So...confession. I posted a status on Facebook a week ago saying that I was considering changing cell phone providers. It was basically my way of soliciting suggestions. However, I had been weighing my options for months and typically when I'm "considering" something and voice it publicly, I've already made my mind up about it. While everyone was on my status providing their suggestions, experiences, and general advice, I was already sauntering over to the local T-Mobile store to make the switch.
I had been a customer with AT&T for nearly a decade...ever since Apple dropped the iPhone 3G. I was grandfathered in to their old unlimited plan, and even with my corporate discount I was paying over $100 a month. It was time to either update my plan to one of their Unlimited Choice options, or switch to a provider that would not hit my pockets so hard month-after-month. I called AT&T a few times asking for better options, and even threatened to leave, hoping for a retention offer. They wouldn't come up off them dollars, so I had to roll.
Here's why I chose to join #TeamTMobile:
1. Better plan
With the T-Mobile One plan, I got everything I already had with AT&T plus the ability to use my phone as a mobile hotspot at no extra cost. Also...data is truly unlimited. That's important to me, since I am pretty heavy on data usage each month due to streaming music, and watching movies and television shows on the go. I was sick of getting the 'warning' texts from AT&T every month letting me know I was close to getting my data throttled even though I was on an 'unlimited' plan.
2. I'm a frequent traveler
Though I was content using my Skyroam when abroad, to stay connected, I also wanted to look for ways to shed some devices from my bag when galavanting through foreign cities. I was sick of walking around feeling like Inspector Gadget. It's refreshing to have a plan that not only allows for free roaming charges, but provides free internet and texting while on domestic flights. Note: AT&T offers an international package that is on-demand when you travel and $10 per day. That sounds reasonable until you realize you have a 10-day vacation and that's an extra $100 tacked on to your phone bill for a trip. [See my reaction below]
3. They no longer have struggle service
I remember there was a time when having T-Mobile was the equivalent of having K-Mart brand sneakers in a group of kids all rockin' Jordans. The only people who had T-Mobile were those who sported those ugl'ass sidekicks on their hip much like Batman's utility belt. The service was pretty terrible. Honestly, this train of thought is what held me from switching over to T-Mobile sooner, despite what my fellow wanderlusts had been saying about the service and perks.
T-Mobile now covers 99% of Verizon’s coverage area. In the past couple years alone, T-Mobile has doubled their 4G/LTE coverage and is consistently ranked the fastest nationwide. I have not noticed any negative changes in my signal strength since making the switch, to be honest. Bottom line is that all cell phone service providers have negative reviews when it comes to service. At times, all of them can be touch-and-go, depending on where you go, and what buildings you're in. When surveying friends or social media for opinions related to service, you're always going to have a couple bad reviews. Do not let that stop you from saving money.
4. Flat price
With other carriers, there are always hidden fees and taxes that show up on your monthly bill. Many times, your bill will include fees you didn't even know existed. Now, I'm paying $75...flat. All taxes and fees are included. T-Mobile is very honest and transparent with their pricing.
5. Awesome customer service
I heard this from a few friends, but just in the last week, I've experienced it first-hand. Shane Williams, a Retail Store Associate at one of the Brooklyn locations patiently walked me through why T-Mobile was a better option for me, and answered all questions I had before I gave the thumbs up. I've called in to customer service a couple times since then, to ask questions to better help me write this blog post, and everyone was super helpful. They really want to make you a happy customer. It's also important to note that T-Mobile will pay off AT&T Next fees or give phone credit...or both. I did not need to do this, as my phone was not financed through AT&T. I simply unlocked my phone with AT&T before going to the T-Mobile store, and they provided me with a new SIM card.
6. Dope CEO
John Legere is one of the dopest people you can follow on social media. He's blunt, personable, and interacts with his customers. This is much more than you can say about many CEOs of large companies out there. He's cool. He's corny. He's fun. I like him, and am happy to support a business with such an 'in touch' leader.
7. No contract
I have commitment issues, so this is refreshing. Gone are the days when you have to sign a 2-year contract with a service provider. This is something I had to tell myself over and over when considering making the switch. I was like, "Why are you acting like you are about to sign a marriage license? SWITCH! If you don't like the service, and you can leave!"
8. Free stuff!
T-Mobile Tuesdays. Get hip!
I'll be the first to tell you that the main reason I was so apprehensive about switching over to T-Mobile, was because of their past reputation in the cell service game. Despite all of the recent reports and data assuring us that T-Mobile is just as good, if not better than its competitors now, I was simply refusing to switch because of the "brand." That way of thinking is tired, and has cost me hundreds of dollars. Don't be me.