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T-Mobile gets rid of contracts for cellphones

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:16 p.m. HST, Mar 25, 2013

NEW YORK >> T-Mobile USA, the struggling No. 4 cellphone company, is ditching plans centered on familiar two-year contracts in favor of selling phones on installment plans.

In practice, the phone-buying experience is not that much different from before. For instance, someone who wants a Samsung Galaxy S III would pay $70 upfront and then $90 per month for unlimited calling, text and data. That monthly fee includes $20 to pay off the cost of the phone over two years.

But by separating the cost of the phone from the service, T-Mobile is making its plans and upgrade options easier to understand. When the phone is paid off, the $20 fee in that example disappears.

The company plans to lay out the rationale for the new plans at a New York event Tuesday.

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Senior_Researcher wrote:
This is not news. This is how it went when I replaced my phone last July. I guess loyalty doesn't mean much anymore because, even after 10 years as a customer, I got nothing for reupping with T-mobile. Yes, I git two years to pay off the phone but I got no break on the price of that phone whatsoever, unlike the old days where if you reupped for 2 years you'd get a free or discounted phone. If the customer service horror stories of other carriers were any less bad, I'd drop T-Mobile in a minute. There customer service sucks almost as bad as their coverage area.
on March 25,2013 | 01:57PM
Mallory wrote:
T-Mobile coverage sucks.
on March 25,2013 | 03:37PM
gobows wrote:
How do the Tmobile prices compare to Verizon, Sprint? Yes, Tmobile's coverage isnt the greatest, but their prices are good, but i've never compared them to the other. Anyone?
on March 25,2013 | 04:55PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
The coverage for Verizon compared to T-Mobile is just about the same in my experience and from others'. Sprint is the worst carrier according to many I know who used to use them. I have heard about Mobi and I would like to know about their coverage and service. Their prices seem to be the most reasonable. That is from the advertisements that I have seen where they offer unlimited everything for $39.99. If anyone has Mobi, I would like to hear about their experience as far as what I have mentioned.
on March 25,2013 | 07:00PM
droid wrote:
Mobi was the worst experience of my life. I switched from Verizon when I found out Mobi uses a compatible network for unlocked Verizon phones. I was on it for a month, and couldn't run fast enough back to the Mobi store to reprogram it back to Verizon! Internet was less than 50/50, meaning more than 50 percent of the time, I could not even get service! Text messaging was even worse. I constantly received a "message could not be sent" message. The final straw was when I discovered Google Voice would not work on Mobi. I use that service for voicemail as it stores a permanent, transcribed copy of all your voicemail forever. Incidentally, T-mobile is not even close to Verizon in terms of coverage. Their network traffic at times causes big problems as well. They had no service during both island-wide power outages and their mainland coverage is virtually non-existent (particularly in California outside of L.A.). They are last place for a reason. They are forced to be cheap because cost is all they have to offer. I am happy with Verizon and receive a substantial discount through my employer. They apparently partner with all the major companies. I don't think after experiencing the speed of 4G LTE, I could settle for less, at this point.
on March 25,2013 | 10:55PM
bobbob wrote:
IMO verizon has better speed and coverage, but t-mobile has one of the few unlimited data plans remaining (non grandfathered in). There's only sprint, tmobilie, and mobi.
on March 26,2013 | 11:07AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
In my experience, T-Mobile has had the best value in terms of price and service. Their service has been the best. I hope that they continue to offer service but if they are going to the pay-as-you go pricing scheme where you do not get any discounts, I may switch to Mobi.
on March 25,2013 | 07:02PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
try look into virgin mobile $180.00 for a cool phone, htc evo v 4g and $55.00 for unlimited everything. and the 3 d camera is is cool, too.
on March 25,2013 | 09:46PM
awahana wrote:
Yes, I sell and service phones.
Without a doubt, tmo is bad coverage, not as bad as Mobi, but also bad customer service. I can tell you amazing horror stories. Like how we paid $35 for a T-Mobile in-warranty replacement galaxy S and got one that still had the name and phone numbers and email of a girl in Indiana. Obviously used, obviously untested, or erased, and obviously a security risk for that poor girl. Went to Kahala Mall tmo store, on 3 different occasions and even spoke to the regional manager for Hawaii, and they refused to help us. Was more interested in making us buy a new phone, and resetting to 2 year contract again. They got balls.
Better off with Boost or Virgin or Straight Talk, or other MVNOs.
This is a step forward for tmo, but we'll see if they have good customer service to back up non-subsidized phones, like the rest of the world. Only in USA do we have cheap phones with multi-year contracts. My Australian and other clients think US customers are dumb to tolerate this. They come to Hawaii often, but they refuse to get a phone here, because they don't have to pay for any incoming minutes back home, and think its crazy that we tolerate paying for calls in both directions. They believe that US mobile phone system is EVIL. After traveling around, I would have to agree. Slow and expensive, just like broadband internet... In Japan and Korea, they watch TV on their mobile, while in a restaurant, train, etc.
on March 26,2013 | 10:19AM
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