According to TmoNews, Americas magenta-est carrier (and don't you forget it!) will unveil some changes to the company's JUMP! device installment plans on February 23rd, and while they're heavy on "unlimited" language, the plans are actually getting a bit more restrictive for customers.

First, in the "good news" departments, tablets are joining the JUMP! family of devices, so you'll soon be able to finance a tablet from T-Mobile. Which if that's something you, you know, want, sounds good. However, T-Mobile already offers the iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina on JUMP!... so I'm not sure what new tablets they're adding, but I'm guessing it's going to be more.

The next piece of news is definitely a bit of marketing speak - JUMP! upgrades are now "unlimited." The claim is that you can now upgrade to a new device whenever you want, irrespective of how long you've had your current JUMP! phone or tablet. This is as opposed to the previous model which required customers to wait 6 months after adding their JUMP! device, then trade it in for a new phone, up to twice a year.


The catch? You have to have paid at least half of the device's total MSRP before you can upgrade again. So, you can upgrade whenever you want, just as long as T-Mobile's gotten enough money out of you. The new plan will effectively make many customers wait longer to upgrade for a couple of reasons. First, JUMP! device payments don't usually start until the two to three months after you've had the device, meaning it takes a while to even start making a dent in that MSRP. Second, JUMP! devices take a long time to pay down - 24 months if you choose to utilize the longest financing term making the minimum payments with $0 down on the device. You wouldn't be eligible for a no-cost upgrade until 12 months into the term. It's more often than every 2 years, but it's still obviously a worse deal than what T-Mobile was offering before.

The reasoning for this change is, I think, pretty obvious: customers changing phones every 6 months after only putting a couple hundred dollars into the MSRP isn't exactly going to turn T-Mobile a profit, even if they are selling the used phones back to refurbishment companies. So, while the language of these tweaks will doubtless be awash in John Legere's typical UNLIMITEDNESS, the changes to the JUMP! plans are actually cracking down on customers who sought to take the greatest economic advantage of the 6 month upgrade period. Now those customers who choose to put $0 down and opt for the longest payment period will need to put in 12 months of device payments (vs months of service, which would be 13-14 months because of the delay in payments starting) if they want optimal value out of the plan, versus the 6 months of service they had to put in previously.

Users of the old-style JUMP! plans will be grandfathered in under the old 6 month rule, though presumably if you end your JUMP! plan at any point, you'll be out of luck and forced into the new plan.

So, what say you? Worse? Better? Who cares? I guess we'll find out if these rumors hold water on the 23rd.


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.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    it's cool....I guess, realistically as much as I love my smartphones I don't see myself EVER doing this. Typically it takes a couple years for a smartphone to feel dated if you get a good one. I guess if you get a mediocre one to start and stay in that range this makes sense, but you'll be spending more money

    • remister

      Always gonna get that Nexus.

      • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

        I'm still not a fan of the Nexus devices. They are good for some people but they never have the top specs and I need my SD card. The software updates aren't enough to push me over since I've always used customed AOSP roms anyway

        • sweenish

          5", 1080p (calibrated as well) LCD, S800, 2 GB of RAM isn't top specs? The only thing the specs "king" G2 has over the N5 is a larger screen.

          This "never have top specs" argument has never really been true. The Nexus 4 was the first phone to launch with the S4 Pro, and I believe there was only one 1080p phone at the time. The Galaxy Nexus was the second phone on the market with a dual core CPU and 720p screen. I can't speak to the Nexus S, but the Nexus One was a specs beast for its time as well. If we were only talking about the camera, I could get behind that. I do believe the camera API overhaul that will likely launch with the next version of Android will rectify any shortcomings of the N5's current camera as all of its failings seem to lie solely in the realm of software.

          Instead of regurgitating old and false arguments, it would help to do your own research.

          However, I think the reason this argument persists is that the Nexus phones are
          winter devices, and come late in the chip cycle. N5 launches, has top
          specs, summer phones already beat it, mostly.

          Your point on the SD card is still obviously valid.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            High and TOP are different things. I'm not saying that the Nexus devices aren't high. I do my research BTW and while the Nexus devices tend to do something very well they usually lag in other areas. camera being one. Each device is different but keep in mind the price point they are trying to reach with the nexus devices. they are just as much a budget devices as they are for devs and other power users. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying they are cheap but each company that designs a nexus has to cut corners some where. And yeah with the chip cycles the nexus devices are typically "out of date" by the time summer comes around. I admittedly usually buys phones in the summer which is why I feel the way that I do.

            Going back to my "Top specs" comment. Can you honestly say that strictly looking at specs the Nexus devices come out on top? I can't think of a time that's happened. Great bang for the buck maybe but strictly specs? All specs, processor, screen, camera, battery-life everything? As much as people hate to admit it from a strictly specs debate typically The Galaxy Note and S series tend to come out on top (of course this is ignoring software)

          • sweenish

            Name phones that beat out the N5, then. Maybe the Note 3? For an extra gig of RAM and that's it.

            All you'll be able to name are phones with higher MP cameras and different screen sizes. But the physical specs of the N5 camera are top notch. Like I said, it's purely software holding it [the camera] back, and I believe it will rectified with the next version of Android. Until then, yes, the camera is a weak spot. And screen size is subjective to a point. Bigger does not equate to better, and from a ppi standpoint is actually worse. Add to that the fact that the N5 is calibrated, and few phones have better screens.

            Like I said, it's a dated and false argument. Nexus phones launch with top specs.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            At this point I think you're mis-understanding what I'm saying. I don't need a bunch of phones to prove my argument. I'm just saying that the Nexus devices are never TOP. the fact that you can instantly recall that the Note 3 beats it proves my point. Which BTW camera, processor and RAM rank higher than the N5 in case you were wondering, and that's just off the top of my head. As far as PPI goes most high end phones last year released with 1080 screens so while it's important I'm not going harp on it. I have mixed feelings about bigger screens vs higher PPI.

            I'm also not using the old tired argument that Nexus phones don't launch with high specs just that it's never the best. With me actual specs of a device is more important than anything else with android simply because I can mod the software myself. And the weaknesses of the N5 isn't my only argument I'm just saying Nexus devices as a whole not specifically the N5. Nexus 7 isn't the best tablet in it's class either but it's one hell of a machine for the price, also you'll be hard pressed to call the N10 the best at anything besides screen PPI and that's already beat (admittedly because the device is old).

          • Guest

            So you're saying the Note's SD800 is better than the N5's? Interesting, sounds like a fanboy argument to me.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            I take huge offense to that. But I know words won't get anything across. here is a benchmark site. I won't tell you what scores what I'll let you figure that out. I'm only going based off numbers I have no actual attachment to any company, I go with whatever is best at the time.


          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            Also if my previous post was to one sided please also take a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyjvO51ewp0

          • life4eva

            I'm going to have to call you out on this one...... Nexus 4 was/is one of the best phones in it's class. Simply the software on the phone is second to none.

            I own an LG G2 and I could tell you several things about the Nexus 4 that I actually liked better..... Build Quality being one. The new Nexus 5 uses Gorilla Screen 3 which the LG G2 does not have.

            Having a clean Android phone with the first available updates to me is the most important thing. The LG G2 has a better camera and battery life, but I give the nod to the Nexus 5 everywhere else.

            LG G2 has a serious problem where they designed the antenna in the bottom of the phone, so holding the phone in the bottom like most people do actually messes up your signal, that by far is the main reason why I'm getting rid of the phone.

          • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

            Admittedly the Nexus 4 is very close but it's lack of LTE and MHL kill it as the top for me. Also I mentioned this earlier but I'm going on pure specs the generation of phones from the nexus 4 were all practically using snapdragons at the time. Also I don't factor in Build quality or software because that is subjective.

            Gorilla Glass is an interesting thing it's a name brand that people recognize but that's pretty much it. Yeah it's proven and it has a great marketing campaign but really there are other companies that can duplicate Cornings ability to make near scratch proof glass but hey, that's another topic.

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      I kinda disagree. I've had my phone for 6 months, and already I want a change. Not that I'm typical or I'm super satisfied with my current phone, but it's a nice option for people who feel like me I guess.

      • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

        but do you think you'll just jump from phone to phone every time? I know sometimes you realize you don't like the phone you have after a while but typically if you do your research you won't have to worry about that. However I get that things happen.

  • Suhas Vemuri

    Ha.. I'm a grandfather.. But.. Et tu T-mobile?

  • Fry

    I wish I could switch so bad, but until they get better service, it's just not practical.

    • Carla John

      Typically it takes a couple years for a smartphone to feel dated if you get a good one.

      • Johnny 5

        Whoa what an absurd comment. A couple years huh, even good phones look like they're ready to be tossed in the fire at 2 years. Regardless the greatest thing about it is JUMP is completely optional

    • KlausWillSeeYouNow

      Their coverage really isn't bad. I know it depends upon where you live, but most people have the impression that it's not good and it's actually quite excellent. Make sure your idea of their footprint is up-to-date in your area, and check back often, as it improves every day.

      • Fry

        I know. Once/if they get service where I live, I'll be all for it because in town and where I work, their coverage is excellent.

      • rmeden

        One thing to keep in mind is if you are in range of WiFi (home/work), you can use their WiFi calling to have a solid signal. T-Mobile coverage isn't great for me at home, but with WiFi calling it's stable. (and fine outside the house)

  • Matthew Fry

    Thank you grandfathering! There's really no reason to get Jump! after February 23rd. Even if you were going to pay for the insurance that's included it's still not worth it. They have just made it worth it to buy normally and sell used.

    What I want to know is, who is this magical target audience who want to give up their phone and in return, get a tablet. For one thing, tablets are generally cheaper than phones, because they're not phones. For another thing, you can't use a tablet as a phone, because they're not, you know, phones.

    • aptalca

      Agreed. 6 months 25% is really what made that deal enticing. 1 year 50% is just a bad deal. It is cheaper to buy at full and sell used if you want to upgrade in less than a year

      This sucks. I was just about to switch to tmobile mostly for the jump. I don't think i can switch the whole family plan within the next 10 days to be grandfathered in

  • misterburns

    I got my ipad mini with retina 16gb through tmobile. Here's my story. I went to a retail store on Jan 6, 2014 and asked if I I can put the Jump on my ipad mini. The rep said yes so I was pleased that I'm going to have the jump and protect my investment because I'm going to spend 24 months paying for it. 2 weeks later my ipad was destroyed it was smashed. I called tmobile to file a claim assuming the Jump is also like Asurant that u can get your device replaced if it was lost or broken. The customer sales rep was surprised to find out why the rep at the store gave me the option to add the Jump. She said tmobile does not provide the Jump for tablets. I was furious because that was the reason why I wanted to get the ipad through tmobile to save money plus protect it. I got my receipt showing that the jump was added and the rep on the phone didn't understand why the jump option was available on the ipad. She had advise me to talk to the manager at the tmobile store to explain the situation. So I went to the store where I got it and showed him the broken ipad. I told him why they gave false information claiming my ipad was covered through the jump. He had apologized for the mistake that his employee did. And said he was unable to replace my ipad and immediately took the jump off the account for the tablet. Now I was stuck with a broken ipad and still have to pay the 24 months I owe on it. He had advise me to go to apple care to get a warranty plan and I said no. Why should I do that when the jump program provides the insurance to replace a lost or broken device. I demanded the manager to replace my ipad because of there mess up. He was scared didn't want to deal with me and ask his employee to take care of the situation. Again the employee said there was nothing they can do. I called customer service again and explain my situation spoke to a rep by the name of Toby. He had apologized about the confusion and he had spoken to his manager about the situation. He went ahead and placed an order for a new ipad mini with retina display and to have it shipped to me the next day. I was pleased to hear that they messed up and admitted there mistake adding the jump and was going to address the situation about that employee that told me that I can get the jump on the tablet. The rep on the phone said that he strongly advise to get some sort of warranty through Apple as soon as I received the ipad. I said that was fine. I was asked to pay a 175.00 deductible though since that's what it said on their system that that's how much the deductible was to replace my broken ipad. So I payed that. Now that I see the news about tmobile is going to start adding Jump for tablets I was like WTF? Ok now that they removed the jump off the ipad so what now? Can I go back to tmobile and say I want to add Jump after what just happen to me? I got my replacement ipad mini and it's connected to tmobile with the 200mb data package for life supposably. From what my understanding is that Jump is associated with Assurant. Not Assurion. Tmobile did had Assurion when I opened an account with them back in oct 2012. Then received a letter from tmobile saying that assurion will no longer be associating with tmobile and that it will be through Assurant. After the change a month later the Jump Program was introduced in 2013. Tmobile please make it clear that with jump that we can get replacement device if our device are lost or broken. I filed 2 claims the same time when my ipad was broken and I paid for those deductibles and got my replacement Note 3 and LG L9. I'm hoping I can put this ipad under the jump program since I'm still paying for it through there financing program

    • tony

      you can start to add jump now, starting today it is open enrollment and will be a limited time offer so go ahead and add jump now.

      • Rish

        Hi tony,
        I just called tmobile to add jump but they said they didn't know anything about open enrollment. Should i call again? Is it still open?

  • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

    JUMP is still somewhat confusing; Prepaid makes more sense to me (and $ for me).

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      It boils down to this. Jump is insurance that allows you to switch out the phone whenever you want provided you have it half paid off. T-mobile allows you to break up payment for the device for 24mo.

  • Semianonymous

    I wish they'd stop fucking around with tethering. Wanna prove all this uncarrier stuff is legit? Stop telling me what to do with the data I've paid for.

    • Cruise Guy

      But you didn't pay for it. (this type of wideband high speed data) With the new speeds coming out, you will be able to turn on the wifi router on your phone, and with a cheap repeater, power an entire office. Heck, we have 15 and 20MB downloads and soon 50 and 60 MB downloads. That's enough to power 20 people in a small office. Its not fair for the phone company to have you power 20 people for your $20 per month. The unlimited was based on 2G speeds or the beginning of 3G speeds. They are more than generous with their plans.

      • Semianonymous

        That's great for your office, but I'm not using it in that sense. I'm giving Tmobile 20/mo for 9999 GB of data, and yes, I paid them for it. Why do they care if I use it on my phone or my tablet?

        PS: unlimited means unlimited at 4g speeds. And it shouldn't matter if it's "fair" or not. Data is data.

      • Semianonymous

        A) I'm giving T-Mobile 20 bucks a month 9990gb of high speed data No throttling, no idea where you're getting claims about 2g or 3g speeds. Why do they care if it goes to my tablet or my phone?
        B) even if they don't want to give it for free, they could reduce their prices enormously. 90 dollars a month for 18.5gb is a joke.