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.