Guest Editorial From A T-Mobile Front-Line Employee, Three Ways To Boost T-Mobile Up



Editors Note: This post is a guest editorial written by a T-Mobile front-line employee regarding life on — the front-line. Tackling three separate, but equally important issues, this anonymous guest posts hopes to explain why the iPhone is important, why phone manufacturers need to step up their game and how there is actual “value” in T-Mobile’s Value Plans. Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of TmoNews.  

Reporting From The Frontlines

I remember sitting in a packed hotel banquet hall when T-Mobile CEO Phillip Humm stood before an audience of a thousand of his T-mobile frontline men and women and informed us all of our 2011 goal of being “challengers”. The excitement was high, and we left that place believing that if we all did our part, we really could make a difference.

The feeling wouldn’t last too long as only a couple of week’s later At&t would announce its plans to acquire T-Mobile USA. To put it bluntly, if felt like a smack in the face. For a few months afterwards, uncertainty of what was to come began to sink in and the company really didn’t feel like itself anymore. It felt as if the acquisition had already gone through.

On the frontlines we didn’t feel like the same work force who helped to earn all of the consecutive JD Powers and Associates awards for customer service. We were just another cog in the machine… a machine that was getting prepped to be handed over to At&t.

Eventually, when reality finally settled in, and more details as to how the acquisition would play out in the long run, instead of dragging our feet any longer we lowered are heads and buckled down for the long haul. Customers would come in say “hey where’s the iPhone, didn’t At&t buy you guys” and we’d jokingly say back “no, we bought them.” It was our way of making light of the situation while continuing to press on; business as usual.

Now that the acquisition has been canceled faster than a bad sitcom on NBC, this year looks as bright as ever. I’ve seen comments on articles all over the web about how T-Mobile has “changed”, or  how it’s “not what it used to be” especially when it comes to how we treat our customers, but you should all know that not only will we bounce back, we’re going to be better than ever.

While the acquisition has been eliminated from the equation, not everything is perfect. We have some issues that need to be addressed, and quickly. I’ll outline three of the biggest. If met, these adjustments can help mold 2012 into one of the best years ever for T-Mobile.
The iPhone Effect.

I’m not going to sit here crying and pleading like most about why T-Mobile needs the iPhone, because the reality is that five years later Cupertino’s iconic device is still selling strong and for the whole time T-Mobile continued to carry on without it. I’m not a naive card-carrying member of the Android army either, actually I’m one of the poor saps that paid $600 (on-contract) when the iPhone originally launched in 2007, so trust when I say that I have plenty of love for iOS. And while I think it’s a compelling piece of hardware, and understand why people have such a strong emotional connection to it, there are many misconceptions about what the iPhone would actually bring to T-Mobile.

Some folks are under the impression that if the device makes it to the Magenta side of the fence it would become some kind of golden goose that will catapult the company out of 4th place. Realistically, this just isn’t so. What the iPhone will do is help the company reduce churn, significantly.

I wish I earned a dollar every time a four or five line family plan customer comes in to my store to request their account number (for an obvious port out to another carrier). I try to provide as many reasons as possible as to why they should not leave the T-Mobile family using value, devices, and customer service as my ammunition. Even going as far as filling out value comparison charts to show what they would be paying for comparable (or in most cases less) services if they switched.

And then it happens…

Then the customer’s son, daughter, husband, father, — whoever — will say something along the lines of “I don’t care” or “they don’t have it, let’s go.” Then the account holder apologizes, thanks me for my time, and walks out. I always feel bad for these account holders, who – because of other people on their account, end up shelling out up to six hundred, eight hundred, sometimes one thousand dollars worth of cancellation fees (5 lines), just for an iPhone.

The thing is that if T-Mobile had the device, it would eliminate the need for that conversation all together. Those who are fixated on the iPhone would be pleased, and those who chose T-Mobile for being the value player in the market will continue to be happy and satisfied. It’s really that simple. If we ever “needed” the iPhone, it would only be for that.

Phone manufacturers need to step their game up.

In October of this year, the Android platform will be celebrating it’s 4th birthday. In that time we’ve seen phones in all shapes, sizes, and price points. Android has evolved from a “me too” mobile O.S. to being the king of the mobile landscape (and marketshare). While AT&T was busy milking their iPhone exclusivity, we were busy launching the first ever Android phone ( the G1), but since then it seems like we’ve sat and watched from the sidelines as every other carrier would release a new flagship Android phone, one after the other.

While things have managed to get better recently (2011 provided for a decent smartphone lineup from T-Mobile), it seems as though the OEMs prefer to put themselves directly in the line of fire by launching their very best devices on carriers who’s customers are already infatuated with the iPhone and could now care less about Android.

And then when these devices, from all of the various OEMs, fail to leave a dent on sales numbers, what do they do? They sell even more of their more “iconic” phones to those same carriers.

Phone manufactures need to wake up. Following the release of the Siri-powered 4S, according to NPD, Apple is gunning for the top spot in U.S. market share. And while T-Mobile remains to be iPhone-less for the time being, now that the At&t acquisition is a thing of the past, it seems like those days of lacking the iPhone are probably numbered.

As an OEM, whenever you look T-Mobile’s way, what you should be seeing, is opportunity. And it’s something that you need to relish in while you still can. Cost is now a non-issue as the value plans are designed perfectly to compliment the budget of any buyer.

Bring your “iconic” devices to a carrier who’s customers actually want them, or miss out completely.

Value Plans For the Win.

The final piece of the puzzle are the value plans, and mostly the complexity that surrounds them. Customers have enough issues understanding them, but as a sales force, representatives in stores need to be taught the appropriate way of presenting them in the first place. Simply saying “its cheaper… but you have to pay full price for the phone and you never get an upgrade” is certainly not the most appealing way to present it; but from what I’m seeing, hearing, and reading, its apparently a common occurrence out there.

In the current economic climate people are looking for any way to save, and right now in wireless, there isn’t a single rate plan on any national carrier that comes close to the value plans at T-Mobile. To make it work and really make sense, customers need to be shown the actual value. And of course there are still those one-off cases where a customer’s legacy plan with subsidized phones is still the best thing for him or her, but those particular cases aren’t too common. The minute you start talking data and features, the value plans are your best friend.

Just for laughs here’s a theoretical rate plan if the iPhone were made available on T-Mobile. IPhone 4S retails for $599. On Value, the initial down payment would be $199 (just like everywhere else), with a 20 month payment plan of a flat rate of 20 bucks per month. The rate plan would be 59.99 (plus any applicable taxes) along with the device payment. So that’s 79.99 for 20 months, then it lowers to just 59.99 for the other four months on a 24 month agreement. Over the 2 year contract, the customer would pay $1,839.76 (excluding taxes) plus the initial $199 that was plunked down at the point of sale which gives us a grand total of 2,038.76.

So what would it cost for the same device and comparable services from the carriers who “subsidize” the phone cost? I’m using the unlimited calling plans as an example, and not the mobile-to-mobile “unlimited” plans that At&t and Sprint are pushing. The results shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Verizon: $119.99 for 24 months, $199 for the phone gives you a total of 3,078.76. AT&T: $114.99 for 24 months, $199 for the phone give you a total of 2,958.76. Sprint: $109.99 for 24 months, $199 for the phone give you total of $2,838.76. While Sprint may be the lowest of the three, the total cost of the plan and phone over 2 years is still $800 dollars more than our beloved value plan. I don’t know about you but I can think of a ton of things that I’d rather do with $800.

The numbers speak for themselves. The savings over the competition is as clear as day. Now, it’s just on T-Mobile to make sure that customers are educated and shown what really sets magenta apart from the rest. Value plans for the win.

Looking Ahead.

These are just a few of things that can help T-Mobile in the next year. I’m sure there are plenty more thoughts, ideas, and suggestions that can be brought to the forefront, but these three —  straight from the frontlines — should be at the very top of the list. If addressed, T-Mobile will be on the up and up for 2012 and finally be truly ready to be a challenger.

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  • Tuliom Mesa

    I think you may have forgotten the article…

  • Matthew Darragh

    Maybe this is an infograph without the info…?

    • I didn’t forget, wordpress just sucks lately.

  • Fury

    wow, lookin at that pic, I’m boosted.. for sure!

  • Erik Knudsen

    Either you forgot to post the article…or the 3 ways to boost TMobile are

    1) Simplicity
    2) More Carly
    3) Carly in yoga pants

    • The text is now up!

      • Erik Knudsen

        Guess I’ll have to revise accordingly…

  • I agree.

  • William Cron

    Is this an anti-SOPA thing?

    • Nope, any timing is coincidental!

  • Anonymous

    are these galaxy blaze specs true?

    4.52 inch screen? I thought this was going to be a 4.0 or smaller pocket rocket… *sigh*

  • nd5

    He’s right about iPhone’s possibility to reduce churn.  I struggled with this as my daughter insisted that she had to have an iPhone.  Wouldn’t consider an SGSII, wouldn’t consider an Amaze.  I thought about leaving T-Mobile but in the end, I can’t get nearly as good a plan as my current classic plan on any other carrier… period.  I finally ended up begrudgingly shelling out $650 for an unlocked iPhone 4S from Apple that will be *crippled* on T-Mobile’s network.  I suspect my daughter will not be happy, and I told her as much, but time will tell.  It would have been much easier if I could have used one of my available upgrades and got an iPhone designed for T-Mobile’s network.

    • ogopogo

      You can end that conversation quickly if you made HER pay for it.
      Remember – YOU are still the parent.

    • Anonymous

      If she’s not happy, I would tell her when she can afford to pay for all of that herself, she could then get it herself.  Until then, it’s coming out of YOUR pocket, and you make the decisions.  It’s time parents be parents and stop catering to their kids trendy whims.

    • Cristi

      Every time my daughter whines about her less than perfect Android phone, I let her know she’s free to purchase a new phone at full price any time she wants or to get on the horn and see if she can talk T-Mobile into sending her something else. Suddenly, she becomes very tolerant.

      You’re the parent, nd5. Believe me when I tell you you’re doing your daughter no favors when you teach her that she’s entitled to whatever she wants regardless of what it costs someone else.

    • Anonymous

      or you can tell her tell her if she wants it so bad that she can save or make money and buy it on her own.  Teaching moment

    • Have to have:  Food, water, clothing and shelter
      Want to have: Everything else

    • Papalapao

      Don’t let your child call the shots when you’re the person supplying her smartphone.  Unless its a Blackberry, in which Child Protective Services should be called on you…

    • Scuba Steve

      I can tell you from past experience, that this situation happened in Corporate Retail very often.  We always seem to see the kids dragging in with their parents and grandparents in order to get their prize for doing well in school that year.  These poor grandparents on a fixed income would become speechless when they heard that the kid was not eligible for a full upgrade and therefore a Sidekick (back in the day), a BlackBerry or another smartphone was going to cost like $350 – $450).  The parents would typically step in and say that they can get this or that lower end phone.  The kid would start whining or have a fit.  That was when I, as the Retail Store Manager, would step in and ask the little brats what time they had to be at work in the morning or where they worked.  The kid would look at me like I had 10 heads and say nothing.  On the other hand, the parents and grandparents would look at me like I was the  Messiah. It was those people that continued with T-Mobile forever and send other people to us.

  • Phershey128

    This is very well put. Thank you for the article and explanation of value plans. Bringing the iphone would be a win for everyone one. I am a frontline employee and just likr the author am tired of hearing about the iphone. Granted it is a great phone but android phonez do the same thing. And the internet is not exclusive to the iphone. Ppl that want to pay more for the same service and be treated like dirt from AT&T deserve what they get. Just saying…..

    • Would the iPhone + Value plans bring people running to T-Mobile?  Yes but the infrastructure needs to be there otherwise we will be
      complaining about TMo the same way AT&T and Sprint customers are

    • rover

      Even better deal: buy the phone outright without a contract and get the Walmart Monthly4G prepaid $30 plan.

  • Paul23

    he’s right for the most part, but it’s also the little things…the service in store is great from the reps, but boy do they need to fix there actual customer care line and it’s automated system, wanna know the quickest way to speak to somebody? say cancel account and you’ll get through right away.

    • Derrickps3

      i agree the in store reps are better than the ones on the phone……..i opted out to not have the 7.99 insurance plan because i wanted to add it at a later time, and the people on the phone said i wouldn’t be able to add it after it being offered to me…….so i took my ass to one of my local tmo stores and ask them if i could put it back on, and they did with a smile on thier face.

      • tmotech

        Poor example. T-Mobile policy states that insurance plan can only be added on within 14 days of a new phone purchase. So whoever did it in the store for you broke the rules. With a smile on their face ;)

      • Scuba Steve

        You have 14 days to put the insurance on or it’s too late.  We also used to tell them that it was better to put it on now and change their minds in 1 week or 12 months and have ot removed.  If they did not take it and then came back 3 days later to say they now wanted the insurance or even called the store, we would advise that they need to bring the actual phone with them so we could check if there was any water or other physical damage or even that they hadn’t lost it since Asurion was very tough on seeing someone either using it and then immediately stop doing so and that occurred way before they had put insurance on.  It’s basically insurance fraud if you do this.

  • Fred

    This employee is not the very bright.  He says the value plan’s, “savings over the competition is as clear as day.”  That’s the problem, it’s NOT clear as day.  And even he describes how many reps pitch the plan incorrectly.  Yes, he may be right that the total cost over a 2 year period is less, but most people aren’t good at math, and when you tell them total cost of a 2 year period, $2,000 or $3,000 their eyes glaze over.

    Every car dealership in the country tries to sell cars on the basis of the monthly payment, not total cost.  Because that’s what the consumer understands.  That’s how AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint all sell their plans.  But not T-Mobile with value plans.

    All T-Mobile would have to do is get rid of value plans.  Drop the prices of the Classic plans so that their total 2 year costs equals the total cost of the current value plans.  Make sure the consumer can get the latest smartphones for $199 with a subsidy which is what people are used to.  Then compare monthly payment to other carriers monthly payment.  Simple. 

    If T-Mobile wants to do something for customers that bring their own device they can drop $10 off their bill until they decide they want an upgrade.  Again simple, and popular.  But T-Mobile is too dumb to figure that out.

    • Ashton

      So drop the price of the plans, drop the price of the top end phones, and give discounts to those that bring their own phones.  Are you trying to bankrupt T-mobile? T-mobile makes $33 per customer, so that $30 is mostly gone by dropping the price of the plan and eliminated by dropping the price of the phones.  Yeah, customers are used to other carriers charging $199 for top end phones but they also charge more per month.

      • Fred

        I said to lower the Classic prices to the same total cost of the Value plans now.  So it’s not a drop in revenue.

        You have to compete with the other carriers on subsidized plans not subsidized vs. non subsidized plans.  It’s too confusing to the customers. 

        Customers see that $49 commercial for unlimited/talk+text/web and then find out that’s for family lines only AND it’s an extra $20 per month for a phone payment. All of a sudden that $49 price doesn’t look so good and out the door they go.

    • rover

      Fred, you’re probably right, because you realize how stupid the typical American customers are when it comes to math. I think the German owners of T-Mo who came up with those value plans were probably thinking with German customers in mind who, even with only a high school diploma, would run rings around most American community college grads in math and science knowledge. Sad, but true unfortunately.

  • Terrific article but the fact of the matter is that those of us who’ve been with T-Mobile for 11 plus years are tired of waiting. We love the Network and customer service but we are tired of being behind the curve and I’m almost sick of waiting even tho I love them. Lately I’ve not been getting my texts more and more, I shouldnt need to restart my phone evey day just to receive my texts. Really infuriating that I miss important messages so often last few months. let alone no LTE plans as much as I love HSPA+ currently, it’s not going to last forever. Now I’m still sticking with Magenta for a while longer but if I don’t see MAJOR moves and improvements this year, I’m gone. And I seriously don’t want to do that. Get it together Magenta!! <3 you

    • Anonymous

      If you have to restart your phone to get messages, maybe you should get a better phone.

      • I have 3 top of the line phones MacRat, its the service hater troll. Maybe you should “think” before you post, just maybe. ; )

  • Fried Fish

    As a fellow front-line employee, I must say I COMPLETELY agree with this post. Excellent work. Let’s hope that it’s a great year for T-Mobile and that they can make improvements to show they truly are a major player in this game!

  • Matthew Thompson

    Great article, well written and thought out. Makes me misty for my TMO days.

  • BigMixxx

    Let the church say amand…amand (in my meet the browns voice)

    Makes a very good point about iPhone and reducing/almost eliminating churn.  Very good point. While expensive, this is where the value plan makes a way for it to be affordable for the customer and T mobile.  

    oh, and to the child whining about T mobile not having an iPhone….to quote myself on this ‘I pay this so you either you get what I give you, or you get nothing…’

    • Chad

      Shoot I know right?! Lol growing up their were no “choices” on me deciding what my parents did concerning bills lolol it was their money so I had no say.. sometimes I don’t whether to blame the kids or the parents smh

  • wsj

    Andriod does not do the same as the iphone.  Just look at the number of Apps, that are not on Android.  Andriod is just a me too, except without the App base, and until then its iPhone.  And if TMUSA does not gte it this time around, I and my 4 lines are gone to at&t.  No choice only other GSM service in my area.

    • rover

      WSJ, you touched a sensitive point with me just now as I’ve been trying to find a reasonably priced IP security cam for my house that would also come with an Android App to view the display and control from my phone. I could not find one while I’ve seen several with iPhone apps. Some IP cams only mention Android in their ads but after reading their manuals carefully, you don’t see it anywhere. They all require browsers with ActiveX control or Java if not iPhone. And one of my main reasons for getting Amaze 4G was the hope of using it for home security surveillance. What an opportunity missed for Android developers!

  • Lock316

    Here’s the reason the whyPhone will not be appearing in Magenta anytime soon- The cost to purchase the phone from Apple is prohibitive.  Some executives here in Bellevue have thrown around the $500-$600 range in meetings i’ve been in attendance in.  That’s what Crapple wants just to sell the device.  Couple that with the subsidy that the consumer expects and demands, and you have a no-win situation in terms of ARPU (average revenue per user).  In a company as sensitive to revenue fluctuations as TMO is, it will be a loss leader. Data ARPU over the life of a 2 year agreement will not make up the difference either, not when we have cap and throttling in effect.

  • Good article and I agree on all points.  The problem is that T-Mobile’s marketing team doesn’t understand how to deliver that message worth a damn.  The commercials are a waste of time and honestly not all that great. 

  • bob

    I think this article represents a large portion of frontline employees

    • Lock316

      The opinions expressed are those of the retail side of things, and are valid in most respects. however, there’s more to the problem than handsets and family plans. The cost of staying competitive is the whole reason DT threw in the towel in March, and why things aren’t that great now.  HSPA+ is a band-aid reminiscent of the old EDGE days.  TMO is at a competitive disadvantage considering how Verizon has brainwashed the masses into demanding LTE without really knowing what it is, and Apple has the sheep population collectively demanding iphones from everyone.

  • Jim Thomason

    I have 4 lines. How is a value plan supposed to help me? 

    Right now I’m paying just about $200/month exactly with an old myfaves plan. I think with a value plan, I could drop that to $150…eventually. But short term, I’d also be paying another $20 x 3 (smart phones) + $15 (feature phone) monthly for 20 months, right? So I end up paying $225 for 20 months, and then $150 after that.

    I don’t come out ahead until 2.5 years from now, assuming I haven’t gotten any new phones in the mean time. If I do, the clock resets and rates go back up.

    Am I missing something? Cuz all I see is that my phone rate would go up $25 for near 2 years. Conversely, if I switched to AT&T I shell out a fortune up front (same as I would through tmo), and then still pay….$200/month. Actually, less than that since I have a corporate discount through work.

    AFAIK, the value plan only works for single line plans. Maybe double. Not 4. Please convince me I’m wrong, I’d love to know that!

    • Family of 4 value plan is $170 per month + taxes for unlimited (up to 2gb then throttled) talk/text/data.  Not sure if you would have to buy all new devices (due to age) but you can bring any device over to the value plan anyways as you get 4 free sim cards with the value plan if you choose to do so.

      AT&T is $200 per month through your corporate discount for unlimited talk/text/data for four lines?  That is one hell of a discount considering just unlimited talk for a family of four is $220 then $25 per month per line for 2gb of data and another $30 per month for unlimited text for everyone ($350 per month total) and you pay for overages on data plus AT&T was just given the worst rating of the big four for service.

      If you do get unlimited talk/text/data for $200 per month then you have an argument but with my experience dealing with AT&T and Verizon you may not have the full picture.  I could be wrong though.

      • Anonymous

        Most people on ATT don’t need unlimited minutes because their FT text feature includes unlimited Mobile To Any Mobile.  I ran through ATT website with the 700 minute plan text and data the way he described the price would be 204.97 a month.

    • Ashton

      This is where customers keep making the mistakes. You are comparing the price of the Value plan as if you are getting all your phones for free by upgrading, which is not the case.  The most they discount a smartphone is $300 and then you have to figure in the $18 upgrade fee too.  Also, where did you find a feature phone that costs $300?(15×20 is $300).  That’s the most expensive feature phone I’ve ever heard of.  I believe they are all under $200 now.

      • sloanie

        Is “MyFaves” a T-Mobile plan? If you’re not changing carriers… there’s no immediate necessity to get all new phones for the plan, either. 

      • sloanie

        Is “MyFaves” a T-Mobile plan? If you’re not changing carriers… there’s no immediate necessity to get all new phones for the plan, either. 

    • Mk

      You could come out ahead with value, depending on how much you use your MyFaves.

      Unlimited Talk Text & Web(2GB 4G) for 2 lines is $100.00
      2 Add-A-Lines(500 minutes, unlimited nights/weekends) at $5.00 each… $10.00
      1 Unlimited web (2GB 4G)… $10.00

      Total service cost: $120.00 before taxes/fees

      Most smartphones like the Sensation, MyTouch 4G Slide, even the Galaxy S II have an EIP of $15.00/mo, just the Amaze 4G is $20.00/mo.  Feature phones like the Samsung :) and TXT are $5.00/mo.

      3 Galaxy S II at $15.00 each… $45.00
      1 Feature phone… $5.00

      Total cost of service + phones: $170.00, then additional saving after EIP Payoff.

  • Hottwingscoldbeer

    This is well considered, and I think this person is most certainly an asset in their position at T-Mobile.

    I’m personally opposed to getting the iphone, even though in Loyalty I cancel many accounts exactly as he describes, because Apple won’t sell it to us on favorite terms. There is no point in keeping an account if we don’t make money on that account. If the math changes, then sure we should sell it, but not until then.

    I posted earlier Verizon made it to 110 million customers before getting an iphone. Obviously they didn’t need it. Sprint dug themselves out of bankruptcy without it. They did it despite not having an iphone until the same time as Verizon, just months ago. So since they lived without an iphone what’s our problem?

    Senior leadership makes horrible decisions. We failed to be challengers. We launched android, was the only company that had it for an entire year, and failed to capitalize on it. Our marketing is poor (sorry Carly yeah she’s great but Verizon commercials look like movies). And our coverage simply is not acceptable. Doing a speed test with my 4G device next to a supposedly 3G iphone is… embarrassing.

    What I loved, is we were the good guys. The most ethical and highly regarded company. We tried to do the right things the right way. We weren’t evil. T-Mobiles future only lies in a true challenger strategy that fixes coverage and in which we return to our values.

    • Dominique

      I don’t know about the fixing coverage part but customer care is not returning to the values that made them #1 in JD Powers.  We continue further with caused our drop.

      • Tbyrne

        What? Don’t understand the last sentence.

  • I’ve been with T-mobile for 9 years, but we may be leaving this Fall due to lack of device choices (read iPhone, yes, my wife wants one, and we should at least have the option). I am also concerned that without an LTE infrastructure, T-mobile may not be competitive on the same level as At&T and Verizon. Over our time with T-mobile the customer service and value pricing has been able to keep us satisfied, but we have finally reached the point where signing up for 2 years of service with a company that is unable to offer us the best technology seems a bit silly. I hope that I can be persuaded to stay by next fall, but it’s doubtful. Thank you, T-mobile. We had a nice ride.

    • Ashton

      I understand the Iphone but don’t understand the LTE part.  You can get a phone with T-mobile that  can do 17mbps download speeds.  They plan on coming out with phones and service that can do double that.  I can say that you will never see the difference in browsing with a mobile phone at those speeds because the browser and website servers are the bottleneck.  Downloading files would show a difference but do you really see yourself needing more than 20mbps on a phone internet. I have 20mbps data at home and it used to be 10mbps until the cable company force higher prices by increasing data speeds.  Guess what?  It doesn’t run any faster, except when I run a speedtest.

      • It’s the future, Marty! I mean, Ashton.

      • sloanie

        My argument exactly. Unless carriers miraculously allowed data tethering with no extra fees, I really don’t see the value in LTE for smartphone usage (at least for those of us with solid HSPA+)– unless there’s something about LTE that is more efficient and will better serve larger numbers of connections. 

        I never see people with LTE talk about how much better it is than HSPA+ in terms of real world use. I only seem them posting SpeedTest results for bragging rights. (just my experience, mind you.)

    • TMOSince2003

      There are a million people using iphones on Tmo right now. She could be the next one.

      • Mark

        On EDGE data….. no thanks

        • TMOSince2003

          I agree, for some it’s a deal-breaker. But some folks just need a little web and email. The iphone is a nice piece of hw, it just wasn’t what I needed.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the problem with this person’s $79.99 TMobile Value Plan example: it’s not just about price, it’s about value and what kind of value you are getting for your money. For example, for those same $79.99 on Sprint you get a wholly subsidized phone, a plan with truly unlimited data, unlimited calling to any mobile on any network, unlimited texting, and the promise of a rapid LTE network deployment this year, on a network that has the iPhone should the customer want it. I’m not waving the “Sprint is better” flag, I’m pointing out the value for your money, not just the cost.

    At this point, Sprint uses the “truly unlimited” data schtick to differentiate itself from the pack and whether or not that’s enough of a value is up to the customer. What does TMobile have to set itself apart? Price? That’s it? In my humble opinion, even in this economy, it’s not enough. It never will be. Because it’s not just about the money you pay, it’s about what you get for that money.

    [I mention only Sprint because it’s the closest competition TMo has, because, undoubtedly, TMo has AT&T and Verizon beat on value.]

    • Sprint’s everything plan is $99 per month and the “promise of a rapid LTE deployment” is 1) something TMobile is talking about and 2) HSPA 42 is available now and works great and is fast!

      The iPhone doesn’t have LTE capabilities so that’s a wash and with the number of complaints regarding the actual speeds and connectivity of the iPhone on Sprint that should be a factor in the “value” of the device and plan being that ridiculously slow speeds and a lack of connectivity mean you are walking around with a $200-$300 paper weight.

      Other than the iPhone (which is a device preference) you aren’t getting anything “better” with Sprint but I am an Android fan so the devices offered on TMobile work well for me.

      • Anonymous

        iPhone aside, because I’m not going to debate you on speculating whether the next iPhone will be LTE capable or not, there’s a difference between “talking” about LTE and actually building a LTE network. For the record, Deustche Telekom, TMo’s parent company, has stated that they are in no hurry to get to LTE and will cross that bridge when it is time to cross it.

        Sprint’s LTE network is already being built (on top of their existing WiMax 4G) network and at east 4 markets will be lit with LTE before June of this year. That’s considerably more than “talk.”

        Furthermore, my point still stands as to whether truly unlimited data (and the speeds associated with that data) are enough of a value for the customer… it’s up to the customer to decide. I merely pointed a differentiator a regular “Joe Blo” customer might look at when trying to distinguish between similar offerings between competing companies. There’s less setting TMobile apart… that was my point, I’m sorry you missed it, but it still holds true.

        • Eddie

          Dude you should be working for TMoNews lol

        • I didn’t miss anything.  I was stating my opinion (as you stated yours)
          as to how I feel that there is a better value in selecting TMobile over
          Sprint.  If that was translated into a “my daddy can kick your daddy’s
          ass” argument then I apologize.

          4 LTE markets by June on Sprints sounds like a good start.  So does
          currently having HSPA 42 and getting anywhere from 11k-20k mbps speeds
          on my phone.  To each his own right?  It’s not the same everywhere but to me that’s pretty damn fast.

          Some people want the iPhone.  I don’t and for me the cost savings coming from Verizon to TMobile ($130 per month for two lines) was well worth it being that I would have had to get a new device with Verizon anyways to take advantage of LTE and I was saving over $3k over 24 months so the change was a good thing to me.

          You presented your side based on your experience while I did the same based on my experience.  Sounds like a conversation to me not an argument.  Again, of you read my statement as an argument then I apologize for the miscommunication.

        • Anonymous

          No need to apologize. It seemed to me like you took rather personal offense to my comment but if that wasn’t the case, then the error is entirely mine for misunderstanding you.

          I personally have no need for the iPhone and never will. I joke with my best friend, who owns an iPhone on AT&T, that the iPhone is the smart phone for not so smart people. He laughs and doesn’t take offense… he just agrees because he understands the likes of Android are a bit beyond his comprehension (I also argue that if he ever truly gave Android a shot, he wouldn’t feel that way).

          He and I were actually discussing what he would do if he had to leave AT&T at some point and he said he’d probably go to Sprint and his reason why actually surprised me. As it stands now, his sister works for AT&T and he was grandfathered into an unlimited data plan so he pays about $79 for unlimited service, the same he would with Sprint, but if he ever lost his family discount he told me he’s switch to Sprint because of Sprint’s “green” initiatives! Sprint is evidently a very eco-friendly company and that’s important to him… so you see, we each have what we consider selling points for us and they vary wildly. He also said unlimited data is a must for him and data speeds (he saw the speeds I get on 4G WiMax now, ~10mbps. I imagine 4G LTE will beat that) are important, and price, of course, but what mattered to him most was Sprint’s eco-friendly stance. Go figure!

          It’s up to the consumer to decide what is best for him and it’s up to a company’s marketing department to “help” the consumer make that choice. I still think TMobile needs something to set itself apart and help those on the fence make that decision and right now I don’t see it. Price alone is not enough because when you start looking at all these plans from all these carriers, both prepaid and postpaid, the numbers all look alike! I want to know why TMo’s $79.99 is better than Sprint’s, or Simple Mobile, or Boost Mobile, or Metro PCS. What do I get for my $80 on TMobile that I don’t get with anyone else?

          On Sprint, the answer is clear. On TMobile, the answer isn’t, and that’s what I’d like to see TMobile change.

        • sloanie

          Ah, I forgot about Wi-Max. Though it’s likely to blame for that $10 surcharge on premium smartphones or whatever. I don’t know anyone that uses Wi-Max regularly, being the battery hog that it is.

        • Anonymous

          I use WiMax regularly. It *is* a battery hog much like LTE is but when I need the speeds, I’m glad it’s there. It’s always the drawback with these new technologies that, until they get a few generations into it, power consumption is pretty harsh. I’ll admit though, it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be. 4G WiMax used to kill my EVO 4G in an instant but with my Samsung Galaxy S II, I get a few hours of constant 4G use.

        • sloanie

          I’d probably enjoy it if I’d ever bought a Wi-Max phone– I was just never interested in them. I’m used to keeping my phones near power supplies most of the time anyways. It’s nice to have HSPA+ now without having to worry about battery life considerations. 

        • No worries.  It happens.  It just comes down to what people perceive as value.  I get fast speeds, a device I love and save a good chunk of change per month with T-Mobile.  That was all I needed :-)

        • sloanie

          Sprint’s been gradually becoming more and more like the other two larger carriers over the last year or so. I was a Sprint customer for 11 years– and walked straight out the door to T-Mobile last fall. Right now, T-Mobile’s data speeds KILL Sprint. And I would bet money that, when they do get LTE deployed, their prices will go up yet again if you wish to keep unlimited– or else they’ll kill “unlimited” as you know it, and it’ll end up either like T-Mobile where it’s throttled after a certain amount of data, or it’ll go completely tiered like Verizon and AT&T. Maybe it won’t happen immediately… but if you’ve been paying attention to how Sprint has changed over the years, this rings true– I know because I’ve been there. When they do change their prices / plans, good luck getting your existing “unlimited” plan grandfathered– I bet the do what they did to me in 2009 and make you change plans if you want an LTE device. 

          In 2009, Sprint required me to change plans in order to buy one of their current smartphones, even though I already had a smartphone and data plan. My only option was a plan that was $30 more than what I was already paying for. Sure, it had twice as many minutes, but those just amounted to even more wasted minutes. 

          Then, by late 2010 (if I recall), if you activated a new smart phone, there was an additional $10 fee tacked on for “premium smartphone data” or some nonsense. (In 2011, I bought a refurb of my 2009 phone because nothing Sprint was offering appealed to me. When I swapped out my phone for the refurb, they tacked on $10! FOR THE EXACT SAME MODEL PHONE AND USAGE I’D ALREADY HAD FOR NEARLY 2 YEARS! What a joke.)

          Certainly Sprint will try to stay just a hair cheaper than AT&T and Verizon, but I’m just not seeing the value that you’re talking about. You want to talk about “in this economy”, T-Mobile wins. You can buy a cheap phone that works on their network, get a value plan (or even pre-paid), and save hundreds of dollars over the course of a normal contract. Or you can have them subsidize a phone at a separate payment– none of this “you have to renew your rate plan” to get a new phone garbage (or worse– you have to sign up for a newer, more expensive plan to activate a new smartphone. Thanks a lot, Sprint.)

          Maybe I’m in a minority, but here’s something *I* value that no one but T-Mobile provides right now: freedom. The way they’ve separated their rate plans (value plans, anyways) from phone subsidies is brilliant. If I walked back over to Sprint, do you think I could get 2 lines for $100 and just use Sprint phones I already own? Hell no. Is Sprint going to lower my monthly payment by $15-$20 after 20 months when I don’t change phones? Hell no. That part of my payment that may have originally subsidized my phone is now just pure gravy for them, though obviously they want to get me on the hook for 2 more years. 11 years and I was out the door, even though the iPhone was just around the corner for Sprint. It wasn’t enough to keep me around with the bad taste in my mouth. 

          And I just want to comment on LTE itself for a moment. I am just not convinced that it’s a big deal. It is for Sprint and Verizon, who’s 3G networks are pretty damn slow. But for AT&T and T-Mobile, they already have pretty fast data networks, and I’m just not convinced that anyone but a minority group of geeks really care if they have LTE speeds– not when they’re already getting 6-7mbit connections on their HSPA+ devices, which is more than enough to do anything *I* can imagine doing on a smartphone. All it means is you can burn through that data limit faster. (I seriously doubt Sprint will have unlimited LTE service without at least charging another premium fee, which I’m sure some people won’t mind.)  

          Now, mobile broadband for a laptop? Different story, I’m sure LTE makes more of a difference for professionals who are constantly on the go. 

      • Nothappy

        1) talking is not a promise and 2) HSPA 42 is not available for many customers – I recently moved and I now only get edge at work.

    • Briana1987 Be

      Only thing that sucks a lot of people don’t think about value for there money… You can put out a free phone it will be awful but people will buy it because of it being free but come back complaining because of it not being up to their expectations. You can tell them about a phone they will have to come out of pocket for an they won’t go for it even if it’s a better phone with the expectation of an upgrade about 2 years later. It makes no sense to me why people only look at dollar amounts without understanding what they are really signing up for.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t consider Tmo selling the very first Android phone behind the curve.  Tmo has some wonderful Android phones that are as current as anyone else.  LTE??  Only Verizon has that technology built out where they can even advertise it.  At&t has about 6 cities right now and although they’re building theirs, it’ll take them a while- lets not forget the new spectrum that Tmo gets from them too.  And Sprint? They don’t have LTE either.  So that’s not a factor of “being behind the curve”  What you’re really saying is that you want to be “trendy” and can’t with Tmo.  What you are really saying is you want to be like everyone else and with Tmo, you have to be just original.  Oh poor you.  Should you have to restart your phone every day to receive your txt messages? No, I agree.  But that’s most likely due to the phone YOU chose, not Tmo.  And don’t let the iFad fool you.  Those phones have their problems too.  It’s just the iFans overlook every single issue just to be trendy and “in the curve” like you’re wanting to be.  So if you want to be an iPerson, bite the bullet and just be an iPerson.  Pay the extra $1000 over two years to be like all your friends and be in the curve.  Don’t forget all those black turtlenecks you’ll need to buy too(just to stay trendy). But if you do, know that you’ll be like nearly EVERY other iPerson making excuses and justifying why you made that choice.  If there’s something that the iPhone can give you that an Android phone can’t- that’s the only justification you need.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s my question Tmobile:  What’s the value in the Individual Value Talk+Text+data plans when your own prepaid montly plans match or beat them at every tier after taxes and fees and have NO CONTRACTUAL obligations?

    • Ashton

      Being able to break up the price of the phone over the course of 21 payments.  Other than that and getting the customer service from the U.S., nothing.

      • TMOSince2003

        And, free:

        Nights and weekends, mobile to mobile, 500 call forwarding conditional minutes.

        <3 postpaid

        • TMOSince2003

          Not sure if prepaid can do wifi calling, I think not.

      • Ryan

        Pre-paid plans are locked to T-Mobile and aren’t allowed to roam.  That’s one way they can lower the price for you.  I end up in many areas where I roam on AT&T.  With a prepaid plan, i’d be SOL.

  • the marketing on tmobile isnt the problem its the lack of training in retail stores and the lack of phone makers giving tmobile a real fighting chance, tmobile can do alot for those phone makers as long as the chance is givin

    • How do you get said customers into the retail stores?  Marketing……that’s how and that isn’t just limited to television but in store as well.  I agree that the employees need to understand how to sell the plans but with the number of people who order online the marketing aspect needs to be cleaned up quick.

      • Im not going to disagree with the concern for our marketing all i can say is that tmobile is doing the best it can with support it has, with the support that we have to survive on is not enough for our customers to believe in us, i think att’s marketing sucks but they have the support that we need…. tmobile does one thing better than anyone and that is reaching out to every customer instead a group or type of customer regardless of what phone they have

    • Robert Williams

      I have to say I agree – as a “business customer” (for all that means), I have on more than one occasion walked into a retail store and gotten a completely wrong answer on something 
      that is fairly intuitive and certainly easy to look up.

      Don’t get me started on the kiosks.

      • I am a retail store manager at a kiosk in dallas and i am not going to lie employees including mine have to be trained more than once over the same product, its ridiculous and tmobile needs to step up their game because i love this company but losing customers over easy fixes and is not what i think we need to be known for

  • Chad

    Looking at my account I can say this guest author hit it right on the head. I currently have a value family plan with 5 lines. 3/5 lines on my account are unlocked the iPhone lacking problem is definitely relevant in my case. I have a unlocked Galaxy Nexus, so the phone OEM problem by not bringing their “iconic” android devices to Magenta is relevant in my situation too. The last phone is an actual T-Mo phone which my younger brother has, which is the G2. I hope for a huge 2012 turn around year for T-Mobile I’ve had T-Mobile since 8th grade on my parents account now I’m 24yrs old working in my field and have my own T-Mobile account so the loyalty is definitely their but things need to change NOW if I continue seeing the same ole shhhh different day then I’m going to be inclined to take my talents to South Bea…I mean my money another carrier. C’mon T-Mobile I’m rooting for you do it for the loyal customers!!!

  • Anonymous

    good points all around. I’d add, making sure there is extended support for OS updates for Android phones. Especially the premium phones. It’s an abomination getting a $500 phone and in 3 months finding out there won’t be updates to its OS

  • Anonymous

    Push Windows Phone and get a highend Windows Phone device.

    • Robert Williams

      Yes, if they ever make one that can compete with even the G-1, they will have a winner!

      • Anonymous

        The G1? Really? smdh

        Troll harder.

        • Androidess

          WinMo? You troll on-cuz a phone looks pretty doesn’t make the outdated OS work any better!

  • Anonymous

    To hell with iphone, WHERE IS THE 32GB HSPA+42 GALAXY NEXUS?

    Want iphone, buy unlocked & get a Tmobile Sim.

    Turn on 1900 hspa+ everywhere.

  • lrnano

    I agree T-Mobile has the cheapest plans for your buck. By having the IPhone it can be beneficial I’m many ways. People would think before going with another carrier cause of the price plans.

  • Anonymous

    I would have liked to see Google/Samsung bring the Nexus directly to Tmobile with chipset that could take advantage of all the radio bands on the network BUT NO they went to Verizon.  I feel its a little slap in the face that the only carrier that would take a chance on the first Android PHONE cant even get an exclusive anymore from Google.  They could have given T-mobile a 60 day exclusive something

  • Wakingup22

    Very well written article! Thanks for your time and thoughts. Fantastic read. :)

  • Smooth Criminal

    My two cents
    Get rid of the equipment fee, bring the iPhone as an additional option for those that want it.
    Oh and this would really reduce CHURN. Bring back the one year contract, Technology for phones are every 6-12 months. This would help T-Mobile tremendously, not just what the frontline  guy listed besides the iphone.
    Verizon can charge what they charge because of their outstanding coverage. There’s a premium for those customers that don’t live at or near the metropolitan areas.

  • Roger

    The problem with the value plan is that you are at the mercy of Tmobile phone pricing.  Since Tmobile has no coverage at my desk or office in Silicon Valley I have to use wifi calling so I can only get phones from Tmobile.  But those phones are always ~$500 or more at full cost.  If you get a subsidized phone based plan then there are frequent sales often pushing the phone cost to $0.  The total cost over two years is then cheaper.

    Because of Tmobile’s AWS frequencies you can’t get phones from elsewhere so there is essentially no price competition for the phones.

  • Derrickps3

    they need to get rid of the EIP plan, or make upgrades available when your damn contract expires…..also they need to promote more windows mobile devices as stated by someone else, they also need to raise the data cap back to 5gb as it was on the even more plus plans :(

    • LC

      Without EIP customers would have to pay full price for phones in the store. And upgrades don’t make any sense on this plan because the whole point is you’re taking the discount on the service rather than the device.

      I agree with the Windows comment, and as a sales rep for T-Mobile I’m happy to see them finally carrying more than one Windows Mobile device and I hope the trend continues.

      In regard to the 5gb data, you can still have it if you want it. They just bundled the 2gb data as an introductory bundle if you will. You always still have the option.

      • JBLmobileG1

        Is there anyway I could jump onto the newer plans but continue to have my $24.99 a month data plan? It includes text but if I pick up the unlimited talk and text I’d be set.

    • Justamazing87

      Their is 5gb web and a 10gb web package as well.

  • Anonymous

    When i present the value plan, i just tell them the upfront costs and the per month costs. after 20 months your payments will go down by x amount. they are happy.

  • Stephen Taylor

    Wow, this whole value plan thing is a bit confusing.  I bought two (2) HTC Amaze 4G phones for $199 each from Amazon Wireless.  I don’t pay any monthly subsidy for the phones and am only paying for my service from T-Mobile but am, of course (and sadly), on a two-year contract for both of them.

    Why does anyone buy direct from T-Mobile when they could go through someone like Amazon Wireless?  Or was I just lucky to buy at the end of October and activate a few days into November and that type of plan is no longer available?

    • Aerofanbig

      Because some people don’t want to be locked into not one, but TWO contracts, with TWO different and expensive ETF fee’s. You cancel early, you owe Tmo and Amazon, and the total probably comes up to around 500$. 

  • Anonymous

    Nope, I don’t see any value in these Value Plans. I do, however, see value in remaining off-contract and utilizing their Monthly4G plans!!! I don’t foresee myself ever being tied down to another contract unless it was explicitly to leave T-Mobile. The end.

  • Anonymous

    As a former manager for T-Mobile i agree on the value plans statement in this post. In my opinion the problem is that the savings is not apparent without a detailed explanation. From what i have seen on phone calls (I didn’t work in a store so I can’t say how different it is) is that the customer is very excited to hear about the plans because nine times out of ten its better than what they have. But once they hear the phone prices it creates a negative impact.

    Consumers can be very impulsive and if they hear the full cost of the phone vs another company offering a phone for much cheaper or even free through amazon or best buy, they won’t want to stick around long enough to hear about the overall savings they will get. This was especially true toward the end of my time there when they would run sales geared toward the value plans. Customer would go in looking for 100.00 off the up front cost of the phone but were turned off once they heard the overall cost.

    • Scorpiok

      Exactly! Customers on blogs & forums keep ssying this. You need a sale thats easily understood with immediate gratification. You named it..offer the new phone at half price, double data, do $10 off per month…let customer feel theyre getting a sale every month & encourage loyalty from customers who then dont want to give up their special rate.

  • The 2 reasons why I plan on leaving T-Mobile.
    1. I got stung by that Pay-Per-Usage debacle. I’ve never had such a terrible customer experience. The attitude on the phone was “eff you, pay us”  It’s not like they really did anthing to apologize either.
    2. Lack of options on phones. I’ve been an Android user since the original MyTouch 3G and I’m done. I’m done with the buggy software that the carriers aren’t equipped to and manufacturers and Google don’t want to support. So what does that leave me with, no iPhone and 2 non-high end Windows phones.
    Maybe if things change with phone options I might stay but that PPU thing REALLY pissed me off. 

    • Anonymous

      Best comment ever. I agree 100%

    • Scorpiok

      Agree..if u have handset problems youre on your own. manufacturer blames google and vice versa. every tmo rep u spk to tells u a diff story. a tforce rep finally admitted “known issues” with phone & redponse was exactly what you said…TOUGH LUCK.YOURE STUCK WITH DEFECTIVE HANDSET. WE WONT REPLACE..HA HA..

      • AM Gone

        Same story I got with a defective Sensation.  Tks TM!

      • Anonymous

        that is so not true. if you have handset problems, bring it in to the store and we will do our best to help you out. worst case scenario, you will get a warranty exchange.

      • Anonymous

        Are you kidding?  Relative to the industry T-Mobile has some of the best equipment protection options out there.  Getting monthly insurance gives your device essentially a lifetime warranty and you’ll ALWAYS get free replacements from T-Mobile and they pay for next day shipping. (I think they charged me like $5, but still great!)  Plus if it’s lost, stolen, or physically damaged the highest a deductible goes on their most high end devices is $130… a LOT better than the $500 full retail price.

        Can you do that with an iPhone?  I think not.

      • Anonymous

        Are you kidding?  Relative to the industry T-Mobile has some of the best equipment protection options out there.  Getting monthly insurance gives your device essentially a lifetime warranty and you’ll ALWAYS get free replacements from T-Mobile and they pay for next day shipping. (I think they charged me like $5, but still great!)  Plus if it’s lost, stolen, or physically damaged the highest a deductible goes on their most high end devices is $130… a LOT better than the $500 full retail price.

        Can you do that with an iPhone?  I think not.

    • Anonymous

      See, I have no sympathy for people with the pay per use issue.  You get, I believe, two text messages warning you and even so, it’s data you’ve USED.  With entry level data plans priced so affordably now there’s no reason not to get one WHILE using a smartphone.  Every other national provider charges you for usage if you use a smartphone without a data plan.  The whole issue with the pay per use debacle is that they never used to charge you before so it frustrates users when these things pop up.  When you leave and switch to another provider they won’t LET you get a smartphone without a data plan.  So in a sense, you are leaving T-Mobile to punish them for giving you more flexibility.

  • Disqus1010

    Gosh, I love to rip Carly’s tight/pants off with my teeth.

  • Ejsorto

    I agree…training store sales reps more thoroughly would also help…I’ve walked into countless tmo stores and new more about the phones then they did…heck I even knew more about what was going on with T-Mobile in general then them…on multiple occasions they even asked how I knew so much…I replied tmonews LOL…I remember when the nexus one came…most sales reps barely even knew what it was…and they would always ask me to let them see it…IV even had some reps ask me if I could root their phones…not that reps should be able to do that but I would expect them to know at least a bit about what they’re selling…selling points…just sayin

    • Scorpiok

      U think store reps r ignorant of tmo phones, rates, and policies? Try dealing with theoutsourced idiots on prepaid. They have no clue at all

    • Justamazing87

      You aren’t the average customer. I like customers like you. But 98% of the time they no nothing about phones… So reps usually know minimal things about the phones specs

  • the real thing

    1. Come out with “one” great plan, stop with bait and switch commercials. people are confused enough
    2 Make third party services an opt in only…give full credit when refund is needed
    3. same with data, opt in with a text back to confirm
    4. rein in the up sell and removals requirements, that kills the customer exprience.
    5. give the customer service the ability to change plans or add ons (save money )without having a negative effect on the rep
    6. let reps speak like humans get rid of canned empathy etc…. get real
    7. get rid of the speed racer experience when calling in
    8 .get rid of the ivr or make it work.

    Some of these things made t-mobile a boat load of money but is this really how you want to make your money for the long term.

  • John

    t-mobile needs to stop with the whole value classic plan and just keep a single plan stop confusing people.  T-mobile needs the iphone yes they have better phones that beat the iphone but they still need the iphone.  Last t-mobile needs to step up their marketing by advertising their new phones.  The marketing should be focused on t-mobile phones not on what carly is going to be wearing.  Verizon does a nice job with this every customer knows about droids because of the marketing.

  • eClipse

    Some day CEO’s will realize that their employees “get the Internet, too”, meaning the kinds of back room deals that used to stay quiet until the “day-of” are now usually public within hours of even thinking about something, especially now in the days of 140-character newsmedia.

    This reminds me of the USR-3Com “merger” back in the ’90’s.

    When first announced, the head of 3C’s Global IT came in and told us how there would be “no lay-offs, and that anyone who would leave the new company would be foolish”.

    We left that meeting pumped up about the possibilities – until a few weeks later when the layoffs were announced and the rehtoric started to change from “merger” to “acquisition”.  Time has shown what a great idea this was.

    Woz’s recent description of iPhone users was spot-on, and the example above about how sheepishly some families are bowing to the whim of the kids just so they can have something shiny and less-capable then a less expensive Andy counterpart simply supports his position.

    Simply put, as a long-time customer, I view the lack of iOS devices at T-Mobile as a >PLUS<, and would prefer it stays off long-term.

    Apple can "gun" for market dominance – they will never get it.  Never.  Not in a world with a legit 
    option like Android.  They will always be a niche player, just they always have been, because their
    products are too closed, too expensive, and too focused on form over function.

    One thing I don't "get" is these "value plans" where you wind up paying for your phone over the 
    course of the contract.  I'll take the subsidy, thank you.  

  • tmoguy1

    As a Front line employee, Yes we need Iphone. Before Verizon andSpring got the phone, MANY customers whichj Love Iphone but HATE AT&T came running to us. But when VZ and Sprint got the phone we lost MANY potential customers. In NYC the Number 1 phone is Iphone. ANd T-mobile can Not afford not to have it (period).

    As for OEM’s don’t yell at the manufacturers. T-mobile chooses what phones to buy. If Tmo wanted a flagship Droid Razor, we’d have one. That is Tmobile’s choice of line up based upon what the comapny can afford.

    • Mark

      Tmo can’t have the “Droid Razr”; Verizon is the licensee of the Droid trademark from Lucasfilms, not Motorola.  If Moto were to bring the Razr out without the “Droid” name, Tmo could have it then.

    • Justamazing87

      I live in Pittsburgh. I work at what would be considered a university store. All we get our international customers. And all they want is an iPhone. Not having the iphone is like not have android or BlackBerry. It’s necessary to have all the major o.s

  • Evan Tate

    Value plan is waste of time. Tmo needs one single plan thats plain and simple.

    • Heisenberg

      That’s called a Classic plan, they have those too.  It’s the same type plan that every other carrier has.  If the Value plan confuses you, then just stick with a Classic plan.  

    • Justamazing87

      Value is simple. You pay full price for your phone over the course of the contract. Most Value plans are less expensive then classic plans by 20 dollars.

      • Lets say you get a nice phone. You still have to pay 15.78 per month on top of the plan so its not that less expensive. If you bring you’re own phone, you will save that 20 per month but you might as well get on Monthly 4G if that’s the case.

        • ChrisRS

          Hwere the value plan saves you money is if you keep eth smae phone for more that 2 years

  • Frigadroid

    If they do get the iphone they must get Tim Tebow as their new celebrity spokesman. It makes perfect sense Tebow & Tmobile a match made in heaven.
    He could be doing his tebowing and Carly could walk in and say you’re prayers have been answered with the new iphone 4g. Then the ever humble most trusted man in sports could say something about God’s love for t mobile. People would camp out to get any phone blessed by Tebow.

    • jay_max

      Would that be T-Bow for T-Mobile?

    • Swoope

      i live in orlando.  just testing tmobile with there 30 buck 100 min unl text and 5 gig 4g data..

      i have a sprint sero plan…

      tmobile..  data   ~7mb down and 4up..   in my rural area..   

      sprint good day 1002 kbs   bad day 128kbs.

      right now i am tethering with tmobile faster than my cable 10mb down 1mb up cable connection.

  • Heisenberg

    My concern is that if T-Mobile does get the iPhone, they will also raise the data package price for the iPhone specifically.  Or perhaps only allow 2G speeds unless you add an additional 4G iPhone package.  The fact is if (when) T-Mobile gets the iPhone, it will be their most expensive phone by far.  They will still prefer customers to use Android or Windows because they profit more on the MRC of the plan.  I’m not sure T-Mobile will be able to afford to get the iPhone and keep their plans as is for it.

    • Justamazing87

      You don’t know what you’re talking about at all. If the data package price was higher then I and all other t-Mobile employees would try to sell it. The more expensive a rate plan is the better it is for an employee… . it doesn’t matter what phone u get. Idiot

      • Heisenberg

        I don’t you think you know what you’re talking about.  Ask anyone works at AT&T or Verizon how much commission they make on the iPhone in comparison to an Android device.  My roommate works for AT&T corporate and makes about double on an Android or Windows phone.  Also, I work for T-Mobile too, and I promise you, if we carry the iPhone, our commission structure will change for it.

    • Anonymous

      I would always imagine that so T-Mobile doesn’t have the problems Sprint is having by having cheap plans AND paying a HUGE subsidy for the iPhone, T-Mobile would only sell the iPhone on strictly Value Plans for new customers.  Since the highest a phone subsidy or installment plan on T-Mobile is $300.  The iPhone would have $500 financed on the bill interest free instead of $500 subsidized.  So they could open up EIP $25 and STILL be cheaper than all the other carriers.  Value unlimited talk text and 2GB web with $25 EIP would come to only: $85.  and it only goes down from there if you don’t need unlimited voice minutes. (as most ppl on att or verizon don’t have that.)

      That way T-Mobile can keep their cheaper plans for customers and make MORE money per user on the iPhone than Verizon, at&t, and Sprint does.  It would be great though if T-Mobile extended the industry standard iPhone $500 subsidy to it’s most loyal customers only on classic plans for new activations and upgrades… but this is fantasy land ppl!  Who knows what’s going to happen?

  • CO_yeti

    Value Plans are just a way to T-Mobile to get the loses of subsidized phones off the books… Customers are smart enough to see that.   Also the Value plans only really hold up their “value” when compared to unlimited plans, most people do not need unlimited minutes. Finally, where did the corporate discounts go with Tmo. If you work for even an average sized company you can save 15-20% on At&t or Verizon, that makes up a lot of the cost savings Tmo has over other carriers. 

    • Tmobie

      Even with a 20% discount on AT&T or Verizon, in most cases you will still pay more per month then on T-Mobile with no discounts.

    • guest

      Tmo offers government and corporate discounts…

  • more churn 2cum

    Sorry but cust serv has really deteriorated & you cant just ignore that. I have a long list of incorrect & even unprofessional things Ive been told. Prepaid outsourced is joke. Forums show ECR telling customers to leave; reps lying & not following thru; handset issues that Tmo refuses to resolve; and I had a rep last week tell me he was hanging up cuz he had been online for 4 minutes. Value plans also are too confusing to employees and customer. Do a promotion like Vrz where u double data or knock $10 a month (thats what first got me to join). And you cant pick and choose what plans you want to compare. For $80 (or 70 on Sero plan), sprint gives gou 450(or 500) daytime minutes to landlines, free mobile to ANY mobile, free nights after 7p (not9), free weekends, unlimited text & unlimited data..thats cheaper and pretty good.

    • Tbyrne

      Tell Ivan & Dan the scheme didn’t work. Sending you in here to drum up some business for them was a long shot don’t you think?

    • Anonymous

      Wow!! Sprint is giving me the best coverage of the SLOWEST wireless internet available in America for only $80/mo?  What a great deal!!!  /Sarcasm.

  • Someone

    Most of that article was spot on. Minus the push for Value Plans. The classic plan at a third party retailer, with a lower minute plan, and the much lower price of the phone third parties offer, would make for a lower price over the 24 months. (Phones T-Mobile sells for $200 are often $20-80 at national retailers like Best Buy, Target, or Walmart.) And speaking of walmart, if they wanted a really great value plan, Walmart offers a plan that is $45 for unlimited service, and works with any T-Mobile phone without getting it unlocked – with $35 AALs. Value plans simply are not right for everyone like T-Mobile corporate thinks. There are definitely some people they are right for, but by god i wish they would stop putting them on such a pedestal.
    (P.S. – I’m a tmo RPS rep)

    • Rigonzalez4

      Lol it’s obvious!!

    • guest

      2GB value plan with 500minutes 49.99 for 24 months + galaxy s2 ($529.99) = $1729.25. 2GB classic plan with 500minutes 69.99 for 24moths = $1679.76. Difference in price between the two plans $50.00. When you find a GS2 brand new for $50.00 let me know. Family plan for 2 ppl…. 1k minutes 2gb web unlim sms value plan $79.99 x 24mo + 529.99×2 for phones = $2979.74. Classic rateplan same service $119.99 x 24mo = $2879.76.. Yeah.. feel free to set yourself up on classic

  • cogareli1

    Main problem why customer service is not what is used to be is because is now customer service&sales, you have to meet a certain quota if you want to keep your job for sales and for contract renewals as well in some cases, before this was not the case, it was courtesy concern and knowledge, bet if you call in to remove a feature(web) you will get pushback from the agent, or just telling you is being remove without actually doing it or making a sales offer or just slamming your account, selling is the main part as of today. reconnection fees, billing due date change and sivr are just another reasons.

  • Anonymous

    Nope, I don’t see any value in these Value Plans. I do, however, see value in remaining off-contract and utilizing their Monthly4G plans!!! I don’t foresee myself ever being tied down to another contract unless it was explicitly to leave T-Mobile. The end.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome write up!!!!

  • Caseybea

    Tmobile could add to their attractiveness as a carrier if they didn’t muck with the phones before selling them.   Also, CHARGING for a phone-as-hotspot just pisses me off.  

    I don’t see why so many people knock the value plans, or are confused by them.  I jumped at the chance to switch.  Didn’t buy a phone.   I don’t need one now.    The phone-to-population ratio has hit critical mass.  You can find unlocked phones anywhere online for pretty decent prices so long as you don’t buy the newest/latest phone the day it comes out.    My overall costs are a LOT less now, and I get more everything, for all my family lines.    No other cell carrier comes CLOSE.

  • Chris

    I left tmobile a long time ago but part of me still roots for the underdog and would return to tmobile if their coverage in my home/work/611 customer service/tech support/devices didn’t, frankly…. Suck.

    I really hate to say that because there are a lot of happy customers without those issues but for me, it has been a mess that culmination in a suit in small claims court to rectify the issues. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been lied to or told wrong information from customer support. On hold for hours and i’m not even exaggerating! I envied other carriers for their true top of the line devices that tmobile would only dream about. I was aghast at how they would lie to customers regarding phne problems exceedingly well documented and simply replace the device serial with the same device you had problems with! Vibrant, looking in your direction.

    Greatest thing I ever did? Leave tmobile! I use an unlocked at& t phone on an mvno and i couldn’t be happier.

    I want to come back, but i need a damn good reason first. Also, I am not an iphone person but the money made from the would help them get their proverbial shiz together. Why did the author of this article blame manufacturers when tmobile decides what devices they get? I know all carriers put bloatware on android phones but tmobile could set itself apart by releasing a few without any needless ui stuff. Just sayin’

    • Tbyrne

      If leaving T-Mobile was the “Greatest thing you ever did”, why would you want to come back? I’m aghast at the mere thought!

    • guest

      Why in the world would you call customer care that much? Can’t read a bill or use the internet?

  • Anonymous

    Very well written article, and the author was very articulate in getting their point across.  I agree with everything that was said, but we need to add COVERAGE.  I live in a large city in N.Ca that has HSPA+ 21.  Coverage is awesome, but when I travel outside of the city, my coverage is spotty.  I get important business calls on my cell phone that I cannot afford to miss.  Missing calls could result in lost commissions, which completely negates the purpose of having a lower bill.  I’m willing to pay more monthly for better coverage.  Hopefully they will work this issue out.  Been with Tmobile for 10 years, and I dont want to leave, but I may have to :-(

  • Rwalford79

    The main reason people like me left T-Mobile isn’t the devices or plans, its the customer service that now sucks, and locking people into longer contracts when they change plans. T-Mobile is the only carrier that resets contracts to 2 years if you change rate plans now. If you want to discuss value, Lets discuss why T-Mobile needs to deceive customers this way..

    • TOP-RSA

      Its not deception if your told about it genius. Why do you care about Tmonews anyway if you already left? 

  • Lubbalots

    Value plans has not kept or brought in customers.  How the iPhone help?  Every other carrier have it already!  No one gonna skip their carrier and run tmo for iPhone!  Even if tmo get iPhone, there still poor reception and no lte, poor WP and Android product line to deal with!  Get a grip with the iPhone!  It not gonna help!  It hasn’t put sprint in 1rst or 2nd place. 

    • guest

      well over 50% of new plans are activated on the value plan, its a lot more common than you would think

  • Lubbalots

    Put Nokia Lumia 900 with 12mp camera and HTC Titan 2, Galaxy Nexus on Tmo and they’ll be a 5-10% by end of year.  Get iPhone and remain stagnant or loss.  Why?  Every other carrier has iPhone and Apple wants lots of money!

  • tommytmo

    Isn’t sprint under contract with apple to sell a boatload of iphones?  A number which may not be feasible and ultimately cutting into any gains made by getting the iphone in the first place. Any deal like that could really hurt Tmo.

  • Rmark1880

    What about coverage?

  • cccc

    yea but you have to focus on 5g plans, people are churning on 2g plans because that is not enough…..then do the comparison…..its not about who cost more its about how good is your data speeds on a good phone….

  • I won’t argue that the Value plans aren’t great value – compared to other carriers, yes the prices and value (heh) of them are great.  However, why on Earth should I have to sign a 2-Year contract when I’m not getting a phone.  It’s just insane to me.  I was on Even More Plus 500 at $59.99.  I (and I kick myself every day) gave it up to move to a Classic plan and get a Radar 4G.  It’s a great phone, but in hindsight I wish I’d just bought the phone unsubsidised and kept my EM+.  Even now, if I were to terminate my contract and move to the closest Value plan to what I had on EM+ that would be $64.99 – $5 MORE than I paid on EM+ and be STILL in a contract.  It makes NO sense!!!  That’s not even to mention how utterly complicated the plans are.  T-Mobile needs to do some serious streamlining of their plans, and rethink this ridiculous 2-year contract without a subsidy nonsense.

    • Anonymous

      The Plan is subsidized instead of the Phone.  That’s why there’s a contract on Value.

    • guest

      lol… because there are NO other service providers who want a contract without supplying subsidized equipment, for the life of me i can’t think of any others

  • Anonymous

    All of you people who think these plans are so great really need to look through the window…again and again… Heck, once more. T-Mobile is only marginally less expensive than other providers. These Value Plans are a silly gimmick and paying for a phone over 20 months is just a bad idea. Contracts really need to cease existence. I’d rather buy a phone off-contract and unlocked to take it freely where I please. Never again!

    • TOP-RSA

      And for the folks who cant shell out $600 for a new device? Then I guess they don’t get one..But that’s fine with you right? ‘Cause you got yours. Well I hope you plan on keeping it for a while because when market for high end phones dies, and it will die because MILLIONS of people can’t and certainly will not spend $600 on a new cell phone, Then the manufacturers would all but cease development on new cutting edge devices because that’s the way it works (Supply the Demand) So there you and a small group of assholes are, holding the last of the smartphones, years later, all because you you didn’t want to sign a contract..Like you probably already did with your job, home, car, bank, credit cards, and maybe school loans and wife! Not to mention the tens of thousands of people you would put out of jobs as well. Or YOU SPECIFICALLY can buy your phone out right, unlocked, to use on a pre-paid service. And just to clarify peeping Tom…. marginally less is still less! Millions of Americans are out of work and any savings is appreciated!

      • Anonymous

        But I save more money monthly then them so your point is…?

        • Carolinacaptains

          Not seeing yours, screwball…

  • Jb8von

    GREAT article!  A+

  • I for one simply really agree we need better devices. I get tired of us introducing stuff & other carriers take our buzz right from under us. We were the 1st to introduce Android, then Verizon came from under us & capitalized on it & branded it as “Droid.” I’m not sure if we were the 1st to introduce WP7, but we were one of the 1st to introduce it & support it, & now AT&T is getting all the exclusive High end WP7 devices. So besides the value, when you look at other carriers, what do we really have that they don’t. They can almost match what we have in certain aspects. So that leaves the question, why stay with T-Mobile. The plans are cheaper compared to other carriers, but at the same token realistically at least for me they aren’t all that cheap. I know taxes aren’t T-Mobile fault, but i kinda wish they were included in the plans themselves. It kills me to look @ $10 in taxes on the bill every month. Then that installment plan is another kill, then $8 for insurance, the stuff adds up. So it ends up being like a constant reminder of a death penalty every month. I’ll have a new job by the end of the month, & even thou I’m on a family plan $133+ /month for a moderate smartphone user & another person that barely knows how to work the internet on their phone isn’t really where I want my money to be goign.

  • I also think somebody brought up a point on another blog. Some kind of initiative for offers to keep loyal customers. They were saying how new customers were being offered cheaper phones & plans, & most cases of loyal customers for years weren’t receiving the same options, I think that should be something too. I believe us loyal customers should be offered a free phone or at least subsidized phone every so often just to say, “Thanks for being a loyal customer for all these years, stay with us.” Now some may not agree, but I’m not asking you too, I just think it should be considered. Especially when a point was being brought that something like for every new subscriber 1 or 2 loyal customers were leaving. I also think their should be a lesser amount to upgrade like a upgrade every year (I wanna say 6 months, but that might be pushing it). But, there used to be 1 year contracts now they’ve done away with those for 2 year contracts, but referring to upgrades I think their should be a subsidized option for a new phone every year (At least for loyal customers), something. I just feel like I get nothing for being a loyal customer & it’s been 8+ years with over 14+ devices on my line in which most I paid out of pocket full retail price. Most offers I didn’t even know like the “Android preferred plan” I had to learn about that from Howardforums. The only offer I received was that loyalty plan about a year or 2 ago, & that was it. Didn’t know there used to be a discount for AAA, T-Mobile never told us that (the people on my account). These are just my opinions. I think they should offer the iPhone even thou I see what it did to Sprint’s network & profits, but just to have “options.” & as much as I love Android, I do think their should be a push for other devices, I’m really love WP7, but their needs to be a High-end one on T-Mobile. PLUS, T-Mobile needs ADVERTISING for their PRODUCTS so people can know their out & for the average joe to have the devices as a household name so they can wanna go to the store or online to purchase them instead of it being just word of mouth, or having only us tech inclined/geeks be the ones to get the devices like we do, we’re only a small percent. It’s sad when the manufacturers have to do all the advertising or the devices on OUR network.

    • Fakeemail

      I’m sick of hearing about “loyal” customers don’t get free stuff. Other than your phone company, who else do you pull that mess on? Do you tell your cable company you want free programming since you have been their customer for 8 years. And if you do, shame on you. Businesses are in business to make a profit, this is not UNICEF. So quit asking for handouts just because you stuck around for some amount of time.

      • It’s my opinion, if you don’t like it don’t read it. & it’s even fact stated in this article: ”

      • 21stNow

        I also think that the term “loyal customer” is misused to an extent.  I think that the more accurate term in most of these situations is “long-term customer”.

        Loyalty is an attitude more than it is an action.  Some people stay with a company due to apathy, inertia or family plans more than anything else.  I have been an AT&T customer for about 8 years and a T-Mobile customer for about 1.5 years.  However, I would consider myself to be more loyal to T-Mobile than to AT&T, because I actually liked what T-Mobile was doing as a cellular service provider when I first signed up.  I also have stayed with T-Mobile without the prison sentence of a contract.  Most of my time with AT&T has been under contract.  That’s not loyalty; that’s upholding a binding agreement that has negative financial consequences for me if I renege.

        All in all, I do agree that this is a business, not a charity.  I wish that people didn’t expect cellular service providers to give away free phones.  I wish that all phone subsidies were done away with.  Computer subsidies from ISPs didn’t last long; I thought that phone subsidies would die soon after, but I was wrong.

      • Vim

        T-Mobile has a real issue with churn, ie. existing customers who leave.  It’s churn rate is currently the highest among all four national carriers. T-Mobile really does need to find a way to address this. Offering existing customers access to the same sales new customers have is one way to address this.  I should point out that cable companies -do- allow existing customers to take advantage of the same sales that are available to new customers even though they don’t advertise it. 

  • Crybabies

    Here is what T-Mobile should do.  1.  Improve network.  2. Tighten Credit requirements.  3.  Get iPhone.

    1.  Obvious reasons to improve network, to retain customers and improve customer satisfaction.  2.  Tired of hearing these whiners on forums and blogs complain about spending almost half of what the other national carriers are charging and still feeling unappreciated.  3.  iPhone will reduce churn and drive traffic to stores.  With tightened credit requirements, wont have to worry about the ghetto/white trash complaining about how they might have to spend a nickel.  

    • HeadUpYourA$$

      People’s bad credit is the reason they complain about paying more? What planet are you from? “I pay more because I can”. People like you are the reason car makers build the same car but put different badges on it. Fools think simply spending more money gets them something special. 
      I don’t want to pay more because it means more money out of my pocket not because I’m “getto/white trash”. I’m not sure if you noticed but everyone is having a hard time right now not just poor people…

      • Tbyrne

        You’re funny!

      • crybabies

        Just based on your reply you are ghetto/white trash. Obviously, 200 million people still have enough money to pay their verizon/att bill. Btw, fools think they should get something for nothing.

        • NOw your gonna tell me My credit report affects my driving right? Your a idiot. If thats the case then why did t mobile cancel all the flex pay accounts? And btw…. A fool is someone who resorts to derogatory words when factual ones can’t back his argument up

    • Your clueless….  And Half? your seriously off your rocker. My bill is barely smaller than when I was with Verizon. the difference is only about 15 bucks and Its network is not even CLOSE to what verizons speed or coverage was. 

  • Thang Nguyen

    Value is all good and all.  However, the guest is clearly not looking at the big picture.  The customers who ARE leaving T-Mobile, their best customers, are either have money and are willing to spend money.  Sure, they are also looking for value, but they are also looking for solutions.  Real estate agents, business owners, and high tech users need access to high speed wireless networks and T-Mobile don’t provide that.  Further, they are leaving T-Mobile because the competition has the latest and great smartphones, including the Ijesus phone.  That’s why I left, after I had been a faithful customers for years and thought I had corporate discount. 

    • Anonymous

      T-Mobile has the best coverage of high speed wireless internet right now.   HSPA+ 42 with an HSPA+ 42 device performs just as well as LTE.  I think it’s more of a case of consumers being misinformed.

      • Misinformed? Misinformed does not cause you to loose bars. Misinformed does not cause you to loose 4G data link. Misinformed does not cause slow data speeds. Thats great that you can get 15.78Mb sitting on your couch. Most people are nowhere close to that. You do realize its a Cellular network right? Just because you have a great experience on your couch don’t mean Most people do. Obviously people are leaving by the droves so your experience is not the normal. T-mo sucks canal water when you go inside…period. They have horrible indoor coverage and in my experience their speed are very erratic. Yes I have got as high as 12Mb but most the time its only 3-5 unless I am inside then its like 2-4. Maybe….  The truth is that they have huge issues with signal and speeds and are way to erratic. 

        • Anonymous

          While 2-4 and 3-5mbps isn’t mind blowing, it’s still a much better experience than anything possible on Verizon or Sprint with their 3G phones.  For example there are TONS of people leaving T-Mobile to be lucky to get 1mbps on their Verizon or Sprint iPhone.  Those guys don’t know speeds like we do but they THINK they are getting a better experience.  T-Mobile does need to work on indoor signal penetration though.  Even though some people know a lot of android phones have the option to do’ wcdma only’ in the wireless settings which lock you on a 4G connection, most consumers don’t know this.  I don’t know if this is  problem T-Mobile could rectify without getting rid of Edge completely.

        • Anonymous

          Also if you talk to a lot of Verizon and At&t customers, their justification for not paying for unlimited data or data plans very susceptible to overages  is that they are on WiFi the majority of the time.  If that’s the case, how could T-Mobile NOT work out for them?  The only time T-Mobile signal is lousy is indoors and T-Mobile is the only national provider where your calls and text messages go through WiFi.  That just tells you a lot of people are on at&t and Verizon are just on there because it’s what their friends recommended to them.  Who really when signing up for Verizon is really making an informed decision AGAINST wifi calling not being practical for them?  That’s why it’s not incorrect to say the majority of consumers are misinformed. 

    • Anonymous

      We don’t offer that? Really. Just got 15.78Mbps on a speed test with 2 bars of signal sitting on my couch. Is that fast enough for you there buddy? 

      • FtKnox TM User

         Really?  I have a 42+ device (Amaze 4G), setting looking at 4G display and 4 bars, just did a speed test and got a blazing 157kbps down and 687kbps up with a ping of 142ms…..can you spell backhaul problems.

    • Vjballa21

      I agree with the other two replies. As far as high speeds T-Mobile does provide that. Latest and greatest smartphones? Aside from the IPhone, what dont we have? We have the best HTC and Samsung makes. Have you seen the Galaxy s2?? If it had an apple logo on the back cover would be the number one phone in the world. but since it doesnt, its number 2.

      • Vim

        T-Mobile has no 720P display phones.  Since November Verizon has had the best HTC (Rezound) and Samsung (Galaxy Nexus) phones.  Of all the carriers, Verizon has done the best job of staying on top of the technology curve.

  • Jaygqitalia

    My idea. 59.99 for value plan 79.99 for regular plan right? Just make it one plan for 69.99 1 year contract with phone upgrades every 16 months. Done =] Eliminate 2 year contracts completely. You stay off contract after a year and you have incentive to stay so you can get your new phone a few months later. Nevermind just confused myself.

    • Vjballa21

      you’re an idiot. your out of contract but you can’t get a new phone til 4 months later. would you stay?

  • Lubbalots

    Where’s my post?

  • Noemail

    When is T-Mobile going to realize nobody cares what your saving if you have no signal… Thats called Churn.

  • Anonymous

    And if gold flew out of my rear I wouldn’t need my job. None of these things matter if we don’t spend Money on the network. Verizon managed to be in the #1 spot for a long time without the IPhone. Because they had a strong network. Our network is good and fast but it is not as solid as it should be. We could have the IPhone and the best customer service and it would not render the customers we needed because people would still churn due to the network not working where it needs to no matter how much money our value plans save them. 

    • Vim

      I agree. Lack of coverage is T-Mobile’s #1 issue.

  • Guest

    I don’t care. Going to AT&T next month. T-Mobile coverage and data speeds here are only 1/10th of AT&T here.

    • Tbyrne

      That’s too bad. Where do u live?

    • Fifthblindmouse

      wow, just the opposite in northern Illinois – too bad.

    • Carolinacaptains

      Not true in SC either. Where In Siberia do you reside?

    • Skp197

      highly doubt this guy even has t-mobile. probably just a troll

    • tmonewsreader

      prepare for the new rates plan the start today, 300mb for $20, 3-5 gb for $50 … it sucks to be you…

  • Don’t mind paying full price for the phone to get the Value plan. It’s still having to sign a 2 year contract on top of that.

    • Giraffe

      When the other three providers have an inferior offer pricewise, it’s safe to say T-Mobile would be a fool not to have their better deal also on a contract.

      • Vim

        It’s not always a better deal.  I for one would pay a hair more on a value plan -and- lose my phone subsidy.  Some of the older pre-classic plans that came with a phone subsidy, quite frankly, were superior, particularly when attached to promotions or a loyalty discount.

  • Phxgoose

    While I like the above article in its scope but i believe the value plans should go, as their classic plans offer almost as much savings after you include in the cost of the phones and are A LOT less confusing on their customers.

    IE If you compare the unlimited value plan vs the unlimited classic plan over the course of 2 years you save $960, but you spend between 800 and 1200 on phones (if you want to use the above iphone). So lets compare the iphone value as he said vs the classic, you would pay $200 for the iphone on the classic plan so you will pay $1360 more than the value plan but only be saving $160, that $160 is in the last 4 months of the contract difference. Now add in another iphone a 3rd line another 600 vs 200, but only saving another $480 over the course of 2 yrs so now your savings is $80. Now this is only at the tmobile store pricing, price your phones elsewhere, costco, walmart etc and you could actually be loosing money over the course of 2 years. Simply put their is not enough “Value” in the value plans to make them worth it to most families. They should just go back to their even more plus plans and do away with the contract.

  • Umalum1990

    In the end it is simple.  If you have a value plan, there shoulf be no 2 year commitment.   The reason they had two year commitments is becasue they needed to make sure they recuped the subsidizing of the phone they gave you for free or at a discount.   Customers who woudl ahve the value plan did so because they sameved money.  As fot the phone being financed for 20 mos, if the customer broke the contract, then they simply have to pay the balance of the phone upon cancelling service.   But noooo, instead they choose to piss us al off by commiting us to 2 years.   For God’s sake, at least lower to 12 month contacts for Value plans.
    I am not so affected because my company pays for my phone; I am fortunate, but if I had to pay out of my own pocket, I would leave T-Mobile for this reason alone.  Aside from this, my service in Miami is generally spot on, and my Galaxy S II  takes full advantage of the 4 G speeds

    • Fool

      okay tmobile had that.. the evenmore plus guess what???… customers were cancelling and only owing partial of the phone and at times wouldnt even pay and let it default to collection. So why do you deserve to pay 20-30 less a month AND get a discounted device? Value is same concept as evenmore plus but on contract if you want a FREE phone go on classic and pay MORE. But no not only do you want a piece of the cake you want the whole thing.

  • Donaga

    I agree to an extent what the editorial is about. Obviously this is written by a T-Mobile employee though and is a bit biased. Now I do agree about the iPhone aspect and value plans on T-Mobile but that is part of the story. T-Mobile has always lagged on the release of premium devices until 2011 which for most parts gave the consumers a good lineup of smartphones. 2012 does not look good and now looks to fall behind again and looks to be a joke compared to at&t’s releases in q1 of titan 2, lumia 900, Sony ion, just to name a few. Customer service is now a joke as opposed to a few years ago when they were probably the top of the crop. Issues with the g2x for one was a complete waste of time and shady if you ask me. Many not remember but T-Mobile was once the only major company to offer one year commitments and that is needed again to help boost sales considering you buy a new phone and 2 months later it is obsolete. The 4g issue is a joke since no company is close to matching the necessary specs to be really “4g”. T-Mobile is the only one of the major 4 to not advancing to lte and will soon be left behind. Overall I think T-Mobile offers great value but lacks several issues. Get the iPhone, drop down the 2 year commitments to 1 again, offer great customer service again which means the customer is always right not the cr rep, offer top notch devices again and not half ass ones such as lumia 710 and g2x and calling them premium, develop lte technology to compete with the other 3 major players and keep doing what you have been doing as most of it has been above average considering I have with the company 11 years you must be doing something right in my opinion

    • You have to remember that was only CES, MWC – the CES of the Mobile World – is still to come. Also, At&t is the premier WP carrier, they’d obviously get dibs on the devices, just like T-Mobile had dibs on first variants of phones, i.e. Vibrant, Nexus Devices. And the release of the Titan II on T-Mobile first wouldn’t make any sense, seeing as At&t had it first, you could argue that the HD7s went to At&t and so what? T-Mobile still had the original first (minus the S  I mean)

  • Anonymous

    Decent article for the most part. Some of the points are valid and I agree (as an Android loyalist) that having the iP4 would really help out T-Mo, especially with retaining and attracting new customers. There is no other way of saying it, people flock to the iPhone. 

    What I DO have an issue with is the slightly tricky “Value Plans” that are offered and the authors comparison of plans vs other carriers. Value Plans are great if you already own a device or have the desire and means to pay for a phone outright. If you don’t, then with the monthly fee for the phone – Value Plans are right up there with everyone else (or just slightly less). The biggest complaint that I have with this article is the comparison of the “Unlimited Value Plan” of $59 a month against the other carriers Unlimited Plans. He then goes on to argue that Sprints Any Mobile doesn’t count. I tend to disagree for 2 main reasons. First, the VAST majority of users make the VAST majority of their phone calls to other mobile devices. With Sprint, regardless of the carrier, if the call goes to a mobile device it is unlimited. The 450 minute plan is only used towards land-line phones, businesses and roaming (which is rare for most not living in Montana). Second, Sprint’s Night-and-Weekend time starts at 7pm by default, when just about everybody is still awake. Even Grandma. That allows just about everyone to use their phone, as they see fit, and never come anywhere close to hitting their limits. Oh, and there is a 3rd thing: Sprint has unlimited data. T-Mobile throttles you after your set limit – whatever you choose to pay for. And they throttle you down to 2G speeds. Disagree? This is cut-and-pasted from the fine print at the bottom. “” Go find it yourself if you don’t believe me. 

    By no means am I against T-Mo, I think they have some of the better devices out there, and in some cases great plans. I have their service with a G2 and have no complaints about it. The “4G” works just fine, as do my Sprint and Verizon phones. (Ah the joys of working at BBYM and getting free phones) My only issue is with the skewed POV of the author – be fair in your arguments and compare things that are most-like one another. One could argue that the “limit” on the talk plans is far less important than the “limit” on data speeds for smart-devices.

    As for those of you saying things like “6-month or 1-year upgrades for loyal customers” – get over your self-entitlement. T-Mo is a business just like any other. Business need to make money to continue to stay in business. Its simple economics. If they handed out every perk customers asked for, there would be no wireless companies left in a very short time frame. Long-story-short, get real.

    • Jonnyjunkjr

      Sprint throttles you from day 1 if you dont live in their “4G” coverage, meaning the majority of their customers. Pay $10 extra for a “4G” phone and get 400kb/s down? I do speed tests with customers all the time to show them this. Sprint’s unlimited data is a total sham.

      • Anonymous

        Except you’re wrong. Or you live in BFE. Now – there is no argument against the fact that WiMax never made it as far as it should have. However, for those in good coverage areas (read: most heavily populated areas) speeds of 4-8Mbps are not uncommon. And customers can have as much of it as they want. I’d say that’s a pretty fair deal.

      • It’s not that they don’t have unlimited data. Or that they throttle their customers (on Sprint), not that they do. They don’t have WiMax coverage and well.. their default 3G speeds are well, pathetically slow.

    • VK99

      Jake, you have no idea what you’re talking about.  Do some actual research.

      • Anonymous

        Care to elaborate your nonsense? Or would you just rather leave it completely vague so as not to point out your own hypocritical lack of knowledge? I am open for good discussion, but if you are not going to add something of value worth talking about – then don’t waste our time. Cheers.

  • the 90% that got fired

    From an ex retention Rep at t mobile who was fired for doing my job the company has changed and deserves to burn. I was there and helped earn almost every jD power award and was one of the top retention reps in the nation and was fired. Lost NY job my house and my career and I blame entirely the greedy and selfish way management directed the company. I watch as t mobile added chargesto bills hoping customers would pay them without complaint. I watched as good people were loading there jobs of years because they made too much. Nothing t mobile was that made it the company it is today still exsists. Thoes who run the company are the sociopath’s that fired almost 90% of the employees who were active when the at&t merger was announced. F t mobile

    • Tbyrne

      Sounds almost believable. You we’re one of the top retention reps in the nation? You personally helped T-Mobile earn almost every jD power award for the company. If what you say is true, I feel bad for you. However I think there’s more to this story then what’s here.

    • Carolinacaptains

      Bitter much? Were probably let go for Incompetency, lol!

    • Wheresbrent

      Here’s the thing bitter betty, TMobile changed the way they did business cause it wasn’t working. You didn’t get fired for doing your job you got canned because you were unable to change with the business.

  • Anonymous

    “And then when these devices, from all of the various OEMs, fail to
    leave a dent on sales numbers, what do they do? They sell even more of
    their more “iconic” phones to those same carriers.” last time i check htc, samsung, moto, sony, and even the manufacturers who make low end device are raking in money off android phones. there is over 250 million android devices out there, over 700,000 activations per day and android has taken a lot of market share. i feel like tmo did mess up in the beginning, by sitting on their ass while verizon and sprint were getting top notch phones. it not as bad as it use to be, at least tmo is starting get a lil bit of high end android phones. i used to complain about how much tmo line up of android phones suck compare to the other carriers, and i was more than ready to leave after my contract was over so i can get a high end android phone somewhere else, but i read about the htc pyramid(sensation 4g) coming to tmo, which gave me a change of heart.

  • open eyer

    Add that tmobile has become shad. Fist they changed the due date on their favor, if you fail to pay on time, you get suspended and that will cost you $20 per line to be active. Second, they allow third party companies to charge premiun services without the custumer’s permision and through the androd market mostly, and the biggest rip off is the $1.99 per mb that is add it to every customer that doesnt want to use the web. Being all of this charges ‘valid and legal’ tmobile is predating customers, hence, losing their trust and ultimately portig out. I have seen this many times already at my store…

    • Vim

      Do you actually expect T-Mobile to give you free data when you refuse to pay for a data plan?  That sounds entirely unreasonable to me.  If you use their data service, even if it’s just to regularly update a weather app, then you need to pay something for it.

      • OPen eYer

        I’m talking about the people that don’t know how to use a smartphone, the simply fact that the device its always syncing on the background or sends a mms for that purpose or by accident goes into the web…If the customer requests to no have access to the web still the device would go there anyway, that’s annoying  

        • Vim

          If they can’t figure out how to turn data off themselves, then they need to either:

          A) Have tech support walk them through turning it off.
          B) Go to their T-Mobile store and ask them to turn it off for them.

          Smartphones are designed to use data connections.  By default they’re turned on.  Changing the default to off would create more problems than it would solve. 

        • tommy

          These are people best served by TMO or sprint because their data is not charged extra. ATT and VZ charge for that. They can have the minimal data plan or none at all.  The comment makes any sense? not. just turn off cell phone data whew.

    • CDogg

      Third party charges are requested thru the handset and you get at least 2 messages stating your gonna get charges.  Don drink the customer kool-aide.  

  • Jeff Hunter

    T-Mobile has requested the iPhone from Apple.  They have not as of yet produced a handset that will work on the T-Mobile network.  (Employee)

  • Anonymous

    That was painful to read. I commend the employee for having hope, but this is just a brutal emphasis on how poorly managed t-mobile USA is. It’s really sad to see pride-fille employees working under pitiful leadership.

    • Tbyrne

      Yeah, the employees at AT&T are so much happier working for Randall. Right Gouv?

      • Anonymous

        Most likely… The front line employees are most miserable regardless of what company because they deal with the most direct crap from the customers. I think AT&T employees may be happier because they are working for a big company that is more structured with a larger budget for everything most likely. I don’t know any tmobile employees personal except for a few retail store managers and I don’t hear good things. I do know a few RF engineers for at&t and all I hear is great things and good pay. Yes, 2 very different job types in two very different fronts

        • rvg911

          I worked for 3 of the largest retail comm companies on the same 3 companies I have been honored as a RSA of the year and the company who have treated me better is T-Mobile by the way I just found my self as a winner’s circle winner in all South Texas Region there’s definitely more money as a pay structure on the RSA world in other companies but I feel very good with my new promotion in this company thanks T-Mo.

        • Anonymous

          Comgrats, I’m sure winners circle is a great achievement (don’t know what it is but it sounds like a great achievement). I’m sure there are people in the front line that are great and live what they do but it’s very safe to assume that it’s not the general consensus. Many people go back to school completely stimulated by retail misery or customer service hell. It’s a tough gig but someone has to. Be up for it.

  • tommy

    This was so painful to read I could not read it. TMO needs to turn into an internet company. I just bought a wifi android tablet and cannot wait to get rid of my cell data altogether.  I have 4 phones on a family plan.

  • Thanks for sharing, and try to hang in there; hopefully, things will change. I used to be with T-Mobile years ago and was very happy with them. I moved to AT&T when my employer started subsidizing my phone plan, but after being laid off and having to fork over $100+/month for any smart phone, it became too much, so I went back to T-Mobile. I’m not on a Monthly4G plan and I’ve been pretty happy. Reception is good, customer service has been very good, and the price really can’t be beat (unless one chooses to go with one of those “ghetto” prepaid carriers and use some bad excuse for a smart phone).

    I do think T-Mo is in a decent position to innovate around the other big carriers, though, and unless it does something radical to change the mobile phone landscape, it could find itself in trouble, trying to compete as a “me too.” Just look at what upstart Republic Wireless has done. They’re having a tough time of it and having to iron out a lot of wrinkles, but they’re slowly-but-surely making progress. If a company with somewhat deeper pockets (read: T-Mobile) were to invest in the development of a similar WiFi calling-based service, it might have more luck and see things come to fruition more quickly and efficiently.

  • tommy

    OK what is the problem with the value plan’s contract? you don’t like having to save money for 2 years? I don’t get it. The explanation is so complicated and contorted. Like people are used to shoveling out an extra $20 or whatever a month to Vz or ATT. or Sprint.  TMO should try to simplify all this.

    • 21stNow

      The problem is that one of the perceived benefits to buying a phone outright is to not be stuck in a contract.  So with the Value Plan, I lose the benefit of a discounted phone and I lose the benefit of not having a contract.  The only thing left is the cheaper service.  I could go to an MVNO such as Simple Mobile or Red Pocket for that, and still have the benefit of no contract.

  • The plans on tmobile are the best but the only thing we need is Phones! give us the Galaxy Nexus, give us the Iphone, give us the Titian, give us more high end phones and i guarantee the subscriber base will drastically increase. Ensuring that you get these phones with your Superior plans there is no stopping tmobile. I am ecstatic that the merger didnt go through cause if it did my bill will increase and  in these times thats the last thing you want to happen. Tmobile give us more high end phones from windows to android and bring us the iphone. i know lots of people that have an iphone on tmobile that wish tmobile only offered the phone so they wouldnt have to pay full price on the phone.  

  • anty fed

    TMO will gain more subscribers and retain the ones they have with an iPhone simply due to the superior rate plans. The one caveat is coverage. TMO has “spotty” indoor coverage but is compensated with WiFi/UMA. TMO has to find a way to make the majority of their devices UMA capable in order to enhance coverage. I know they have those “cel-fi” units but come on. There’s a wireless router just about everywhere you go so WiFi/UMA is the way to go. I use BB so I get everything I want with TMO and it’s been that way for about 10 years. I was annoyed that they agreed to sell to AT&T and obviously I’m happy that the deal is dead. I just hope TMO stays on top of things and sticks to the basics: Superior pricing plans, Customer service, better coverage and better devices. No small order for what they charge but for what you get today, one cannot complain.

  • So, its the manufacturers fault that Tmo gets the short end of the stick on flagship and premier handsets?  Funny, I always thought it was supposed to be Tmobile that needed to go to the OEMs and make these deals to bring the phones to the carrier.  So you’re telling me that, if Samsung has a new, top of the line handset, Samsung is the one to go to At&t and ask for an exclusivity deal?  Maybe I don’t really know, but it sounds backwards to me and unlikely.  The OEMs DO have great phones, its Tmobile that isn’t trying hard enough and instead relies on this cruddy ‘first timers’ and ‘teen’ segment.  You can see it clear as day from the original Sidekicks on down to the myTouch branding to the Nokia 710.  No, I’m sorry, I completely blame Tmobile for that.

    Which is the point behind the iPhone.  The writer is correct in that iPhone is not suddenly going to boost the company out of #4 slot.  That’s a dumb assumption that’s already been dis-proven by both Verizon and Sprint.  But the bigger point is… why NOT have the iPhone?  3 out of 4 carriers have this thing, what is preventing Tmobile from selling it?  Before you could lose the customer to 1 carrier… if the customer wants an iPhone, they now have THREE competitors to choose from.  I don’t want an iPhone, I don’t think its going to propel Tmo into the #1 carrier in the universe, but even I can see how important it is for them to have it.  At this point, its actually rather sad that they don’t.

    Tmobile is the carrier that brought the world the first Android phone… then subsequently squandered that role by going back to old habits and stocking up on the cruddy mid-range phones while Verizon and Motorola slam dunked w/ the Droid.  Then Sprint shot out the EVO.  Tmobile… myTouch.  Wow.

    You say you only ‘need’ the iphone to prevent churn… but churn = lost customers.  Lost customers + No New Customers = No light at the end of the tunnel.

    I do want a Nokia 900… so I looked up At&t and their ‘high cost’ plans and after some calculating, figured I’d end up spending $20 more a month on At&t.  I wont scoff at that, that actually adds up.  But I also have no cancellation fees.  No contract.  And what you’re missing is that customers are WILLING to pay those fees… I’m willing to pay an extra $20 a month, to have the phone that I want.

    I used to be a big proponent of ‘choose the right carrier first, then pick the best phone they got’, but lately my outlook has changed.  What the lack of iPhone indicates to me is that Tmobile has no interest in trying to establish better handsets for their customers.  In the end, they are really proving that you ‘get what you pay for’.  Heck, I’ve lasted this long off contract simply for the fact that Tmobile has offered me NOTHING worthy to sign my name to.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t forget, a lot of people can justify the extra $20/month because the other carriers have stronger networks. T Mo is fine in the city, but stinks otherwise.

  • Deucedownatown

    Value plans will leave a customer having to pay a large balance if they choose to leave the carrier during that 2 year period.  It will most likely cost them much more than it would have if they were only paying an ETF, since instead of an ETF they would be paying the remaining balance of the cost of the phone.

  • tmobileempl02

    great article! i agree 100% with all the highlights and as a tmobile employee Ive been through the same  scenarios with customers when they think the  value plans are outrageous. Tmobile has the best value, great products, and a great network. People need to start valueing this before its gone.

  • mriede

    sprint is actually 79.99 for an iphone and unlimited data…i work for them lol