T-Mobile Retiring Classic Plans In National Retail Channels Beginning November 1st


In a move that I firmly believe has been a long time coming, T-Mobile sent out an alert this morning informing employees that they were stopping Classic Plans at national retailers.¬†Unfortunately, the image doesn’t say what is forthcoming for the company’s national retail partners, but I imagine this may have something to do with the third phase of T-Mobile’s Uncarrier plan. I for one hope that national retailers will begin selling T-Mobile handsets under the no-contract Simple Choice options, an option currently available only through T-Mobile company-owned channels.

Seeing this image jogged my memory about a story posted back in early April where Best Buy informed their staff that T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans would be available by the “end of the fiscal year at Best Buy.” According to Best Buy’s investor page that’s not until February of next year, but it’s likely T-Mobile could have accelerated their efforts to allow national retailers to sell no-contract plans before the holidays.

As of today, September 30th, national retailers will begin sending in their allocated postpaid inventory to T-Mobile. Retail and branded locations will then “support any national retailer customer device exchanges during the 30-day device return window with original device purchase receipt.” Any buyers remorse transactions will be performed at the original point of sale.

So, will this move play an upcoming part in T-Mobile’s Uncarrier Phase 3 expected to launch before the end of October? That’s very possible and perhaps even likely, but this is still some pretty big news as T-Mobile has big partnerships with retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club and BestBuy.com that I’m sure they aren’t interested in losing altogether. Let’s hope this is just the first part of T-Mobile’s Simple Choice no-contract offerings making their way into sales channels that aren’t company owned.


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  • besweeet

    Just noticed the other day that Costco carried T-Mobile plans and devices. Curious as to what they and everyone else will be doing.

    • rschauby

      They’ll be dropping T-Mobile. This is a stupid move which will completely remove T-Mobile from outside vendor support.

      • chantie

        all wireless advocates locations (Costco, car toys, and some military bases) are moving over to simple choice plans. Some national retailer’s are already supporting the plans (frys and Apple)

  • Andy Richardson

    Good – customers multiple retailers to sell phones for the Value Plan. Walmart has already started offering Galaxy S2 and S3 devices for much less than T-Mo stores.

    • fechhelm

      I just saw the galaxy S2 at Walmart today for I think $228 that’s $100 cheaper than T-Mobile.

      • mikey

        depends on which one you buy. Walmart has a tmobile galaxy s2 for 50 less than what it goes for on tmobile, but then they have a Family Mobile Galaxy s2 which would be the 228 phone. Same phone, just under walmart’s brand.

      • mueller2051

        if your lucky enough to find it target has lg l9 on clearance for 130 under there talk as you go plan but works fine for simple choice just add sim

  • Hopefully they take away the migration fee, because I’m still on a classic plan. If they do, I will convert over…

    • TMoRSA

      If you’ve been with Magenta for 5 years or more you can get the fees waived. You’d still stay on contract until your current contract is up but you’d move on to the SCNAC plan/pricing. Just call Customer Care from your handset.

      • mikey

        ha, they still try to charge me to move and I’ve been with tmobile for 7 years and only have one line that has a migration fee of 150, but I have 5 lines total. But they did bridge to value which got me a discount on the other lines, just not the 5th one.

        • TMOGUY

          Hey man I work for t-mo and you can move all your lines over without the migration fee. As long as you’ve been a customer for 5 years. Who ever did the BTV for you didn’t know what they were talking about. call 611 and tell them you wanna move to simple choice.

        • googlephone

          Can I ask you one question about PHP insurance and warranty since you work for t-mo?
          I have PHP for my line with a galaxy S3 currently for $7.99/month for years. If I upgrade to a note 2, will the PHP price jump to $11.99 automatically for the new tier introduced by t-mobile several months ago, or I can keep it as $7.99? Thank you.

        • T-MobileCSR

          The pricing of insurance is now a flat rate of 8.00 upon upgrading no matter what device. T-Mobile has now switched to Assurant for postpaid customers. If you have a “.99” insurance premium then you are still covered under Asurion but once you upgrade you will be moved to the Assurant version, i.e. 8.00 for coverage/10.00 for insurance and Jump!

        • googlephone

          Thank you for your reply. It really helps me.
          Can I ask you a few questions about Bridge to Value(BTV) for classic plans?

          My family classic plan has two lines with tmobile for 7 years: line 1’s contract ends in Dec 2013 and is eligible for upgrading now, line 2’s contract ends in Aug 2014. I heard about we can do bridge to value for classic plans so if I upgrade line 1 to a galaxy note 3, I can get $20 discount ($5 for voice and $15 for data) and just need to pay $200 upfront. The $20 discount will cancel the $20 installment for the new phone so my bill will not change. Is it correct? If it is correct, will the bridge to value discount apply automatically when I do upgrade online or should I call the loyalty department to do it?

          How long will the BTV discount apply? Until the new contract (after the upgrade) ends? If I choose to migrate to simple choice plan sometime next year, will the BTV discount stay in my account or it will be lost?

          And can I do bridge to value to the line 2 next Feb when it is 18 months into contract (BTV requires 18 months into contract) and get another $20 discount?

          Thank you for your reply again.

        • mikey

          thanks for the heads up, i called again and asked about it and they moved me over for free with no migration charges.

      • Hyuri

        Either this is false, or a whole lot of reps lied to me. I’ve been with T-Mo since 2004 and had to pay migration fees on two lines (of 5: 4V/1D). I spoke with several reps every month for 4 months waiting for my migration fees to drop to $100 each before I switched, and they all said I had to pay, the fees were non-waivable. Every. Single. Rep.

        • TMoRSA

          When was this? The migration fee waiver only started this summer. First it was 8 years and over and then they dropped it to 5. Depending on when you moved to SCNAC from your old plan it’s entirely possible that the plan wasn’t in place yet. Anyway. It’s certainly not false. I do it in my store all the time.

        • mueller2051

          been with tmobil 7 years they didnt charge me a fee with 16 months left on my family plan (4 lines) contract. maybe it just finding the right person

        • Moses JC

          This is new. At first it was atleast 8 years tenure & it switched to 5. Call or stop in

        • Stone Cold

          You got hosed by whatever rookie rep you dealt with.

  • TMoFan

    Too bad for people like me who have classic plans that work well and are cheaper than simple choice. Guess I’ll have to start buying my devices in full, but I’m okay with that as long as I can keep what I have.

    • Tmo1082

      You can still go to a T-Mobile authorized dealer or T-Mobile authorized retailer to get a classic plan or simple choice plans. Although word is they will stop selling the classic plans sometime at the beginning of 2014.

    • mikey

      Hey you can still go to walmart, its called family mobile. You can purchase the same phones that go on tmobile, but for less. You can get a gs3 for 399 compared to $500+ thru tmobile. Then you pay 40 a month for unlimited talk text and data, although its 3g and not 4g or lte, its a cheaper alternative for people.

      • Richard Finzel

        Family mobile is a fine choice for some, but don’t expect any customer service. I have been with them for almost two years. Any time I have issues I have to send emails and hope they get read. Otherwise when I call for CS I get someone in India.

        Also as far as the “3g” data it is capped at .9-1 mbps. It is nowhere near tmobile’s 3g speeds

        • Dakota

          As far as I know, that & straight talk dint currently offer LTE. I have Straight Talk & the service isno worse than what Tmo bile prepaid was. In getting the same Tmobile service as before for only $45 a month. St reportedly is now offering LTE on ATT sou mmay be done with any Tmobile connection once and for all

  • 21stNow

    There are still a few customers on the forums who like to take the option of going to the third-party retailers to continue the familiar contract/subsidized device transactions that they wanted. I guess that door is closing for them now.

    • TMoRSA

      Can I ask what you’re paying for your Classic plan and the number of lines and what features you have? In my experience, if the SCNAC plan is higher, it’s usually only by a little bit. And even then you get much more for the money. I’m always perplexed when someone wants to stay on Classic.

      • weddywie

        Hi. In my case. We have 2 line with 1000 shared minutes and both have 5gb unlimited each for $84 to $86 after tax and everything.

        • TMoRSA

          Fair enough. I guess when I see 80 dollars versus 120- a 40 dollar difference- and the 120 includes unlimited talk, text, and unlimited data for each line, which in turn includes 2.5 gigs of tethering for each line, I’m like, all that for 40 bucks? Yes please.
          But if you don’t use very many minutes or do any tethering I can see how the 40 dollar difference wouldn’t be worth it for you.
          Thanks for replying.

        • mrkygeek

          5 lines with 1000 min for $50 plus $10 for unlimited text after company discount and tax about $60 a month

        • Mark

          The other thing to keep in mind is that for some customers on some lines, data is an antifeature they’d rather not pay for. In my case, the missus has decided that the offspring will NOT be having an Internet connection in his pocket, and she doesn’t want one for herself because she thinks it’s a stupid waste of time and money. She’d just as soon I drop it on my line, to be honest, but I can’t since I have to have a plan with my One S ;) .

        • timzirkel

          $40 / month ($480 / year) is a good chunk of change, but it’s actually more than that. When it’s time to upgrade devices, you’re looking at another maybe $20 per line for the phone installment (assuming down payment is similar to subsidized price). That’s more like $80 different a month, or roughly double.

        • closingracer

          You do realize the subsidized phone cost is included in the contract so your just paying it anyways….This way once your done paying for the phone your contract is actually cheaper

        • LaTanya Bagley

          That has to be only on line with 5gb. $59.99 1000 mins $30 -$35 for web at least $90 on one line.

        • weddywie

          That’s 2 lines for $84 a month. Yes it was $59.99 but the loyalty department gave us minus $10 of that $59.99 every month, $20 each line for a 5gb prefered data and I also forgot to mention my husband is a veteran so another 15% off on our monthly bill so that’s how much it comes up to be $84 monthly. Sorry for my English, not my first language.

        • qmc

          2 lines family share plan, 1000 min, 1000 weekend,unlimited m-m, no text plan, 1 line with $5/mo unlimiteddumphone data. I ring up a dollar or two in messaging charges/mo and the total is about $58 including local 9-11 surcharges which most people don’t have.

      • 21stNow

        I’m not on a Classic Plan; I’m on Even More Plus with one line and two lines on prepaid. I come out cheaper this way. My comment was only based on what I see on T-Mobile’s forums.

      • spit199

        I have a 4 line plan that is 160 a month. 1 line is an @home line, the remaining 3 lines have have 1000 mins each 2 with unlimited data, and 1 with 2 gigs

  • Willie D

    Last time I checked, Best Buy has not carried any T-Mobile postpaid devices in at least 3+ years. I only see prepaid.

    • TMoRSA

      I was just able to visit their website and see options to start new service with a 2 year contract or upgrade a current contract, all with subsidized device pricing.

    • sushimane

      yeah once awhile i go to my local bestbuy and never once seen a tmobile stand only verizon att and sprint. its kinda ridiculous to say u carry all 4 carrier but only carrying 3 carrier.

      • Steve Cory

        A Best Buy rep in the store could do what is called an “Instaship” of the T-Mobile phone, they just don’t advertise it.

      • Dakota

        Same here.. You wouldn’t even know Tmobile existed

    • Hyuri

      None of my local Best Buys even carry T-Mobile prepaid. Nothing at all. I bought 2 of my last 3 upgrades at BB, but couldn’t do any part of it in-store.

  • Tmo_man

    T-Mobile needs to continue improving and expanding coverage across the entire U.S. People will come regardless of subsidies, used phones, etc.. They just need an equivalent alternative to the big 2. There already paying skyrocketing monthly prices so subsidies, used phones, won’t make a big dent for those consumers no matter how much discounts you provide if you can’t even make a reliable phone call or check email in your building at work.

    • samsavoy

      AT&T has a “Mark the Spot” app which lets customers report coverage problems from their phones and in my experience they actually fix the stuff you report. T-Mobile’s equivalent is a T-Mobile TakeAction website which looks like it’s been ignored for the past 5 years and wrongly puts pressure on city governments for lack of service.

  • Wayne

    I wouldn’t mind this sort of thing if the current offerings weren’t all more expensive than my trusty FamilyTime Basic plan.

  • SirWill4

    It’s sad. I work at the wireless kiosk in Costco in St. Louis. My company has decided that we are moving away from Tmobile to awful Sprint on October 9. Despite the fact that sprints network is beyond awful here. Not looking forward to it. Maybe wouldnt have happened if 75% percent of Tmobile customers that come in we couldn’t help at all! Can’t touch their plans, can’t sell them new equipment. All because of a poorly executed simple choice launch. Ahhh

    Sorry. *rant

    • MastarPete

      The Costco I go to offers the big 4 (VZW, ATT, Sprint, TMO). A couple weeks ago I stopped to compare devices, mainly size. The guy working asked if I needed help, I said I was just looking. He asked what carrier I have, said T-mobile and added that I was on a value plan.

      Even though I’ve talked to this guy many times before I asked why they don’t sell phones outright. This time he said that it was Costco that prevented them from offering devices outright because of how expensive they are.
      I don’t know how true that is.

      All I know is I’d definitely buy a phone outright there if it still included the accessory bundle.

  • Class I C

    Well this may be the end of the Tmobile line for me. I’ll port one of my lines to Google, and maybe go with Verizon for the misses and me. I get a better discount with Verizon and at the end of the day the two plans maybe within ten bucks of each other, plus I get a subsidy.

    I still need to wait for Phase III and put it on paper then but my feeling is that this is time to jump ship again.

    • ChristianMcC

      Youvery well may not be able to port your number to Google voice, like I was unable. I was told by Tmo that its not compatible for some reason, and then experienced the issue in my attempt.

  • OZ

    With 4 lines, classic plans work very well for me. Not sure what I’ll do yet. This is a sad news.

    • Brian T.

      How much are you paying per month with your classic plan, out of curiosity?

      • Mark

        I’m not OZ, but I have a 3-line Classic plan and am paying c. $140/month (1000 shared minutes + unlimited texting, only 1 line has data, even after my next upgrade I won’t want the other two lines to have data). I’m typically happy upgrading my phone every 2 years (the other two lines generally get “buy a new feature phone when yours breaks”), and contracts don’t bother me (I never figured out why people get so wound up about them, to be honest).

        • nmw407

          This is going to be a problem for me as well. Right now we’re paying about $150/month for 5 lines, 3 with preferred android data (5gb, throttled), unlimited text, 1000 minutes. Last time we upgraded our phones we were able to get 2 Note 2s for $0. Now there won’t be any way to get cheaper phones anymore and that’s going to kill us with our 5 lines.

        • ChitChatCat

          Mark, Simple Choice won’t be more expensive for you then. 3 lines is $90, unlimited data is $20 for one line. That’s $110. Add a no-money-down Note 3 and you’re at $140 again. (Add a cheaper phone and you save money monthly).

      • OZ

        1800 min, MyFavs, unlimited text, unlimited data plan for 2 lines, unlimited data + tethering for 1 line, 4th line has no data. Including taxes and discounts my bill is $170 a month.

        But the beauty for me was to continue with the plan as-is, and just paying a subsidized price for each phone. I got 2 x Samsung S3s last year for $129 each and an HTC One S for minus $99. Can’t beat the package deal.

    • MonkeyK

      If I am reading it right, they are just going to stop retail sales of the Classic plans. There is no statement saying that existing classic plans must be converted.
      If that happens, I will not be pleased. I have 4 lines as well, 1000min, family unlimited texting, and BTV data on all 4 lines, and a corporate discount, with a total bill of $85/mo. The BTV data prevents any upgrades, to me $5/mo data is worth having to buy phones on my own.

      • OZ

        Definitely you got a better deal per month, and it might make sense for you to just get phones out of contract. My concern was towards not having the opportunity to get phones at a discounted price. With 4 lines on the account, having $400 of a discount per phone makes absolute sense.

        • MonkeyK

          Yeah, I see your point. Assuming that your subsidy is worth $400/line every 22months, it is worth ~$73/month on the 4 lines.

          Although almost nobody agrees with me, I think that carrier subsidized phones are the main reason that the subsidy value is high. 1) We generally have to compare the subsidized price to MSRP. 2) From the carriers perspective a high MSRP is desirable. As the phone manufacturers sell more phones directly to consumers, the price will probably drop.

      • Ronnie Miller

        When they came up with Phase I, I decided to call and see if there is anything they can do with my plan. I have the BTV data also. I am currently paying $168/month for five lines. 3000 shared minutes, unlimited text, and 4.5 GB of high-speed.

  • Thomas Decker

    If they kill my $30 100 minutes/unlimited/unlimited I think I’ll go with Straight Talk…..

    • JRoll

      That sounds like the Prepaid plan Thomas so no worries for you.

  • predation

    so this means, i can’t get a subsidized phone anymore when my classic plan contract is up in dec? i HAVE to go with simple choice and the EIP plan?

    • PhantomWraith

      Yes, I had this discussion in great length about that, they are forcing customers to change their plans OR stay on your plan that you have and pay an EIP on top of it.

      • predation

        well that sucks.

  • ws436

    With all these new plan changes you can sometimes score a great detail. For instance my family has been with t-mobile for 10 years and now and it was about last year before T-Mobile switched to their Value plans and I got a great deal. 5 Lines, Unlimited Texting, 1000 shared minutes for 4 lines while the 5th has unlimited, and 2 2.5GB Data plans (which can and has been removed or upgraded whenever I want) for a total of $110, take out DATA completely and my bill is around $87. So yeah I love that I scored such a great plan deal with T-Mobile, that kind of plan you can’t find anywhere else.

    • PhantomWraith

      well that is the very dilemma I am facing as well. We have a family plan with 2 lines me and my wife and in the future my 2 daughters and we pay 120 a month with no EIP, if you tack on 2 EIP’s on the base 120 I would pay 160 bucks and that’s with a down payment on a new phone. I could swich to verizon and pay 140 a month and they would subsidize the phone provide a better network and has far better customer service. so I am struggling with staying with T-mobile where I would pay more then being on verizon.

      • kilad

        How are you going to pay $140 with VZ? First off, if you’re going to say that, then compare apples to apples. VZ doesn’t offer unlimited data. Also getting unlimited mobile to mobile is not the same as simply unlimited. Throw in Jump and everyone else fails to live up to T-Mobile. Network has been consistently getting better as well. Also, don’t forget the contract and ETF.

  • Lance Miller

    I work for wireless advocates in
    costco and we will NOT be dropping

    • WTF does that even mean? So what WILL you be doing?

      • Lance Miller

        We will be selling simple choice.

  • Jason George

    I’m actually going to qualify for an upgrade on 12/2/13. They said it will start on 11/1/13, but in phases…..do you think I still have a chance for an upgrade or I’ll just lose out?

  • mikey

    You were right again david, a worker at my local walmart told me he received an email for recalls on all tmobile postpaid phones starting tomorrow. So they will no longer be doing the contracts for them. But they will still have the family mobile plans, and are getting metro pcs as well.

  • Henry

    Been trying to find a place to upgrade my contract with and extended two
    year term for subsidized (discounted) phones, but cant since T-mobile
    canceled it all together everywhere on NOV. 1. The manager at best buy
    and cartoys didn’t even get a notice or email about it happening. They show me their screen and apps were blocked and had only simple plan.
    T-mobile CEO can’t do the math, I did the math and even did the math for
    the customer service rep. I have 4 lines on the classic plan and my
    parents are too old to learn how to use data on their phone( they have
    hard enough time using a mouse on a pc or laptop) so plan comes out to
    be $100 for two lines (with data) then $10 for each added line (without
    data) making my bill a total of $120. So with a subsidized phone say the
    note 3 at $299 upgrade that $600 for me and my wife and my parents
    still like their phones. so total is 120*24(months)+300+300= $3480.
    While on their so call money saving plan (simple Choice) its $100 for
    all 4 lines but full price on phone which is $704 for the note 3.
    100*24(months)+704+704= $3808
    $3808-3480= $328 more I’m spending.. NOT SAVING!!