5 On Your Side

Switching to T-Mobile may be worth it

Posted April 1, 2014

Is it worth jumping from one cell phone carrier to another?

T-Mobile, in its latest commercial, urges people to “break up with your carrier” by offering to pay cancellation fees up to $350 per phone.

"When the early termination fee appears on your bill, you have to turn it in to T-Mobile for reimbursement,” said Mike Gikas, senior electronics editor for Consumer Reports. “So you actually have to pay that money up front."

Potential customers would also have to turn in their old phone and buy a new one, which will cost more for those with bad credit.

But a credit is offered for the old phones – about $100 for an iPhone 4S and about $160 for a Samsung Galaxy.

"What T-Mobile actually pays will depend on the phone and the condition it's in when you turn it in," Gikas said.

While T-Mobile promises that every plan comes with unlimited talk, text and web, data speeds are reduced with cheaper plans after a certain amount of usage.

Gikas said even with the restrictions and potential extra costs, there are still good reasons to switch. A recent Consumers Reports survey found T-Mobile customers were among the most satisfied.

"We've crunched the numbers. And in most cases, T-Mobile's rates were cheaper than those from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon," he said.


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  • 4n0n Apr 4, 2014

    View quoted thread

    I AGREE WITH YOU 100%!!

  • New Holland Apr 4, 2014
    user avatar

    i was a Verizon customer for many year and was out of contract for 1yr.Verizon wouldn't offer me any good deal to stay and my service was terrible in our house.T-mobile offers free Wi-Fi calling and I went with them $50/mo plan, switched my number over and the next day Verizon Retention div called and made offers to bring me back that was over the top $200 + almost free phone that I had paid $500 for at T-Mobile and a $50/mo plan less my 20% corp discount.
    The whole Mobile market is a scam in my opinion.

  • Lynne Mik's Chik Apr 4, 2014
    user avatar

    Had Verizon for years, dropped them after having so many billing issues that we could never get them to straighten out. Been with Tmobile for 3 years now, NO CONTRACT and we love it. Pay $50 less a month for two smart phones , did not have smart phones with Verizon. Will never go back to contracts again.

  • Andrew Stephenson Apr 3, 2014
    user avatar

    I was expecting some kind of story about T-Mobile improving their network. They can charge as little as possible and will still have a hard time converting people as long as their network is still #4 in a (realistically) 4-man race. If they had AT&T/Verizon-scale coverage, I'd switch in a heartbeat. But for now, no dollar value will get me to jump ship if I won't be able to use it where I need it.

  • mcondor Apr 3, 2014

    I have a $30/mo plan with 100 min talk, unlimited text and data (5GB at 4G speeds)
    and it is perfect for me.

    I must stress that you need to consult the t-mobile coverage maps. They are very accurate. If where you live, work and play shows good coverage you will be all set. If the map shows no coverage - in an area you frequent then you will not get data.

  • thomasew52 Apr 3, 2014

    When my current contract runs out with Verizon, I'm done with contracts of any sort, with any carrier. If I can't find one that is month to month, then I'll just do without a mobile phone. I didn't used to have one, and made it OK, I can do it again. Contracts with cell providers is a bad idea, IMO only. I hear walmart has some that are month to month, and that is where I intend to visit first when I get to return my verizon stuff. Smart phones are nice, but not a necessity, and right now they cost a lot more than is justifiable. Maybe I need to see if I can get one from the govt, I hear they supply some people with cell phones -).

  • Katie Falls Apr 3, 2014
    user avatar

    I have had tmobile forever. I was actually with Suncom when they were sold to Tmobile. I have never had dropped calls or any issues. I have a problem in my new apartment because the walls are so thick I get only 2 bars on my phone when inside, but still make calls. All in all I am happy with them. I know what my bill is every month. I travel quite a bit and never have had issues.

  • lighter22 Apr 2, 2014

    The best option is to outright buy a factory unlocked phone. I run a GSM Gakaxy 3. Got a true unlimited (no throttling) plan from T- Mobile with NO CONTRACT of any sort for 70 bucks a month. I have service and even data where I had no service with verizon. If I don't like T mobile I simply switch sim cards and go elsewhere on the GSM protocol at a moments notice and not owing anybody a dime. I have 2 monitored alarm systems as well. I outright bought the systems and paid for install. I can change my monitoring any day of the week. I refuse to be trapped in contracts.

  • common tater Apr 2, 2014

    Good luck finding any network reliability stats that aren't biased. From my experience at&t is best if your use is mostly around here but there's some remote areas (mountains) where Verizon has better coverage(at the moment).

  • Ted DeBord Apr 2, 2014
    user avatar

    The most important thing to me is network reliability. As an example, how does T-Mobile's network stack up with Verizon? There's no mention of that in the article. But it shouldn't be too difficult to find with a little research.