model. Verizon being the only one I have not had.

      • Andromedo

        What if you take a two-month trip to Canada, but keep making your payments?

        As long as your payments are made on time, how would they even know, or why would they care where you were?

        This deal, on the other hand, calls in the loan if you break your obligation to 2 years of uninterrupted service. You cannot keep paying in installments as before.

        There is a fundamental difference here.

        • William Brubaker

          Except that you can suspend an account for said trip so that your account doesn’t get cancelled and you still have not broken your agreement.

          And wtf? Ya a two month trip to Canada and my mortgage still has to be payed even though my house is not being lived in but I sure as hell want to come back to it. That whole premise just failed…

  • According to all my maths I just did….its not any cheaper. Its actually more expensive.

    My current bill is $175 a month for 2 phones, all unlimited including data and insurance. If you buy two phone, add it all up its $200-$210 a month for 2 years til the phones are paid for.

    The down payment is simply cheaper than before. The pricing model is exactly the same. Excpet after 2 years your price drops, which a lot of people WANT upgraded phones by then.

    • Long Island Steven

      I’m assuming you’re calculating $20 EIP per phone, so you’re saying the monthly for just service is at least $160 for two lines unlimited data?

    • Jaime Laigo

      Two phones unlimited is only 90.

      • Esechico

        It’s actually $120 plus tax for 2 lines unlimited…

    • CRT24

      Unlimited everything with truly unlimited data is $136/mo with insurance ($144 if youhave ip5 or note2) and the most your phone payments could be is $40 for 2 phones making your bill either $176 or $184 so not sure where you are getting “all your maths”

    • Esechico

      What exactly are you adding up? According to the new No-Contract plan a family plan breaks down like this: Line 1 = $50, Line 2 = $30, Unlimited Data $20 each = $40, Insurance (depends which plan you chose, but I have $7.29 for my iPhone 5 so I’ll use that price) $7.29 each = $14.58. Adding all of these together: 50+30+40+14.58= $134.58 without tax or installment plan. Adding 2 new phones using installment option at $20.00 each raises it to $174.58 plus tax until the phones are paid off and then reduces $40 after final payment. I don’t count the down payment because anywhere you go you have to buy a new phone (usually $100 to $200). How is this not cheaper than what you are currently paying (assuming you are not on a installment plan) and how are you getting to $200 to $210 a month?

      • $200-$210 a month is simple. There are still taxes involved. I have never used a non-contract plan, I just added in the additional taxes from my current bill onto the new plan pricing.

  • Stars44

    I don’t get it, on att, Verizon and sprint in the monthly bill there is a line “phone finance”, let’s say $20. And after you pay it off in 2 years they still keep charging you for the phone? How can they charge you if you paid it off?

    • LC

      There isn’t a finance line on the bill with other carriers. What he was getting at is the other carriers build the cost of the phone discount into the cost of the service every month. However. once the carrier has made up the cost of the phone, the bill doesn’t ever decrease, they just continue to charge the rolled in price, whetherthe customer purchases a new device or not.

      • Stars44

        so it means the plan price is the same if you’re bringing your device or if you’re buying from the operator directly?

        • LC

          That’s correct, the other carriers didn’t give you a break on the plan if you brought your own phone.

  • Nearmsp

    I follow other forums. The common reason to end the discussion on value plan, particularly from Verizon customers is that you get what you pay. I think AT&T is the one company that will get affected by a re-energized T-mobile. AT&T knew this and thus tried to buy off T-mobile. I think the best days are still ahead for T-mobile. On macrumors web site, T-mobile is the most common subject of majority of page 1 threads due to the fact that a lot of people are moving or planning to move to T-mobile on an iPhone.

  • kathy

    this so called UNCARIER plan is nothing short of a scam. Tmobile was losing tens of thousands of customers every month so they tried this trick to attract new customers but many are not happy cos it is a RIP OFF. You will pay $500 or $600 for new phone that could be free or around $200 with AT&T. It gets worse if you have multiple lines with a family plan. Expect to lose around $3500 for phones. The saving on plan is too little compared to what you have to spend on the phone. THINK SMART! Don’t believe what these tmobile employees say!

    • Verhouze

      Yayyyyy. Good post.

    • ShermCraig

      Kathy, you aren’t getting it if that’s what you think. Did you read the article? The author could not have explained it any more simply. How can you not see how you are saving hundreds of dollars, if not more over 2 years? Buy yourself a calculator, Kathy.

      • Verhouze

        Ok. I pay $60 per month for 1000 minutes and unlimited data. Previously when I get a phone I pay around $99 and my plan doesn’t change. Now if I get a phone my monthly will be at least $80. How can you not see what we are trying to say? Some of us really lose.

        • ShermCraig

          If you have an old, grandfathered plan like it appears you do, that’s great. Your data throttles though (I imagine) if you get to 3 or 5 gb? I prefer the unlimited, unthrottled data the new plans offer. If you don’t use much data, I agree with you – stick with what you have. Once you want to get a new phone, won’t your current plan change?

        • Verhouze

          Yes. My current plan will change as far as I know. That is the complaint.

        • Verhouze

          I am not sure about the throttle I’ve never pushed it. I used to think it was 5 gig but recently an rep told me there is no cap.

        • Jose Hernandez

          Pay full price for the phone and your bill will not go up

        • Esechico

          I could be wrong but I don’t think it works like that. From my understanding to be able to do the whole downpayment and monthly installment option you would need to switch to one of the new plans. Last I heard people that were switching from a classic plan to the new plan where being charged a $50 migration fee. So you should be able to keep your current plan and just renew your contract and purchase a new phone. Walmart and Bestbuy are still selling T-mobile phones with subsidy and a 2 year contract, so its not like they got rid of it entirely. T-mobile is just pushing the new plans. If this is really a concern for you then I would go to Walmart or Bestbuy and get a new phone that you wouldn’t mind having for the next 2 years, and renewing that contact. Make sure you tell them when renewing that you will only renew the contract if you can keep your existing plan.

        • Will

          I am in the same boat. I pay $64 a month for two lines with unlimited data. The same plan on the new uncarrier plan would be almost $90. Every time I call in they say “oh you can’t do that until you change to one of the new plans.” Day by day everything I do is suddenly not covered by my grandfathered plans.

          “Thank you for calling T-Mobile. To start trouble-shooting, I would like your permission to switch you to one of our new Simple plans.”

          “You can switch me if you discount the new plans to the same cost as the original ones.”

          “Sorry, Mr. **** but we no longer have the ability to change plan pricing. Let’s change your plan.”

          “Wait, I didn’t tell you to do that.”

          “OK. Sorry for the mis-understanding. I thought you wanted the problem fixed. Let me put you back on your exisiting plan. Oh, my system no longer has that option. I can have my supervisor call you back within 72 hours and switch you back.”

          “The problem was not a plan issue, it was a sim card issue.”

          “Yes, but your sim card is no longer valid for your grandfathered plan.”

          “I just want my original plan with my $5 unlimited data.”

          “But Mr. ****, unless you use and older Android phone, that sim card will not work with your plan and any of the newer phones, including the iPhone.”

          “It worked yesterday, but stopped working this morning which is why I called in.”

          “Yes we went to new plans. You just need to change your plan to one of the newer plans.”

          “Will I still have the remain term of my contract on the newer plans.”

          “Yes but it will fix your issue. At this time we only have the newer plans.”

          “Oh, this conversation is going in circles. I don’t want a new plan. Just get your manager to put me back on my Value plan and I will sell my iPhone on Ebay and use an older phone until my contract is up.”

          “Ok. Is there anything else I can assist you with. Thank you for being a loyal T-Mobile customer.

          This was a true phone call. Don’t bother calling support anymore as they will trick you into a new Simple plan.

    • Jarobusa

      You do know you can make monthly payments on a phone? Say $99 down and the $20 a month until it is paid off? You have no idea what you are talking about. Did AT&T pay you for this false information?

    • Mike

      You’re dumb, and you seriously think at&t didn’t already inflate the price of the plan to compensate for the subsidy given on their phones sold? An at&t plan with 450 minutes, unlimited texting, and 3GB of data is 90$. At T-Mobile it’s 70$ for unlimited talk, text, and unlimited 4G web, and add on 20$ for an installment plan. You’re at 90$… same cost. You’re a tool for thinking you’re saving money on a phone at at&t. To top it off, the down payment on an iPhone is $99 vs at&t $199. Your out-of-pocket cost is lower; the plan is the same, and still more advantageous. Don’t tell people to think smart when you, yourself, are not doing the same or even trying to look at the big picture.

    • Trevnerdio

      Like everyone else said, you’re seriously missing the point….you’re just looking at it from the outside and not actually looking at what it actually does.

    • J

      I work for tmobile and you would be surprised how many people think this way and you cannot get it into there heads that we will give you an iphone 5 for $100 and a monthly bill of 90$(that will lower in 24months) for unl everything including 4g internet OR you could go to AT&T and get the phone for 199.99 unl min unl msg and 3gb of data for 120 monthly(30$ difference for those who cant do math). I cant count how many times i’ve broken it down that way to a customer and they come back with but im paying 580 for the phone…

      • LC

        I know what you mean. That’s when the T Chart comes in handy. It shows them the final number after two years, even with the $580 for the phone.

      • Verhouze

        What you don’t seem to get is there is a bunch of us who will lose money if we lose the subsidy. As it stands I get high end smart phones, have unlimited data, 1000 minutes for $60 with subsidy included (don’t know if I can get that anywhere anymore). I don’t need more minutes and I can’t use more than unlimited data. I don’t know why someone especially someone who works at tmobile has to come on here and treat people like they are idiots. You are the idiot if you cannot see where someone like me would be taking a $20 – $30 hit.

        • Esechico

          No one is forcing you to go to the new plan… The discussion was not “lets make people on really good plans switch”. Its about T-mobile’s current plans being better than the other carriers current plans, and not having a service contract.

        • Verhouze

          From that perspective that is probably true. What I am trying to say is that not everyone needs unlimited everything. There should be a middle ground without my having to go to Straight Talk.

        • Come on

          Why should they offer you anything. I would cancel your service unless your willing to actually PAY for what your already getting. Tool.

        • fentonr

          You may think there should be a middle option, but I would argue there shouldn’t be. Why? Because we had a limited minute option. The result was that many people got unlimited minutes, people could get overages (and many did) and there was a constant stream of complaints about how confusing the plans were and how there were too many options. As a result, T-Mobile simplified the options by cutting down the different options. Verizon has done the same with their plans for the same reason. The point I’m trying to make is that while you’re right, not everyone needs unlimited everything, offering more options can discourage customers from buying.

        • 21stNow

          How has offering more options discouraged customers from buying? Our country has a population of just over 300 million. In 2011, all carriers offered tiered minutes options and there were over 300 million active cellular subscribers. Who was discouraged from buying then?

          Second, I’m tired of the argument that people who don’t know how to monitor their usage should make carriers eliminate limited plan options. This was the case that led to most carriers requiring data plans for smartphones, and messaging plans for “messaging” phones back in the day. Personal responsibility is a virtue and carriers shouldn’t cater to the lowest common denominators in our society.

        • fentonr

          Overages were a problem for a number of reasons. People didn’t like them, lawmakers were constantly grumbling about them and it caused people to stop into stores or call in and complain.

          As to limited minutes, you can through out stats about the population of the country or the time of day or even the temperature all you want, but none of those have anything to do with anything.

          When limited minute plans were an option, it was possible that customers would visit a store or look up information on plans online. They would then be confused and frusterated and go to another carriers store or website. Of course, 9 times out of 10, the reps in the stores or the websites presented information more or less the same. The difference is that at the second stop the customer has had time to think about it and make sense of it. They also know they can’t stomp out of another store or they’ll run out of places to go pretty quick. So, they sign up with the second carrier they visit, not the first. Does that result in fewer total wirless subscribers nationwide? No, it results in customers being distributed among the carriers differently. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that happen.

          Now, with the new plans, it can be a bit tricky for current customers as they already have a plan and that needs to be taken into account. For new customers through, the plans are great, very few people I’ve encountered have trouble understanding them or dislike them. They really do find them simple and seem to appreciate that. Maybe its just everyone who comes into my store and the stores in the three neighboring markets who like them, but I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback.

        • 21stNow

          The population of the US was indeed important because these represent the potential customers for all US carriers.

          Your assertion that people look at one carrier, get confused, then go to another carrier goes both ways. The first carrier could have been T-Mobile then the customer could have ended up at Sprint. Likewise, a customer could have started considering Sprint and then ended up at T-Mobile. Since the cellular service market is saturated in our country, the final conclusion is that no one got “confused” by limited minutes offerings from the carriers and did not sign up for service.

        • guest

          Well bless T-Mobile’s infinitely generous hearts. Sure they’ve forced every future customer who does not want or need unlimited minutes to pay for that option, but they did it with my best interests in mind.

          I think I might cry just a little

        • fentonr

          Never said they did it with the customer’s vest interest in mind. In fact, I’ve no idea where you got that from. They did it to stop the negitive word of mouth that comes with overages, and confusing rateplans so they can gain more customers which mean more money for them. But feel free to keep being a dick about it.

        • tmohatesyou

          Someone needs to send this guy a cease-and-desist letter. $110 a month for you somewhere else.

        • Brian T.

          Unlimited data and 1000 minutes for $60/month from Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint? The only way that’s true is if you’re a grandfathered-in customer with an original contract from a long, long time ago…. The absolute cheapest I could find for ANY other smartphone plan with texts is $80 plus taxes, with a paltry 300 MB of data and a paltry 450 minutes. If I want more data (which I do) and more minutes (which I do), and the ability to mobile hotspot it when my Comcast craps out once in a while (which I do), it absolutely skyrockets from there. The other two are just as bad. While yes, you personally would be taking a $20-$30 hit, there aren’t too many people like you out there and a whole lot more like me IMHO. Count yourself fortunate that you have that cheap grandfathered-in unlimited data plan, since nothing like what you describe will ever be offered again.

        • Gimmeabreak

          Your a tool and a troll. Wah wah I can’t keep paying less than my service costs the company to provide it. Wah

        • Will

          People that call other people trolls are nothing more than bullies. you need to learn that in this country we still have free speech (at least until it is taken away by those rats in Congress).

        • Mirad77

          Yea but to certain extend only as some stuff we say can land us in jail.

        • Joe C

          You can still go to Walmart or Costco if you absolutely must have a subsidy,

    • Jose Hernandez

      Did you even read the article at all?

    • PiCASSiMO

      To everyone writing back to “kathy” and Verhouze”… these are PAID AT&T employees who roam competitor blogs in order to sway influence on weak minded. We are just wasting time trying to convince them how much a better value T-Mobile is. It’s not worth it…

      • Jose Hernandez

        oh, well that’s that then.

      • Jose Hernandez

        Please add mbcls to that list as well. Trolling big time here.

        • WW

          OMG What a troll…he has tons of comments on various websites nearly all trying to stir things up.

    • LOVE

      T Mobile everything unlimited family plan with 3 phones costs $150 = $50 per line. How is that getting worse?

      Do your researcher. When T Mobile LTE is available, you can have unlimited LTE data. Lets say you had a family plan of 3 on T Mobile, and total data usage a month LTE is 25GB. if you could use 25GB a month for a family plan of three on T Mobile and you will pay exactly $150 a month with T Mobile.
      How much would that same family plan cost on Verizon or ATT.
      Just the phone access fee for three phones for those f u c k lugs would be around $120.
      And than 25GB of Data with ATT or Verizon between 3 phones, your bill would be well close to $600!!!!!!! some people pay less on rent than that.

      So stop trying to say ATT or Verizon is a better value than the new UnCarrier T Mobile at this point because you sound like a donkey that is trying to s h i t.

      • Alex Zapata

        Only 25GB a month? I’m averaging like 50 a month. This unlimited data thing is beautiful.

      • Shawndh

        You only get 2.5GB per month per line. Not 25GB. T-Mobile is cheaper by most comparisons but not by that much. The advertising is somewhat confusing and deceptive but it is still a pretty generous deal.

    • peralta61

      Scoot I guest your not that smart ? Think before you say something stupid

    • rob

      Someone please link her to the comparison charts. Your “Free” AT&T smartphone is not free at all and has never been free. AT&T just gave it to you without the down payment. That $200 phone is really costing you $600+ You will still buy it through the integrated fees in your bill. So in a sense TMO has some of the cheapest down payment/phone prices. You shouldn’t be talking about scams when you are the one obviously being scammed by AT&T.

    • WW

      The family plans are an ESPECIALLY good value.

      $260 ($210/month if you go for 2.5GB total data) for 5 Galaxy S4’s with unlimited talk, txt & web – 12.5GB total data “cap” (slowed down to 2G speeds) with no extra charges for going over & you can up that cap if you want to (for under $10/2GB) or wait for the end of billing cycle.

      The bill is $160 per month if you don’t buy phones. That’s 5 lines with unlimited everything (2.5GB 4G/unlimited 2G data per phone; 12.5GB total 4G data).

      You’d have to pay $750 ($150/phone +tax) in the store for all 5 GS4’s

      With AT&T, $270/month with 2100 shared voice (with rollover), unlimited txt & ONLY 1.5GB (0.3GB/line) total data with penalties for going over. $320/month if you go for 15GB data with overage charges.

      The bill is $270/month if you don’t buy phones (but you’d still have to pay the $175 activation if you bring your own phones).

      With AT&T, you’d pay $1175 ($200/phone & $35/phone activation fee) in the store for all 5 GS4’s.

      YOU WALK OUT THE DOOR IN THE HOLE $425 then dig another $10 deeper (or more if 300MB/line data isn’t enough for you) every month.

    • WW

      I’m not a T-Mobile employee…just very happy with the superior value of T-Mobile’s plans/service.

    • Pierre

      “You will pay $500 or $600 for new phone that could be free or around $200 with AT&T”

      Do you know why AT&T’s monthly rates for phones are higher than T-Mobile? Because you are paying the rest of the $300/$400 off! Over two years, the cost is probably about the same but if you keep the phone longer you could save money. I don’t see how it is a ripoff if they are being transparent with what you are actually paying for.

    • spritemoney

      You probably work for AT&T or Verizon.

    • spritemoney

      You know I pay $50 for unlimited talk, text, and 500mb of web. I want to see any carrier beat that. I talk a good amount on the phone, I text a good amount, and I use about 500mb of data. I don’t need more or less data, if I need more data I’ll pay the extra $10 a month so I can have 2gb of data for that month. T-Mobile leads the way with value.

  • JBOINLOVE

    Well said!

    • Brad Lopez

      Thank you!

  • kells1418

    People just don’t understand you are paying full price for the phone no matter who you have service with. they think it only costs a fraction of the real price. T-Mobile just tells you up front and lowers your bill when it is paid, where as the other guys make you keep paying the same price even if you have completely finished the contract. After 2 years they are making so much profit off of you.

    • jay cartie

      Yep these other companies is off the super price gouging system

  • fentonr

    Some people will never understand but this is spot on. Well said, David!

    • Brad Lopez

      Thank you! Though David is not my name.

      • fentonr

        Whoops! Let me amend that. Well said Brad!

  • DreamsWorld

    People buy the phone straight out and go prepaid and the next 2 years do the same thing over and over no different from upgrading every year except no renewal of contract in fact no contact still unlimited talk text and web 4G hspa + and LTE

  • DreamsWorld

    Tmobile Prepaid monthly 4G iphone 5 70 a month unlimited everything no caps fuck the world

    • fentonr

      Um…yay?

  • Tina

    Just left Verizon for this wonderful plan! Left Tmobile a year ago but I am back with a shiny new IPhone 5!! And. With the 20 a month phone payment, I am still paying 20 less dollars a month.

    • Jose Hernandez

      good for you.

    • Dakota

      VZ is the most expensive but many people need their coverage vs T-Mobile…

      • depends where you live, in Los Angeles, T-Mo actually has a more reliable network then VZ, and miles better then AT&T, Sprint is a joke.

        In SF or NY, people tell me that T-Mo is terrible, so it really depends on a per city basis.

  • LOVE

    This just shows the extent T Mobile will go to get business except
    put out comprehensive CELL Phone towers with precision engineering so your T Mobile 4G phone doesn’t cut out because of gaps in network availability.
    Sad and pathetic.
    Maybe Next T Mobile will Let Customers walk through the accounting department and smell the accountants ass holes.

    If T Mobile would put up better comprehensive coverage that doesnt allow GAPS, t mobile will do what it has been trying to do all along, expand their customer base.

    so easy yet so hard for stubborn company like t mobile to just make coverage available everywhere, would involve being generous with cell tower deployment.
    Network works fine, just the engineering and how the towers are deployed is a completely different story.
    no one wants a cell phone that goes in and out and works 60% of the time.

  • LOVE

    One day Government will take over cell service and it will be one flat rate for everyone, and buy your own phone at full cost up front. enough of the Cell Phone marketing Circus, quite ridiculous at this point.

    • Guest

      Whatever the government runs it is inefficient. Leave cell phone service to the private sector.

    • spritemoney

      Anything the government runs is inefficient. Leave it to the private sector.

      • Would you really want private police that made you pay before they helped you? That’s capitalism at its finest of course.

        • spritemoney

          You know, even in the most libertarian society you have to have the police, that is one of the legitimate uses of taxes. Making me pay for the police every time they try to help me sounds like an anarchist society to me. Even the fire department could be privatized (I would NEVER ever advocate this though), but you ALWAYS have to have a police force in a community. But when a government tries to run a business, it is always ran inefficiently.

    • Brad Lopez

      I certainly hope not!

  • Dakota

    I hope T-Mobile marketing reads that first paragraph. Their ads need to make those analogies simply so that the casual user can understand. Using Frankenstein is just as stupid as a girl on a bike. What is the viewer supposed to remember? T-Mobile is like a green ugly monster? It doesn’t communicatethe messages one would think they want to get across. They just keep making marketing mistake after mistake. I don’t get it. As you say, this isa new concept, one that many people don’t grasp or understand immediately. T-Mobile needs to explain and convince potential customers. The cable, car, internet comparisons are things everyone can understand..

    The one thing I’d of you leave T-Mobile, you don’t really have many options. You can maybe go to AT&T if it’s compatible but as you said, y you’ll be paying full price without taking a subsidy. A prepaid brand will still use the same T-Mobile network, and your phone won’t work with sprint or Verizon…I wish we didn’t have 2 separate type of networks. I don’t understand the whole cell network thing but know other t countries use 1 system. I wish we could have a no contact system with real choice. You’d buy your phone and then could take it to ANY carrier… (Not 2)… and if you weren’t happy with price or service, you could leave. Carriers could offer a discount if you sign a contact like cable or landline companies sometimes do… Or even make you sign if they finance for you…A friend of mine in Australia gets 2 cell phone plans, home internet and a landline for what americans s pay for 1 mobile.

  • Mattythemongoose

    I agree fully and is something I have been griping about for years. Haven’t subsidized a phone for a very long time because of this reason. If I own the phone who is to say what carrier I can go with short of frequency reasons?

  • CPPCrispy

    What T-Mobile needs to do is create a 30 second commercial that explains clearly what the Uncarrier model is and run it for a few months. They need to put Mr. Legere, with a few charts, to explain, with simple words, the model to the public.

    • why

      Hahaha, because nothing says simple like a CEO getting on television and going through pie graphs and charts to explain the benefits. That’s always been Tmobile’s problem. The “value” in their plans can’t be explained without sitting down and calculating the expenses for two years down the road. Not many people want to do that. Plus when it comes to sacrificing coverage to save a minimal amount, the consumer has spoken they will pay more to get the reliable coverage they need outside of the metro areas…

      • 21stNow

        While I agree with your comment, Verizon Wireless used charts in their commercials to show the dominance of its LTE network. Unfortunately, the plan and device prices/financing can’t be explained in such simple charts. You could try, but I’m sure some detail would be left out that would have more AGs complaining.

  • jay cartie

    Amen

  • xmiro

    Good editorial, although if I’m not mistaken the carriers break even 6-12 months into the contract. So technically you pay the phone subsidy off in the first several months then it’s all gravy for the carrier. And even better if you cancel and pay an early termination fee.

    Verizon Wireless specifically currently, according to their quarterly reports, has wireless service margins of about 46 to 50.4%

  • john johnson

    This is why folks get new phones as soon as they qualify, and then sell either their old one or their new one. It’s a pain, but it’s how we’ve learned to play the post-paid game, and it’s no secret. It’s also why there has been such a shift to prepaid, where all the pricing is up front. there are a number of different ways to get value from the carriers and tmos new plans provide us with new options.

  • Shawndh

    The only time you really benefit from this change is when you are either out of contract or you bought your phone paid in full. You can take advantage of the cheapest price and leave whenever you want without paying a penalty. However, for customers like me on Classic plans that are either the same price as the new plans or cheaper, this change does not benefit us at all. This just means that instead of getting a discount on a new phone for extending my contract another two years I now get to pay full price for a phone. I’m out of contract but so what! I’ve been with T-Mobile since they were Powertel so I do not have “contract-phobia”. After 15 years where am I going?

    The only solution for us is to call Retentions and ask for a discount or find an authorized T-Mobile dealer that will honor a 2 year contract extension discount while keeping my bill and plan the same. I’m hoping that Retentions will give us a discount on a new phone since I have two lines out of contract, one of which has been out of contract for over 2 years.

    So having a contract and subsidy is not always a bad thing and not having a contract and subsidy is not always better. It doesn’t make sense if you’re going to have to pay more in the end just to have the privilege of saying “I’m out of contract”.

    • ShermCraig

      Correct. There are many who are happy with their phones, or grandfathered in to an old plan that would not benefit one bit. Many of those folks (not saying you are) come on here and blast this Editorial as being untruthful when in fact it is spot-on. For those that are in one of the old plans where it makes no sense to switch, why even comment? Not trying to single you out Shawndh. I’ve just seen an inordinate amount of anger on here…. Cheers.

      • shawndh

        I appreciate your tasteful reply to my comments. And I just want to clarify that I’m not posting to bash or be a troll. I’m happy for T-Mobile and the new customers who will benefit but I just want to add another point of view so people will have a realistic take on what these changes really mean.

      • Verhouze

        One reason I think it is important to comment is the industry is dictated by mass consciousness. As long as everyone is thrilled at these prices it will continue to move upward. If people don’t voice their discontent nothing changes.

        I remember when I got DSL. I payed $50 per month. Now I can get high speed for $20 per month. I have my computers on 24/7. My dsl runs 3 computers, 2 tablets and streams Netflix daily. What drove my AT&T internet down? Time Warner did. Competition. The cell phone industry is moving together upward. Who is stupid? We are. Things started moving up just as soon as AT&T lost their battle to obtain T-Mobile. Look back to then what everyone was paying. Everyone increased. LTE costs? Maybe. But there are millions and millions of us paying for it.

        Everyone is so thrilled while they are binding over. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why so many people get upset when anyone expresses discontent.

    • Shawndh

      UPDATE: I called T-Mobile to see what they could do to help me get a new phone without increasing my current Classic Family plan bill. The were able to give me $25 in discounts on my current bill so I could order a new iPhone 5 without having to pay $20 more than what I was paying before. So I basically get a 32Gig iPhone 5 with unlimited data for $200 down and $5 less per month. That’s why I’ve been with them for 15 years. That’s called customer service. Happy camper!

  • Will

    All T-Mobile has to do is follow the lead of the car companies (or even Verizon FiOS). Just put the details of the contract in tiny print that can only be see on a 60′ television that has been paused at the right second. That’s not deceptive. It’s the customers own fault if they don’t have a large television and a TIVO/DVR.

    T-Mobile actually has an opportunity here to tackle this head-on. Here is an idea for T-Mobile: Have a guy coming out of a cell-phone store and directly into a prison. Then flash forward 20 months and show the guy getting set free. He is now free to roam about the country.*

    *where T-Mobile coverage is available.

    • 21stNow

      Boost Mobile already did the prison commercial.

  • kolijboy

    Same crap, different name. Carrier or Uncarrier = customer gets screwed. When last have you owned and used a phone for more than two years? Thus the argument that you save money once the device is paid off is not as strong as it appears. Why lock down phones that we ostensibly are paying for separately from cost of service? Why charge confiscatory prices for new phones, as in Nexus from Google vs same Nexus from TMo? Don’t believe the hype. At the end of the day, when all is considered, this uncarrier foolishness is engineered to make sure that TMo ends up getting the same amount of money from you in the long term as the other plans. They are truly beginning to sound like Apple, with its ingenious ability to give people less but make them believe it’s more and pay more. I just wish TMo would expend the energy engineering a better network.

    • Jose Hernandez

      Here we go again. You either did not read the article, did not understand the article, or are just trolling. My guess is trolling.

      • kolijboy

        Silly fellow. I have several years in business and an earned PhD. I’ve also been a customer with tmo for 7 years and a cell phone owner for 16 years. I can see through the hype, the marketing, and the inexact analogies to know that this ploy is not as beneficial as it seems.

        • ShermCraig

          …and your personal attacks speak to your level of maturity, Mr. PhD.

        • Kolijboy

          That would be Dr. PhD, to you. :)

        • TechHog

          It’s less money. How much more beneficial does it need to be?

      • kolijboy

        One more thing: employing ad hominem attacks without dealing with the substance of an argument is very immature. Since when dissenters are trolls? More importantly, neither you nor the article properly addresses my questions.

        • ShermCraig

          Seems Jose IS dealing with the substance of the argument, and you are quite defensive. If you truly read the article, and understood the math, you would not have made your comments. Lighten up kolijboy. Life is too short to express such anger.

        • kolijboy

          Angry? No, my friend. Just trying to cut through the BS called American marketing.

        • guest

          It’s pointless. I enjoy the tmonews articles but asking questions or having anything remotely resembling a dissenting opinion just gets shouted down in the comments because 95% of the posters are barely literate T-Mobile store reps who think that screaming at anyone with a legitimate concern will somehow benefit their employer.

    • bob90210

      After removing the subjective comments, you seem to be making following points:

      1. Removing carriers subsidies does no matter much since phones do not last two years anymore.

      Actually, this is a reason to remove the subsidy since the customer can decide how long the phone will last. Want to use an old phone and save money? You can do that. What to get a new phone before the two years are up? You can do that and save money since you don’t need to wait for any upgrade eligibility.

      2. Phones are still locked to the carrier.

      Carrier locked phones need to go away and T-Mobile is no different than other carriers. Unfortunately, unless T-Mobile’s stops financing phones and only sell them at full price, then I doubt T-Mobile will sell unlocked phones. However, since there is no subsidy, you can by unlocked phones elsewhere. The One and the iPhone are available unlocked direct from the manufacturers.

      3. T-Mobile’s phones are too expensive.

      Most of T-Mobile’s prices are competitive with other carriers. However, if you don’t like T-Mobile’s prices (I don’t think anyone likes their Nexus 4 price) you can buy the phone elsewhere and save money.

      4. T-Mobile wants to make more money with the new plans.

      Obviously, T-Mobile expects to make more money with the new plans. How much money T-Mobile makes is largely irrelevant to you as a customer. The only question you should be concerned with is whether the new plans are a good deal for you considering the other options.

      • kolijboy

        Well, thank you for a concise response! But, The issue is that this strategy does not really save customers any significant real dollars over the longhaul, and the marketing strategy is gimmicky, and perhaps a bit desperate

        • bob90210

          Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile with Unlimited Minutes and Text, 2.5 GB data for 2 years: $60 * 24 + $630 = $2070
          Galaxy S4 on AT&T with Unlimited Minutes and Text, 3 GB data for 2 years:($70 + $30 + $20) * 24 + $200 = $3080

          Marketing is an irrelevant issue since does not help buy a cup of coffee nor make a phone call.

        • WW

          Here’s an AT&T/T-Mobile comparison of a 5 line family plan. Read just the last paragraph for a quick rundown.

          T-Mobile
          $260 ($210/month if you go for 2.5GB total data) for 5 Galaxy S4’s with unlimited talk, txt & web – 12.5GB total data “cap” (slowed down to 2G speeds) with no extra charges for going over & you can up that cap if you want to (for under $10/2GB) or wait for the end of billing cycle.

          The bill is $160 per month if you don’t buy phones. That’s 5 lines with unlimited everything (2.5GB 4G/unlimited 2G data per phone; 12.5GB total 4G data).

          You’d have to pay $750 ($150/phone +tax) in the store for all 5 GS4’s

          AT&T

          $270/month with 2100 shared voice (with rollover), unlimited txt & ONLY 1.5GB (0.3GB/line) total data with penalties for going over. $320/month if you go for 15GB data with overage charges.

          The bill is $270/month if you don’t buy phones (but you’d still have to pay the $175 activation if you bring your own phones).

          With AT&T, you’d pay $1175 ($200/phone & $35/phone activation fee) in the store for all 5 GS4’s.

          YOU WALK OUT THE DOOR IN THE HOLE $425 then dig another $10 deeper (or more if 300MB/line data isn’t enough for you) every month.

  • James Harding, Jr.

    Most consumers don’t realize that with a subsidy, you are paying more than the full price for the phone. I like the fact that T-mobile separated hardware and service. I was buying unlocked devices for years and still paid the same rate. This model never made any sense to me, and as soon as T-mobile released the new plans, I switched to one.

  • why

    But what happens when that phone you bought on Craigslist or Ebay is not working. Who are you most likely to call? Its probably going to be your carrier. And when they can’t troubleshoot it because its a phone they don’t sell, who is your anger going to be directed at? Its probably going to be your carrier. And what option will the carrier have for you at that point? Its probably going to be purchasing a new phone from your carrier directly…..

    • shawndh

      What exactly is your point?

    • Brad Lopez

      I agree that buying second-hand devices can be problematic at times. There is always the possibility of damage by dropping or liquid, etc, but with caution, one can protect himself against most preventable issues.

    • You’re not making a point. Buying used phones has always come with these risks on all 4 carriers and way before T-Mobile changed to these uncarrier plans. Making sure a used phone from Craigslist or eBay works properly has and will always be up to the buyer of that device. I don’t buy a broken phone on eBay and expect T-Mobile or any carrier to fix it for me. If you buy a dud then you should get mad at who you bought it from.

  • elite

    What people don’t understand is that t-mobile has the cheapest plans available. People are brainwashed into thinking subsidies are the best when they are not. At t-mobile, no overages, lowest out of pocket cost for a phone, best add a line option at $10, no waiting almost two years to get a new phone, the speed in which your bill goes down is in your hands.

    You are going to buy an S3 before it was $380 with a subsidy, now on the new plans it’s $118 down and $20/month. What you pay with a subsidy is 3 times more than what you pay with the new uncarrier.

    My bill goes up $20 though….. No problem you are in control instead of giving $118 you have the option to give more upfront which will reduce your monthly bill. Wake up this is the best for everyone!

  • Concerned

    David, I’m a little bit dismayed at how much of the company kool-aid you seem to have ingested here.
    Before I get into my disagreement, let me clearly state that I love tmo and where the company is heading. We finally have the iPhone, we have a brilliant CEO who actually wants us to succeed, we have a “new” strategy everyone’s talking about and we’re actually growing. It’s a good time to be a tmo employee and customer!

    Now, let’s do some math. Most carriers take on the cost of the subsidy in their data plans, and I can’t see t-mo doing anything different here. T-Mobile’s truly unlimited data plan when we were subsidizing devices ran $30 per month. That same plan now costs $20 per month, without the subsidy. Your math for ~$20 a month being used to pay off the subsidy or pocket a little extra is spot-on, so we’ll use that here. However, the data plan only decreases $10 per month without the $20 subsidy included.

    Now, you might say that the other $10 has been reduced in the rate plan, and not in the data, but you’d most likely be wrong. I don’t recall exactly what our value plans cost before the big change, but I don’t remember unlimited talk and text running $60 per month, and I certainly don’t recall us running talk, text and web for $90.

    If we are to decry the other carriers for pocketing a few months of the $20 subsidy, how much worse is tmo for pulling in $10 per month for the ENTIRETY of your service?!

    I’m sorry, I love my company, and I know you do, too. But I can’t agree they we’re “changing everything” when I really look at it. What it actually looks like is we found a BRILLIANT way to re-shuffle the deck, make more money and still come out looking like the good guy. I can’t say the strategy is unwise, but I can say it seems like the same old stuff, printed in a different font.

    • Brad Lopez

      Concerned,
      Thank you for taking the time to form a coherent response and explain your position. You’re right in your conclusion that I don’t know the complete ins and outs of T-Mobile’s fiscal breakdown. Likewise, I can only speculate about the other carriers. No carrier is perfect and T-Mobile falls under that umbrella.

      I do however, believe that T-Mobile is less greedy and better for consumers, and competition in general, compared to its wireless contemporaries. T-Mobile have to make profit somewhere. Utilities, office space, taxes, and employees are just a few of the expenses any carrier faces (to a lesser degree when discussing MVNOs), and profit on top of that will fund R&D, future spectrum licensing, acquisitions and mergers, etc.

      My point in saying all this is that T-Mobile, at this point in time, is the least greedy and most consumer-centric option.

      • Concerned

        Thank you for the response. I apologize for not checking the header and assuming you were David!

        I am in no way saying that profit is bad. As a tmo employee, I am *all* for making a profit, and now that we’re making more AND growing, my job is quite secure, which is a pleasant feeling. Profit is a good thing.

        I think calling T-mobile the “least greedy” is ultimately a subjective term, but one that I tend to agree with. I just feel that our approach, specifically chastising other carriers for profiting off of device subsidies, seems to be disingenuous and I am not a fan of it.

        If my math is correct (which I fully admit it may not be, I’m just a tech guy, not in any position to know the “numbers behind the numbers”) tmo is making roughly $240 extra over the span of 24 months by *not* having a subsidy. Conversely, a company like sprint will most likely end up making $40-$80 by having one. Calling them out for it seems wrong.

        In the end, it’s just my opinion and some (probably) bad math, but I appreciate your time.

        • TechHog

          I kinda feel like you’re playing Devil’s Advocate here. First of all, on a contract, every single phone is subsidized, including standard phones that don’t require data. This means that the entirety of the cost can’t be in the on the data only. Second, on a contract, there’s a flat rate for all phones, regardless of the actual cost of the phone, while with T-Mobile’s plans cheaper phone = cheaper bill. Finally, there’s the fact that the down-payment cost of T-Mobile’s phones is much lower than the subsidized cost of other carriers. Put all of this together, and you’ll see that what’s really going on is that you’re underestimating the amount carriers take with a subsidy. In reality, a subsidized phone in most cases is paid off LOOONG before the contract is complete.

  • mdosu

    don’t get me started about Comcast…..

  • NuShrike

    So Even More Plus wasn’t enough “bringing it” for people? I’m fairly sure it was people grabbing their ankles quite willingly for the iPhone. People are just stupid. The comments calling uncarrier a scam cements it.

    Now that there’s another for “GSM” iPhone… maybe people will get they have a choice. But world fact, Americans can’t do math.

  • djwurm

    I called T mobile last week to switch from my current family contract plan to the new plans. Well T-mobile want $100 per line to switch plus my monthly bill would be about $15 more (not including the 20 a month for the new Iphone). These new plans dont work for me and I cant afford to be paying more and paying switching fees….

    • spritemoney

      Then stick with the old plans. Try and go to the store (if your contract is up) and see if they can waive the $100 per line.

      • djwurm

        Contracts are up in November but even then why would I want to switch to a plan that is more money?

        • ShermCraig

          Unless you want to get a new phone, more data, more features, stay put.

        • djwurm

          What happens when we need a new phone? Wife is using an old LG that is very slow and reboots all the time? Ebay or Craigslist?

        • WW

          Especially with family plans (that’s where T-Mobile really shines on rates), if you have a grandfathered plan, that’s better than current plans, stick with it.

          Used phones will work. Customer service might be able to extend your contract with new subsidized phones. Authorized resellers (Best Buy, Walmart, Fry’s Electronics others) can sometimes get you new phones at their contract prices without changing your rate plan.

    • TechHog

      $15 more before accounting for device payments? I find that a bit hard to believe. What’s your current plan?

  • they let me switch over to get on the no contract plan from my Value Plan :) and it came with the 500 MB hotspot. so now i’m officially not under any contract. yay.

    • bob90210

      Did you have to pay any ETF to switch from the value plan to the uncarrier plan?

      • WW

        Value Plan to the new plans don’t have an ETF because they keep your Value Plan contract dates intact.

        I was and am still on contract (3 of 5 lines) but have switched to the new rates.

        My bill dropped by only about $5 but my previously limited (3 lines w/only 500 voice, 200MB data with overage charges) lines now have unlimited voice with 500MB unlimited data.

      • nope i didn’t .. and they didn’t keep my contract in tact .. :)

  • Kolijboy

    So if they believed their own drivel about being an uncarrier, why do you still have to pay a “migration” junk fee?

    • Migration fees are for those who just got a subsidized device using the old plans less than 18months ago. Without the migration fees what’s to stop someone from going to Best Buy and getting the HTC One for $199 and then going to a T-Mobile store and migrating over to the Uncarrier plan and make themselves immediately eligible for upgrade again with EIP?

      T-Mobile is still a business and has to protect themselves from the scammers.

      • WW

        $50 is a pretty reasonable amount when you put it that way. After all, these are products that sell for well over $500.

    • TechHog

      Because they’re still a company and they can’t just give you a phone for free. They need to make their return on subsidized phones still.

  • > @ kolijboy When last have you owned and used a phone for more than two years?

    I guess it depends upon the quality of your Phone. It is not tough to have a good Phone last more than 2 years.

    > @ kolijboy Thus the argument that you save money once the device is paid off is not as strong as it appears. Why lock down phones that we ostensibly are paying for separately from cost of service? Why charge confiscatory prices for new phones, as in Nexus from Google vs same Nexus from TMo?

    .

    There was a time, long ago, when Cell Phones only worked for the Carrier that issued them.Like a ‘Wireless Cable TV Convertor’ the Cellphone only worked with one Provider, and one Provider was all your City had.

    The Carrier became not just the “Issuer” but the Importer and Buyer too; even the Insurer. Much like the Land Line Telephone of 30 years ago there WAS no 3rd Party from which to buy a working Phone.

    A few years back the ability to buy a Cell Phone combined with the need of some for travel made the payment for the Phone more primary. If you had not paid for the Device the Owner (your Carrier) wants it locked to them so they do not lose the Phone.

    Today the desire of People to move, travel, switch Carriers, or even buy a Phone from many Sources puts Carriers back into their Primary Business (backhaul); with newer, faster, better Towers in more locations coupled to that.

    Paying full price after your Phone is paid off and only offering one year old Phones (that the Carrier got at a discount) was a ‘Plan’ tried by a well known Canadian Carrier. When People started to leave they started to get newer Phones and allow OTA Updates more often.

    It everyone keeps paying the top three the highest prices for the same service as is being offered by numbers 4-6 (depending of the area’s competative size) then prices will remain high. I recently switched Carriers and bought the Phone outright for the same price that everyone else was charging, now my monthly payments are 50% less for greater Services.

    If the PhD you spoke of was for Business you would not ask us these things.

    Someone must pay for the Cell Phone. They cost more than a Tablet or Laptop in some cases but someone must pay for them in all cases. If the Carrier is taking the risk of lending a stranger an expensive Device that will likely have no value when they return it, then the money for that comes from somewhere, either up front or in installments from the Customer.

    When the Customer has a Phone that works with their chosen Carrier’s Network and brings their own Phone then they should not pay for their own Phone each month. My Carrier (along with a few others) gives a discount for bringing your own Phone and does not charge extra each month (or have a Service Duration Comitment) for a Phone that you provide yourself (even IF you buy it from them for full discounted price).

    So switch to the Carrier that has decent coverage for your needs, charges fairly for your usage scenerio, has uptime, and charges a resonable total amount each month. If everyone stays with unfairly priced and overcharged Services then nothing will change.

    • Guest

      I just switched tonight from a Family MyFaves plan that was pretty reasonable to an Uncarrier Plan that is amazing. My total, after taxes, is exactly the same, but I’ve received a bunch of perks I didn’t have before, including truly unlimited web (I had 5 GB), unlimited talk (only had unlimited nights, weekends, 5 faves, and 700 minutes otherwise), and 5 GB hotspot (had none). What’s more is that my contract didn’t end until July and I didn’t have to pay any fees to switch to the Uncarrier Plan. T-Mobile has officially managed to get back into my good graces. I’m loving the new approach to the stale industry. It was long overdue.

  • I just switched tonight from a Family MyFaves plan that was pretty reasonable to an Uncarrier Plan that is amazing. My total, after taxes, is exactly the same, but I’ve received a bunch of perks I didn’t have before, including truly unlimited web (I had 5 GB), unlimited talk (only had unlimited nights, weekends, 5 faves, and 700 minutes otherwise), and 5 GB hotspot (had none). What’s more is that my contract didn’t end until July and I didn’t have to pay any fees to switch to the Uncarrier Plan. T-Mobile has officially managed to get back into my good graces. I’m loving the new approach to the stale industry. It was long overdue. The other CSPs are holding on to a business model that simply isn’t tenable much longer.

    Rob C: I apologize for posting twice. I accidentally replied to your post and failed to realize that Disqus doesn’t allow you to actually delete your post (just your name associated with it).

  • Come May 1st, I’m calling AT&T to unlock my Nokia Lumia 920 and then telling them ADIOS!

    Also, if you REALLY want to take advantage of T-Mobile, buy your phone elsewhere. There’s no reason you need to buy new from a carrier store. Buy it new off of craigslist for $100+ less (assuming you wait 1-2 months). Or buy a good phone used and save even more money. Separating the plan from the device gives you far more options to get a better deal on both.

    • Brad Lopez

      I absolutely agree. That’s actually going to be a large focus on my next post, so stay tuned.

      • I’ve switched! Yay! Time to put TMoNews in my RSS Reader too. :)

        • Awesome to hear!!

        • I’m a little sad that T-Mobile LTE isn’t at my apartment, but if I move 500 feet in any direction, I get it. And I live in the urban area of a major city too. =/

    • True, but a lot of families and people survive off on store sales if people x out the middle man store will close people will lose work