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Old April 3rd, 2011, 08:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default AT&T customer wants to switch to T-Mobile

But T-Mobile is being a brat.

A couple days before the proposed merger was announced I bought a used MyTouch #G on Craigslist, then went online to sign up for a new account. My plan was to leave my AT&T account active until I was sure that T-Mobile coverage was adequate in my area. However, online you cannot sign up unless you buy a phone.

So the next day I went to the T-Mobile store in a large mall and tried to sign up in person. The pleasant sales dude said that he could not sign me up unless I agreed to a 2-year contract, which would preclude getting a new phone unless I paid full retail. I thought this was ridiculous, since I already had a phone. But then he said I could sign up for a prepaid plan. At $70 I could get unlimited voice and text, and 2 GB data. And whenever I was satisfied with T-Mobile's coverage I could switch to a regular plan. So I did it.

I have used the 2 GB mercilessly while testing everywhere in the city over the past three weeks and they are almost used up. So today I went back to the T-Mobile mall store to convert to a regular plan. I got the same sales dude, who remembered me from before, but this time he told me what I really wanted was a no-contract contract. I could get 400 minutes of voice, and unlimited everything else for $60 a month, but no discounted price on new phones. (I want the Pyramid when it finally shows up.) And, although I'd have to pay full retail for the Pyramid, I could pay for it in 24 instalments instead of having to pay full cash. All things considered this seemed like a fair deal, so I told him to sign me up.

We went through the setup, and when it finished he said that T-Mobile wanted a $400 deposit. I could pay the $400 (my net worth is substantial), but it sticks in my craw. I left without doing anything.

So my question for the august members of this forum is, how can I switch my prepaid plan to a no-contract plan other than in a store or online? Is there a customer service number I can call to find someone with authority to override what the computers tell the sales staff to do? Or does anyone have any other suggestions?

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Old April 4th, 2011, 05:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The sales rep you spoke to is a complete moron. The non-contact plan for $60 is called the "Even More Plus" plan and you will get 500 minutes, not 400. I have this plan. The advantage of the EM+ plan is that you pay less each month because you pay full retail price for a phone and T-Mobile doesn't need to recover the cost of subsidizing a phone. Over the course of 2 years the amount you save each month will add up to the cost of a new phone.

I suggest going to another t-mobile store and tell them you want the "even more plus" non-contract plan and canceling your prepaid plan. Don't let the reps talk you into anything else. They just want to earn a commission for sticking you with an overpriced plan that you don't want or need.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I suggest going to another t-mobile store and tell them you want the "even more plus" non-contract plan and canceling your prepaid plan. Don't let the reps talk you into anything else. They just want to earn a commission for sticking you with an overpriced plan that you don't want or need.
This morning I called T-Mobile's 800 number and got to a sales rep. The call took about 30 minutes because of all the information - social, driver's license, address verification, etc. ad nauseam. Finally the rep got to the end and said that it wouldn't take the order unless I did a "flex-pay," which she explained meant that I would pay in advance each month. I agreed and she continued placing the order. (This was for a no-contract 500 minutes, unlimited text and web plan, at $60 / month where they would just ship me a new SIM card to use with my existing phone.) Then finally she said that the "order verification team" decided that I would have to go to a T-Mobile store to place the order. She already had my life history, so WTH is the point of going to a store?

But at least she did not say I would be required to pay a $400 deposit. However, I suspect that if I go to a store I will get the same $400 deposit crap.

I asked if it would be possible to communicate with the "order verification team," but she said that only order takers at T-Mobile can reach them. The mysterious people in the back room, bah!
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Old April 5th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know things have changed with the "hiding" of the EvenMore+ plans online, but FWIW, I joined T-Mo "online" with an EM+ plan just over a year ago. I initially started the plan, not by buying a phone, but rather choosing a "SIM Card Only" option, under the "Select Phone" section. Since joining T-Mo, I have changed my plan/features at least 5-6 times, but staying with the "contract-free" (but as stated, it is still considered a contract in T-Mo's eyes) EM+ plan.

Last month, I switched to the EM+ Unlimited Voice + Unlimited Text + Unlimited Data, which is $79/mo. However depending on how this AT&T buyout will go, I may just wind up switching back to unlimited voice $49/mo., and add the $10/mo unlimited web2go data plan, for a total of $59/mo. The web2go plan is for dumb phones or BYO smartphones. My Nokia N900 saw 7-8Mbs speeds on that plan, but given that most Android phones are carrier branded, a "switch" will have to be carefully planed (e.g. buy AT&T phone put on T-Mo to lock in rate just before buyout complete...keep low T-Mo rate, or "vice-versa").

Conversely, the T-Mo branded Motorola Defy currently has AT&T's 850 3G band (at least...not sure about 1900) and works on the $10/mo. MediaNet plan (yeah, I'm still on both T-Mo and AT&T)
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Old April 5th, 2011, 09:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This morning I called T-Mobile's 800 number and got to a sales rep. The call took about 30 minutes because of all the information - social, driver's license, address verification, etc. ad nauseam. Finally the rep got to the end and said that it wouldn't take the order unless I did a "flex-pay," which she explained meant that I would pay in advance each month. I agreed and she continued placing the order. (This was for a no-contract 500 minutes, unlimited text and web plan, at $60 / month where they would just ship me a new SIM card to use with my existing phone.) Then finally she said that the "order verification team" decided that I would have to go to a T-Mobile store to place the order. She already had my life history, so WTH is the point of going to a store?

But at least she did not say I would be required to pay a $400 deposit. However, I suspect that if I go to a store I will get the same $400 deposit crap.
I decided to give T-Mobile another chance. Today I stopped at a T-Mobile store downtown and attempted to sign up for the same $60 a month plan. I spent over a half hour in the store while the sales dude tried to get corporate T-Mobile to sign me up.

The first problem was that the attempted order from the other day was still in the system as a "tentative" order, which blocked him from signing me up for another plan. And since he was not the salesperson who signed me up for the "tentative" plan he was unable to delete it from the system. After going through three departments he finally found someone who could delete the "tentative" order so he could proceed.

And then, after ten minutes of hassles he announced that they would not sign me up without a $400 deposit. I offered to pay an entire year in advance (debit card in hand at the counter), but this did not impress T-Mobile. At least this sales dude had the gumption to challenge the decision and find someone in the credit department to talk to. In spite of the fact that he told them I had cash in hand they would not budge from the deposit requirement. Interestingly, they did not offer to send me a statement as to which credit agency they had relied on in turning me down. I have perfect credit; that is, I have paid cash for everything for 20 years +, so I have actually no credit history at all. Evidently people who pay their bills are not the customers T-Mobile is interested in having.

Two blocks away there is a Sprint store. I went there and had no problem signing up, without buying one of their phones. No credit hassles, no deposits, just five minutes and I was out the door. All I have to do is get a Sprint phone on Craigslist and take it back to the store to get it activated.

I have a month to cancel the Sprint agreement. I'd still like to go with T-Mobile, but at this point they're going to have to do some serious kissing of my ass to get me back. I'm beginning to see why T-Mobile is the smallest US carrier.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 04:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Paying cash for everything and therefor having no credit history is the furthest thing from perfect credit you can be. Perfect credit means you have years an years of credit history (and credit bureaus weigh unsecured debt like credit cards higher than secured debt like a car loan). Go to your bank or credit union and get a low limit credit card, buy your gas and groceries with it, and pay it off in full every month. Unfortunately for you it will take a while before you've built up enough payment history to have good credit history and build up a good score. If you don't want to do that then you'll have to accept paying deposits sometimes. Odd that they wouldn't accept prepaying a year of service though.
 
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Old April 6th, 2011, 05:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Go to your bank or credit union and get a low limit credit card, buy your gas and groceries with it, and pay it off in full every month.
That is so not gonna happen.

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Odd that they wouldn't accept prepaying a year of service though.
My point is that they are robots, slaves to their automated systems. That Sprint had no problem taking my money is proof that T-Mobile's systems are flawed.

T-Mobile has insulted me. It's not likely I will darken their door again.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 05:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have perfect credit; that is, I have paid cash for everything for 20 years +, so I have actually no credit history at all.
No credit history is about the same as having a recent bankruptcy. A potential creditor can not distinguish someone who has responsibly paid their bills from someone who is completely irresponsible and would act irresponsibly if offered any credit.

You can choose to avoid all credit. That is your choice. But don't try and convince other of your delusion that you have an excellent credit history, because you don't.
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