Editor note: This guest post was written by a T-Mobile employee with hope of encouraging T-Mobile customers to select a Value plan by seeing the real “value” in your choice. With Saturday’s sale focused on Value plans we hope that this post will better explain to you what a Value plan is, why you might want to select it and if you can save money by choosing it. Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of TmoNews.
There has been a lot of skepticism and backfire when it comes to T-Mobiles Value Plans and I believe the cause or blame lies on improper advertising and explanation. The lack of advertising and explanation has caused a lot of confusion and made consumers along with readers here very weary of the new rate plans.
To get straight to the point, people are used to the Classic plans, better known as the way rate plans have been done for years. With a classic plan you select a rate plan and receive a phone at the a discounted price, generally somewhere between free and $200. I apologize for all the numbers ahead of time. The following examples will all be examined using up to date plans and pricing, using nothing grandfathered as there would be too many options and too many plans to compare. DISCLAIMER: These are all prices directly from the companies not retailers.
T-Mobile(Classic)-This is what all customers are used to. An HTC Sensation 4G on this plan costs $199 up front and is your overall cost for the device. With an unlimited everything plan(2GB Data) the plan is $79.99 per month.
T-Mobile(Value)-Now this one is where it gets tricky. The same phone costs $199 as a Down Payment and $499 total. Now before discovering the phone costs five hundred dollars, let’s try to see the other side of it. Value Plans lower the cost of your price plan and features.You also finance the full price of your device with no interest. The payments are split into 20 months that range from $5 to $15 depending on the price point of the phone. In the case of the sensation it is $15. The same Monthly rate plan as above but on a Value plan is $59.99 per month. When you combine the monthly plan and the price of the phone on the installment plan you end up at a total of $74.99.
BUT WAIT THE PHONE STILL COSTS $499. That is true but if you do the math, you are saving $5 per month for 20 months. At the 20th month you will be done paying off the phone and your price point will lower to $59.99 saving you $20 per month for the last 4 months. The total savings over the 2 years is $180. To some people this might not be worth paying the total cost of a phone over time, but every dollar counts.
The example that I use is just one phone example. That is the highest end phone T-Mobile has with the highest EIP. If you purchased a mid end phone with an EIP of $10, then your savings over two years would be $280. If you purchased a low end phone with an EIP $5 then your savings over two years would be $380. If you choose to do a family plan the savings double.
Comparing Data and Family plans from classic to Value- Family plan add a lines on classic can be either unlimited or 500 minute line. A 500 Minute add a line is $10 per month with the 2GB data for $20, making a total $30 for the additional line. With Value it can either be the same price or lower depending on the phone you are looking to purchase. If you are looking to add a top of the line phone as the Sensation then you would be looking to pay $5 per month for the line, however the same data feature is only $10 instead of $20 providing another reason why Value plans are great. Plus the installment payment of $15 bringing your total up to $30 maximum, once again depending on the phone you purchase.
The savings are there plain and simple…but not for everyone. Due to those darn migration fees.
Migration Fees- These are assessed based on contract tenure NOT upgrade tenure. This is like a cancellation fee. To go to a Value plan you are essentially canceling your current contract to switch to a different one. Although I believe it should not be viewed as that or represented as that, it is what it is. Anytime after 9 months into a classic plan one may switch to a Value plan, at 9 month tenure one would have a $200 migration fee. Every 3 months that migration fee will be lowered by $50. At one year to 15 months left you have $150, at 9 months to a year left $100, at 6 months to 9 months you have $50, anytime under 6 months you are free to switch over with no penalty. Anyone on Even More Plus plans automatically qualifies to switch over to a Value plan. This is where you would have to do the math, is paying that migration fee worth the savings?If you are paying about $100 per month I would say yes definitely because the savings would out do the cost in 8 months maximum(if you had a $200 migration). For others who are paying less the savings would take longer and not necessarily benefit them.
Other Carriers- This is a price comparison of all major carriers, using the same price point of the device at $199 and the unlimited plans(2GB DATA). Mainly for those readers and posts I’ve seen about switching companies.
Sprint- Galaxy S 2 is $199, monthly plan for unlimited plan is $79.99. The savings with a T-Mobile Value Plan is $180 over 2 year period. Editors note: Someone reminded us that this $79.99 plan doesn’t account for the $10 surcharge for 4G phones on Sprint.
At&t- iPhone 4 is $199, monthly plan is $114.99(2GB data). The savings with a T-Mobile Value Plan is $1,020 over 2 years. The Savings with a T-Mobile Classic plan are $840 over two years.
Verizon- A Droid X2 is $199, monthly plan is $119.99(2GB data). The savings with a T-Mobile Value Plan is $1,140 over 2 years. The savings with a T-Mobile Classic Plan is $960 over two years.
Not only is T-Mobile more affordable but I can speak from experience from working for all 4 carriers at some point, T-Mobile treats their employees the best and has by far the best customer service, you don’t have to agree but there are awards out there proving so. *Cough* J.D. Power & Associates *cough*.
There you have it folks, hope some of you come out to the stores this Saturday the 24th for two amazing sales, to save some money and get some great deals on the best phones and accessories T-Mobile has to offer.