Kristen and I had been AT&T customers since 1998. But rising costs, ever-crappier customer service, and sky-high international data plans lead us to leave AT&T in mid-June.
We were paying $188/month for 3 iPhone lines. Mine was grandfathered in with unlimited data, Kristen had 2 gb of data, and Megan had 300 MB of monthly data… which she could go through in 15 minutes if she accidentally updated a couple apps while away from wifi.
We now pay $160/month for 4 iPhones on T-Mobile’s One plan. (Paul finally got a phone!) It’s $160 total, including taxes, and includes unlimited talk, text, and data in the U.S. as well as unlimited text and data in 140 countries. (Full LTE in Canada and Mexico, slower in other countries unless you pay a small fee.)
What is T-Mobile ONE?
T-Mobile ONE™ gives you unlimited talk, text, and high speed 4G LTE smartphone data, as well as a variety of Un-carrier benefits.
Basically, ONE is T-Mobile’s effort to consolidate all of their plans into one… basically eliminating the dozens of previous options to make it as simple as possible to get people to switch. Now, you get one plan that has everything, the more lines you add the cheaper it gets.
This is obvious to me. I’m saving $28/month on what I was paying PLUS I’ve added another line for our middle son PLUS I don’t even have to think about international data plans anymore. AT&T was charging me about $100 for 300 MB of international data. Since I travel out of the country a few times a year that was costing me $400-$500/year and 300 MB of data just isn’t enough.
Also good? T-Mobile customer service. AT&T’s customer service is a train wreck. In nearly 20 years I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had issues with them. How they stay in business is beyond me, the DMV has better customer service than AT&T. For example, for my first billing cycle my T-Mobile bill was crazy high… I couldn’t figure it out online… so I pressed a button in the T-Mobile app to call customer service. Within like 45 seconds I was on the phone with a very competent, real person, who looked at my bill and said… “Oops, we screwed up. Let me fix this for you and credit your account.” Within 2 minutes I was off the phone, problem solved!
Also good, the international data! Megan and I were in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico for 19 days. For the last 10 days Kristen and Paul joined us in Mexico City. While in Mexico all of our phones just connected to Movistar and worked as they would at home. (Same was true on a day trip to Tijuana last weekend) In Nicaragua and Costa Rica our phones worked fine, though we connected at a lot slower speed… so images took a while to download or send, but otherwise was totally fine. Best part? No charge whatsoever.
Also good, unlimited domestic data. Our family uses very little voice and most of our text is via iMessage, which is technically data and not text. It’s been awesome for the other 3 members of our family to have unlimited data.
Another bonus? Tethering at no additional cost. Back before iPhone I had a smartphone that allowed tethering and I forgot home much I loved it! T-Mobile allows it’s users to do as much data tethering as you want. This is great for our kids who can now use their wifi devices in the car, Kindle, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, iPad, laptops…. just turn on tethering on their phone and they’ve instantly got wifi.
Things I Don’t Like
So, a ton of upside, with some downside worthy of consideration.
Coverage in San Diego is solid, though not always LTE… I’ve never had a time when I’ve not had data but it’s not unusual to bounce from an LTE signal to a 4G signal. At our house we’ve got a weak 1-2 bar LTE signal and it’ll bounce down to 4G depending on how the wind blows. I’ve read that T-Mobile’s coverage issues will be addressed with the massive 600MHz spectrum rollout, they bought up a ton of bandwidth for it, so I expect it to get a lot better.
The Money Line
Before making the switch I talked to all the carriers and no one could touch T-Mobile. Some would match all the domestic stuff with an introductory offer, but no one could touch the international data offering T-Mobile has. While I think other companies are able to compete domestically, for single-users, the way T-Mobile lowers the cost when you add lines just makes them unmatched. If you’ve been waiting… it’s time.
Four thumbs up from McLandia.