15
Oct
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According to TmoNews and Howard Forums, T-Mobile is beginning the process of moving customers on some of its many, many grandfathered plans (allegedly, 350+ according to a commenter on TmoNews who pretty obviously works for T-Mobile) to unadvertised "Select Value" plans. This does not apply to customers on T-Mobile prepaid plans. T-Mobile issued official confirmation that the carrier would be forcing subscribers to migrate - that is, it's mandatory - but that customers unhappy with the change (after being notified) can cancel service before February 1st next year without paying any early termination fees. The forced migration should be completed by the end of the year. And yes, this also probably means the days of getting subsidized on-contract phones for T-Mobile through retailers like Costco or Wirefly are coming to an end, as it's pretty clear T-Mobile is funneling all new postpaid business into Simple Choice plans.

So, what happens if you have an old "Classic" plan or other postpaid service that's no longer offered? You'll be moved to what's called a "Select Value" plan. These plans are not advertised by T-Mobile, and only those customers pushed into them from an old grandfathered plan will ever be able to take advantage of the rates offered. That is to say, T-Mobile isn't stupid - they're attempting to make sure almost no one will actually end up paying more for less service on the new plans, and allegedly (according to that same commenter saying there are 350+ grandfathered plans) T-Mobile has put together 49 different Select Value pricing schemes to keep everyone happy.

However, you won't get to choose which plan you get - you'll receive a plan comparable to your existing service (to the extent possible), and that's what you get, period. The plan is chosen by T-Mobile, and if you don't like it, you can move up to a Simple Choice plan or cancel service. Most people should end up satisfied with the new plans, though - minutes are gone (all plans are unlimited), and most of the Select Value offerings will have unlimited texting, as well. If you were on an old unlimited data plan, you will keep that unlimited data. The few scenarios where customers might end up paying more involve those who have feature-stripped their service down to negotiated minute plans (100-200, for example) or use pay-as-you-go SMS.

What is unclear is what will happen with new lines added to a Select Value plan, though my guess is they'll be forced to Simple Choice instead.

Here's the statement from T-Mobile:

Maintaining thousands of rate plans is the norm in the industry, but we think it creates unnecessary complexity. Simple is better, which is why we’re reducing the number of older plans in our systems. We’re giving customers on these plans the opportunity to choose a plan that best meets their needs. For the vast majority, their plan will provide similar or better features at a comparable price. 

This change will undoubtedly affect millions of T-Mobile customers, and probably result in a lot of confused and angry phone calls, even if most of those customers are probably getting a better deal at the end of the day.

TmoNews, Howard Forums

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • BiggiePhat

    As long as I keep my unlimited data I'm cool with all of this. Besides it might come out cheaper in the end.

    • SmokeNMirrors

      Retracted

      • chris125

        Did you not read the article? It says you will keep unlimited. Don't spread fud because you didn't read and just ran to comment...

      • SmokeNMirrors

        Sorry, my fault - was reading another article on this that didn't make it clear. Statement retracted - enjoy your unlimited data on your shiny new plan!

      • firesoul453

        Dude leave your oriignal post there so we can see the old conversation.

        • SmokeNMirrors

          I mistakenly stated that the new plans would end unlimited (based on another article) but this article clearly indicates this is not the case. Again, my apologies for the confusion.

          • firesoul453

            No worries. Just curious is all.

            I hate it when I am looking through a conversation and all the sudden things are missing.

            Not a huge deal. I'll still sleep at night either way lol.

    • NCcatsBALLhard

      My thoughts exactly...

  • MafiaMM

    So basically, we'll force you to be on this plan, hope you forget about it in 2 months, and then when you demand to have your old service back, we'll deny your claim.

    • blahmoomoo

      While the article doesn't explicitly say so, I am assuming the new plan takes effect long before February 1st, perhaps in the pay period after choosing the new plan. So no.

      • Ian Santopietro

        I'd bet they're also sending email and free SMS out letting users know. T-Mo is becoming a really great company, and I don't think they'd spoil that with this sort of thing.

  • SmokeNMirrors

    If VZW ever does this life as we know it will cease!

  • Zak Taccardi

    What if someone is on still on a 2-year t-mobile contract plan, and their contract hasn't run out?

    • BkEnigma

      From what I read on TMONews I believe, was that if you don't like the new plan offered, you're able to leave penalty free.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      You'll still be moved. If you choose to cancel service, you can do so without invoking your ETF until February 1, 2014. After that, the ETF comes back until that contract expires, apparently. At least that's how I'm reading it.

      • unhappybirthday

        Did this mean I can terminate and get the GS3 I bought a year ago for "half price"?

        • Ian Santopietro

          That's what it sounds like. Subsidies certainly can be awesome.

  • Hovop

    Does anyone know if this affects dealer plans?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Dealer plans, like Costco? If it's not prepaid, then yes, it probably will be affected.

  • Tim Gueusquin

    "probably result in a lot of confused and angry phone calls, even if most of those customers are probably getting a better deal at the end of the day." -Perfect example of why common sense isn't common. If you're getting a better deal why would you complain, because 'merica that's why.

    • Jaime

      'Murica

  • Caboose713

    A tried switching to a Simple choice plan a couple of days ago and they told me there was going to be a migration fee...So will I be changed to the Simple choice Plan or Value Plan?

  • Ashish Raj

    Statement from T-mobile: "We’re giving customers on these plans the opportunity to choose a plan that best meets their needs."

    From the article: "However, you won't get to choose which plan you get..."!!!

    • virtuacarl

      You have a choice. Your new mandatory Select Value plan, a regular Simple Choice plan, or a plan with an entirely different carrier.

  • Sir_Brizz

    WHAT I AM LEAVING T-MOBILE!!!!! *looks at Sprint/Verizon/AT&T*

    nevermind...

    • Ivan Myring

      *WHAT; I AM LEAVING T-MOBILE

  • Suhas

    "...many, many grandfathered plans (allegedly, 350+...)"

    Wikipedia: As of February 25, 2011, T-Mobile USA was the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the US with 33.7m subscribers.

    350/33.7m = 0.001% => many, many grandfathered plans?

    • solbin

      Means 350 different type of rate plans, not 350 customers.

    • rj111

      Lol not 350 people man. If that were the case, it wouldn't be a big announcement. 350 types of grandfathered contracts, but many people are on them.

      • flosserelli

        Lol. News affecting 350 *people* would be a BlackBerry announcement.

        • Ian Santopietro

          Better than news affecting Opera users.

          I bet both of them will get very upset at this comment. And ecstatic that their browser was mentioned!

    • squiddy20

      It's ok. I made the same mistake upon my first read through too. Then I started reading the comments (which you might not have had the luxury of doing since it seems you posted this shortly after the article was posted, and there couldn't have been many comments then), and was enlightened.

  • kpjimmy

    Hmm. I guess I should add data to my wifes non-data device? She adopted my old Sensation, but only uses wifi to connect for data. We are on a family plan sharing mins but I only have a grandfathered unlimited data plan.

    • Ian Santopietro

      You might be able to cancel the contract without an ETF, then switch over to the Simple Choice plan. That would also give you unlimited data.

      • kpjimmy

        I'm not on contract. Actually my contract ended when Tmo went "uncarrier" lol. I have a family plan, two lines, only my line has unlimited data and my wife's line only minutes. I guess I'll wait for the letter to see what they give me rather than sign up for a new service when they are ending it in a month or so.

  • Matthew Fry

    At some point, you have to draw a line and for T-Mobile that's when they've grandfathered 350+ old plans. Holy crap 350?!?

    It's a hard choice to make but at some point you have to say, "No. We aren't supporting XP anymore. I mean old T-Mobile plans."

    • Ian Santopietro

      According to T-Mo, it's normal to have thousands of different rate plans active at once. It seems weird, but when you think about how many people talk about their grandfathered unlimited data on AT&T and Verizon, it doesn't seem all that far-fetched.

      In comparison, 350 seems positively tiny!

  • Mike Loomis

    All I care is that I get to keep my unlimited data. I only get 400 text messages a month right now, which used to be plenty, but lately I have been pushing that limit every month. A new plan with unlimited data, texts, and minutes sounds like a better deal to me!

    • Ian Santopietro

      You might end up on a plan that's slightly more expensive to get all of that. From what I understand, they're trying to give everyone about the same service levels before with about the same costs.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    I am spending at least 5 months in Europe every year. So if I get a Asus FonePad (or whatever it is called) and use my T-Mobile sim in it for data/text only in Europe (I have a Vodafone account that is very expensive data-wise), this should be great. Local calls in Europe go to Vodafone and everything else on T-Mobile.

    • ProductFRED

      Nope. There's a 6 week limit on the free data roaming, and it's @ 128 kbps.

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        Free 6 weeks that don't get offered by any other carrier here yet

        And where does it say that

        • ProductFRED

          No, as in after 6 weeks, you either start paying the normal roaming rates or you're cut off. It's in the terms of service. It's been noted several times.

          • dontsh00tmesanta

            Can you provide a link to where its been noted?

            And it doesn't matter its still 6weeks more than anyone else is giving atm

  • FrillArtist

    All good things must come to an end.

  • MSfan2

    Will I still get to keep my fav 5?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Probably not since most plans now have unlimited minutes / texting.

      • Crispin Swickard

        I am under ones of those plans as well. It was annoying they had a link to change the faves on the website, but it hasen't worked in years. If its unlimited, and hopefully not more expensive I am all for it.

        Not a fan that I might be put under a contract for something I am not choosing to go to potentially. I have not been under contract for about 2 years.

        • ltredbeard

          I don't think you'll have a contract. Remember T-mo got rid of those.

          • Crispin Swickard

            I wasn't too horribly concerned, other than if it would be more expensive. If things end up being more I may have to break down, and go AT&T which I really don't want to do even with the terrible data speeds I get in my area.

          • Ian Santopietro

            Contracts are contracts, and they're always valid for term. There will be users on contract with T-Mo until at latest April (or was it May) of 2015.

            That said, this sort of change is grounds for the user cancelling the contract without an ETF.

          • ltredbeard

            You are correct about those with contracts, but he said he hasn't been under contract for 2 years.

  • missinginput

    People are getting mad because they think this applies to classic plans, the only thing currently being phased out are flexpay plans which should have been phased out last year

  • Kris22307

    I started a contract on feb 2013 on tmobile does this mean my 80 dollars a month with everything unlimited is going to get boosted to 90?

  • ItsThatBriGuy

    If you like your unlimited data, you can keep your unlimited data.

  • Cael

    T-Mobile needs to stop giving the other carriers ideas...

  • Robert

    i was on tmos 1000 minutes, free nights/weekends @ $39.99, 300 txt messages @ $5 and the shadow unlimited data plan @ $10 which total plus , i just got a letter from tmo saying next month there moving me from that to a unlimited talk,text and unlimited 4g data @ $55! so thats sweet paying the same yet unlimited everything.. and they announced a little while ago that there removing the data caps off of there unlimited plans.. awsome, last month i went over teh 4.5GB limit, got throttled for 5 days and boom back to full speed before the month was even up..nice.

    • longtimeCustomer

      I personally don't think that is so sweet considering the loss of subsidized phones. I figure I have to set aside at least $20 per mo towards my next phone. That makes $55 per mo an actual $75 per mo... an increase over what you had.

  • matthew hunt

    i just spoke to a rep at tmobile bc of this article and asked about the details on the plan we who have postpaid plans will be forced over to. they assured me that i will not be forced over. i asked about the date of 02/01/2014 and again they said they will be offering plans, but i will be able to keep my plan and stay grandfathered. any thoughts?

  • confused

    So I don't get this whole "no contact is better" idea. I'm currently on a grandfathered plan for $80 a month. 2 phones. Unlimited text. One is a smart phone.
    I've looked at the other carriers. The same plan there is about $120. So no point in even considering a switch.
    But I need to update my phone. With this new "great idea", I have to add $20 to $30 a month for each new phone. The other carriers are now in the ballgame. Plus they are now forcing me to a new plan which is increasing my costs.
    "Yay... no contact." "Yay... you own your own phone." "Oh yeah... But we're not going to subsidize hardware anymore and we'll actually increase the cost of your plan."
    Am I missing something here?

  • tmobilehater

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1813393-Grandfathered-plans-being-eliminated/page73 T-MOBILE is not doing what it promised its customers, they lied.

  • clb1

    I got a letter saying I would be put on one of these Select Value plans, only to be told by T-Mobile, "no you won't", that the letter was sent on error, now go eat crow and take this higher priced Prepaid plan!!! Assholes piss me off!!