It’s not often that anybody here at Icrontic just blatantly endorses something as complex and important as a mobile rate plan, but after witnessing the positive experiences of several trusted Icrontians as well as experiencing some major cost savings first-hand, this is going to be one of those times.
First, some background
A complicated mobile situation
My mobile situation has been on the “complex” end of the scale for years. When I started off with T-Mobile, I was married with two small children. Smartphones didn’t exist. The important choice of the day was how many minutes you got. My wife and I got a phone each, and that was that. Over the years, a divorce, two kids getting older and needing their own mobile phones, the advent of smartphones, a new girlfriend that turned into a fiancee and more all added up to an increasingly complex set of needs and contracts. Toss in some world travel and the need to cover large events with a mobile hotspot, and the result was my mish-mash of complexity so thick even a lawyer couldn’t make sense of it. Five different lines, with four smartphones, two with unlimited data, one with a global SIM unlock, two with data blockers so they couldn’t accidentally get online and accrue data charges, five different contract ending dates, and…. well, you get the idea.
My bill was somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 a month when you factored in the handset protection plans (the aforementioned teenagers, and believe me, this has come in handy on three occasions now) and all the other idiosyncrasies. The way my contracts were staggered, it seemed like I would be perpetually involved in two-year contracts in one way or another. If T-Mobile ever ceased to be my carrier of choice, it would have been even more complicated than a divorce to get out of all that mess.
A simple choice
Recently, I started hearing rumbles of disbelief about T-Mobile’s new Simple Choice rate plan. I saw a couple of friends on Facebook talking about how it saved them money. When I looked further into it, I realized that it could probably do the same for me… but I didn’t hold out hope.
I called. A bubbly and excited girl named Megan sounded as excited as a customer service rep could possibly be. She basically said, “Let’s dig in to this mess and save you some money”.
The way the new plans work is like this: There are no more “minutes”, no more certain numbers of texts, and no more data packages. There are no more “shared” minutes or data or anything. You pay $50 a month for the first line ($70 if you want “real” unlimited data—more on that in a minute), $30 a month for the second, and $10 a month for every line after that. Therefore, with my five lines, my new rate plan would look like this: $70+$50+$10+$10+$10 = $150 a month. Toss in my handset protection and taxes, and we’re looking at $200 per month—$50 less than it has been for years. That’s $600 per year less than it was. On top of that, my two teenage sons now have unlimited (with a catch) data… something I never really planned on getting for them (I always told them the could have data plans when they could pay for it themselves. Get a job!).
Looking at it another way, T-Mobile is essentially looking at each device on your plan in the same way your cable company looks at your computers… They are just providing the pipe, and you pay a flat rate for access to it, with whatever device you bring to the table.
The only catch with the “unlimited” data is that the first 500mb is included at full speed. After 500mb per month is used, data rates are decreased to very slow speeds. Regardless, there is no more looming threat of insane overage fees. First 500mb is fast, the rest is slow. If you want to get the “real” unlimited data, it’s an extra $20 per month, per line. My teenage boys are thrilled with any data, so 500mb is a dream come true for them.
In order to cash out of all my various contracts and get everything onto this new plan, I had to buy out of my existing contracts. With all my various plans, the total contract buyout was a $350 one-time charge. Since I’m saving $600 per year to switch to this, that’s an easy fee to swallow.
I realize this editorial reads like a sponsored post or an advertorial, but it’s not. It’s just a tremendously good idea from T-Mobile that has directly impacted my bill. I know several other community members have also switched to this plan and have been raving about it. If you’re on another provider and T-Mobile is a viable option in your area, I really cannot recommend staying with your current plan. Visit T-Mobile to see what you can get.
Full disclosure: We use Skimlinks to affiliatize all links on Icrontic, so I suppose those T-Mobile links could be affiliate links, but I can’t be 100% sure. Just thought I’d throw that out there.