T-Mobile's new Simple Choice plan: the time to switch is now

primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' BoopinDetroit, MI Icrontian
edited March 2013 in Science & Tech
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  • ThraxRobert Hallock 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited March 2013
    And for single-line people, T-Mobile's "unlimited everything" plan is at least $40/mo cheaper than any other carrier in the US. And no contract. At the end of 2 years, that's $960 in your pocket.

    And now you can afford to flat out buy any smartphone, and still save money at the end of it all. In fact, because T-Mobile isn't charging you the $100-200 subsidy fee other carriers are to basically rent the phone from them, you essentially have $1100 to spend on a phone. Any amount less than that is money saved versus any other carrier.

    EXAMPLE

    Sprint unlimited: $100 phone + (($109.99/mo)*24)) = $2739 for two years.

    T-Mobile unlimited: $600 phone + (($70/mo)*25)) = $2280 for two years.

    Closest AT&T plan (only 5GB/mo data): $100 phone + (($139.99/mo)*24)) = $3459.76 for two years.

    And I'm too lazy to finish Verizon, but it's just as bad as AT&T. Dunno about you, but LTE isn't worth $1200 in my book.

    T-Mobile is challenging you to rethink the way you deal with your smartphone plan. I've demonstrated here that paying "only $100" for the phone ends in highway robbery. You will get gouged for that carrier subsidy, and a phone you could have bought for just $600 will end up costing you in the neighborhood of $1500 with anybody but T-Mobile.

    We need to stop being allergic to the true prices of cell phones, and play the long game to see real savings.
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    edited March 2013
    T-mobile has done a fascinating job in marketing, the proof is in this post.

    The problem is even for somewhat recently locked in AT&T customers, this isn't worth the hassle. I'd have to wait 18 months before I saved any money, and if you consider the future value of money and opportunity cost it doesn't actually make sense for many to change.
    If I were brand new to the mobile world and wanted to start from scratch, yes T-mobile all the way. Unfortunately it just isn't worth it for me.
    For many "family plan" people locked in with other carriers, the switching cost is too high.

    For the record I have a spreadsheet that details the finances of this, and it could just be my own situation. I'm sure a ton of people can save from switching to or updating T-mobile plans. I am also sure a lot of people are like me where it doesn't add up.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    Given the emphasis carriers place on single-line plans, I'd wager that's the bulk of their volume. If so, even a full-fat ETF of $350 and a the purchase of a new phone at full MSRP is cheaper than sticking with AT&T or Verizon if you're such a customer.
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    edited March 2013
    The cost of breaking contract and buying new phones is not worth it for me, whether I buy the phones up front or over time on what is essentially an interest free loan. Depending on what route I would choose, it could take up to 55 months to recoup my money assuming I'm not investing it in the first place. It just isn't worth it. I'd advise everyone considering a switch in carrier to make a proper financial analysis. For many, it will be worth it. For many, it won't be worth it. As with pretty much everything, it depends.

    Edit:
    Per what @Thrax said, if I was on an individual plan I would have already switched. No question. It's a lot easier when you don't have to worry about your family members. C'est la vie
  • One more critical variable in the equation:
    How often do you want to get a new phone? For me it is at least every two years. If you are a replace your phone every 4-6 years person, then by all means T-mobile it up. Of course, do your own analysis first, but this is a critical variable.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    If you're on a single plan: you could buy a new $600 phone every year, and still come out even or ahead vs. all other carriers on T-Mobile.
  • LincLincoln Bard Detroit Icrontian
    Verizon contract expires in June. iPhone 5 + tethering + unlimited data + half the bill? Peace.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    Just make sure the iPhone 5 you have supports 1700MHz. It might not, so you'll probably have to sell your current iPhone and buy a new one that's compatible with T-Mo's network.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    He doesn't have an iPhone 5 right now. He'd be buying a new one from T-Mo.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    Gotcha :)
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited March 2013
    My case scenario: (I don't need unlimited minutes, I've never gone above 50 in a month)

    $0 phone / 24 months = $2046.72

    switching to T-Mobile:

    $350 cancellation fee + $299 phone (Nexus4) / 24 months (2GB plan) = $2209.00 (A proximate without knowing taxes/fees per month(used $65x24))
    The Unlimited Plan would put me at $2449.00

    So, switching to T-Mobile NOW would be more expensive. A year from now it might be cheaper with pro-rated cancellation fees on Sprint.

    Again, this is my case with employee discount

  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA Icrontian
    The unfortunate part is that T-Mobile is all but non-existent outside of major metro areas or college towns. I would absolutely switch (even if it were only "3G") but the entirety of coverage up I-81 is 2G. I'm not sure I could survive on dial-up speeds.
    JBoogaloo
  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian
    You'd be surprised what you can get used to. I spent a week in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where T-Mobile doesn't even have 2G data coverage. I got used to hitting a wifi hot spot when I needed data and not caring otherwise.

    It was a good vacation.
  • NiGHTSNiGHTS San Diego Icrontian
    FWIW - Boost Mobile and Virgin offer decent plans to compete against the 'big 4' - Boost's even goes so far as to begin lowering your monthly payments after you pay on time. MetroPCS offers similar plans without the decreasing monthly payment, but their LTE tiers are a bit wonky for data capping.
  • QCHQCH Ancient Guru Chicago Area - USA Icrontian
    Yesterday I switched my 4 line tmobile account to the new no-contract plan for $250. I was paying over $200 a month and afterwards I will be paying $130 a month. Then, today, I traded in my glitch ridden phone for a new Samsung Galaxy Note II. I am very, very happy.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    I am on Verizon, I have four phones with unlimited LTE coverage. For those four lines I pay $280 per month after company discount.

    The same plan with unlimited 4G on T-Mo, before taxes, fees, and any discounts, costs $180.

    My only concern is voice coverage in my area. According to the maps, it's fine when you're near the freeways, but start moving away from them and you get spotty coverage. I guess those are the hazards of living in semi-rural Oklahoma areas.
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    How does T-Mo's network compare to Sprint's? I'd been looking forward to hopefully being able to afford Verizon again after grad school since Sprint's coverage is kinda crappy.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    Larger, faster. Sprint is a distant fourth in the carrier race.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    The only place I've had terrible coverage was in the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming. I was in very rural areas. In places that T-Mo doesn't have towers, they have sharing agreements with AT&T; for example, I'm in northern Michigan right now on AT&T's network. I get something like 250mb of data sharing per month on AT&T, which is enough for my infrequent visits. In any normal area, T-Mo coverage is fine.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    Larger coverage...ah no:

    Sprint
    image

    T-Mo
    image
  • CrazyJoeCrazyJoe Winter Springs, FL Icrontian
    $80/month for my wife and I plus a better network (we have Sprint now) means we will definitely look into switching. Why are the plans more expensive if you bring your own phone? It's $80/month for two lines if you buy the phone from them or $120/month if you bring your own ($60/line.)
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    It's $120/mo either way. Not sure where you're reading.
  • CrazyJoeCrazyJoe Winter Springs, FL Icrontian
    Oh. I just saw that it said it was $50 for one line and $30 for the 2nd line. I forgot about the $20/line charge for the phone cost. We're paying about $150/month for our phones so it's not really worth it at that point to switch since we'd have to pay the cancelation fee.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    What are your ETFs at the moment?
  • CrazyJoeCrazyJoe Winter Springs, FL Icrontian
    edited March 2013
    Since our contract runs through May 2014 the website says our fees are $280. I was thinking that was per line, but I don't think it is now it might be better. Might have to look into it once the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4 come out in a bit. Right now all our money is going into the move though.
  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA Icrontian
    Thrax said:

    Larger, faster. Sprint is a distant fourth in the carrier race.

    I was surprised to find that Sprint has 4G coverage up and down I-81 at this point. That said, I only use WiFi at home, I do not use the work network.
  • GargGarg Purveyor of Lincoln Nightmares Icrontian
    fatcat said:

    Larger coverage...ah no:

    OpenSignal relies on crowdsourced data, so some of the apparent holes in coverage of T-Mobile (or anybody else's) is simply because nobody has run their app in that area. You can see T-Mo's official coverage map here.

    National coverage maps also exaggerate the importance of blanketing all of the Dakotas in LTE. Areal coverage != population coverage.

    All that matters is if a given network covers your usual locations. I hope nobody makes the mistake of signing with a provider because it has the "best" coverage in general, because it'll cost you.

  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian
    Okay hivemind of Icrontic, riddle me this, will T-mo offer insurance if you bring your own device, or only if you purchase through them? I ask because my fiancee drops her phone CONSTANTLY. I can't even tell you how many times she has had her phone replaced because of drops. Not insuring her phone is really not an option and right now our plan is for her to take my Galaxy Nexus and me to buy myself a shiny new Nexus 4.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Since the insurance is offered through a third-party (Asurion), I cannot fathom a reason why they would not insure any phone.
  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian
    Besides the cell phone industry being strange and not user friendly you mean? I'm sure they could contrive some reason about not covering unlocked devices because they might not meet their quality standards or somesuch bullshit.

    I didn't think about this before I started googling on the topic, but I might be better off just insuring our cell phones through my homeowners insurance provider.
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