Since T-Mobile launched their new rate plans this week, we've seen a lot of questions about them. From comments on our site, to comments on Google+, to even people emailing me questions about the new plans. So I thought I'd put together a post with some of the most frequently asked questions, and answer them from a customer's stand point. Since I am a T-Mobile customer.
No More Contracts? How can that be true?
While T-Mobile isn't making you sign a contract anymore, you are still getting a credit check done before you can get a new line on a value plan. You can do a down payment for the device, then make equal payments in addition to your bill for the next 20-24 months. It might seem like a contract, but it isn't. You can leave at any time, you just have to either pay off the phone. Or you can return the phone to T-Mobile and they'll give you fair market value and you just pay the difference.
Family Plans seem a bit confusing, could you explain them?
Sure. Family Plans may look a bit confusing but they really aren't. The first line on any account is $50. That includes unlimited minutes, text and 500MB of 4G speeds and throttled afterwards. The second line is an additional $30, making it $80 for 2 lines. Each additional line is $10 extra. Now here is where the tricky part comes in. 2GB of data is an additional $10 per month per line, and unlimited is an additional $20 per line per month.
For example, you want 3 lines. One with the 500MB, one with 2GB and one with unlimited that would cost you $120 per month. The first line would be $50, plus $40 for the second and $30 for the third including data.
What about Tethering?
Over the years we've seen different carriers with different definitions on unlimited. We've seen carriers say unlimited data but then throttle you after 2GB of data. That's how T-Mobile used to do it. Now their unlimited is truly unlimited (I've had their unlimited since last November, and it is truly unlimited), but tethering is kinda sorta not really part of the package. With the new plans you get 500MB of tethering included and additional tethering costs additional. Pretty annoying, but I'd rather have unlimited data with no tethering, then data caps with tethering.
So Am I Paying full price for my phone?
Yes and no. There are two options. You can either pay for the full price of the phone when you sign up for service, or pay a down payment, and pay it off little by little each month for about 2 years. This might seem a bit confusing, so let's do an example.
Example: Galaxy Note 2 is $679.99 for the full price, or you can do a down payment of $199.99 and pay $20 per month for 24 months. So if you have the unlimited everything plan ($70) and do a down payment on the Note 2. It'll cost you $90/month for 24 months then drop down to $70 since the phone will be paid off.
Will LTE have separate plans or Cost More?
No, T-Mobile has said LTE is included in their current plans and will not cost you any more than you're already paying. So the hard part now is just waiting for LTE to come to your neck of the woods.
Are T-Mobile's Phones going to be SIM Unlocked?
Most likely, no. Like most carriers, T-Mobile will have their branded devices locked to their network. But there are a few cases where that will be different. Namely the Nexus 4 and iPhone 5. But as we learned earlier this year, you should be able to SIM unlock your device very easily by calling up your carrier and asking for the code. Unless you're behind with your bill.
These are just some of the more popular questions that I've received since last week. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments down below, and I'll do my best to answer them.