T-Mobile’s Uncarrier 4.0 plans – ETFs covered, $0 down on great phones and break-up letters written

As we heard a while back, this is T-Mobile’s next phase of Uncarrier. It’s not just a promotion that last just a few weeks. It’s here to stay. According to some surveys, 78% of customers would switch if someone paid their ETF. Legere made a joke about AT&T customers who could leave, take advantage of Uncarrier 4.0, then if you don’t like it, go back  and take advantage of AT&T’s $450 to switch offer. You’ve lost nothing.

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 21.27.02


It’s not a gimmick, “this is the end of contracts” according to T-Mobile. At its core is the focus on enabling families to switch, and free them from the huge cost of canceling multiple lines/family plans early. Up to 5 lines, up to $350 per line. Plus, an instant credit for trading in their old phones. Phone trade-ins could get up to $300 each depending on the value of your old phone.

For example, you trade-in a 16GB iPhone 5s and you’ll get $282; an $82 profit on what you paid your old carrier as a down payment. Then you can get a new phone on T-Mobile for $0 down. Once you’ve taken your final bill to Tmo, they’ll reimburse your ETF on top of the trade-in you’ve already got. Even if you have 20+ months left, it’ll still be paid off, providing it’s not more than $350 (which it shouldn’t be).

Family is a big deal here:

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 21.23.06

Worst case scenario: There are five of you and each of you has $350 to pay in ETFs. That’s $1,750, and T-Mobile will pay every cent of that, as well as giving you the trade-in value of your phone.

Edit: Don’t want to mislead. Trade-in of old phone and porting of your phone number is required. Just as we’d heard before the announcement.

“Trade-in of their old phone, purchase of a new T-Mobile phone and porting of their phone number to T-Mobile are required to qualify.”

$0 down on the most popular phones. 

To make it easier to switch, so that your trade-in cost isn’t swallowed up by down payment, most top phones will be available on $0 down offer. Obviously, the entire cost of the phone will then be spread over 24 months on EIP, but, you’ll not need to pay a down payment. This, I feel is pretty important. Keeping the same family in mind, 5 people are going to struggle to pay a down payment on a phone each, unless they go for a low-end device.

The Break-Up Letter 

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 21.28.15

A sort of gimicky move, T-Mobile will automatically create a Break-Up letter and spread the news of your switch across social networks. It’s pretty fun.

What about existing customers on old plans?! 

Good news. If you’re a longtime customer with an old plan, you can migrate to Simple Choice without incurring any extra charges. To qualify, what you can do is trade in your current device and purchase a new one, then switch to Simple Choice that way. Your migration fee is waived, and the existing annual service contract is cancelled.


All in all, T-Mobile’s quest to break away from subsidies is ongoing. Except this time, it’s breaking customers away from subsidies hidden by other networks in form of the ETF. Because essentially, that’s what it is. You’ve paid your $200, which means the other $350 or so in ETFs is the rest of the cost of that phone. Legere didn’t announce this as a promotion. This is just another strand of the ongoing battle to change the wireless industry.

By giving customers a way out, it’ll be interesting to see if T-Mobile’s 1.6 million net adds from last quarter will be improved upon further this year. Coupled with the wideband LTE and $0 down on great phones, this should be an amazing year for Tmo.

More info from T-Mobile:

Here’s how T-Mobile’s offer to pay off these fees works:
Starting tomorrow, customers from the three major national carriers who hand in their eligible devices at any participating T-Mobile location and switch to a postpaid Simple Choice Plan can receive an instant credit, based on the value of their phone, of up to $300. They then purchase any eligible device, including T-Mobile’s most popular smartphones, now priced at $0 down (plus 24 monthly device payments, for well-qualified customers). After customers get the final bill from their old carrier (showing their early termination fees), they either mail it to T-Mobile or upload it to www.switch2tmobile.com. T-Mobile then sends an additional payment equal to those fees, up to $350 per line. Trade-in of their old phone, purchase of a new T-Mobile phone and porting of their phone number to T-Mobile are required to qualify. 
This offer to pay early termination fees provides families with a quick way to escape carrier contracts that have deterred them from pursuing a better and more affordable wireless experience with T-Mobile.  
T-Mobile is also making it easier for its longtime customers to migrate to Simple Choice plans as well without incurring any migration fees. To qualify for this option a current customer under contract trades in their current device and purchases a new T-Mobile device and switches to Simple Choice. In addition to waiving the migration fee, T-Mobile will also eliminate the existing annual service contract for that customer’s line.  
With a Simple Choice Plan from T-Mobile, families start with one line at $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and Web with up to 500 MB of 4G LTE data. They can add a second phone line for $30 per month, and each additional line is just $10 per month. In short, a family could get four lines for just $100 per month (plus taxes and fees). The potential savings are so significant that if every single AT&T, Sprint and Verizon customer switched to a Simple Choice Plan, T-Mobile estimates they would save up to $20 billion [iv]collectively each year. 
In addition to great family plan savings, individuals and families can also enjoy an incredible wireless experience thanks to T-Mobile’s rapidly expanding nationwide 4G LTE network– now the fastest[v] in the United States. For more information, visit the T-Mobilenewsroom.

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  • Jesus

    This is a great move from T-Mobile.

  • Steven Gomez

    Device trade in and port is required if you read further down. Fucking amazing deal

  • tmofan

    Double check your sources about the requirements, thought I saw that a qualifying trade in device was required on the last screen of the final sideshow.. GO T-MOBILE!

    • Cam Bunton

      Yep. I’ve edited the post to reflect that. Still an amazing deal.

      • UMA_Fan

        How about an article with Tmobile now being the fastest LTE network in the US

        • Cam Bunton

          lol… How about you give this mere human time to get it done. ;-) I’m having a coffee, LTE is next on the agenda.

        • donnybee

          Hahaha.. can you tell we’re excited? ;)

          Great job Cam!

        • Chris

          One thing I learned from this is that T-mobile looks at Ookla’s data. Might as well for people around rural areas to start using Ookla for speed test :) I bet T-mobile would modernize your towers in a heartbeat hehe

        • Roger Sales

          At least with Ookla people can say that the results can’t be tainted, because they are by the public for the public.

        • Cam Bunton

          I’m excited, and I’m on the other side of the Atlantic. ;-)

        • Roger Sales

          Hey Cam, do you happen to know if any current T-Mobile devices support band 12 since the deal with Verizon has been in the works a while? the public information on the phones always say band 700 which is vague and usually implied to be B&C only, so I’d like a clarification if possible.)

        • donnybee

          I agree. Cam, let’s highlight this since it’s a fact and worth noting. AT&T is a scam and now T-Mobile has proof! What an amazing turnaround for the industry! T-Mobile is the best

  • Cam Bunton

    I’ve updated the post to include the full PR spiel, and a comment on existing customers moving from old plans to Simple Choice without paying a migration. Trade-in phone, grab a new one, old contract cancelled. No fees.

    • jdubtrey

      Suppose you sold the iphone 5 you got with your AT&T subsidy and are now using a Lumia 520. Do you just give them that phone instead?

  • Joseph

    Any new cheaper or somehow better mobile broadband services? Particularly the prepaid ones? I plan on getting an 8″ Windows 8 tablet with LTE.

  • Neuge

    This is earth shattering. T-Mobile is about to explode.

  • Joe

    Quick question about existing customers. I am on my brother’s Verizon plan. My parents have an unused line on T-Mobile. Would I get the ETF credit even though the T-Mobile line is already active?

    • Guest

      I sincerely doubt it. The parents are already paying the line, so where is the benefit to T-Mo?

      • Chris

        But the line isn’t ‘active’ yet – only the plan is. So he can still try and call.

        When they add him, they still have to port his number and activate that line.

        • guest

          He said that is, in fact, active.

        • Joe

          Yeah, my other brother was using it and then just stopped so my parents pay for it but no one is using it. Guest, you’re right – there is no incentive to T-Mo. So I’d guess not, but this being a new program along with all of the customer centric moves they’ve made, i just wasn’t sure. Knew I was in the right place to ask.

        • tmocsr

          Joe, you can port your number in and have it replace the existing number, so yes actually, you qualify even if a line already exists. -A T-Mobile CSR

        • Rodney

          That’s what I was thinking. Great! Thanks for the info!

        • WW

          I’m thinking that if you bring the Verizon number to TMo, that would work. Leave your brother’s old line out of it. Even cancel it unless your parents just want to hang in to the number cause it’s a family heirloom.

    • Paul

      “…purchase of a new T-Mobile phone and porting of their phone number to T-Mobile…”
      So no, that won’t work.

      • Joe

        I’ll be purchasing a new phone. The line has an upgrade through EIP and I’ll be porting my number from Verizon to the T-Mobile line.

      • Joe

        I will be purchasing a new phone. The line is eligible for an upgrade through an EIP so I’m porting my number to T-Mobile. When I port my number in, I’ll be purchasing a new phone. So I’m not sure it’s a concrete no.

  • Don

    Question: I am on Verizon and have a iphone 5s which will work on tmobile. Do I have to trade in my phone or can I just submit final bill for the ETF credit?

    • YuMadTho2

      In for same question.

    • Cam Bunton

      “Trade-in of their old phone, purchase of a new T-Mobile phone and porting of their phone number to T-Mobile are required to qualify”

      • Don

        Wonder if I can trade in any working phone? I don’t care about the trade in value but the ETF being paid would be great.

    • thatguy

      Yes you must trade in your device and purchase a new one from Tmobile either full retail or via the EIP.

  • derpedhard

    If I’m at the end of my ATT contract and decide to get a new phone and reup my contract with ATT, cancel after 30 days. Keep the phone take the ETF switch to T-mobile have them pay off the ETF trade in my old ATT phone, sell new ATT phone for profit. Would this work?

    • Cam Bunton

      It might. I don’t know if there are any rules about which phone you have to trade in, as long as you trade one in.

    • thatguy

      Yes, BUT notice it says that the trade in value is UP TO $300…so bring in an ATT prepaid flip phone for all we care, just port your number (so dont cancel with ATT as that wont work) , and we’ll cover the ETF. Enjoy.

    • Moby

      Sure, but you’d have to buy a T-Mobile phone at full retail price too. (even though on payments)

      • derpedhard

        aren’t you going to pay full price regardless if you switch to t-mobile. doing this way you can use the money from new ATT phone to pay for the new T-Mobile phone.

      • For most people at the end of 2 years it’s a fair amount cheaper paying “full price” for a phone and less per month than if you get a “subsidized” phone from another carrier.

  • So no 3 line minimum as was previously reported?

    I’m interested, but wish they allowed BYOD, my wife is on Verizon now and I’d have no problem trading her CDMA/LTE Galaxy SIII to switch to T-Mobile but I’d way rather buy her a Google Edition Galaxy S4 to replace it instead of a T-Mobile branded bloatware-laden Galaxy S4. I know it’s not difficult to put a GE ROM on the TMO S4 but it would be nice to not have to.

    • Roger Sales

      don’t you think that’s a little bit picky? T-Mobile already has a pretty great phone selection.

      • If I’m going to pay $650 for a phone I should be able to pick whichever $650 phone I want.

        Of course the issue is that TMO wants to keep the $300+ in profit on a $650 (non-iPhone) smartphone and they want you to be saddled with the bloatware.

        • Roger Sales

          The phone you want isn’t even sold by any major carrier. No one likes a diva.

        • Dakota

          Part of my contracts and consumer freedom is not being tied to carriers & being able to choose devices you want. They could figure out a way to accommodate the few customers wanting a device T-Mobile doesn’t sell

        • Roger Sales

          They already accommodate that by separating contract revenue from service revenue – the other aspect of T-Mobile is respecting the manufacturers that DO choose to work with them – not pandering to those that don’t. Expecting more out of T-Mobile than that is just simply not rational because at the end of the day they are a business and they have to act like one.

        • Spanky

          Agreed 100%. Requiring a customer to purchase a carrier-branded device is not very Un-carrier, is it?

        • Kentucky

          Who do you think pays the manufacturer for the phones? TMO does. They are not making a $300 profit.

        • They are probably making more than $300, I’d be surprised if the net cost to TMO for a Galaxy S4 right now was more than $250.

        • Kentucky

          I can assure you that you’re not correct. Carriers do not make that much on phones.

        • I’ve heard this before many times but I flatly reject that argument.

          Look at the cost of every other piece of consumer electronics in existence (including looking at the cost of WiFi-only tablets).

          Look at the known cost of components found in the phones.

          What’s that you say? Cost of manufacture, shipping and regulatory costs you say? Then explain the sub-$200 off contract price of many “budget” smartphones that have all the same components as a top line smartphone just in lower spec. Those will have almost identical costs for manufacture, shipping and regulatory approval.

          There is absolutely no rational explanation for a smartphone to cost anywhere near what they do.

          I doubt very much if even most employees in the finance department of carrier know what the phones really cost once all the credits, rebates and other financial trickery is taken into account. I’m sure Michael Morgan could tell you though.

        • Kentucky

          OK, it’s clear I’m not going to convince you so I won’t try. All I can tell you is they are not making anything close to the profits you think they are on selling phones. Carriers make their money on service. Phones are just a differentiator for carriers and a vehicle to deliver that service.

        • philyew

          TM paid over $440 for the S2 according to Samsung’s declared earnings by product which they made public in the Apple case. There is no way that the wholesale price for top of the range Samsung products has dropped that much, if at all.

        • Wholesale price != net price

        • philyew

          The amount declared as income by Samsung was as part of the disclosure process required to establish the extent of damages. In other words, it ran contrary to Samsung’s interests to declare even a dollar more than they actually received from their customers.

          Here’s the link. Do the math yourself. You can see that the devices with TM specs, like the S2 and the Vibrant, came out in the $430-450 ball park, which wasn’t a lot different from the prices paid by AT&T and Verizon.


        • Kentucky

          Your beef should be with the manufacturers, not the carriers, if you think phones are overpriced. The bulk of profit in the distribution chain exists between manufacturing cost and wholesale price. Who do you think sets the retail price of the iPhone, for instance?

        • iPhone is an exception, Apple is the only manufacturer that can get away with keeping the ridiculous profits for themselves. The reason it took TMO so long to get the iPhone is because they didn’t want to pay that much for the phone. You will note that the iPhone arrived on T-Mobile at the same time they started moving away from subsidies.

    • KingofPing

      Heh, We lucked out here.

      Got 4 lines with VZW (one came up last month, but I saw this coming and wanted to wait instead of migrating family out-of-order and losing numbers – wife was next, but it was my son’s line that was up..).

      This way I can port the rest of them over with their numbers and all costs covered. We’ll lose one S3, one Fascinate, and two LG Spectrum’s (no great loss on any of ’em frankly) and get not only credit towards the new devices, but the ETF’s paid on top of it.

    • WW

      Heh, a number of Nexus (5 & 7) devices have Hewlett Packard bloatware pre-installed & non-removable (without rooting).

      Check the Google Play store for “hp print service plug in”.

  • KingCobra

    I might go ahead and take my last two family member lines off Verizon and port them to Tmobile. They have iPhone 4S’s. So if I’m understanding this right they can trade in those 2 phones and get two Tmobile iPhones for $0 down?

    • donnybee

      The $0 down promotion is just what T-Mobile has going on right now. So if you do it within the promotional period, which doesn’t look to be ending in the near future, you can get most phones for $0 down. Plus, you’d get whatever trade-in value T-Mobile is paying for those 4S’s, as well as getting bought out of your ETF.

      I plan on getting my girlfriend to switch too :) Same exact situation with a 4S on Verizon lol

    • m3nphls

      Not a good deal, you trade in both 4S and still have to buy 2 phones at full price by paying one shot or over 24 months. Plus coverage compared to verizon is a joke.

      • just me

        Its a good deal if he wants to switch. ETF’s paid plus the credit. Probably comes out about the same or slightly ahead than if he sold the phones and paid the etf himself.

        • m3nphls

          There’s no real saving unless he keeps using the same phone after 24 months. If he upgrades every 2 years then the contract model still better.

        • fsured

          You are missing the point of the customer not being satisfied for whatever reason with the current carrier. This gives them the option to leave without forking over hundreds of dollars only to buy another phone with whatever company they go with.

        • mickey

          If he’s paying $180 for 2 phones and an iPad sharing 1gb, then how is the contract model better? Even without a trade in, it would cost $120/month for 2 iPhone 5C + 500mb data each. Add $20/month for 500mb mobile data on the iPad. 500mb more than what he’s getting on verizon plus unlimited 2G afterwards.

        • WW

          If he’s using iPhone 4’s, he’s not a phone changer. If he does get a new phone every 2 years, he’d pay $150/month on TMo. Or he could pay $170/month with TMo & change phones every 6 months. In either case there’d be 2.5 gigs of high speed data.

      • KingCobra

        Looks like the trade in value is $101 for the Verizon 4S. So that would be $101 towards the new phones (mostly likely 5Cs).

        I already have 3 lines on Tmobile and the coverage works well for me most places I go. Verizon does have LTE everywhere but right now we’re paying $180 for 2 iPhones and an iPad Mini sharing a pathetic 1GB of data.

        Switching those 3 lines over will be $10 for each iPhone and free 200mb of data per month for the iPad. Verizon has excellent coverage but it’s a total ripoff. I’ll probably go ahead and pull the trigger on this one.

        • WW

          Since you know the coverage is sufficient for you, it’s a great deal, especially if you put all 5 lines under a single family plan.

          That converts the $180/month into $90/month (2 new $600 phones, 2.5 gigs of data per line).

  • TotallyJaded

    “Good news. If you’re a longtime customer with an old plan, you can migrate to Simple Choice without incurring any extra charges”

    Typical shill. After everyone on stage makes ETF’s sound untenable, it turns out it’s just the ones that don’t benefit T-Mobile. If you want to leave T-Mobile, you still have to pony up.

    • thepanttherlady

      I’m not sure how it is in the best interest of T-Mobile to pay you to leave?!!!? If you’re not happy, AT&T will gladly pay you to come to them. :)

      • TotallyJaded

        It’s not. It’s just complete hypocrisy from T-Mobile execs to get on stage and say how terrible contracts are, and that (paraphrasing here) “If the network isn’t good, you should be able to leave”… but none of that applies to their company.

        Cam could have presented the existing customer “option” for what it really is, but instead, decided to join the magenta spin zone.

        • thepanttherlady

          I understand completely what you’re saying and not disagreeing at all. A lot of us Value and Classic plan customers had the same complaint when they introduced the Simple Choice non-contract plans last year.

        • mikey

          Options for existing customers for Alot better last year. Towards the end of the summer I was able to switch all my lines to the simple choice plan despite having recently upgraded.

        • Glad I Left CA

          Feel free to go to AT&T or VZ and WAY overpay for crappy service, and be locked into a contract for 2 years. No thanks!

        • TotallyJaded

          Er… I’m already overpaying for crappy service and locked in to a contract with T-Mobile.

          Thanks for the permission, though.

    • Roger Sales

      If you had a contract when they were still available and are under it, why should you be allowed to leave for free? You’re asking for something no one would grant you – certainly not Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint.

      • TotallyJaded

        That’s my point exactly. This “Uncarrier! OMG T-MOBILE I <3 YOU!!" babble is ridiculous.

        The CEO gets on stage, says that contracts are "anti-consumer", but only means other contracts.

        • thepanttherlady

          He’s offered you a way of getting out of your T-Mobile contract.

        • TotallyJaded

          By buying a new, locked T-Mobile phone at full price.

        • exeot

          Not necessarily.

          I know this isn’t the case with everyone, since I’m a long time customer, but when I called in several months ago to tmobile, they migrated me away from my grandfathered 3000 minute plan without any penalty whatsoever. Plus in the months before, I got a new galaxy s 4 and galaxy s 3 on contract. They waived the cancellation fees on all other lines, which were 1 year into their contracts.

          All in all, they waived something like $500 of cancellation fees on four lines, I save $60 more each month with my new plan, and I am contract free. I can leave right now if I want to since I wasn’t forced to buy new phones. But I won’t for good reason.

        • TotallyJaded

          Thing is, for those of us who got a Value Plan, that’s not applicable. And in your situation, you (apparently) wanted to move from a legacy plan to a new plan.

          For anyone on a Value Plan who had no incentive to move to an identically-priced contract-free plan and never received subsidized phones, it just doesn’t apply.

          What T-Mobile is doing flies in the face of “Again, the point: if the network isn’t working, let your customers go.” and calling ETF’s “anti-consumer”, which is what Neville and John both said within minutes of each other.

        • Steve

          I agree with you. I was one of those customers who signed up for a Value plan, signed a contract, but still paid full price for the device. I was able to get out of my contract by porting out to Verizon for 14 days and then porting my number back into T-Mobile with the same phone. They couldn’t stick me on a Value plan again, so they gave me a Simple Choice plan and the system automatically waived my ETF (per their existing re-activation policy). I had to cancel shortly afterwards due to my reception issues getting worse than ever before. But still…no ETF.

        • g

          The Value Plan contracts gave you access to EIP and a heavily discounted rate plan, especially with the minute options. At this point, they were money savers 99%. I understand your point but the moves T-Mobile are making are not to point out what they did in the past, but for what the other carriers are doing now. Even if you did not purchase a phone, you still entered into a legal, binding contract. The ETF and trade in is to have those subsidy customers a way out. At least they are giving you an option. What carrier is doing that? AT&Ts is not even close.

        • just me

          Except that T-Mobile doesn’t require service contracts anymore for new or existing customers. Once the customers with existing contracts get out of them by either trading in their phones and switching to Simple Choice or waiting them out, that’s it- no more T-Mobile customers with service contracts.

          I get the feeling that no matter how T-Mobile shakes things up, you’ll still be complaining.

    • Kentucky

      Every new program has a start date. When TMO decided to go no-contract, they also created a way to move from older plans to the new ones. But if you are on an old plan, you owe them money for the phone. There is no reason they should let you walk until they get that money.

      • TotallyJaded

        Nice try, tiger. You’re totally wrong.

        People on the Value Plan never got subsidized equipment.

        If they believe what they said on stage (and what hopeless T-Mo fanboys keep defending), there is no reason they shouldn’t let Value Plan customers walk away penalty-free.

        • philyew

          Agreed. Have you raised that with anyone? Why not write to Legere? I did just that on an complaint earlier in the year and a few weeks later the issue was addressed. Not saying it changed because of me, but the company did let it be known that they were responding to an issue raised by customers.

          I just tweeted Legere “Good moves, but what about ETFs for Value Plan customers? No subsidy should mean ETF-free move to Simple Choice…only fair.”

        • Kentucky

          First, I don’t think I’ve said anything to deserve the dismissive ‘tiger’ reference. Is this how you talk to everyone you disagree with?

          You have some false assumptions about the cost of a phone, how much you should pay for it, and whether or not a carrier should be fairly compensated for the products and services they sell you. Regardless the plan you were on, if you acquired a phone from TMO, you owe them the agreed upon price for that phone, despite what you think the price SHOULD be.

          What I find interesting is that you think the grass will be greener with a different carrier. The financial model is essentially the same with all of them. But TMO seems to be interested in moving toward a model where they are very transparent about their service fees, rate plans, and device prices. If that’s not your preference, then maybe it would be best to try out a carrier that continues to hide these things .

        • philyew

          I think the point here is that Value Plan customers got a contract but no subsidy and therefore they owe nothing for the device they use.

        • andy

          When value plans first launched we (t-mobile) did contracts to get the cheaper plan, not for phone discounts. Which we have subsequently done away with but some are still in that contract situation for reduced plan cost as it was saving a 2 line family plan with 2gb of data each $40 a month.

        • philyew

          Surely, TM did contracts then because everyone did contracts. Yes, the price was less, but the key element was that there was no subsidy to recover so the plan price could be reduced.

          Now ETFs are justified by subsidy payback, as many – like me – have moved onto the cheaper Simple Choice Plans while still “paying back” subsidized devices.

          In the mean time, Value Plans customers are restricted by ETFs for no logical reason.

        • 21stNow

          The contract and ETF were just to keep customers during the AT&T buyout time. The Value plan was similar to the Even More Plus plan, but the EMP plan did not have a contract or ETF associated with it.

        • philyew

          I’d forgotten that contract-free EMP plans had already begun then…how time flies.

          Nevertheless, I’d say that just makes it even more illogical to use ETFs on Value Plans to hold onto customers when, as a company, TM are saying contracts and ETFs are a bad thing.

        • TotallyJaded

          You assumed that I got a subsidized device, and continue to assume that I don’t understand how subsidization works. So, I’d say it was warranted.

          When I started the account, I bought four Galaxy Nexus phones, full price, direct from Google. Speculate all you want, but T-Mobile hasn’t given me a cent in phone subsidies. My monthly payment has been the same payment they’ve offered to anyone off the street without a contract since last Spring.

          Of those four lines, I bought out one of the contracts to go back to AT&T, because I discovered on business travel that I was getting EDGE data along I-75 — when data was available. This was way back in late 2013. So, with “having a signal on major national expressways is important” being a requirement, the grass was indeed greener.

          I don’t disagree that T-Mobile is making their rate plans more transparent. Transparency isn’t the issue. Honesty is. John Legere wasn’t being honest on stage, and the T-MoNews spin on what he said wasn’t, either.

        • Kentucky

          Forgive the assumption. Considering you only now added the information that you bought the phones from another source, it was easy to get confused about what you were and were not paying for.

          I wish you well with your ultimate decision on carriers, “Tiger”.

        • Camille

          Sorry for jumping into the discussion, but I’m confused about what your problem is with migrating from Value plans to Simple Choice? Just in the last couple of months, I was able to switch from the family value plan to the simple choice plans, no ETF, and I had a couple of lines where I am paying for phones with EIP. Is this what you are wanting to do, but can’t? If that’s not it, I apologize for butting in.

        • TotallyJaded

          T-Mobile used to sell a Value Plan, where you could get what’s now the Simple Choice pricing, if you brought your own device, or bought a new device without a subsidy.

          Last Spring, T-Mobile introduced Simple Choice, which is the Value Plan, but without a contract. Basically, if someone signed up for the $60 / 2.5GB plan last January, they had to enter a contract that has a $200 ETF, and remains in force until January 2015. If their friend signed up in June, they would get the same service for the same price, but could leave whenever they wanted, without an ETF.

          Today, two T-Mobile executives explicitly said that contracts and early termination fees were unfair to consumers, and the customers should be able to leave their carriers if they experience poor network quality.

          Despite what the two executives have said, if their own customer who signed up last January wanted to leave, T-Mobile would slap them with a $200 ETF.

        • just me

          I agree, with no phone subsidy, Value Plan customers really should have no etf now.

          Although it’s more work than you should have to do, I suggest one of these two options:

          1) (Less time and effort but probably slower response) Write an email to John Legere explaining your situation.

          2) (more time and effort but potential same day solution) call customer care, get to loyalty, and keep demanding to speak to the next person up on the totem pole until someone is willing to waive the etf.

          Might I also suggest you’ll probably have better luck being polite but insistent rather than abrasive. Not that it isn’t warranted, but people are more likely to be sympathetic if you don’t immediately start off with the “lying hypocritical shills” rhetoric. Good luck.

  • m3nphls

    This deal doesn’t make sense since you end up paying more because you have to buy a new phone at full price.

    • fsured

      The point is to switch carriers if you are unhappy with the one you have. You trade in your old phone to get one that fully works on T-Mobile and help cover the cost to the company paying the EFT. You buy one and it is you choice on how expensive of a phone you want. You would save money buying the phone over 24 months than paying the subsidized contract 24 month price and the plans offer more service for the price. Then if you use the Jump program it makes more sense since you can upgrade to a new phone every 6 months.

    • KingofPing

      At least they give you (What appears to be a decent) credit for your old device. If they had stuck with AT&T’s plan, you’d give up your phone for *nothing*, aside from the ETF payoff…plus buying a new device.

      From what I gather here, you not only get the ETF payoff, but also decent credit on your device towards the new one, making it at least much less painful. If they ever carry anything like the Moto G, that could be huge.

      • 21stNow

        AT&T is offering a device credit of up to $250 and a bill credit of $200, since T-Mobile never had an ETF above $200. The offers are similar in terms of the financial effects.

    • Kentucky

      You ALWAYS pay full price on the phone, no matter which carrier you’re with

      • maximus1901

        He means you’re not allowed to come over from ATT and keep your phone AND get the ETF paid.

  • jbarry

    Am I missing something with old customers? I switched to simple choice plan over a year ago. Did not have to pay migration fee or buy a new phone.

    • 21stNow

      Simple Choice plans didn’t exist over a year ago; they started in March 2013.

      If it had been at least 18 months since the existing customer had purchased a subsidized device, no migration fee was necessary. Either way, the existing customer did not have to buy a new phone.

      Customers who had bought a subsidized phone less than 18 months prior to wanting to change had to pay a migration fee in the past. Un-carrier 4.0 eliminates that for them.

      • Steve

        T-Mobile obviously realized that you can’t continue to preach “no contract” as a way to differentiate yourself from the others if a huge percentage of your existing customer base is still locked into one.

      • jbarry

        I have not had a subsidized device in over 3 years. Yet I am under contract till July 2015. How about eliminating that for me

        • 21stNow

          How did that happen? T-Mobile wasn’t doing contracts in July of 2013 so they should not have extended you to July 2015.

          Either way, T-Mobile is allowing you to get out of the contract if you trade-in your current phone, buy a new phone and switch to the Simple Choice plan. I’m not saying that you should do this, but it is an option.

        • qmc

          what happened on your account in july 2013?

  • hgvhbnjm

    so.. we can’t bring our own device? and we have to do the Simple PLan. what? AM i misunderstanding something D:

    • Chris

      Well, they only have one plan now, the Simple Choice Plan. To take advantage of the ETF payments you have to trade in your old phone and purchase a new one through T-Mobile with a payment plan.

  • ap3604

    I’m a bit confused… can someone help me?

    If I’m on ATT (2 lines with iPhone 5s), if I switch to T-mobile then the following happens:
    – They pay the $300 something ETFs on both lines ($600 total)
    – I sign up for a 2 line $80/month simple choice plan
    – I pay $0 down for both Tmobile iPhone 5s but have to pay $25/month each ($50/month total) for 24 months

    So then… what happens to the $282 credit I get for my ATT iPhone 5s trade ins? Do they just keep it? Do they give me $282 mastercard for each that I can use to pay the $25/month iPhone 5s EIP?

    What happens?

    • Ordeith

      You pay for Data? because the $80 plan only gets a paltry 500MB.

      • ap3604

        500mb is more than enough as I rarely use data.

        If either line needs more though I could always switch it to the 2.5gb plan for $10 more per month.

        • WW

          You can add the extra 4g data mid-month (mid-billing cycle) once you’ve used up your 500 megs. it’ll cost you less than $10 unless you use up your 500 megs on the first day because it’s prorated. If it took you 20 days to spend your 500 megs, you’d only have to pay for the remaining 10 days of the month (approx $3.33) but you’d get the full 2 additional gigs. They won’t automatically downgrade you back to the free/included 500 megs once the bill closes though so you’d have to call again to have them take off the extra data service.

      • weezy34

        You get unlimited data for the Simple Choice Plan. Repeat outloud 10x.

        500 mb of 4G, then the rest of billing cycle at throttled speed. For a lot of peeps always near a WiFi signal, this is not a problem.

        Data hogs not near a WiFi network most of the day, will probably upgrade their plan.

        • Jay Holm

          Being near a wifi signal DOES NOT mean it is unsecure and easily accessible, in the real world,tons of wifi signal are secured. And just because someone actually USES their smartsmartphone doesn’t make them a “data hog” as you say. LTE can handle plenty of traffic withot speeds suffering.

          I can tell by the way you talk that your loyalties are to suits and not actual consumers!

    • KingCobra

      You can use the $282 towards the EIP on the new iPhones. It would then lower the monthly EIP payments on the phones.

      • ap3604


        That’s exactly what I was wondering.

        It’s not spelled out correctly what happens to the trade-in-value if the T-mobile phone you are buying is $0 down to begin with.

        • Just get them unlocked once the account is paid in full.

  • Sam

    Unfortunately this won’t work for us – and I was so excited about it, too! I’ve literally been waiting to switch since the announcement was first made. While this article claims that having to give up your device was always part of the plan and always reported here, I’m not sure I agree with that – and if it was, it certainly was reportedly unclearly and poorly.

    The value to switching is lost if my wife and I have to give up our current AT&T iPhone 5 each and then have to get a phone from T-Mobile.

    Currently, we pay about $155 per month for AT&T service (after taxes and fees), and that includes a $10/month line we got very basic for a babysitter we no longer have (we’ve just been waiting for that contract to run out and kill that line, which will occur in March).

    If we were to take advantage of T-Mobile’s offer, we’re talking $75/month per plan and phone, which puts us at $150 BEFORE taxes and fees. That likely means our bill with T-Mobile, because we’re forced to purchase their phone despite already owning perfectly good ones, would be $170 to $180 after taxes and fees.

    The only benefit would be that we’re on a grandfathered 250 MB data plan with AT&T and honestly could use the additional 250 MB T-Mobile would provide for 500 MB total, just to cushion usage when we’re out and about away from a wireless network.

    Sadly this looks like it won’t be working for us. I’m very disappointed. I believe I understand that trading in the phone is important for this business model to work, however, I think for families it doesn’t necessarily make sense economically if they really look at the overall picture.

    • Omar

      You it would be 50_(1st line) 30 (2nd line) then let’s say it 25 per phone since your doing payment that’s 80(plan) 50 (phone payment) that’s 130 plus taxes and free . so it should be close to that 150 you pay and your getting more data

      • Sam

        Ah – thank you for clarifying that. We recently went into a shop and they told us $50 per line, I wasn’t aware of a discount for the second line. This could make it happen still!

        I’ll have to continue to review.

        Also, if my office can acquire a business discount for T-Mobile that would actually swing it in T-Mobile’s favor, as I realize I’m receiving a 17 percent discount on my AT&T service (we have these discounts for all carriers except for T-Mobile at this time).

        • mickey

          I’m in the same boat as you with 3 AT&T lines with iPhone 5s’s. Trading them in and re-buying is a pain but after breaking down the math it actually saves me at least $10 a line per month. Obviously more savings if they let me trade in a random old device and I sell the phones on ebay/swappa.

        • just me

          That is totally what I would do if I were taking advantage of this. Buy the cheapest used AT&T smartphones I could find, use them as the trade-in devices, and sell off my nice expensive smartphones myself to use towards the purchase of the new T-Mobile phones.

        • mickey

          Yes that is my plan. I already have 2 devices that qualify collecting dust. I don’t think it’s limited to smartphones either. I’ve seen some feature phones on that list that have $1 trade in value. I wonder if they take phones NOT on their list as well? Because I have a ton of old feature phones and even windows mobile phones laying around somewhere.

      • moss

        It wouldn’t be a $50 phone payment if you use some of that trade in value of those iPhones and put it towards value of the new phones.

    • Do u even know how to read bro ? They said, you can keep your existing GSM phone. Get it unlocked by at&t once you are paid in full with at&t and just pop the t-mobile sim card.

      • Sam

        That is not the case at all. Please re-read the article. T-Mobile will only provide ETF reimbursement if you give them your phone.

        That’s the only way this program is economically viable for them. By acquiring as reselling your phone they can mitigate the impact of the ETF hit.

        • andy

          Sam is correct, phone trade in its a must

        • dtam

          you have two options for switching I think.

          you can just trade in, get probably $300 for trade in, buy the new iphone from tmobile for $600 and be done with it which will cost you about $300 per line or

          you can buy some cheapie AT&T phone off ebay (or a nokia lumia 521) and plug your sim card in when you try to switch and get your iphone 5 unlocked. when you switch to tmobile, buy a cheapie tmobile phone (many can be had for $100). this method will probably cost you $150 per line but make sure that the at&t iphone supports tmobiles bands

        • Trading an old blackberry, sounds amazing to me. I have many laying around. I dont care i get pennies back, as long as i am covered for my ETF Cost. Pssh !!

        • maximus1901

          They’re only accepting phones that they can sell back.
          The whole point of this “give up your phone for 1/4 of what you can sell it for” is so that TMO can sell it for what it’s worth and soften the blow of paying your $350 ETF, BRO.

        • Sam

          Ha, I liked the “bro” on there, too!

        • Singleweird

          Wrong. many of the phones accepted as trade-ins are valued at $0 old flip phones that will be used for warranty exchanges). It will still make the customer eligible to reimburse ETF.

  • Steve

    Although I wish T-Mobile all the best in their desire to transform the wireless industry, I can’t imagine switching back to them right now. Indoor reception is less than desirable at my home, and this caused my iPhone 5 to heat up like an oven while it attempted to hold onto a signal. I also had to call Customer Care no less than 10 times to get my phone unlocked. Ultimately it required a lengthy BBB complaint to finally reach someone that could make this happen for me. I don’t enjoy paying Verizon $220/mo for wireless service, but it’s necessary for me to use my work phone indoors and outside the major metro areas. If they can improve customer service and indoor reception, I would consider coming back in a year or two.

    • Ordeith

      sadly, their customer service really has taken a nosedive in the last few years.
      As for Indoor reception all of their not-an-iPhone phones support WiFi calling, giving you full cellular services over a WiFi connection.
      This is especially handy when traveling out of the country, as WiFi calling at any WiFi hotspot is still treated like a domestic originating-in-the-US call.

      • Steve

        It’s a shame that T-Mobile’s excellent marketing/branding doesn’t extend to their call centre reps. The left hand definitely does not talk to the right. I was lucky enough to be able to take over a grandfathered unlimited data plan + unlimited 4G hotspot ($60 just for data) at Verizon, but the total bill for my smartphone + 2 MiFi’s on a “share everything” 4GB plan is just ridiculous. $220/mo after tax.

        • Ordeith

          I don’t know how AT&T is in your area. But AIO Wireless, which uses AT&T’s network, has plans for $55/month for 2GB High speed data with unlimited everything. Supposedly it allows for using your phone as a wireless hotspot so no MiFi needed. It might be a possible solution for you.

        • Steve

          I’d be incredibly stupid to switch to any other carrier at this point. Verizon is the only carrier that has a grandfathered unlimited 4G hotspot add-on feature. No throttling and it’s $30 on top of the standard $30 unlimited smartphone data plan. For all the profit that Verizon makes off me and every other customer, I think I’ll cancel my home broadband and milk these guys till they force us unlimited customers off it.

        • aaa

          Can you switch phones keeping the same grandfather plan with Verizon?

  • Bklynman

    Question can you only do this in Tmo corp.store,or can go to Best Buy,Target,Sam
    Club,Costo,etc,get this deal,also what about online like Wirefly? Does anyone know? Will they paid off contracts if you buy Tmo phone outright like from Bestbuy,
    Slickdeals,or do have buy the phones from a corp.store only to get this deal?
    Tmo reps. What the answer?

    • andy

      I am a t-mobile employee. The places you listed only offered either our subsidized phones or prepaid at a discount. I believe, and news is still coming out in a hurry, that since we don’t do subsidy anymore and you have to trade in a device, which some listed do not support, it will be corporate and authorized (executive cellular), only

      • Bklynman

        I am tmo customer,just wanted to know. I do have a friend who has his whole family on att. Last I look on Best Buy site they The one touch for sale $50.00 and the Nokia 520 for $79.00,he not into smart phones himself,one of his kids has smart phone,and his wife
        I believe,his 2 others children are 12(twins),his oldest child go to college upstate. Let says check out finds he can save money by switching 4 lines,but but not his daughter line who at college. (Rual area upstate) Now can he go buy 4 Tmo phones from Best Buy or even let’ssay E bay,Hsn,now can get this deal from Tmo,by bringing his own Tmo phones or does he has to buy them only from corp store?Does anyone know the answer to this question? Thank you She and Andy. Or this too new and no one know’s for sure? Thanks again.

        • G

          You need to purchase a new handset from T-Mobile corporate at full retail or in installments. You also will need to trade in your eligible phone to T-Mobile.

        • Bklynman

          Thank you for your answer G and Chantie,that too bad,
          it should be if you bring your own Tmo phone,u can get this
          deal,maybe not from Ebay,but if buy them from a partner
          strore BestBuy,Hsn,etc they should let people do this deal.

        • krym73

          That would be mental retardation for a business,ghis isnt a charity my friend.everyone would have t mobile pay their etf and then take their fully payed off phones to metro,simple mobile,gosmart etc..
          The eip helps keep the customer as well

        • chantie

          you have to purchase a new phone at the time of activation/upgrade in the store to get the deal.

    • She Speaks

      Only Costco Stores (Wireless Advocates Mobile Kiosk) and Corporate stores will be doing it.

  • Tmosince2003

    The offer to current contract customers just got worse. Last week, I could switch to simple choice from family contract plan with no fees and keep the same devices. Now I have to trade in an old device and buy a new one for each line? Nope. 2 of the devices are only half paid for, which I might guess will mean that we are not eligible. One we just got as an insurance replacement.

    I already worked out that simple choice would cost more, but with the international and hotspot/tethering benefits maybe worth it, but now it’s completely out of the question. I just have to hope they won’t shut off this plan.

    Back to the waiting, maybe uncarrier 5 will address bringing the device you already have and really like to TMO. I can’t even recommend this deal to my folks, they have ATT flip phones and love them. This program is of course for the smartphone crowd.

    But it was a great show today and I think uncarrier is good for the industry and for T-Mobile.

    • simplechoicelover34

      Actually, T-Mobile never offered to reimburse ETFs before, so it got better, not worse. Those who are already off contract and those who pay their ETFs on their own do not need to purchase new phones, assuming that their current phones are compatible and their old carriers are willing to unlock them, which they will (at least AT&T will). Maybe the reason you were able to switch and keep your phones without having to pay any fees is because you were already off contract and you didn’t realize it.

      • philyew

        People were allowed to move without fees after 18 months on a contract (fees tapered prior to that) or as a courtesy for tenure over 5 years.

        I moved over to Simple Choice after 15 months with no fees. I passed on my S3 to a family member and started on EIP on a new device. My monthly costs dropped dramatically, but my contract remains in place until later in the year.

        If I did the same today, the contract would be cancelled.

        • Tmosince2003

          Makes sense, thanks for the replies!

          I hope if or when they come to force us off the value 1k family plan to simple choice that it is the same or less monthly. If not, I will pay the 2 EIPs, unlock phones if necessary and put each family member on a GSM MVNO with the best cost appropriate to their usage and geography (roaming).

        • philyew

          You’ll pay the EIP or the ETF? If you have an EIP but no plan, the full amount for each device falls due.

          If you meant you’ll pay the ETFs, then you might still want to consider the relative costs. Depending on the amount of the ETF, a modest price increase moving from Value Plan to Simple Choice might be better value since each $10/month price increase would be $240 over two years, whereas the ETFs may be as much as $400.

        • Tmosince2003

          Forgot to mention intermediate step after paying off the EIP, which is to accept free conversion to simple choice, free since I do have tenure. Wait one billing cycle. Then request unlock codes and cancel all 3 lines with no ETF penalty.

          I am in that segment that had to take a contract extension to use EIP even though it was not a device subsidy. Things are better now, but it is what it is.

          I realize that simple choice is a terrific value but I can’t pay any more for service I don’t really need (unlimited talk and text) and I won’t.

        • philyew

          Good luck then.

    • just me

      I’m guessing the reason you could switch to simple choice with no migration fees was because of the policy that customers with more than 5 years tenure can switch with no migration fees no matter how much time was left in their contract. Do you have any word that this policy has changed? I’m going to guess it hasn’t.

      The offer for customers to trade in their old phone, buy a new one, and end their contract isn’t exactly ideal, but it’s better than paying a migration fee or etf, which was the only option customers under contract with less than 5 years tenure had before.

    • philyew

      I think you can still do it, but your contract and associated ETF doesn’t get cancelled. That’s how it worked for me recently.

      Doing a deal on another phone then didn’t cancel my contract, but it would now. That’s the only difference.

    • krym73

      Just do a upgrade at their current carrier for a free phone on the trade in list,then come in and trade it, that way the can also keep their old flip phones. Lol

      • Tmosince2003

        That is genius!

        I have been looking at their usage and really, unlimited is overkill on either carrier.

        Also, they are now out of contract so I am going to try to explain the MVNO world to them, probably H2O or Airvoice since they use zero data.

  • Walden

    They made a big deal that this is not a limited offer. st line in terms and conditions is “Limited time offers, subject to change” I love what they are doing just want it to last and not be a hypr machine,.

    • They said, it’s here to stay, “conditions apply” is to legally defend them. Take advantage today, who cares about tomorrow.

  • bryan

    What I’m still more.annoyed at is the att note 2 is valued more than tmobiles note 2.

    • fsured

      Maybe there is more demand for the ATT Note 2 than T-Mobiles causing the value to increase? Are there any hardware differences?

      • bryan

        Not sure of any hardware difference. Much better to just sell on swappa or craigslist. But still the trade in pricing discrepancy is huge.

  • wannaSwitch

    what if my phone is not eligible??

    • Chris

      Not sure I follow, what do you mean not eligible? They should take any phone. If it’s not on their website for a trade in value it probably just means they would recycle it

      • wannaSwitch

        Thanks Chris. I dont see nexus 4 in their trade in program

        • Chris

          Ahh yeah, that’s a great question. I too was looking for the Nexus devices but couldn’t find them. I am sure they take them(would be silly not to), it just may not be on their online tool

        • degenrationx

          funny when we do in store trade in for the nexus 4, the black one comes up at $0 and the white one is values at $100…weird

      • Guest

        T-Mobile will not take back any phone. Call a retail channel and ask them to check the trade-in estimate to see if your phone is eligible.

        • Eddjz

          actually tmo will take any phone.if its worth $0 we ship that phone to a different location rather than the ones they have on they’re list that do have value.

        • Guest


        • Eddjz

          tmobile will take any phone regardless of their worth.if its worth 0 it will be taken but shipped elsewhere rather than shipping it with the valued ones.pretty clear

        • Singleweird

          to forgive EIP, yes it turns out we will accept any phone. the beginning terms of the program were different. and to my knownledge, all phones brokenworkingvaluednonvalued are sent to assurant in the same shipment unless they’re recycs.

    • gog

      If your phone isn’t their trade list, you can’t make the trade.

  • What about customers who have already migrated to Simple Choice but were told we still had to wait out our contracts? Are those gonna be canceled as well?

    • el_perezo

      Good question Erika. I was about to post that too. Back in July I did that with too, transfer 5 lines from classic to simple. I had to pay like 400 $ to do so. Now, I’m one on of those “thank you for being with us since 2008” customers, if I call to say “hey can you at least give me some kind of credit since your doing it for these people you have no good history with”.

      • I did it in October with two lines to enroll in Jump, and then added a third line a month later to get a Nexus 7 (and I’m also one of their “loyalty” customers, I’ve heard “thank you for being a part of the T-Mobile family since 2005” more times than I can count, lol.)

        Once this starts really rolling out, I’m considering getting a hold of loyalty to see what they say.

        • el_perezo

          I called(politely) yesterday too see if I could get any sort of credit for the fees I paid back in August. I was only able to get a customer loyalty credit of 10$ from here on out I guess. Oh well its something. I could’ve said ‘well I’m leaving” but where am I gonna go,…. ATT… Haha uuhhh no.

        • Bklynman

          Don’t call write aletter to the head of CRS,also to John himself,by cercity mail. See what they tell u. Tell them ur thinking about Att. Go Phone service,$60. amonth with everything,that is with 2 gigs of data,see what they tell u.
          Hopes this helps u,I had a problem too,wrote to the head of CRS,it was reslove in my favor,this was before John took over. Also u can use Twitter,and email John too,FB,him too.
          But write to him too. Take care.

        • Bklynman

          See my reply to el_perezo below.

      • ENio

        So after reading el_perezo comment below that he got $10 loyalty credit (not sure if he got a one time credit or for a number of months), I called T-mobile as well to ask for some kind of credit for the $100 migration fee i paid back in August. I was first denied any credit by their regular CSR even though i’m planning to upgrade to the new Z1S (i offered to trade in my old phone which is dying as well). So I asked to escalate my request to the loyalty department and was straight away offered $5 credit for 3 months. Asked the lady if that’s the best offer she can give me and she offered $5 credit for 6 months or I can get a 1 time $30 credit. Bargained further and ended up with $50 1 time credit. Not bad ^_^

        • el_perezo

          Yeah it was a 10$ credit from here on out. I told them since they switched over to these new Plans where you can get any phone anytime in payments, that I’ve spent over 4,000 already. Also said that I’ve never been late on payments and that the people their offering these credits too have no history with them like I do. It was basically a car salesman – like pitch I did.

    • Singleweird

      T-Mobile will dissolve your contract if you upgrade your phone AND trade in your eligible device.

      • Yeah, but I migrated so I could upgrade my broken Galaxy SIII. I upgraded to a G2. There’s really no point for me upgrading AGAIN, I already have the best phone in T-Mo’s current lineup (if not on the market, full stop.)

  • John Lucas

    Does everybody get the new phones at 0 down or is it still based on credit check?

    • Chris

      Still based on a credit check if I heard John correctly during the event

    • Singleweird

      credit check. down payments are tiered.

    • RedGeminiPA

      Which is why I just finally ended up going with Sprint.

      1) They have LTE where I live, while T-Mobile is still EDGE. A friend who has T-Mobile was in from out of town and had zero service with T-Mobile in an area that’s covered by Sprint’s LTE. So much for the AT&T roaming agreement, since AT&T works great in that area.

      2) No huge down payment – Sprint put a $150 per line credit limit on my account at the cost of $4.99 per month. If I sign up for auto-pay, they take off the fee.

      3) The monthly price is higher, yes, but I got $100 off the phone because I transferred my number, plus I’ll get another $50 bill credit as well because of it, and I’ll get a small discount because I’m with AAA (and no activation fee). It’s still much cheaper than Verizon & AT&T, and coverage is better with Sprint than T-Mobile, at least in the areas I’ll be using it. I also get unlimited full-speed data for life, unlike AT&T & Verizon.

      • gentleman559

        Sprint is NOT full speed data. It may say 4G but its really 3G if that. Plus dropped calls all day long. Enjoy your new Sprint service.

    • gentleman559

      Credit Check

  • Simply The Doctor

    So, what stops me from buying a phone from att for free on contract, taking an old flip phone, and giving that to them to end the early termination fee to get a free phone (with the possible cost of a month of service)?

    • Tmosince2003

      They have a device list online, see what models they will accept and what credit that device is worth. It’s less than the going rate on the used device market for the ones I checked. So, this idea will cost you some money to kick off but I also think it would work. And since your bill should be less, that ROI break even will only take a few months.

      Remember that there is no free phone and really, there never was; you pay off the phone in 2 years and assuming you don’t jump to a new device then or sooner your bill goes down.

    • Singleweird

      nothing is stopping you. as long as the phone is on the list (it can be worth $0, they will still accept it) – you’re eligible.

  • maximus1901

    Worth repeating:
    the REAL reason why TMO requires you trade-in your device:
    1) to keep you locked into them: without contracts, what’s there to prevent people from getting their ETFs paid and then going to an MVNO?
    I think people would rather have their ETFs paid and sign a contract to stay with TMO until TMO makes up paying the ETF but oops! TMO doesn’t do contracts . .. . This would be a better deal than selling your iphone 5s for $282 to TMO and then buying another one for $650.

    2) to make up the money to counter your ETF they pay off: obviously, you could sell your iphone 5s 16GB for WAAAAy more than $282 on eBay or Craigslist. You can be sure TMO will. And they’ll apply that profit to soften the blow of paying your $350 ETF.

    And FYI, I asked my colleague with a Nexus 4 on TMO if he ever sees EDGE where we work – first floor 30 feet from windows – and he says yes.

    TMO will find that it’s easier to attract people than it is to keep them. Once they see 2G-only inside some buildings, they’ll want to go back to att but OOPS! they can’t because now they have a contract . . err . . .. . installment plan and a hefty ETF . . . . err . . .. remaining balance on equipment to pay off.

    “But 700 Mhz is coming”
    And you’ll have to get a new phone and it covers 158mil but is only deployable for half that until 2016 and TMO said they’ll be “disciplined” in additional 700 transactions which is code for stingy.

    Brilliant move, for sure, but unless they densify their network for people’s AWS/PCS phones TODAY, it’s not gonna be pretty for TMO in 1-2 years.

    • Singleweird

      traded in phones are used in warranty exchanges. tmobile definitely makes money on them, but i can assure you the margin is much lower than you think and they don’t sell used stuff. you can trade in any brick you have laying around at your house that could well be worth nothing, and it entitles you to the reimbursement. There is nothing fake about this deal. T-Mobile is making a massive, risky as hell investment, and there’s no arguing that. It’s pretty amazing if you think about it. $350 out of pocket before you even pay your first bill.

  • degenrationx

    i think this is a game changer in the wireless industry and I am very proud to work for this awesome company….but I hope the higher ups read this…we need a new look in store….we need different uniforms. the black on black makes us look like degenerate bouncers in a cheesy club!! we need to go all casual with jeans,sneakers and the black t-mobile polo, or we need to go the route of verizon and dress to impress, shirt, tie etc.

    please o please read this and make the changes on uniforms

  • Singleweird

    i love my company.

  • nkstn

    What’s stopping me from selling my Sprint Note 2 for like $250 on Swappa.com (tmo says they’ll give me $106), then getting a cheapo dumb Sprint phone and going to tmo? They would pay my ETF and that extra $150 I made on my phone helps pay off the new Tmo phone I have to get. This would work… yes?

    (I’m seriously considering going to Tmo now)

    • pirka


      Welcome to T-mobile. :)

      ps: make sure you dont cancel your sprint line before going to tmobile because you have to port your sprint phone number in order to qualify.

    • RedGeminiPA

      According to the comment above, it only applies to smartphones. Maybe if you buy a used smartphone to use, but they probably won’t give you nearly as much for it.

    • gentleman559

      Good choice cause Sprint sucks

  • pissedinflorida

    This plan is such bs. It says you can trade in any phone on the site yet the 800 number and the stores state it has to be a smartphone for the trade in. well we used my moms line to upgrade another line. she uses a flip phone. so now we cannot get her etf paid off by tmobile! so my family cannot join this program. did anyone see the original tweets when the ceo was onstage announcing this program? it was tweeted that tmo would pay your etf and you can keep your phone. then a few hours later the tweet was changed to they will pay the etf if you trade in your phone. such BS! and very very sneaky! JUST PAY THE ETF AND LET US KEEP OUR PHONES!!!! alot of people are going to have problems with this i have no doubt about this! if they truly want to destroy the other carriers they need to loosen their restrictions!

  • Antonio JcRM

    So lets see……..

    AT&T iPhone 16GB is $200.

    EFT right now is 280

    Go 2 T-Mo and trade in AT&T iPhone for instant credit worth 280.

    Get a tmo iPhone for 0 down. (really u pay taxes up front). Nothing is never free!

    now paying for a $650 iPhone, (yes thats $600 fo fone, plus $10 sim kit, plus taxes i payed @ down payment). in installments.

    280 instant credit will go towards the $650. That will leave me with 370 to pay off installments.

    AT&T issues a 280 plus tax eft.

    T-Mo pays for it instantly.

    Now i’m on T-Mo, but coverage suxs. WTF!

    Now to break free with t-mo I have to pay the full $370. But wait my eft at at&t was $280. Damn look wat i got myself into! ;(

    • Bklynman

      If I was with Att,I would not have contract,I would just buy one of there Go Phones,then just check out different online,and offline stores that sell use phones $60. amonth,unlited talk and text,2 gigs of data. That more than enough for me. If the phone I got from Att,was not the one I wanted,then see the above,also Ebay. ButbI am happy with Tmo.$50. For untimted everything,I don’t play games or watch movies on my phone,do stream music from it every month without no problem,no over charges for data.

    • daya

      This plan or scheme isn’t best for individuals. If you think you will get ton of money for your iphone and you want a free iphone from tmobile then you in your own world just like so many people here bitching about how thought tmobile would pay for their phones and pay money for their ETF and get them a free smartphone.

      This is best for average income families who want to use smartphone but want to make their monthly bill to go down but are stuck with other carriers because of different upgrade dates of each members.


      (over two years assuming 500mb is enough for each memebers)

      A family a four wants a $600 phone with tmobile.

      Tmobile: $100 per month

      Phone cost: $2400

      Monthly bill: $200

      A family of four wants a $400 phone with tmobile.

      Tmobile: $100 per month.

      Phone cost: $1600

      Monthly bill: $167


      ATT or Verizon

      (assuming 2gb shareable data is enough)

      A family of four wants a $600 phone

      carrier: $215 per month

      phone cost: $800

      Monthly bill: $248

      A family of four wants a $600 phone

      carrier: $215 per month

      phone cost: $0

      Monthly bill: $215

      Thats a saving of about $50 EVERY month for that family for two years. and they never have to worry about a family member going over the data which is $15 per gb.

      This is why people might want to switch. NOT to make few hundred dollars by exchanging iphone from ATT to Tmobile and looking for short term profit.

      I hope people get this. And people with bad tmobile coverage in their area…all i can simply say is BAD LUCK!

    • dpro

      Actually Iphone 5S is $600 right now from T Mobile. I just switched. Plus if your ETF from AT&T is $280 it means you have been with them for 8 months which means you have an Iphone 5 not the 5S which means its an upgrade which you were not eligible for at AT&T yet. So ya you walk with a New Iphone 5S paid off for $370 which is cheaper than you can buy one outright for. I don’t see what you are complaining about here. Unless you have your numbers mixed up and you have a Iphone 5S from AT&T but at which point you could only have owned it for 4 months which means $40 off your ETF which starts at $360 either way you still wind up with an unlocked 5S for $370 out of pocket maybe $410 if your numbers are off. At $370 plus the possible $200 down you originally probably paid for the previous Iphone you are still getting a unlocked Iphone 5S for $575 which you could easily sell and not be out one penny.

      I guess you just can’t think creatively or realize the advantage here.

      • Antonio JcRM

        No u moron.. its a scenario. The moral of the scenario is “COVERAGE”. Did i ever said which iPhone was purchased. NO! Did i not write the iPhone is $600 at T-Mobile, pacifically the 5s 16GB. Open ur mind! Of course their are benefits, however people will switch without brain-storming regardless how much their eft is down the road, ($300,$280,$250) yes thats where the scenario $280 came from, trade in, and realize that T-Mobile’s coverage suxs. Then if they want to switch back they will have to pay the phone off in complete, which will be a bigger amount compare to the original carrier eft fee. Yes, their is a benefit, they now have a unlocked iPhone, but did they not have unlocked iPhone or could have when they’ve broken contract with the original carrier before they traded it in. Other words, esp. if you travel or work or live in deep concrete buildings, make sure T-Mobile coverage is good or you’ll end up with a higher “eft” fee.

        • DJM

          “Pacifically” lolol…

        • Antonio JcRM

          OK delete the “Pa” & add “Spe”. U good now!

        • RedGeminiPA

          You missed the whole “eft”… several times.

          It’s ETF – Early Termination Fee.

        • Joaquim DasFestas

          HAHA, pacifically. Classic! How about atlantically?

  • Morton H

    Only thing im upset about is I been a Postpaid customer for a few months now, porting from ATT to TMOB.. and i kept my unlocked phones,, until i received new TMOB phones.. and i paid almost $800.00 in ETF.. what about the customer that paid the fees before all this was announced?

    • Bklynman

      You should send a letter,to head CRS,and John himself,and email him,Send a message on Twitter, FB,etc. See what happens. Make sure u sent itby cerity mail,so u know they got it. What they should do if it cost effect for them maybe anyone who port there number over within the last 3 months,and those with Tmo,went Value plans,Classic plans,No carrier,
      Should be able to get some money back,maybe the ones that are Tmo customers,it should be 6 months. Iam sure John the head of CRS,will getting letters and email about this,more people write complain,they will
      have do something.

  • epiales

    …so does any of this news apply to current customers? i switched my family plan over to tmobile in sept from verizon and just finished paying off all of our etf’s. all this uncarrier stuff is great for new customers but it seems as though current customers get no deals whatsoever.

  • Frank Fitton

    “Good news. If you’re a longtime customer with an old plan, you can migrate to Simple Choice without incurring any extra charges. To qualify, what you can do is trade in your current device and purchase a new one, then switch to Simple Choice that way. Your migration fee is waived, and the existing annual service contract is cancelled.”

    Tried to inquire about this over the phone and they told me that it was not true. Said that it was only the termination fees for people moving from other carriers and that my migration fee to move from an old plan is still $150. Lady was actually very rude and belittling to me claiming that I must be reading the information wrong. I can’t read huh lady?? Yeah ok, I only have a masters degree what the hell do you have. Made me so dam angry. Just happened like 10 min ago, still pissed. She also started off by asking me if I could switch to another phone because she couldn’t hear me good. Yeah, probably not the smartest thing to say to someone calling in at a carrier. I apologize for your dam network, lol.

    • mohan

      “If you’re a longtime customer with an old plan, you can migrate to Simple Choice without incurring any extra charges” not true and bill will go up but “switch to Simple Choice . Your migration fee is waived, and the existing annual service contract is cancelled” ture

  • Cuelex

    OK People, look this is a great system. Works with existing customers and non-existing customers. But, look at what your doing. To cancel with AT&T, it costs you 300 after the 3rd month with a Galaxy S4.

    Now, im about to shock you. I am a proud T-Mobile customer, but I don’t like others blindly going in. Cancel without a contract with T-Mobile after 3 months, with a galaxy S4 $0 down, you will owe $525 because its not breaking the contract, its paying off the phone. There are laws protecting you from cell phone contracts and there is a ceiling to how much they can charge you.

    • TechHog

      And your point is?

  • mike

    what is my phone screen is cracked? will they still take the trade in?