switched to t-mobile (a review)

TL;DR: I wanted to start the year off with a new mobile carrier, and after a lot of research, I switched to T-Mobile and so far, it’s been great overall. AT&T was okay (fast, good coverage), but expensive ($260+/mo for 4 lines) and I’m fairly sure their complaints department for grandfathered (if not all) customers was trashcan-shaped.

If you’re looking for my follow-up post on T-Mobile, go here.

So as I said, my experience with T-Mobile has been great so far. It’s about $100 less per month for those same four lines and I get unlimited* everything (calls, texts, data). Plus, with their current promotion — however long that lasts — I’m getting my Netflix paid for (nice!). So really, it’s about $110 less than AT&T. I have done multiple speed tests for comparison and while AT&T does destroy T-Mobile (and Sprint) in regard to upload speed, download speeds were about the same for AT&T and T-Mobile in my area. How much uploading am I doing anyway? Hopefully not much.

Before the end of the year, I’d been bugging everyone relentlessly about switching. Mainly, I had anxiety about moving everyone over because of the whole rigamarole of getting everyone (or their phones, at least) to the T-Mobile store in order to perform the transplant. As it turned out, my anxiety had been misplaced. I went into the store myself and carried everything out there — no family members required. Once everything (which was not straight-forward, as it turned out) was done, I ended up with four SIM cards that I could go home, pop in and then one quick phone call later, everything was done. However…

As I said, things were not straight-forward, and I mainly have the notorious Equifax breach to blame for that. After following the steps from the FTC on what to do, I’d placed a freeze on all my accounts. The first time I went into the store, those freezes were put to the test when the sales rep first tried running my credit (the freezes work quite well, by the way). I ended up leaving, calling TransUnion over the weekend to have the freeze temporarily lifted (which was $10, mind you) and then I had to go back in. Oh, you check Equifax as well, do you? Luckily, I was able to temporarily unfreeze that one from the web. Finally, the credit check cleared, and set-up was rolling. However…

In my haste to get out the door and start getting everyone set up, apparently I hadn’t noticed that the sales rep had signed me up for the $10/mo “One PLUS” plan, which brought my bill out to $170/month. Not the end of the world, of course, and when I brought it up to their Chat support, they spotted me a $10 one-time credit just so I could test the service out. I doubt I’ll be keeping it, but just a word to the wise for anyone considering the switch: salespeople be sneaky.

My primary concern was making sure everyone in my family had as seamless a transplant as possible, and the whole SIM card thing definitely made that so. The only real problem we’ve had so far is my mother-in-law having some choppy voice issues (everyone else seems to have clear calls with good coverage), which I brought up with support and they had me reset the network settings on her iPhone. I don’t know whether they gave me the ol’ Tech Support placebo treatment, but time will tell. I made a test call and it sounded clear as a bell, so we’ll see.

To wrap things up, let me summarize some cons and pros.

Cons so far:

  • Shady saleslady signing me up for the $10/mo “One PLUS” plan, when I specifically requested that she didn’t. Rude.
  • Spotty phone service for one out of four of us that may or may not be cleared up.
  • Dealing with credit services is never peachy, but a necessary evil.

Pros I’ve enjoyed:

  • $160/mo (tax-included) flat for four lines. Compared to what I had previously, that’s awesome.
  • Mobile hotspot / tethering (unlimited at 3G). Also awesome.
  • Netflix is included. A small, but welcome perk.
  • Super responsive support; whether they actually helped with the choppy phone service or not, they did clear up some confusion on my bill without me needing to talk to a human on the phone. Humans are the worst.

Of course, I’m not even a full month in here. I’m sure I’ll have more to report after a few full months of using their service.

One thought on “switched to t-mobile (a review)

  1. We, (your parents,) never trusted ATT after some bad overcharging experiences of our own back in the 90’s. We swore off of them, to the point that when Comcast came to our area we jumped with both feet, high speed internet and basic cable coupled with Ooma for a land line. We have been using T-Mobile for at least 10 years and went to see their new store and had a great experience changing our family plan that cost us $56 plus taxes=$65/month to an unlimited data plan grandfathered in for $65/month. We have been satisfied with T-Mobile and can recommend them after spending hundreds of hours chatting over bluetooth handsfree earpieces. We bought our own iPhone SE’s when they were available and just inserted our old sim cards after waiting for years for the iPhone to come to T-Mobile. (We would never think of using ATT just for an iPhone.) The Motorola flip phones we had never died, and we’d still be using them today, but couldn’t resist the prices on the iPhone SE’s.

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