T-Mobile Set To Introduce “Bridge To Value,” Help Migrate Customers Over To Value Rate Plans

Some big changes coming down the pipe for T-Mobile’s Value Plans as the company begins a major shift in focus with the introduction of “Bridge to Value” beginning November 11th. Make no mistake about it, Value Plans are T-Mobile’s future and we’re even hearing that Classic Plans could start seeing their way out the door as early as the beginning of next year. However, that’s unconfirmed and should be taken with the usual grain of salt, but there’s little question with the introduction of this new tool that T-Mobile continues to shift more focus on their Value Plan rates.

Bridge to Value might sound more complicated and even look more complicated than it really is so bear with me. Simply stated, Bridge to Value plans are a way to allow pooled rate plan customers to a way to migrate to Value Plans without the migration fee that holds up so many of you. The overall feeling toward Value Plans is that they are a fantastic offering, if you can jump on board without paying a hefty migration fee, which usually involves waiting till the last 6 months of your contract. The migration fee tenure or MFT for short is calculated based on the number of months since the last device subsidy on any particular line, and a single line can often affect an entire accounts ability to move on to a Value Plan.

Now, let’s be clear about one thing, these are not new rate plans, this a new option for existing Classic/Legacy pooling plan customers to move toward Value Plans faster than the current system allows. So, as I understand it, Classic and Legacy rate plans can add a new line, or upgrade an existing line, not take a device subsidy on the new or upgrading line and not effect the entire accounts tenure to move to a Value Plan. That means the new or upgraded line is ready to move to Value Plans as soon as the existing lines on the account are as well. This deal won’t have any effect existing Classic/Legacy plans, but it will decrease the wait period for all lines on an account to move over to Value Plans.

In other words, let’s say you have 2 lines an on account and want to add a third but want to move to a Value Plan as well. Line one has 4 months left to before a zero migration, and line 2 has 8 months left. You with me so far? Now, that means for those two lines to move to a Value Plan, both lines would have to wait 8 months, because that’s how long it takes before line 2 can move over to a Value Plan without the fee and all the lines must meet the MFT criteria to move without a fee. Now, let’s say you want to add a third line, if you did so it would take another 18 months to move all three lines over to Value Plan based on the current system. Here’s where Bridge To Value comes into play, the third line could be added as a Value Plan right from the start, in other words it will not take a device subsidy and instead take advantage of the down payment and equipment installment payment options as is the standard Value Plan process. So, instead of waiting another 18 months with the addition of the this line, you’ll only wait the original 8 months before all 3 lines can jump on to a Value Plan. Sounds simple enough right? It is, and in the end it could make for a much easier method to place customers on Value Plans while still allowing them to take advantage of new line and upgrade offers.

If my example is confusing, the image below should help it make more sense. So let’s recap why you should choose Value Plans over Classic Plans?

  • Lower out-of-pocket cost on devices
  • No upgrade fees
  • Buy a new device on equipment installment plans without waiting for upgrade eligibility
  • Enjoy T-Mobile’s best pricing on postpaid family plans when account migrates to Value
Let me know if you have any questions below and I’ll do my best to jump into the muck and answer them. Still, we’ll wait for an official breakdown from T-Mobile which hopefully provides an even better explanation than I will provide.

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  • brubawil87

    Not to mention the discount we will give you on the data feature if you take advantage of the BTV offer. $5 dollars off any data on value, Per line that take the BTV offer.

    • C0ol2

      no it’s 15 dollars off any data plan on classic prices. So $30 totally unlimited would be $15 on the bridge to value.

      • brubawil87

        ya but thats not really the anmount of the discount. when you look at the data on standard value it looks like this 2gb= 10 Unlimited= 20 5gb= 25 and 10gb= 55. So in essence the discount is only $5. They are just tricking you into thinking its that big cause the feature itself from a classic plan costs $10 more per same feature on value.

        • Guest

          Good catch

        • Y314K

          To bad… If I could get my two lines with data $15 Unlimited each I would switch to Value today… Guess I’ll just keep playing with the numbers and aim to switch to Pre-Paid on TMobile but not thru TMobile….

  • chris

    I dread the day they don’t let me keep my grandfathered plan. It’s cheaper than a value plan and I get subsidized phones.

    • melon3531

      Same here. Plus this only addresses family plan type customers, I have a single line (with no need for more).

    • BahamasGeek242

      I feel the same way. I went into the T-mobile store again to ask about the Nexus and was told something completely different from when I went in the first time. I was told I had to get the $35 data plan if I wanted the new nexus phone. Right now I pay $20 for 5GB data plan

      • j2g

        It was probably a third party dealer. Go to a corporate store.

        • BahamasGeek242

          Thanks for the tip I think you might be right

        • Guest

          Yeah, third party sometimes don’t have a choice but to switch your features because of the system they have to activate through. If you had the time, you could have them to try to call it in and have T-mobile do it over the phone manually and you can sign a manual contract. There is no reason you should have to change out your features if it’s the same thing… unfortunately this is what you have to deal with when you are paying less. Some 3rd parties will be willing to do this, some won’t. The T-mobile store has never given me an issue but have to others. If they do, try a different store or call 611 and ask for loyalty dept they will help you out.

        • Marcelo Vera

          Nothing to do with the store, corporate or TPR, JUST A GREEDY REP

    • TheSchwartz

      I have two lines of unlimited Talk Text and Data (10GB) for $140 vs $120 for the equivalent Value Plan. Adding two phones to the value plan would add another $40/month. Throw in the subsidized phones and Classic is a better deal for me too.


        classic plan unlimited with 2g cap is 140 a month not with 10g

        • TYLERDERK

          Value plan is 40 cheaper for same service with two lines

        • TheSchwartz

          I have a loyalty rate. Unlimited data throttled at 10GB with unlimited talk and text for $140. For me, Classic is easily the better deal.

        • Aaron Tant

          your classic plan does not exist: $140 does not equal Unlimited Talk, Text, 10 GB of web (2 5GB ($170) plans or 1 10GB ($165) plan). Maybe if you have some corporate discount, sans tax, you can press your MRC down to $140-ish. But, that does not beat what Value offers.

        • TheSchwartz

          It is a loyalty rate. I was considering cancelling so they offered me a discounted rate based on how long I’ve been with TMobile. We pay $100/month for unlimited talk and text, and $20/line for 10GB of unthrottled data.

        • archerian

          $20/10GB unthrottled is a great deal, the best I have got is the $20/5GB Preferred Android Data Plan. Does it come with hotspot? Can you tell me the exact name of your data plan, so I can try getting it too? :)

        • Tmorep


        • trjcasper

          I disagree. value unlimited everything is $139, 1000 talk with unlimted text and web is $120.

        • trjcasper

          Correcting myself…oops….Tmorep is correct….my pricing is for three lines, not two.

        • TheSchwartz

          My plan is still cheaper overall than if I switched to a $120/mo value plan.

    • trjcasper

      I’ve agreed with this since the creation of the value plan. Then I bough a GN outright from google play. never going to subsidize a phone again so long as affordable nexus phones are available.

      could somebody price this out for me? I want to take advantage of the BTV plans.

      Currently have three lines sharing 1000 talk (no nights or weekends.) Two Galaxy nexus devices and one dumb phone. Line 1 has 5 gb data, 300 txt added. Line 2 has 200mb data and 300 text. Line 3 is just talk, no text. After taxes it’s $135 month.

      I want a value plan with 1000 talk (or unlimited) unlimited text and 2, 5 or unlimited data for the first two phones, and just talk for the third line. Tmo reps won’t just add it up and give me a bottom line total.

      • Family 1000 mins = $49.99
        Family Unl. text. = $10.00
        Add a line = $5.00
        Unl. data line 1. = $20.00
        Unl. data line 2 = $20.00
        Total less tax. = $104.99

  • Josue

    how I wished they would eliminate the migration fee…but that won’t happen lol

  • Justin

    I personally don’t see the value in “Value” plans. I pay full price for a phone. I pay a little less for my rate plan, but I still have to sign a contract. If they’re not helping me with the cost of the phone, by signing a contract, where is the benefit to me to sign a contract? I feel like they are reaping all the rewards in these plans. Please educate me.

    • UncleFan

      I hear you, I don’t understand it, either! The only way the value plans look like a good deal to me is if the “2 yr. agreement” only applies to the EIP and not the underlying voice+data Value plan. In other words, if I could immediately cancel the Value plan after activation and just keep paying the EIP, I would shift to Monthly4G or some MVNO, and THEN this might seem like a good deal. Can someone clarify this?

      • Jose Hernandez

        Well, I think the whole point of the 2yr contract is to make sure they have a way to collect payment for the installments if someone decided to cancel the account and they still have not made the payments required, for example, they only make one $20 payment and would still owe the other 19 ($380). This way, since you signed a contract, they can take you to collections for the rest?

        • UncleFan

          Well, yeah, I understand that they need to enforce the payment of the cost of the phone through the contract, but my question is about the voice/data *service* plan… is that part of the 2 year contract or can you quit the service plan whenever you want?

        • 21stNow

          The two-year contract is on the voice part of the plan. You can cancel the data plan at any time and you can pay off the EIP early. Even if you don’t take advantage of the EIP (either by paying all upfront or bringing a device from elsewhere) you would still have a two-year contract on the Value plan. This is categorically wrong, in my opinion.

    • Chad D

      If you bring your own device, you don’t have to sign a contract.

      • Roger

        I had to when I signed up about 6 months ago and I was bringing my own device.

      • incorrect – 2yr contract required REGARDLESS of whether or not you bring your own device or not.

      • j2g

        you would have to sign up for prepaid.

      • Dakota

        Not true st all.you just don’t may monthly phone fees..or do straight talk or simple mobile for 50 or less

    • UMA_Fan

      It all depends how long you want to stay with Tmobile. After the initial two years you really dont need to sign a contract again unless you want to break a phone up into payments on your bill. If you are going to be witj tmobile anyway its worth it

      • Ford_Thundercougarfalconbird

        It’s the same thing with a classic or legacy contract. After 2 years, you stay on the same rate plan, and do not need to sign a new contract unless you want a subsidized phone.

        • xmiro

          and you would pay more on Classic vs Value

        • UMA_Fan

          Yeah but you get a break on your monthly rate when going Value. The only hesitation would be if you didn’t know if T-Mobile itself was going to work out for you. This is especially true with family plans. There’s no family plan out there that’s cheaper for five lines than the current Value Plans.

        • Durandal_1707

          On a Classic plan, you can stay on your plan after the contract runs out, but it’s really stupid to do so, as you’ll still be paying the extra $$$ per month for a subsidized phone, without actually _getting_ the subsidized phone.

    • j2g

      i am paying about $177 with taxes for my value plan. If i had a classic plan, i would be paying around $260. So im saving close to $1992 over the period of 2 yrs. I can purchase 2 new phones for full price and still save an extra $700.

    • zacamandapio

      If you buy the phone outright or you BYOP you are not under contract. I’m not under contract and I’m on the VP. If you do the payment plan you still pay full price for it and are under contract. That’s a double whammy.

      • colombiatulua

        Ask well. value plan it is 2 years contract.

        • zacamapndaio

          I thought he meant that when you are over the two years then you would still be under contract.

          But I agree.

    • TheSchwartz

      I went to a TMobile store to ask about value and I asked the same question. He said, you sign the contract to lock in the price.

    • Mike

      Well, it comes to which is cheaper. Over a 2 yr contract, your rate plan will cost you 240 more over the term. add that to the contract price of the phone and thats what youll actually pay. with value plan its 20 cheaper, and you can finance phone interest free.

      • 21stNow

        It’s $480 more over the 2 year contract ($20 x 24 months).

    • Dakota

      Agree. Pay and do prepaid and save 50%+
      Unless u use 10gb of data or can’t pay entire amount upfront

    • I just think its dumb especially if I bring my own device I shouldn’t have to sign a contract because there is no “risk”for them so why do they secure it with a contract when no equipment was given,….until this changes Ill be on monthly4G

    • TMO rep Michael

      Let’s say you wanted a phone that was $500. Your subsidy is $300, so you pay $200 for it. If you go to Value, the down payment is $200 for that same phone (the down payment is always equal to or less than the cost after subsidy). If you are on classic and have one line, Unlimited TTW you pay $89.99. Same exact service on Value is $69.99. You split up the remainder of your phone in to 20 payments of $15, making your monthly bill $84.99. This means that for the first 20 months of your contract, you are paying $5/mo less on Value. After 20 months you are paying $69.99 which is $20/mo less. Overall you save $180 over 2 years being on Value plan. The only time Classic is less is if you have 5 lines that need subsidies.

  • Customer

    David can you find out why T-mobile Raised the prices of all phones today that are purchased on the Value Plan by $50. T-mobile gives us a savings on the plan then it just gets eaten up by the slight increase on the price of the phones.

    • Get_at_Me

      Remember in school when one kid did something bad and the whole class suffered bc of it? Thats why down payments went up. There are naughty ppl out there cancelling before their phone is paid off… So everyone else is paying the price. However tmo is offering mail in rebates or bill credits to compensate for the dp hike.

      • thepanttherlady

        Which would make some sense except doesn’t T-Mobile now participate in the IMEI database? Customer’s defaulting on their EIP’s can have their phones blacklisted just like Verizon and Sprint do for unpaid bills, right?

        • Get_at_Me

          Not everyone who cancels is looking to sell their phone after. Tmo can and has blocked phones from being used but that doesnt prevent ppl from cancelling service and defaulting on the phone payment.

        • thepanttherlady

          Gotcha, thank you. Guess I never understood why someone would WANT to hang onto a phone they can’t/aren’t going to use. :)

        • Get_at_Me

          No prob. Im not sure how strict tmo is on blacklisting…. I heard they were cracking down but i havent actually seen it. I do agree in that if u cancel why hold on to the phone. Ive spoken with numerous ppl who have cancelled tmo and come back. I always ask if they have their old phone. The answer is always no…. Lol

    • I know partially why, but I’m not entirely sure. I’m still looking into it.

      • brubawil87

        I stated the reason in the black one S post. Just scroll down till you see my handle. Not a very good reason bit an explanation no less.

    • 21stNow

      This makes me glad that I got my Note II when I did!

      Edit: I see that Monthly 4G prices stayed the same. I bought the Note II on my Monthly 4G line so I guess this price increase would not have made a difference to me.

  • Bob

    See the problem is if my whole family all wanted new phones it would entail spending a huge ammount up front which some family’s just can’t afford to do.

    • DUDE

      is it really that big of a difference paying the amount of what the down payment would be vs. paying the full subsidized price at once?

      • JAY

        No its the exact same price so that argument would be out the window. Value plan down payment is the same price as the classic plan payment for a phone. If you are not in contract anymore but are thinking about switching to a value plan, T-Mobile will probably credit you the down payment phone price, as they did for me. They credited my account 250 and the down payment price was 199.99…

        • balaty

          As of yesterday, the Galaxy s 3 was 279.99 after rebate (329.99 plus an $18 upgrade fee which is about $370 in my state with tax) on classic and 150 down on value (188.50 with tax in my state). Please tell me how that’s the same price?

    • UMA_Fan

      The Value Plan down payment is CHEAPER than the subsidized upgrade price.

  • dood

    so based on your article…is is safe to assume that if you’ve not had a susidized phone in over two years, but t-mo suckered/forced you to renew your contract for two years because of a corporate discount change, you would be able to take advantage of moving all your lines without any penalty?

    • Get_at_Me


    • kpb321

      That has been the case for a few months now. Back in September (i think) they changed the criteria for switching from the classic to the value plan from being tied to your contract expiration to your last hardware upgrade.

  • Guest

    Not doing this. My rate plan is still cheaper than Value. I wouldn’t normally be the first to say this, but if they tried to push me out of my plan, thats the first step to get me to switch. I have stood by T-mobile since Voicestream, but they need to stop tampering with their plans every 6mos and confusing their customers. I’m happy with the service that I’m getting and don’t need anything changed.

    • zacamandapio

      Then the BTV option is not for you.

      • Guest


        • zacamandapio


    • brubawil87

      You know what the crazy thing is that Tmob will eventually not let you acquire a subsidized device. Thus forcing the switch to some rate plan other than your own.

      • Guest

        Yeah, that’s my fear. I will look at AT&T if that happens. If I’m going to pay more, then I’ll just switch to a company with a better selection. I’ve kinda already accepted that T-mobile is changing and that that may eventually happen… (unless I can get an employer discount through Verizon or something)

      • Dakota

        And if not done well, more customers will be scared off by higher phone prices. Casual users will be best off buying a Nexus for only $100 more than subsidized and goon simple mobile or straight talk & save half on bills wwith no added mystery fees

  • Paul

    When I picked up my Note2 I chatted with the guy and he said, “You will be forced over to the Value Plan system, I’m just not aware of when that will happen.” I sad I’d wait until I’m forced or my line comes up for renewal and I can move it over with no extra cost.
    A 5 yr employee might be in the know on this one.
    P.S. Note 2 is ridiculously awesome.

  • Paul

    So if I have a Classic Plan, and a new Value Plan. When could I move my Classic over without giving them my first born child?
    The Classic Plan isn’t up until late next year.

    • zacamandapio

      Just keep it until you want to.

  • Nick Cannon

    So if I buy a phone on classic plan today I might avoid a migration fee but they’ll charge monthly for the phone I bought on the classic plan?? Aren’t value plans contract free?

    • zacamandapio

      Not if you get the phone in some type of payment plan. If you buy the phone outright then you can stay contract free and BYOP.

  • paulied1

    Dave, just a little confused.. I have 5 lines on a classic plan(from 202), right now my MFT is $350, all the lines are all over the place because of upgrades. On or about Nov.11 I can switch to a Value Plan with no migration fees ?? The TMo Rep in store showed me the benefits of switching but couldn’t waive the fee, nor could TMo loyalty Rep. So I thought I was stuck in this dinosaur contract… am I missing something or is this what I’ve been waiting for. Thanks man..great site..

    • kpb321

      I don’t know why he made it so confusing or complicated when he tried to explain it. The simple way to think of it is you can switch one line at a time as each line hits its 18 months from last phone upgrade. The switch gets you cheaper data for that line and the value plan phone pricing/payment model. Once your last line gets to it’s 18month mark you can actually switch the entire family plan over to the value plan and save the 10$ month on the base family plan too.

      • I wasn’t trying to make it confusing, the thing it is confusing when you first look at it, but even if you ignore what I wrote completely, the pictures should help.

  • lattelady

    Not for us, I love our Classic plan so don’t try to push this on me! Also, with 5 lines it does get pricey & tech changes so fast so I want my subsidy. Every time a new “great deal” plan is announced I do a cost compassion & have the same excitement that TMO is bringing a great new option. It never is & my grandfathered Classic is always better (lower). The problem is you have to look at the total cost for using the service & acquiring the phone with any carrier. The ave consumer doesn’t, they focus on what they pay today & so the focus is on making the up front cost for the phone low (esp Verizon). The one thing that bothers me is that if TMO could figure out how to create a single family plan add on for unlimited texting, then they could do it for shared data. I don’t need the “everything/unlimited” plans they’re pushing. I love my Classic plan & just want an unlimited shared data feature. Too much to ask for?

  • niididdy

    Well if Google continues to discount the Nexus lines, this will work perfectly for me because those phones are so affordable. I can just wait out my contract and switch to VP myself without all the BTV/MFT chaos…! We’ll see though…

  • sagisarius

    Don’t they still make you sign a contract, even if you just get sim only value plans?

  • mueller2051

    my concern is under the value plan the only place i can buy a phone and pay for it as i go is tmobil. What im saying under my classic plan right now i can upgrade my phone anywhere costco, bestbuy, who ever. with value plan i can only get phone thru tmobil unless i buy phone for retail all at once. I belive that the way that would work someone can correct me if im wrong . So i would belive that tmobil big draw to have drop my classic plan and go to the value plan

    • Dakota

      Tmo also lately has been pricing phones higher than every other carrier

  • Little Jimmy

    David, you totally mixed up the words Affect and Effect in this article. Just a heads up.

  • ohhhh man

    I got 5 more months until I could switch to the value plan and get the galaxy note 2. Excited I finally played with it at best buy and thought it was big but it was a good size and pretty interesting. But I can’t wait.

  • I’m on an Even More Plus plan with 1000 minutes (unlimited nights/weekends), unlimited text, “unlimited data” (I think it’s throttled after 5 gigs.) and no contract. It is $69.99. I never use all the 1000 minutes and never go over 5 gigs of data. It probably wouldn’t be any advantage to get the Unlimited Value – talk + text with unlimited data for the same price would it? Either way, I buy my own phone, and if I switched, I would have to sign a two year contract.

  • Guest

    Some people are missing the long-term here. Yes, with the Value plan
    they may save you more money right now. However, when T-mobile raises the price of phones, you WILL pay more.

    When the MyTouch 4g was released (flagship phone), it cost $499 full retail which was about average around that time. Now, the 16GB Galaxy S3 costs $579 full retail and that’s not even the 32G. The 32G costs $729. It doesn’t matter what your ‘contract’ says about your rate plan because you will either pay more upfront or pay the higher EIP.

    So if you want the best phone available, you are opting in for raised prices. If you wanted to pay cheaper, you still pay outright somewhere else. So in the likely chance you can’t afford that much for a phone upfront, much less multiple, then T-mobile has more of a monopoly because there is a good chance you will be purchasing your new handsets through them not third party vendors.

    So in short, T-mobile not only has you buying their phones ***full-price***, margin included, they don’t have to give you a true discount and you will buy your phones through them because they basically put you on what amounts to a payment schedule.

    And there is still a contract involved in all this? For me, a contract is worth it because of the subsidy and the set price I pay for my plan. I don’t get a ‘set price’ because of all the EIPs and shit on a Value plan.

    Long-term, this is the smartest thing T-mobile could ever do for themselves financially. All I know is as the latest technology is being released, it’s getting more and more expensive for me and my husband to upgrade…

    • flan

      I agree that if you’re someone who upgrades after exactly 20 months, you probably won’t be saving anything, because the down payment is usually about what the subsidized price is, and the $15 or $20/month you save on the value plan is paid right back on EIP. But I’ve got a feeling that what’s happening now with phones has already happened with PCs.

      Before 6-7 years ago, if you weren’t upgrading your PC every 2-3 years, your computer was woefully underpowered, even for routine tasks like word processing, emails, web browsing, video, Skype, etc. But about 6-7 years ago, if you bought yourself a decent machine, it’s probably still good enough today to handle your needs. Maybe not if you’re someone who uses your computer for high-end tasks, like gaming. But for most of us, a 6-7 year old computer today still gets the job done.

      I think we’re at the same point with mobile phones. The technology seems to have matured to a point where the increase in specs isn’t going to provide the same increase in usefulness as it did over the past 3-4 years. I think a GS3 bought a couple months ago will last a lot longer than 20 months. It’s got a powerful dual-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and even if NFC starts to take off, it’s got it. Throw in a 32- or 64GB class 10 SD card, and I could EASILY see someone being happy with this phone for a good 3-4 years, assuming everyone’s not wearing their mobile phones on their faces before then.

      My point is that it’s my opinion that right about now is the time where the value plans will really show their value. If you’re someone who wants to save money (if you’re on T-Mobile, I’ve got a feeling you are), I think now is the time when you can buy a phone, have it last past the 20 months you’re paying EIP, and really start to save. If you still want to upgrade after 20 months, you’ll still be able to just like before.

      • Nayme

        I see a couple problems with your vision. One, physically speaking phones don’t last as long as computers do. They go through a lot more abuse and often break even before the contract is over. This one by itself renders your scenario unworkable, but let’s go the next one.

        The second one is that you’re assuming that the technological growth curve has started to top and whatever comes next is not going to be desirable. I don’t believe you’re right. I believe we still have a few more years of insane innovation ahead of us.

        But, that is from my perspective and we all have different needs, real or not. My PC is 5.5 years old and I’m still very happy with it. But I wouldn’t be happy if it was a year older than what it is because I wouldn’t have been able to upgrade the cpu to keep it fast enough for my gut.

        Anyway, I still don’t see any gain for me with the Value Plan and I got the 18mo in.

    • Exactly! thank you.

    • Durandal_1707

      This makes no sense. The phone makers (Samsung, Motorola, HTC, et al) set the price of their phones, not T-Mobile. You don’t even have you buy your phone from T-Mobile – you can get it from wherever you want, and if someone’s offering a better deal than T-Mobile on an off-contract phone, there’s nothing stopping you from getting it there instead.

      $579 isn’t even that high for a top-of-the-line phone in today’s market, relatively speaking. An off-contract iPhone costs from $650 to $850, and the first iPhone model in 2007 was $931 (!) before the price cut. If you subtract the $480 you’re saving on the plan vs. Classic, $579 reduces to $99. How does that compare to what others charge for an on-contract GS3? Let’s see… AT&T wants $200, Verizon wants $200, T-Mobile Classic wants $279, Sprint’s website is down as I write this so I can’t check, but they probably charge $200. $99 easily blows away any of these on price. The fact that the (crappy) MyTouch phone used to cost the equivalent of $20 on-contract ($500 – $480) is neither here nor there; if the retail price of the phones, and thus the up-front/EIP Value Plan costs increase, so will the on-contract prices that AT&T, VZW, et al. charge up front.

      Secondly, T-Mobile does give discounts, and often. Just the other month, Magenta Deal Days nullified the up-front price on the GS3, and when you combine that with plan discounts I got from the loyalty department, I got a GS3 for, effectively, $320. That’s a pretty steep discount, if you ask me.

      • Guest

        Ok, to kill your first point out right away. T-mobile has priced their Galaxy Note II at $699. It’s $649 at ATT… that’s $50 difference, $50 pure margin. WTH for? There’s barely any difference between the phones themselves. Right. I’m not the only one noticing their prices are being set higher than other carriers… just like people complained when they got the original Note, it was priced so high when it’s been out longer than that for other carriers.

        Your second point… $579 is not high for top of the line phone in today’s ‘market’. You’re right, smart phone prices are going up. You wanna know why? Because everyone is adopting them now. Not necessarily because they’re more expensive to make, but because companies want to make money off the latest technology… T-mobile included. They may have done away with the subsidy, but they have padded the phone price to make up for it… the only difference is, you’re not getting a discount now, you’re paying more for a phone than what everyone else is paying. i.e. margin. So what you would’ve saved before is now being absorbed into the phone price. You know, the supposed savings you were getting because you switched to a lower rate plan without the subsidy.

        T-mobile may occasionally have sales, but that doesn’t negate the fact that for a vast majority of customers, they’ve figured out a way to make more money off of them without jacking rates. If you buy a phone at launch or relatively close to it, you are paying more than you had previously bargained for. Your savings go out the window with these supposed “Value” plans.

        We all know it, but there’s just no way T-mobile can get away with overtly jacking rates and still offering a network and selection that is not on par with the others who cost just as much. So they have found another way to do this without making it obvious what they are charging you more for. i.e. padded phone prices, monopoly on the EIP, etc

        Your points don’t dispute what I have already mentioned… that they can pad the phone prices a bit and make a killing by selling and basically financing phones to you and make a pretty penny in margin. Sure, you can go anywhere else and get a phone and purchase it outright… but my point is, if you want it to be affordable, they are now making it so you CANNOT get a subsidy somewhere else, you MUST buy it through T-mobile themselves. That means in the long-term, they are pretty much guaranteeing themselves most of the sales. This means if they raise the price, you have no other option than to buy the phone outright somewhere else. Everyone who shops for a phone knows that third party is the cheapest and for first party, you are always going to pay the highest price.

        Anyway, you’re completely missing the point. The whole purpose of getting a Value plan is to save money… instead they are finding a way to get more money out of you without explicitly saying that in the long-term that’s what they’re going to do and even worse, making sure that your phone sales stay with T-mobile.com/T-mobile stores… that’s almost like a 100% monopoly.

        It’s a smart business strategy, I didn’t say it was stupid. we’ve been a customer since Voice-stream, but it is what it is

        • Durandal_1707

          Well, you sure did a crappy job “killing” my first point, which was that *you don’t have to buy it from T-Mobile*, so if you don’t like their price, you can *get it somewhere else*. The T-Mobile version of the Note II seems to be available on Amazon right now for $639 – there are probably other deals to be found if you look. Heck, with the HSPA+ refarm, you won’t even need to get the T-Mobile version at all! You will just be able to get the AT&T version or the international version or whatever and use that, or really whatever version includes the combination of features and price that you want. That whooshing sound you heard was the point going completely over your head.

          Second point… did I say prices were going up? Nope, in fact, if you actually go back and actually read my post, you’ll notice that I pointed out that the original off-contract price of the iPhone was $931. Now, it’s $650-$850, which means it’s gone down. Both prices, of course, are far greater than the GS3’s $579, which incidentally is less than the $599 that Verizon charges for the same phone. Whoosh.

          As for the contract price being a better deal, VZW, ATT, etc. charge $200 for the GS3 on contract. Add the $480 you’re not saving from the $20/month value plan discount, and that comes to $680, a whole hundred bucks more than $579 on the value plan. The Note II is $300 on the other guys – add the $480 to that and you get $780, which is $81 more than $699. So much for T-Mobile making “more money” from customers on the value plans. Whoosh.

          No matter how you look at it, if you actually do the math, the T-Mobile value plans come ahead every time. If you take advantage of sales, it can come out *way* ahead. It gets even more blatant if you keep your phone after you go off contract, since then your savings goes from $480 to $500, $520, $540, and so on for every month the Classic plan stays off contract without renewing it. It’s pretty hard to spin the Classic plans being anything other than a complete rip-off compared to the value plans.

          Edit: On a further look, the prices listed on T-Mobile’s website aren’t even the prices you’ll pay. If you log into My T-Mobile and click on “Upgrade this Device”, you’ll notice that a $50 “Instant Discount” gets tacked onto everything, meaning that you’ll actually pay $650 for the Note II, and $529 for the GS3. I’m pretty sure that $529 is the lowest GS3 price out there (well, other than the $320 that I effectively paid when combining the Magenta Deal Days discount with loyalty discounts).

          Edit 2: I’ve been having trouble finding Samsung’s original MSRP from the horse’s mouth online, but the spec list sites seem to list the no-contract price as $799:


          This seems to correspond with what they’re charging for it on the other side of the pond:


          And keep in mind that this is for the international version, which benefits from far greater economies of scale than the US variants (*especially* the T-Mobile version which has a different HSPA+ radio than the others and a lower sales volume). This suggests that *all* the US variants of the Note II are heavily discounted already.

  • Dakota

    Every time I had priced value plans they really weren’t much cheaper. Yes rates lower buy you add $20 a month and it’s the same. You ended up saving a few bucks after 20 months when mist will want an upgrade at that time. Esp with Android where new versions come quickly. People who signed contracts are still on 2.3

  • thejames

    should have said from the start (or title) that this is only for AAL customers

    • It’s not just add a line customers, it’s upgrading customers as well.

  • Mark

    I have a question. I have a legacy plan and have 5 lines. Can I add this $5 2GB web feature to all lines on my account until I am ready to switch to Value with no migration fees? Or does this only apply if I add a line/upgrade a line? Or is it too early to ask these types of questions? If I can add this $5 2GB web plan to all my lines, I would still save money over switching to Value, so it must be too good to be true.

    • Hyuri

      It reads to me as though you can only add discounted data to a BTV line, therefore you’d be stuck with $20/2gb if you stay with Classic.

  • Hyuri

    I have one question for the cheerleaders running around telling people that Value plans will save everyone money: if it’s such a deal, why would they need to plan to FORCE us to switch? Any time a company forces a change in rate structure on their customers, it is never to those customers’ benefit. Also this article sounds more like ad copy than journalism.

    • 21stNow

      I’m not one of the cheerleaders for Value plans who thinks that everyone should switch to them, but I do have a thought on why T-Mobile would need to “encourage” people to switch. The American cell phone market is built around carriers subsidizing the cost of the device to the consumer in exchange for a two-year contract. We, as consumers, are very used to this and are resistant to change. Add that you throw a $600 price tag in front of us when many of us think that cell phones should be free, and you have strong resistance from consumers.

      I’ll use another example. Unless the customer qualifies for 0% APR on a car loan, it is cheaper for a customer to save the money in advance of buying the vehicle, then pay for it cash when purchasing rather than taking out a loan at 4% or higher interest rate. However, most people think you’re either crazy or secretly related to Bill Gates if you do buy a car with cash upfront. They would never consider doing this themselves.

  • xmiro

    $5 for 2GB of data?!?!?! What?
    We’ll move to this as soon as possible then. Paying $10 a month for 200mb with no overage

  • jian9007

    Since I will be switching to a value plan and adding an extra line, this might benefit me. The only question I have is does T-Mobile give you a cell phone booster if you’re on a value plan (since it’s still considered on contract)? If anyone knows, please let me know. I have my own house so I meet that criteria. I’m currently on a loyalty plan and if I switch to a value plan I’ll have 2 lines of service and a monthly bill over $100 before taxes and fees. I also get at least one bar of service in the house currently so that wouldn’t be an issue.

    • xmiro

      call retention and ask, at least a couple of times. I wouldn’t advocate it but might also ring the higher-ups at executive customer service since you’re on loyalty plan you must have been customer for extended period.

  • Aurizen

    I have this old fav 5 family plan with 700 minutes thats 69.99 for 2 lines and my bill is like 137 a month. what plan should i get that would give me unlimited talk txt and web and would save money.

    • xmiro

      huh? that’s a lot, we were on my faves 750 or whatever it was and our bill with 200mb data was under $100

      I think unlimited talk/text/web on Value would be $79.98+15+15 if the unlimited nationwide 4g pricing up there is correct. Of course that’s before taxes.

      • Aurizen

        I have 2gb of data for $20 on one line and the other line has pay per MB since that person doesn’t use internet on the phone.

        • xmiro

          then $79.98 for unlimited talk+text and $15 for unlimited nationwide 4G and $5 for 2GB would be one way to drop your bill. For me in Florida that would be $114 with taxes.

          If those prices up there are correct we would be saving around $30 per month from what we pay now, not too shabby considering what my boyfrend’s parents pay to AT&T every month for less than what we get at T-Mobile

        • Aurizen

          I can get that plan now or do I have to wait till the 11th to do it with no migration fees.

        • Camille

          You should be able to do it now, although the migration fee part depends on how long it’s been since you’ve purchased a phone on-contract. I just switched on Monday (didn’t know this was coming). I have 3 lines, and the home phone, and had been with T-Mobile for 10 years, on Even More Plus since it was started. So, we haven’t been on contract for a long time, and been purchasing phones outright, but only when necessary (which is not often at all). I didn’t have to pay any migration fees to switch and was even given a month of service free (I didn’t even ask for any incentives or threaten to leave; and so many people say that T-Mobile customer service sucks).

          Just give them a call and see what happens.

    • Classic Plan is cheaper the more lines you get in comparison to Value Plan. The more lines you have the more times you are going to need to pay an extra $20 unless you don’t want new phones.

  • CRT24

    Let me clear up any misconceptions about this. This is merely an option for your upgrade on multi line accounts so as not to further delay your ability to switch your entire plan over to value. Value is the cheaper option when compared to current offerings but it may not be a better deal for those on older legacy and especially my faves plans but T-mobile is giving you the option of doing this and we are not FORCING anyone to do anything. Go in to your local t-mobile store and have them work up a comparison of value to your current plan and then make your choice. …pretty simple. Again, This is merely an option for people to not further delay their ability to switch to value without migration fees…..you will pay less up front for the phone and the data plan will be reduced by 15.00/mo to offset tye phone payments and eventually you can move over to l value when eligible saving even more money. ….yes T-mobile is doing this to get away from phone subsidies but it is a better deal for the customer in most cases as well so it is a win-win. It is a bit complicated for customers to understand but it is a good move as this will help transition customers to a better rate without migration fees.


    Question for all the T-Mobile experts:

    Why is it that value plan prices of phones is much higher than buying through the monthly 4G? If I buy a Galaxy S Relay 4G for $399 with a $50 prepaid card, will it work with my current value plan? Or do I have to spend another $100?

    All answers would be appreciated.

    • UMA_Fan

      I believe it’s ‘supposed’ to be a small discount for opening a new monthly 4G account.

    • CRT24

      There are only certain phones that are discounted on monthly 4g and even those are usually discounted only when you do the 50.00 or higher plan….otherwise they are the same full price for both value and m4g. But yes if you activate tye the 50.00 plan and get a break on the phone you could put your value sim in the phone.

  • I for one will NOT convert to value because although the monthly is higher as what is being seen 1.) T-mobile is fluctuating devices prices. 2.) 3 lines for $20 each a month puts things right back to where they were price wise.

    • xmiro

      the value advantage is that you can pay off the monthly charge by say Ebaying your phone, then get the next phone you like and again, I presume, qualify for whatever promo is running at the time and get it on interest-free payments
      WHere as with Classic you have to wait for your contract to be up to qualify for a new phone at subsidized price if you can’t pay for it outright.

  • Y314K

    If you’ve been with TMobile for a few years and haven’t upgraded in the last 18+ months… Talk to the loyalty department… I still got about 11 months left on the classic contract but loyalty noted on my account they would waive the $300 ETF ($100 per line) other fees to switch to a Value Plan since I haven’t upgraded since April of this year when I found out that upgrading would mean starting a new contract again…

    The only thing that makes the Value Plan 2 Year contract for migrating or opening a new Value account is to finance a phone but with TMobile’s ridicules phone values… I would say the only time to do the switch is when they have a rebate for the down payment sale like they did at the end of last year & at the end of Sept. of this year… Hopefully the sale will be back for BlackFriday or some time in December… But even a Value down payment deal would still make the Nexus 4 price fail… But would make a Note 2 a good deal… U would end up paying about $400+Tax for a Note 2… (-Down Payment rebate + Tax for full price + $400 ($20×20) would get it around $454 total.. Not bad for a Note 2 but the total for a Nexus 4 would be around $341 w/ 2 year contract for a phone I can get for $379 without needing a contract.. The difference is only $38… Not enough difference for the ball and chain…

    The only problem that stopped me from moving to a Value Plan during the end of Sept. Magenta Deal was that I was waiting for the Note 2 or the Nexus 4… And I am very weary to sign a 2 year contract again just to pay full price for a phone when the voice+txt+data prices are so close to Solavei or other MVNO’s… Specially if one goes for a Nexus 4 from the Play Store… And once I found out TMobile was charging double for the Nexus 4 on their Value Plan it makes even less sense…

    Right now my Classic break down for 3 lines is..

    $60 (3 Lines sharing 1K minutes)
    $20 (Family TXT)
    $20 (5GB Data… I think I can upgrade to unlimited for same price)
    $20 (5GB Data… I think I can upgrade to unlimited for same price)
    $10 (3rd Line)

    = $130 (Employer discounts takes the Tax & Fees away & one only pays for the subsidize phone(s) once… Which = close to the same as a down payment on a value finance price…)

    Under Value it would be…

    $60 (3 Lines sharing 1K minutes)
    $20 (Unlimited or 5GB Data…)
    $20 (Unlimited or 5GB Data…)
    $ 5 (3rd Line)
    $20x2x20 (Ad’s $40 a month for 20 months for 2 financed phones or $30 for the same on a cheaper monthly finance phone )

    = $145 or $135 (Employer discounts takes the Tax & Fees away I would save $160 for the last 4 months after the phone is paid that is still under contract…)

    Not much difference and u end up tied up under the same 2 year contracts…

    Might as well cut the contract cord all the way and go MVNO…

    • archerian

      isn’t family text $10 for Classic? and the 3rd line free in Value?

      • Y314K

        Humn… Never heard family txt being $10 for Classic… But could be that some where able to get that price locked in… Might try to call and get that price without renewing the contract but I doubt it… But that would bring the Classic Plan even closer to the Value Plan’s…

        As for the free 3rd line in Value… There is a promotion that one can get till Nov. 13th where the 3rd line would be free till 2014 which = free for 13-14 months… The same deal makes the classic 3rd line be $5 instead of $10 so I don’t think that deal will make a difference when comparing the classic vs value plans…

        • archerian

          I added it when it was a regular feature, its now called Preferred Family Messaging for $10. I recommend calling Loyalty and asking for what Preferred Plan they can offer you, depending on who and what you get, it need not be a contract extension.

          I thought the free lines for value plans were for the life of the contract, I was going through the t-mobile website with their dynamically updating prices when you select the number of SIMs on the Value Plans, didn’t see the price change for ‘No Data’ when I picked 1-5 SIMs.

        • Y314K

          Will try to get it if it doesn’t extend my contract… If I am able to get it & convert my data to unlimited for the same $20 I think I’ll just stick the contract I got now till next Sept. Thanks for the heads up…

          The free value or $5 classic 3-5 lines are a promotion called T-Mobile’s Back-To-School which began July 1st, 2012 & expired Nov. 13th, 2012… It offers savings of $5 per month, until January 2, 2014.

          U can get more info @ http://slickdeals.net/f/4793292-t-mobile-Value-Plan-100-for-5-lines-2-unlimited-talk-text-data-2GB-at-4G-3-lines-500-minutes-each-via-add-a-line-0-value-5-classic-free-nights-weekends-to-other-t-mobile?

  • MuthaFuckinStephen

    Value plans are the best plan ever. So yeah here’s what I did. I bought unlocked phones that were compatiable with tmobiles network. After that I just activated for lines. Two lines has unlimited talk and text. The other two comes with 500mins of talk time each and unlimited text on both as well. I got 5gb of data while everyone else gets 2gb. My monthly bill is $204/month. Can’t get that deal anywhere else.

  • Eloyc56

    I have 2 lines on value plan one with 5 gig w/hot spot and the other line unlimited data plus unlimited msgs 1000 anytime min for $96 before taxes

  • CraigInOregon

    I think the Value Plans are terrible and if they take away our Classic plan pricing, this will be the LAST renewal we ever do with T-Mo. (All three lines on our plan were renewed for a new two years between July and November.)

    But we’re on Classic plans and that’s the way we want it.

    Serious, a slightly lower monthly rate is nice, but between my wife and I the phones would add, what, $40/mo per line on top of that. We’d be paying way more. Bad enough that T-Mobile already thinks it can charge $370 for a Note 2 that everyone else is charging $299 on, or $247 on an SIII that everyone else is charging $149 for.

    T-Mo built their house on being more reasonable with rates and phones that their competitors. But if they’re still pulling this crud in 2014 when my family’s contracts are up again, forget about it… We’ll go Verizon or AT&T…

    • xmiro

      no difference in the plans at all. over time you are more likely to save money with Value plan plus monthly payment. It’s just that on classic your phone costs are built into the calling plan instead of being a separate payment.

  • CraigInOregon

    And think about it… $40/mo. phone charge per line is $80/mo for two lines. Over 24 months, that’s nearly $2,000. While still paying what? THE SAME PRICE ON PHONES that other carriers are offering without the $40/mo. charge. Idiotic.

    • bwahahahah

      Huh? For most phones it’s $20/month, so $40 for two lines. The Value plan is $40/month cheaper than Classic plans. So if you’re always paying the installments for the phone (upgrading every two years), it’s the same cost as a Classic plan (since down payment is usually the same as Classic subsidized).

      Or you can get a Nexus directly from Google. Pay a little more now, but save LOTS of cash over the 2 years.

  • Encino Stan

    The scenario described is for AAL (add-a-line?). I already have 4 lines on a classic plan. Need to wait for all four lines to be out of contract, and 2 of the lines is wanting phone upgrades now. Can those 2 lines go to BTV?

  • Value plans would be fine if they didn’t include the 2 year contract, Why get trapped in a 2 year agreement if you don’t get a subsidy? It seems almost better just to get a prepaid account.

  • If they want us to switch to a value plan, why are they charging us?

  • DetroitTechnoFan

    Keeping EM+ for LIFE!

  • Desacatao

    U still have to sign a 2 year contract. Means, if u break your contract you will have to pay 200 plus whatever you owe on your plan (as per the current $20 per 20 month agreement). So 6 months down the line you decide to break your contract, it will be $20x14months + $200 ETF.

  • tmo_rep

    David, one key point you failed to mention is about the $15 data credit if one chooses to do BTV. It’s in the first image you posted. Once accepted we would add a feature that would give the customer $15 credit per month as long as you remain on the BTV, and keep all requirements. Customers only get one $15 data credit per account. Customers would still keep their upgrade tenure, but if they choose to use their upgrade, they would loose $15 BTV data credit. If a customer does not maintain at least 2gb web plan, they would loose the credit. If the customer looses the credit they can not add it back on until the next qualifying event. Once the act is migrated to value you loose the credit, but the price is lower on the value, so you are not loosing anything.

  • xmiro

    so I just talked to a rep

    I’m 22 months into a family plan contract we can switch to Value no problem. Decided to stay on what we had as I didn’t want to commit to 2 year contract to join a Value plan, yet anyway

    BVT is only if you’re less than 22 months in contract and they will give you a $15 credit added to your account as tmo_rep says, otherwise regular data rates will apply

  • Bull Winkle

    Most excellent. I’m on a legacy family plan. Three lines, one with data, for $85. If I get a new phone, my plan changes. If I buy a phone flat out, I’ll have to come up with $600. This plan allows me to make installments on a new phone w/o touching my current low legacy plan cost. T-Mo rocks!