T-Mobile Rocks

I was a T-Mobile customer for more than a decade from the late 90s until a year or two ago. I really enjoyed the experiece. I didn't know many other T-Mobile customers. That was fine with me.

One by one, my family switched to AT&T. My kids went to AT&T for the iPhone when you had to do that. I am not sure why The Gotham Gal went to AT&T but she did. So I was solo on T-Mobile and managing two bills and two plans. So I joined my family on AT&T. It's been fine, as long as you think $2000 a month for a family plan is OK.

I am going back to T Mobile. Not because AT&T sucks. It doesn't. Not because AT&T costs me a lot of money. It does.

I am going back out of principle. T-Mobile is customer friendly. The others are not. Maybe Sprint, now that it is owned by SOFTBANK, will join T-Mobile in the customer friendly aisle of the mobile carrier church, but right now they are on the other side.

David Pogue nailed it in this post he wrote in the New York Times late last week. Please go read the whole thing. It is great. But this quote from T-Mobile's Chief Marketing Officer sort of sums it all up:

Those other companies sit around trying to figure out what customer charges they can get away with. We sit around and say, ‘What can we get away with not charging the customer'?

Here are some of the customer friendly things T-Mobile does:

1) no international roaming charges. those who read this blog know that i have tried many things over the years to avoid those massive roaming charges. it can be done. i now know how. but if you are a T-Mobile customer you don't have to think about it.

2) no 2 year contract. quit T-Mobile anytime you want

3) don't keep paying the subsidy once you've paid for your phone

If you think all cellphone carriers should act like T-Mobile, I would encourage you to join me on T-Mobile. Because if all of us move to T-Mobile, the other carriers will have no choice to join them in being customer friendly. We can vote with our pocketbooks. We should. I will.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Cam MacRae

    My first-choice for pre-paid when in the US. They’ve always done the right thing by me. SWMBO keeps an AT&T account on ice, but I don’t bother.

    1. kidmercury

      SWMBO — lol im going to borrow that

      1. Cam MacRae

        If only I could claim it as my own… borrow away.

    2. Avi Deitcher

      Same here. I use a T-Mobile prepaid account, best thing. ATT prepaid is a disaster.

      1. crash025

        Shame their coverage for the prepaid account is bad.

  2. John Revay

    “as long as you think $2000 a month for a family plan is OK”Fred – for $ 2K/Month – I hope your family plan includes yours parents as well.We have 5 in total in our family and 4 of us so far have phones (our 4th grader will get his after he completes 5th grade). I think all in we are under $300/month – we share a modest data plan.

    1. Cam MacRae

      Even $300 seems excessive. What are you getting for those kind of dollars?

    2. PeterisP

      I am shocked by the numbers – I could’ve guessed $300/month as family mobile expenses in USA (I pay $30/month in EU including the payment for handset) but $2000 feels like… why then isn’t AT&T ten times more profitable than our operators, who have quite good margins and profits anyway?

      1. Richard

        AT&T charges $15 dollars per GB over your contacted data plan.

      2. John Revay

        Actually just looked at the bill, we are at $195/month – that still bothers me….Between the verizon and cablevision monthly charges….it is almost $ 400/month that 15 yrs ago we did not pay out.

    3. fredwilson

      it includes five pocket wifis, which i am cutting out. we can make one to share worth.and all of us are on the max international roaming planmy goal is to get it below $1000/month

      1. Elie Seidman

        why not just use your phone as the pocket wifi?

        1. fredwilson

          it’s a legacy of being out of our home for hurricane sandy for four months and i kept them and need to shut them off

          1. ShanaC

            funny how it still affects us all. Been a year.

          2. Anne Libby

            I’ve been thinking the same thing…

      2. John Revay

        Re: International roam plans…..I have heard the horror stories of people who traveled overseas and did not have an int’l plan and got shocked when they ran up $2K in roaming charges.It’s too bad they did not have a feature/app that you could flip a bit on your phone app – and enable the international roam plan…and then when you return home you flip it off.

        1. Dale Allyn

          This is another example of why the subsidized, locked phones people buy under contract for ~$199 (instead of $650 unlocked) are so outrageously expensive. For ~$451 more, one can get an unlocked phone and simply get a local SIM in most countries. If traveling often to repeat destinations, maintain a local number (as I do in Thailand for less than $30/mo).Or, use a subsidized phone at home and buy a Nexus 4 for $250 as a travel phone. But this method requires a bit more effort to keep info synced.

  3. Anne Libby

    Cable companies: watch and learn.

    1. Timothy Meade

      Especially with HBO’s experiment with ala-carte.

      1. rick gregory

        What experiment? If I could get HBO without cable that would rock (even if it was delayed a day or a week etc), but I can’t unless I’ve missed something.

    2. rick gregory

      They dont have to. I have zero choice in cable as with most people. For me it’s Comcast, satellite, over the air or cord-cutting. There’s no second or third cable option because of the franchise model they work under.

      1. Greg Gentschev

        It’s definitely an oligopoly, but how is that no choice? To your list, I would add telco. So if cable, telco, and satellite are basically all similar versions of the same thing, either that’s a pretty odd equilibrium, or it’s because customers don’t really care to have anything different. Why do you think no aspiring entrepreneur has offered anything truly different?

        1. rick gregory

          it’s not a oligopoly because, depending on where I live I only have one cable choice. Does Time Warner compete with Comcast? yes, but not at the individual customer level. I live in Seattle… here it’s pretty much Comcast. There is no Time Warner presence. I can’t get Verizon FIOS. Other cable cos exist, but they aren’t competition for my dollars because they can’t serve this area due to franchise agreements. If I want cable TV I have one and only one choice.Do I have other options for TV in general? Sure. For example, I’m watching football over the air right now, but that’s because it is a game that’s on a national network. However, if I want cable exclusive deals (Monday Night Football on ESPN, etc) several of those choices drop away. Over the air doesn’t carry ESPN or any of the cable networks. Some of those I can pick up with streaming choices, some not. Things like live sports fall mostly into the Not category.Anne – you’re talking to a cord-cutter. My point wasn’t that there aren’t options in general, it’s that if a customer wants to match all of the services cable offers they mostly have no choice. For cell service, I can tell T-Mobile to stuff it if they start failing in some way, pay off my iPhone and move to ATT or even an MVNO. If Comcast starts sucking I cannot move to Time Warner or another cable provider. I might be able to move to a satellite provider, but if I live in a condo or apartment, that might be an option that I lose due to building rules.There might be only 4 telcos offering cell service, but for most of us there’s 1 and only 1 cable company.

          1. Anne Libby

            My point wasn’t that the situation was perfectly analogous.But choice will arise. The landscape is already hugely different than it was 2 years ago, or even a year ago.

          2. rick gregory

            I hope you’re right Anne, but my fear is that since there’s no choice within a franchise it’s much h arder for people to switch. If I want HBO when the shows are current I’m locked to cable. If I want most live sports, same. I’m hoping things like Netflix original series pushes others to do streaming first series and that the NFL gets off the Verizon/DirectTV drug.

          3. Salt Shaker

            Why not just go to Buckley’s in Belltown or Queen Anne. Plenty of screens, plus the crowd and beer are both quite refreshing:)

          4. rick gregory

            Ha! Small world… I used to work above the old Belltown Buckley’s and hung out there all the time.

  4. awaldstein

    How strange that such an obvious right statement seems so exceptional!

    1. fredwilson

      great marketing at work

      1. awaldstein

        Based on product value to the user–how novel.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          If only the whole world was managed this way.

          1. awaldstein

            That is exactly how you win Matt. And exactly how you loose when you don’t. With big platforms it takes time but happen it will.Give me one other thing that you focus on, startup or whatever, day in day out to move the needle forward. That is all there is!

          2. Matt A. Myers

            I feel ya.

        2. ShanaC

          i’m depressed that this is novel

          1. Matt A. Myers

            It’s overall a good sign. It means the market is saturated with traditional – perhaps could call them heartless – business methods, and now a competitive factor becomes having heart.

    2. JamesHRH

      It only comes from a carrier that has to be that way. As Pogue writes:” I’m still not, however, a T-Mobile subscriber, because its service still isn’t good where I live. “If their network rocked and you had to have them, they would be evil. Circumstances tend to dictate behaviour, on the 80/20 rule.

      1. someone

        Yep. There’s a reason I’ve been willing to shovel hundreds of $s per month into Verizon’s hands for the past dozen years.

    3. Salt Shaker

      If that’s the CMO and company mantra,why are the big secret? That’s a wonderful marketing platform, but TMO’s advertising continues to feature that anorexic 18-24 yr. old spokeswoman and speaks nothing of their customer facing objectives. A bit of a disconnect. The testimonials on this thread have opened my eyes a bit, certainly more than TMO’s marketing.

      1. ShanaC

        because millennials are the ones buying phones instead of cars….

        1. Salt Shaker

          Agree 100%, but there’s a missed opportunity by TMO not targeting the families and biz community too. They have something impt and relevant to say. A stated desire not to bilk customers–unlike the other guys–plus no intl roaming, etc., is a pretty compelling message.

          1. LE

            You can’t market by telling people that you are more honest and won’t rip them off. Because most people aren’t being ripped off or if they are being ripped off they don’t know it.You can of course point out differences in pricing to show that your product will perform the same at a lower price because you don’t charge for extras (that they are buying or know they will pay for. And that sometimes works.But the reason people do options and extra charges also has to do with the fact that people respond to an advertising message with low numbers that draw them in. Then the extra fees don’t seem as big of a deal (there are clear principles on this obviously).For example a flight that is priced at $75 on Jet Green will sell better than one that is priced at $110 elsewhere even if you charge $35 for the bag and/or taxes and other jazz. Because people respond (in that situation) to the low number.Everyone does business like this. Car dealers with options, Dell computer with price teasers list is endless. They do it because it works on people’s brains to get a low number and think of the extras in a different way.People make decisions with emotion and impulse and stupidity not rationality. At least not on a mass basis.

          2. PhilipSugar

            That works for a while.

          3. Salt Shaker

            The positioning is better customer service/value vs. competition, which ideally they can support with empirical data. The testimonials on AVC suggest there’s a compelling story there.

          4. LE

            People tend to be very shiny ball with respect to what they care about.I would offer the following based on my experience.a) People are most likely to do something dramatic after a traumatic event.(Strike while the iron is hot).Along those lines I would wonder if Fred ever got that backup generator in his house since there has not been any threat of storm lately. I even investigated getting a backup generator and I didn’t even suffer a power outage. But the weather has been so damn nice lately I don’t have enough pain and fear of a storm to spend the 12k on it. Especially since it’s not trivial to put in a generator.b) If the majority of people don’t really interact with cs in any significant way with their carrier and the barrier to switch is not painless (it’s a pain, right?) the chance that by offering better customer service someone will switch is not that large. I will try not to be biased by my feelings but I will say I certainly don’t really care I expect big company customer service to suck.c) If someone is buying a phone for the first time, they aren’t going to believe any “we are better talk” in marketing. They might take a friends recommendation of course.d) Someone who has a really bad experience with customer service may swear up and down to not renew with at&t/verizon but if the contract doesn’t expire for 6 mos. by the time 6 mos. rolls around we are talking about the iron not being hot anymore “a”. They have lost steam. Re-read that because it’s a core believe I have about the way people operate.e) What people say and what they do are two different things. Especially if the barrier is high enough or there is effort involved.So in short I don’t agree that the problem is large enough with customer service despite what people are saying here. What I do see here is a bunch of people saying “yeah att sucks/ verizon sucks but well I have good coverage”.Lastly, the amount of people who travel enough overseas and care about free roaming internationally is (I’m guessing) very small.One more thing. I went to tmobiles site and priced out the service that a typical person who doesn’t travel would pay. It doesn’t seem any different in terms of what they are offering, maybe slightly, than what I am either paying now or the other offerings. And it’s not a simple thing to even understand the pricing either that they have.

          5. Salt Shaker

            Don’t discount the freedom of choice (no 2yr contract) benefit, which impacts consumers willingness to switch. Consumers like flexibility and TMO does have a story. They can deliver a combination of stronger attributes/benefits vs. competition, which in a commodity category is not easy to accomplish. All that aside, it still is difficult to get consumers to switch brands in subscription based categories like telco, cable, etc., although even a small % shift can significantly impact a company’s financials.

          6. LE

            See attached screen grab which to me shows the phone part is more expensive with tmobile. Also att pricing is adjusted so that you can “cancel” (if you want to call it that) at any time.(Please check my math I did this quickly…)Click on image to enlarge…

          7. CJ

            That’s weird that the phone price is cheaper with AT&T Next than it is on their regular subsidized plan. With that said, this doesn’t take into account that the plan price on T-Mobile is cheaper while AT&T still charges you the subsidized plan price on NEXT and T-Mobile JUMP program includes insurance for lost or damaged phones, AT&T’s doesn’t. If you cost it all out you’ll save a ton more money on T-Mobile in end over AT&T, even taking into account the $100 difference in price up front.

    4. Aaron Klein

      That’s one of the exercises we go through thinking about innovation at Riskalyze: what is the thing you could say at a customer keynote that would absolutely blow the customer away?Then work backwards and figure out how to make that happen.Bravo to T-Mobile for doing that.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        It’d be great to see this process in a framework of some sort.I imagine the insight may come from comments from longer-time users? Of course that could be from the product team, too, though customers could then highlight or reenforce the best or most valuable pieces.

        1. Aaron Klein

          The insight definitely comes from knowing your users and thinking about what would blow them away.I think far too often, product teams start with what’s possible and figure out what to build, rather than working backwards.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Yeah, that’s why there are so many gaps in markets for disruption.

      2. CJ

        Stealing that for internal use! 🙂

        1. Aaron Klein

          Please do 🙂

  5. matthewmclean

    The day I dumped Verizon for MetroPCS was one of the happiest days of my life. When I have time to research an alternative, I’m going to dump them at home too.

  6. WA

    Yep, T-mobile has game! We are a twin wireless AT&T / T Mobile Household too! Wouldn’t dream if giving it up after 8 Years. Here is a pretty thorough insight to the international roaming plan from one of our feeds we use for travel which was Thursdays post. Pardon the ling link but I’m ios on the early morning jog with the dog! (This guy has a great blog for travel point addicts.)http://thepointsguy.com/201…

    1. fredwilson

      that’s a great post. thanks for linking out to it

      1. WA


    2. Farhan Abbasi

      Great link. Found one limitation to the offer, worth knowing:”For the new international features to apply, trips must be no longer than six weeks, and every three months half of a user’s data needs to used in the US”

  7. jacquichew

    Tmobile must have had a change of heart I was a customer from the early 2000s to Jan 2012 when I switched to ATT. I was paying am average of $119/month at Tmobile for years and more when I traveled to Asia. I was having issues with my phone and was trying to upgrade my phone without paying $500 for a new Android. No luck. I got indifferent service despite being a customer for 10 years. I switched. Haven’t looked back since.

  8. William Mougayar

    I was on T-Mobile with a NJ number for 3 years from 2006-2008 because that was the corporate plan at Cognizant, and customer service was a delight. Only thing was that coverage quality wasn’t as good, outside of metro areas. But T-Mobile is great in Europe too.Last year, I started with Verizon for a MiFi account, and their customer service is such a pain to deal with. I have horror stories with them.I hope the Canadian carriers catch the T-Mobile customer friendly bug too, because they still are charging whatever they can get away with.

    1. awaldstein

      Verizon is a nightmare!In too much of a good mood to share the stories.Everyone will have a smile when they fail.

      1. William Mougayar

        Yup. They called me from the automated system but there are no options to talk to them. When you press zero, the call cuts off.

    2. Paul Sullivan

      William, you know very well that “hope” will never be a strategy. The good news is that we’re almost at that point where it is cheaper for us to have a US carrier account while living in Canada 😉

      1. William Mougayar

        Funny I was just thinking the same. I just added a 2nd Internet service with a Rogers rocket hub like you have, because the Xplornet service totally sucks for upload speeds. I couldn’t make Skype or video calls. Now, I’ve got to pay $100 to xplornet and $60 to Rogers, in addition to the iPhone and Bell Canada bills.Why couldn’t we deal with ONE decent company for all communications needs?

  9. tsella

    I use Tmo when traveling to the State. I was on feature phone with Tracfone for a few years buying those funky “double minutes” “extend expiration” etc deals as it was the only sensible way at the time to have a local US phone.But no data – I did not mind it THAT much, as I was also a Blackberry customer, I was getting my emails for free, had some minimal included roaming data enough to power Google Maps and it was all OK. Not great, but OK. Usable.Then two things happened… Tmo came along with sensibly priced prepaid including data and my Blackberry died.Moved to Tmo, moved to a smart phone. Never looked back. Even got my kid a Tmo phone when he spent some time with me at the States.I can’t say too much regarding customer service – I never had to talk to a live person to manage my account and refills. I guess that’s a plus. When it works.The second part of this equation is Google Voice. I’ve had a constant number for years now, and not due to number portability (of which I heard some funky stories), but rather because Google Voice works that well and moving between physical phones and carriers is such a breeze.So.. If you are in my situation – look no further: Tmo + Google Voice.

    1. fredwilson

      i think i will do both. do you know if you can port your cell number to google voice?

      1. Elie Seidman

        yes – you can. Or rather, I ran my Verizon cell number through their validation process and they said I could. Though, it seems that it’s not a completely trivial process though. From what I read: When you port the number to them, your existing cell phone plan gets cancelled. You then need to get a new plan (new carrier or prior carrier) and a new number. I imagine the last step is that they have a mapping from your old number which is now on Google voice to your new number which is the number actually on your cell phone.

        1. fredwilson

          i think i am going to do this

          1. Elie Seidman

            I’m going to as well. I need the flexibility of being able to really “own” my cell number.

          2. LE

            Other thing to do is to put a google voice number in front of your cell phone number (that you still use not the one you want to move to gv). Or in front of your office line (if you have one) or home line (if you still have one).That way you don’t have to give out your real cell phone number to the whole world. And with gv people have to announce themselves and you can decide if you want to take the call or not. And you can listen to a message that they are leaving (if you decide you want it to go to voicemail) and pickup mid message. So if you decide to not take the call but find out it’s the plumber you’ve been waiting for you can pickup mid message.Works as a call screening service. Not only that but you can do other tricks because the number you give out sits in front of your cell number.

          3. Ryan from GroupTweet

            Another thing to consider before porting your number to Google Voice is the lack of MMS support. You simply can’t receive any MMS’s unless the sender is using Sprint. This prevents you from receiving any group iMessages from your iPhone friends which is a deal-breaker for me.However, it is rumored that when Android 4.4 KitKat launches Google is going to fix this by bringing MMS/SMS support to their Hangouts app.I’m still waiting to see how this is implemented before I port my number over to GoogleVoice/Hangouts.

      2. ShanaC

        meanwhile, I want to do the reverse port my google voice number to my cell…

      3. LE

        Yes. Definitely. I’ve done it.Not only that but more importantly you can port your landline to google voice as well.Here is how I did it (in case they haven’t made this “official” since you couldn’t 2 years ago).1) You have a landline say at home or office.2) You move that landline to your cell provider3) You move the number from your cell provider to google voice. A few weeks later.I had a landline in another area code/state (from before we moved) and the phone company here couldn’t move it. So I was paying verizon $$ every month to forward calls.So I did the above trick and now I pay $0But it gets even better. If you buy one of these you can hook up a regular phone to google voice and use it like a landline:http://www.obihai.com/

      4. Jake Lewis

        Google voice can really save the day in areas of poor coverage. For my sins I have a Sprint smartphone, and 3 prepaid old feature phones, one on each of the other major networks, which I only switch when I’m out in the back of beyond. They all connect to the same google voice number. It’s a horrible racket when they all ring at the same time, but it’s worth if for those sweet times when only one of them rings 🙂

  10. Guest

    I switched back to verizon for call quality and coverage. Right move– AT&T and Sprint suck here, And tmobiles coverage is spotty but I like the ethic.Verizon’s customer service is terrible. Its stores have been like government agencies, but recently it’s adopted the Apple procactive model, which is a bit better.What really pissed me off was when I went to get a new iPhone c (which is nice, Fred, better than the 5). The Verizon store–VERIZON–had a damn red-velvet roped off line. With nobody in it. There’s a Verizon jockey at the front of the line who says “let me see if there’s room, please wait behind the rope. I looked past him into the store and there were about 10 people in there. 10. Including employees. So I said F*ck it and left. Went somewhere else the next day and no line. No 5s either, but whatever. Nice service (BB).If TMobile had better coverage I’d switch. If Freedom Pop had better phones (prevented by Sprint from doing so, which is bogus), I’d use that or one of the others.Bottom line, though–iPhone on Verizon is far better than my service on ATT and my S2 on Sprint–around here anyway. 4g speeds are great. Wish the data plan wasn’t so stingy.Next time I’ll order from Amazon or Wirefly.

    1. PhilipSugar

      I live out in the hinterlands and Verizon is the only thing that works well. I’ll have to check as I bet T-Mobile built things out.Were you at a Verizon owned store? Some have the name on them but are not owned. I have had nothing but great experiences at their store.

      1. LE

        I had an acquaintance who bought one of those stores. His other company declared bankruptcy and he had to get his money fast into something so the bankruptcy court couldn’t touch it. When I spoke to him (not that frequently) all he would do is complain about the “shit people” that you get to work at a place like that. Steal, do drugs, don’t show up etc. He decided to dump that store (once he got out of the bankruptcy mess) and he bought something else.The thing that people who don’t own “small” retail businesses like this often don’t realize is the labor problem of who you can get that will even show up in the morning. It’s not even like you are a large corporation and people at least feel that they can go somewhere if they do a good job. Or a bank or law office in a fancy building and lower paid workers get to feel that they are somehow “important” (and get to smell the fresh coffee and clean new carpeting).I would check the Tmobile map (obviously) from what I can tell they still don’t work in many hinterlands.

        1. PhilipSugar

          Checked the map. Not good on the Chesapeake Bay.The other piece on those stores is watching how 5-10% of the people that come in treat employees like absolute shit.Behavior that should not be acceptable anywhere.

  11. pointsnfigures

    My two oldest kids are the same age as Fred’s. There is a joke in our house that since we have ATT and have the legacy unlimited data plan, they will never get off our phone bill. We added my wife’s parents this year as well (they don’t use a cell phone except for emergencies). My bill is $350/mo. Unlimited data but I have been on ATT since I got a cell phone.I will check out T-Mobile. I do dislike the “monopolistic” nature of phone company competition. It’s also why I will never fly American Airlines again. Southwest is so much more customer friendly.Fred’s point on phone companies is the same with Google. Use other search engines and it hurts their pocketbook.

    1. fredwilson

      more and more every day are doing thathttps://duckduckgo.com/traf…

      1. William Mougayar

        DDG = Dump Dump Google

      2. Elie Seidman

        what drove that big jump?

        1. fredwilson


          1. pointsnfigures

            Installed it on my browsers, phone. But occasionally I still have to use other search engines for search-especially for photos.

          2. Anne Libby

            For images, you can use the !gi search at DDG…

          3. rick gregory

            Note that in DDG you can prefix a search to use another engine. To perform the search prefix it with !g {search terms}. For Google Images, !gi, for Google news, !gn, etc

    2. btrautsc

      this is our same situation, except I’m the kid (26 and own the plan). Moved to ATT for the iphone, caught the legacy unlimited data – and am basically locked in.Trying to move my wife over to our family plan will apparently kill the grandfathered program though? My long assumption however is that one day a letter will come from ATT and say Unlimited Data plans are being phased out in X months… then the switch would be too easy.I have been looking hard at TMobile for the device flexibility/ cost – but am really concerned about the coverage outside of major metros.

  12. BigAnth

    I have 5 phones on AT&T mobile share plan with 10 gb of data which we sometimes go over but our bill is never over $400. You guys must be watching a ton of movies on your devices or you were on the wrong plan.I switched from Tmobile because I lost count of how many places we travelled to with no signal. Big city coverage is fine, but 20 miles out nothing but dead spots.I don’t care how cheap (for us our cost was half of what AT&T charges) or customer service friendly a company is. If I can’t use the service, what’s the point?

    1. Richard

      ATT is a deceptive and dishonest provider. After seeing 15-20 GB useage per month for several months, I called to see just how and where I could possibly be using this much data. Here is their reply “we can’t share that information with you”. Are you fucking kidding me? You share my data useage with any one with a budget to pay for it, but I can’t access this same info? I went four layers up the line of command. Even at this level, the answer was “you know that really doesn’t make sense to me either”. I’ve paid AT&T for hundreds of GB of dropped and pathetic data transfer in New York and Los Angeles. Apologies? Nope. Credits? Some, but only after spending my (valuable) time. Could Fred ever justify spending 3O minutes to save $300? Nope. And neither will I.

  13. Richard

    I’m not alone. I spent 30 minutes this week letting AT&T I’m done. Our 15 year relationship is over. Mgnt should be embarrassed for what it charges for data.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I’ve had bad experiences with Telus, Rogers, and then finally went to a discount carrier. It actually hasn’t been the cheapest option for my use case, though I don’t care because they’re not engaging in the tactics all the others are – so in the end the emotional cost is far less.

  14. William Mougayar

    I love strong statements that define a company, like this one by Evernote:”We don’t show ads, mine your data or do anything that might diminish your confidence in our company. Forever.”

  15. takingpitches

    We just switched this weekend from AT&T to Sprint!I liked the pre-Mobile Voicestream name!

  16. jason wright

    $2000 pcm.how much of that is down to you alone, as you say you don’t make many voice calls? is it all data?it is Sunday and so i guess even an influencer such as yourself isn’t likely to get that AT&T call today from the marketing department offering you the $1000 deal to stay loyal and ‘sell’ their brand.

    1. fredwilson

      it is almost all data, a lot of international data, and five pocket wifis which i am getting rid of all but one

      1. Vineeth Kariappa

        $ 2000/ mnth is my burn rate. (server n 6 people !) That is too much.

      2. PhilipSugar

        The MiFi’s cost be a bunch of money too. Are you going to tethering? I have found in the past that doesn’t work great.I also will not use public Wifi as my CTO has proved to me he can get my data.

        1. LE

          Tethering from an ipad (mini) I’ve had great results. Verizon LTE. Plus you can change the plan right from the ipad. So if you need to bump up/down for a month you can do that. I had mifi before that this is much better.

        2. CJ

          Public Wifi needs to be coupled with VPN if you’re doing anything secure.**That includes passing login credentials.

  17. Elie Seidman

    Data speeds look like they’ll be 128kbps. on the very slow side to be useful on a smart phone for much beyond email.

    1. fredwilson

      but you can bump them

      1. Elie Seidman

        Prices on the bump up look like they’re similar to what Verizon charges. on the order of $250/GB (Verizon uses the less shocking nomenclature of $25/100MB). I wonder how long until this is all ancient history and data and voice prices are the same regardless of what country you happen to be in. If my memory serves, Sprint introduced a domestic no-roaming charges plan in 1997 which precipitated the a pretty rapid end to the concept of state by state or city by city roaming in the US. How long does it take now for international? 2 years? 5 years?

    2. LE

      On oyster.com you should do wifi speed testing in the hotels you review (at different times of the day) as well as which cell networks work in which locations. For example on St. Thomas, St. John I had issues with both Verizon and AT&T. Wifi was good at the Westin St. John though. A big question I always have is what the connectivity is like at a spot not whether it is free or not. (As a matter of fact I tend to like places that charge that way the usage tends to be less.)

      1. Elie Seidman

        I agree with you that it’s an important criteria in picking a hotel. But it ends up being expensive and imprecise to test. If it’s notably fast – for example the Four Seasons Nevis has somewhere near 50Mbps – then it might get a mention in the “pros” of the hotel.

        1. LE

          But it ends up being expensiveWell if you are saying that it’s not a feature that would bring more traffic or would not end up being a reason to use oyster then I definitely can’t argue with that. Same as a car company might not add a feature after doing an analysis. Cost vs. benefit and all of that. But you did say “it’s an important criteria”.I don’t agree that it is expensive and/or imprecise in the sense that I’m sure a device could be fashioned that hooked up to the wifi that could ping and measure automatically during the stay of the person visiting and collect the data and automatically upload that to your reporting the results.The opportunity is actually that it is not “simple” to do.That said I don’t know exactly how your hotel info is collected and by whom it is collected so I don’t know the practical aspects of implementing. But the “difficult” to me is good.After all that is in a sense how you are differentiating yourself right now with the pictures that you take and the written reviews.

          1. Elie Seidman

            well said. I believe it’s the former especially relative to other features where the ROIC is better.

  18. jkrums

    Totally agree, I made the switch last year from Verizon and have had a very good experience. The service is not as good as Verizon but all their initiatives and growth over the last year have made me into a believer. Especially no roaming for international calls, that’s a huge announcement.

  19. CPNY

    I am using T-Mobile in M2M communication (telematics) and price is so much better than anyone else…. Only problem is coverage (we use machines in rural areas). Anyone knows about ‘bridge’ technology to cover the white spots on spotty GPRS coverage for M2M?

  20. Dale Allyn

    I’ve been considering a similar move for the very same reason. I may start by adding a line on T-Mobile to see how their system handles my usage patterns.

  21. Ana Milicevic

    I’ve had T-mobile for 12+ years — from the days they were VoiceStream. They used to be the sole viable GSM option in the US. Over the years their customer service has seen some fluctuations in quality but in reality I don’t really have to interact with them often. I’ve also had Verizon and AT&T phones during the years (still have the AT&T one) and T-Mobile is much better for my needs.Waiving international roaming charges is such great customer-friendly functionality that I plan to keep sticking with them. They get what I need from a cellphone carrier.They have a pretty sweet pre-paid offering too — great for tourists & visitors.

  22. Brandon Burns

    preaching to the converted!i could write a greek tragedy about my dealing with at&t. t-mobile has been amazing. they’re clearly in 3rd place when it comes to reliable reception, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind of not being tethered to a contract.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Yeah, no coverage in Hades. But who needs to Snapchat from the Underworld?

  23. ShanaC

    sprint but want to move….

    1. JimHirshfield

      What are you waiting for?

      1. ShanaC

        weirdly, I’m still on a family plan for family reasons…and my parents are happy. When company needs a phone – maybe tmobile (we’ll see)

        1. JimHirshfield

          So, nice that your parents are happy. With a daughter like you, why wouldn’t they be?

          1. ShanaC

            they want grandkids, like now?

          2. JimHirshfield

            Please address your support issues to [email protected] 😉

  24. ErikSchwartz

    Back when I was doing Foneshow I had a phone from pretty much all the carriers. VZW was the only one that had any kind of halfways decent coverage in the places where I was spending time (primarily midcoast Maine, NYC and Silicon Valley). TMO had zero bars at our house in Bath ME.

  25. anand

    I’ve heard of some using Google Voice + Talkatone + TMobile’s unlimited data plan to use an iPhone, total cost is around $30/month. Not bad. like the no two yr contract deal.

  26. matthughes

    I wonder how the failed merger of T-Mobile & AT&T might have changed the mobile landscape in the US?

    1. JimHirshfield

      SO glad we’ll never know.

      1. JamesHRH

        Jim, as it is the week to pass DSQ issues to you, I am completely unable to sign in on my iOS7 iPhone 4S. It spins, then kicks me out of Safari.FWIW.

        1. JimHirshfield

          “You’re holding it wrong” – Steve Jobs. ;-)Actually, it’s never really the week to pass issues to me. I’m happy to help where I can, but I’m not as effective as our Product Support team (help@…) because they see ALL issues. So they know when some issue is widespread, or is new. They know if there’s a solution because they may have seen it before.I’m not trying to pass the buck. I feel your frustration and wish I could do something about it. Anyway, it’s not about me, it’s about you. So I hope you’ll send a note to Product Support with your configuration and circumstances.

    2. Matt A. Myers

      We can watch it unfold in Canada if one of the big three here end up buying Wind Mobile.

    3. Druce

      FCC and public policy FTW – maybe we can thank everybody who made public comments that a duopoly was a terrible ideahttp://mashable.com/2011/12…Also they have a sweet 5GB/100 minute $30/month planhttp://news.cnet.com/8301-3…

  27. JimHirshfield

    I’ve been on T-Mobile for about a decade. Always been very happy with:- customer support (waiving disputed int’l roaming charges)- coverage in CT, NYC, SF- unlimited data- no extra for tethering, which I do for two hours every day to/from NYC- decoupling hardwareThey’ve always been hungry because they’re smaller. That leads to these customer friendly policies.

    1. jeremychone

      Hi, I am very happy with them to, however, they did crackdown on un planned tethering. I did not have the tethering plan for the last couple of years, and always tethered (once or twice a week), and last couple of months, I had to pay the extra $10/month. But still, they are so fair and cheap compared to ATT that I did not really create. I just pay $60/months for everything unlimited with tethering plan.

  28. Paul Sanwald

    I’m glad you posted this, as we’ve had ATT for a long time and I thoroughly dislike their customer service. looks like we can save 60 bucks a month by switching!

  29. Tracey Jackson

    I was T-Mobile forever. Switched for iPhone and family plan. Like you my whole family followed. I have to say T-Mobile was not so easy to work with then and their service in certain areas was awful. Like the East End could never get a call, but in India it rocked. I find with AT&T i get faster and better connections in more parts of the country and the world. But maybe it’s time to move back with the next phone.

    1. LE

      I find with AT&T i get faster and better connections in more parts of the country and the world. But maybe it’s time to move back with the next phone.If you are getting good results with AT&T why would you switch your phones? You might want to check the tmobile wireless coverage map. I just did and compared it to AT&T and there are definite holes in coverage (I checked only the east coast).Like the East End could never get a call, but in India it rocked.How often are you in India?

      1. Tracey Jackson

        I used to go a lot. I cared more then. But it stayed in my mind.

  30. Alex Fraher

    I recently switched to AT&T’s prepaid plan ($60/month with Windows Phone) and I’m very happy with their conversion and service. The plan’s a great deal too. I thought of going to TMO with all their new customer friendly actions – but they left a bad impression on me from my previous experience with them over a decade ago and that made me reconsider.Someone with the same name as me bailed on their plan/bill and instead of going after that person, TMO did no due diligence and sent the person into collections with my account. I waged a legal campaign against the collections company and prevailed. (Took 3 years)I’m a programmer, it was like are you people for real? You could not properly associate my SSN vs another subscribers SSN by the usual methods? Doing such a thing was part of any db query language in the mid-2000’s after all. It was depressing because the collections bills did not even show my account number but the other subscribers. TMo would DO NOTHING to rectify the issue even though they were the ones that started it and then when I needed a phone for my mom (paradoxically, at her residence, TMo had the best signal) they denied me because of my past “billing issues.”So thanks but no thanks TMO. For all you switchers, enjoy TMO until you have a billing issue or someone with your name skips on them.

  31. LE

    After reading Pogue article, it seems to me that it makes more sense rather than switching phones to AT&T that if someone travels overseas they should simply pickup a separate tmobile phone which can be used when they travel overseas. Seems trivial compared to the cost of being overseas hotel, airfare, food etc. And since you can cancel tmobile – you can do this as frequently as you like. Of course this is different if you are traveling with a large family. But if you are the same relative costs are still in play.

  32. John Fan

    principal => principle

  33. LE

    “Those other companies sit around trying to figure out what customer charges they can get away with,” he said. “We sit around and say, ‘What can we get away with not charging the customer?’”All this is a total hail mary by tmobile because they are the underdog and have everything to gain and much less to lose. They can brag all they want about this but in the end the network that they say is “less congested” is less congested because they have “less” customers. And it doesn’t cover as much of the country or even local areas then verizon or at&t. I don’t think that is in dispute.In the end cell phone service (not the phones but the service) is a commodity like gasoline. People will buy it (on a large scale) based on price [1] since the quality is roughly the same. Who cares that Tmobile has “hd” voice? I can hear fine with what I have now. Tmobile can afford to not charge for things because they are trying to gain market share from the competitors. If the competitors try to match that pricing or steal customers back they very well will end up losing.Given two gas stations next to each other agree that the station that treats you nicer will get your business.But they are rarely next to each other. And I don’t know of anyone who will pay .10c more per gallon because the fillup guy is nicer to them. It’s not that important to them. It’s not your wedding day or anything. It’s not a restaurant on Saturday night.I guess my point is this. People might think that AT&T customer service sucks but how often do you really need AT&T customer service?[1] All those small mom and pop stores that have gone out of business since the big boxes opened and/or Walmart ate their lunch? Look how easily consumers (in mass once again) will go in droves when given a cheaper price and shitty or non existant service. Look at how quickly consumers (who say they want better service) will “showroom” and take advantage of a local merchant with a location and then buy from amazon or another online store where they have no interaction at all. People will leave one car showroom over $100 and buy from a dealer 30 miles away. Price drives most large buying behavior for commodity items.

    1. CJ

      Gas stations are always near each other, often two or more on a four-corner intersection, here in the Chicago-land area.

    2. Evelise Sandidge

      Where do you find a “fillup guy”?!!

  34. Matt Zagaja

    It’s nice to see that there are still carriers that are hungry and have something to prove. I’ve been on Sprint since they absorbed Nextel back in the day. Nextel was my first phone. Since I am on a family plan I have little incentive to leave, it is certainly cheaper than the competitors (other than T-Mobile). In my area Sprint’s coverage has been decent, I get 3G consistently on my iPhone and enjoy unlimited data. When I was in Las Vegas last week I did notice lots of “1x” signal on my iPhone. It worked, but not well. However it also worked in NYC where I’ve seen friends with at&t phones lose signal completely. Yet I have to concede jealousy when I see friends whip out their Verizon phones and pull down speeds faster than my cable modem over their LTE network, and enjoy the ability to use them when they are in the DC Metro.Suffice to say there seem to be a ton of variables when choosing a mobile phone provider. If I wasn’t on a family plan at the moment, I’d move because I see that t-mobile has LTE on iPhone in my area and Sprint does not (although they say its coming).

  35. george

    Item 3 is a really great point Fred, most people miss that one. T-Mobile definitely has some momentum going for them now. I think the iPhone was really the missing link; they can now compete on equal footing.

  36. FakeValley

    ‘principle’ in place of ‘principal’ ?

  37. __m

    yeah right, this comes after the eu decided to force them to drop international roaming charges in the eu.

  38. Spirit Plumber

    I don’t often want to send fan mail to a phone company, but how do I do so? Also, T-Mobile gets credit for being the first to risk on an Android phone.

  39. bsaitz


  40. Greenyc

    If only the coverage would be as good as AT&T… Which is not great, but T-Mobile is even worse… Compare LA and SF, T-Mobile has spots in coverage which basically are unbearably bad..

  41. Mickey_disqus

    “as long as you think $2000 a month for a family plan is OK.”Sweet Jesus. Are these magic phones? What does one get for two THOUSAND dollars a month in terms of a phone?

    1. fredwilson

      A family plan so a bunch of phones and pocket wifis

      1. Greg Hill

        That could easily feed a family if six for 3 months

        1. fredwilson

          yup, that’s why i am leaving AT&T and going to TMobile today

    2. Brandon G. Donnelly

      That’s a mortgage

  42. scottythebody

    It’s amazing to me how much the US-based people are paying. Here in Austria, I pay 7EUR/month for “unlimited” data (3GB fast, rest throttled), 1000 minutes and 1000 SMS. I pay 3 EUR for the “iPhone Package” which gets me an additional 1GB of data and visual voice mail. I add a 30EUR “roaming” packet for 1 GB / month of roaming data whenever I travel.Why is it so much more expensive in the States? I mean, a freaking COKE is 3,80 EUR here, so why is data almost free?

    1. Agerman

      If you didn’t know: Austria is Europe’s testbed. You guys can also use any ATM anywhere in Europe and don’t get charged for it — no matter which bank you are with. Therefore your prices and plans are hardly representative.

  43. Not Good Enough

    I’m going a step further. I don’t think T-Mobile is good enough, so I’m not buying into *any* cell phone service. Simply being least-bad isn’t good enough for me, and I’m not going to reward them with hundreds of my dollars every year.Pogue says “we, the American sheep, just assumed that we had to accept”, which I find a bizarre attitude. Is it worth several dollars every day to be able to make a phone call from anywhere in the world? (With the number of phone calls I make, that’s tens-of-dollars per call. It’s 10 times worse than the most expensive pay phone in the world.) Their network reliability is good these days, but the sound quality is still atrocious. Personally, I’d rather pocket the money and just wait until I get home to use the phone.Richard Dawkins said, “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” We all hate most of the cell phone companies in the world. Some of us just go one company further.

  44. Briggs

    I just switched a couple weeks ago. I realized I was still paying that subsidy from AT&T for my iPhone I bought 3 years ago. What a waste of money. My bill dropped more than 55% by switching. I took my phone, which I had AT&T unlock and here I am. So, I’ll wait a few more months to purchase a new phone (I’d really like one). But, as I wait I save money which, in principal, will be applied to the new phone. It’s much cheaper. If I want a new phone, I pay ~$22 a month until I pay off the phone, or just pay it off anytime. I can quit t-mobile when I want (and I don’t want to). But, it’s the subsidy pricing model of the other carriers that is crazy. They never reduce your bill when you are done paying off that phone. That is just theft. T-mobile has gone in the right direction.

  45. rick gregory

    I went back to T-Mobile when they got the iPhone and separated the phone from the service. I can pay off my 5 anytime, I can keep paying it monthly (with no interest on the price) and then it’s paid off my bill drops until I buy another phone from them. If I want, I can just buy a phone and use it.Add to that the fact that their data billing makes sense (500mb for the low end plan, $10 for 2.5, $10 more for unlimited)Now add one thing that I really love… I can easily add AND remove services online. I don’t do this often, but if I want to, I can login, add or remove something and it’s done. No having to call them, go to the service center, etc.

  46. Sean Rose

    Reminds me of:”There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”—Sam Walton

    1. LE

      Walmart makes money by cleverly selling people (that can’t afford what they are buying in many cases) products that they didn’t really need. [1]Really no different than what many businesses do actually!A big difference though is that Walmart more or less does this to people who don’t have money to burn as opposed to the luxury watch maker who is simply redistributing money which ends up being a benefit to the economy.[1] I have absolutely nothing to back this up other than my observation over the years of people shopping at Walmart. Of course Paco Underhill could. And that’s essentially at least part of what he does. Walk around and watch people shop.http://en.wikipedia.org/wik

  47. bsoist

    I’ve been planning to switch to T-Mobile myself. I pay just under $300 a month for five smartphones – three with unlimited data, one with tethering.and I need to give up on AT&T http://whsjr.soistmann.com/…a few typos in that post and it was from almost four years ago now, so I could update it with several more stories. Perhaps with a story from last week when AT&T called me with and “important message” and then when I called them back by pressing “call back” on the vm, they wouldn’t talk to me without giving them the IMEI number off the phone, so I hung up and called the number directly and they still wanted the IMEI, so I decided to wait until I was not driving, called them back again. This time the guy says “I don’t need your IMEI, I already have it” BUT he has no idea why they called me.

  48. Jeff Jenkins

    My experience with T-Mobile was exactly the same before I switched to AT&T for the iPhone. Their support people were super nice and they had great coverage everywhere I cared about.I’m switching to the 5GB $30 prepaid plan when my new iPhone comes tomorrow. I’m really excited since I’m paying $80 for AT&T right now. I’ll make up for the cost of buying the phone outright after about a year and then save ~$500/year for every year until I buy a new phone.

  49. jeremychone

    I could not agree more. T-Mobile really rocks, even before this very cool international deal. Now, it is a no brainer for anybody. I switched to TMobile 4 years ago or so, and saved so much money, by just paying about $60/months for unlimited everything and tethering. With AT&T the comparable plan was always around $120/months. I switched my wife 6 months ago, and we probably saved enough to by a new unlock Android phone, and basically can just by a new iPhone a year just with the saving.Also the customer service is extremely good compare to AT&T.

  50. laurie kalmanson

    a telephone company that customers don’t hate, what a concepthttp://www.youtube.com/watc…

    1. laurie kalmanson

      lily tomlin, phone operator, on healthcare; this is like a cosmic doubleplay”you must think hmo stands for help me out — your health is our business, not our concern”http://www.youtube.com/watc…

  51. Mark Gannon

    I wanted to switch my T Mobile phone from a monthly plan to pre-paid. T Mobile wouldn’t let me do that and keep my phone number, but AT&T would. The problem with AT&T is that it took me 5 trips to the store for them to finally get my unlocked phone working on their network.

  52. midas

    I agree that the T-mobile terms seem vastly superior to the competitors.But that’s only useful if their product — i.e. voice and data work well for core uses.Can anybody who uses T-mobile in downtown New York comment on the voice quality and data speeds that they have experienced?Are they as good as Verizon and AT&T? — which are now both reasonably good on 4G in my experience.

  53. panterosa,

    The other phone carriers now have no clothes, because TMobile decided to play nice. Good for them.I now want out of my ATT family (due to iPhone).

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I was with Rogers. I was the 1st customer in my city to switch to Wind Mobile when it was available.Rogers immediately knows this because there’s a transfer request for the phone number immediately sent.Within 20 seconds I got a phone call from the nicest sounding Rogers support person.The script was amazing and was ridiculously clever – immediately trying to make me feel confused and unsure about and question my decision to leave Rogers.”Was it X that happened or how you felt because of X situation was handled?” or similar.Followed by this was an immediate offer for 50% off for the next 2-3 years if I renewed my contract. That puts the actual cost below what Wind Mobile, who I switched to, would be..It didn’t matter to me though, I wanted away from Rogers who among other things had recently attempted to extort me for $100s based on a lie they tried to perpetuate – primarily that I would have cancellation fees; In that situation after the support person “triple checked” – in fact I didn’t have cancellation fees, which I knew I wasn’t under contract. He was either following a script, or knew, and was following procedure anyhow.It takes time for these giants to die because they have the profits from their high costs to heavily undercut costs for when people want to leave, and suffocate competition.

  54. Peter Mullen

    Sprint is not customer friendly. I know from over 12 years of what I would call loyal affinity.

  55. Steven

    Convincing me to switch to T-Mobile is not hard. What I need is to get out of my contract with verizon early.

  56. Tmobilesucks

    Tmobile sucks

  57. mstearne

    Me too!I was with T-Mobile for like 8 years starting with the Sony Ericsson T610. I eventually had to switch to at&t for the iPhone and was on at&t for about 5 or 6 months where I found myself spending more in those 6 months than in the previous year at T-Mobile! I broke my at&t contract and took my (unlocked) iPhone back to T-Mobile. Even with EGDE on the T-Mobile network I was still happier there than at at&t. Two years ago with the iPhone 4S (that wasn’t on T-Mobile yet) and unlimited data I moved to Sprint. Sprint is fine and the unlimited data plan is great when you get overage. Unfortunately I find the best speeds and coverage outside of NYC/Brooklyn where I live.Overseas I have bought probably 10 SIM cards for local coverage so when T-Mobile announced free international roaming I think that put me over the top. I’ve always had good enough coverage with T-Mobile, great pricing and no-contracts. So I think those options are better than Sprint at this point and certainly better than the lock-in and closed at&t and Verizon.

  58. Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

    I have a T-Mobile prepaid in the Netherlands, they’ve recently started handing out all kinds of free stuff, and discounting the things I was already using. And their web care is excellent.I’ve had contracts with the other providers in which they weaseled out of giving me the basic service I expect, by cutting me off or sending threatening letters when I pay my bills on time or ahead of time.

  59. Geoff Arnold

    After some research and polling friends on FB, we’ve just replaced our AT&T accounts with a three-line family plan in T-Mobile.

  60. someone

    Sprint’s unlimited-data-for-life is also a good bet. Like TMO, they are desperate for customers. And, now that Sprint has been acquired by Softbank, you can expect their network to improve dramatically over the next couple of years (at which point they probably won’t offer unlimited data anymore). Masayoshi Son doesn’t mess around.I would switch if I didn’t have unlimited data on VZW.

  61. Jordan Baucke

    So than why do I as one of the last “contract” customers (Nov 2012) have to pay a lawyer to send a “demand letter” to their legal department when they refuse to end my contract after their service suffers horribly due to new construction in my area?http://www.scribd.com/doc/1

  62. daryn

    I was also a voicestream/tmobile user for years, until the iPhone made me end up switching to AT&T. I’ve got a pretty sweet family plan deal right now, but agree with you in principle, and therefore need to investigate switching back as well.

  63. rican

    true and to the point write up, this is exactly why i just got an account with T-Mobile to replace my wife’s three years old att account. we’ll see what Sprint does with their crappy data speeds and coverage now that Softbank owns them, i might end up switching to T-Mobile as well

  64. dfasdfsd

    They bugged me for what seems like a decade to renew my contract, all for a 5$ a month discount, and now that they stopped doing that in the past year or two they are your hero? Seriously?

  65. Brandon G. Donnelly

    I was with T-Mobile for 3 years while I lived in the US. Great experience. In Canada, telecom is pretty much broken. We pay some of the highest rates in the developed world. I’m with Rogers and the first sentence of that quote feels bang on. Just sprung for the unlocked iPhone 5s in order to avoid renewing.

  66. Nick Lechnowskyj

    Customer service? I have an AT&T family plan and I’ve called them maybe 3 times in the last 5 years.. Customer service is the last perk I’m looking for in a carrier.

    1. CJ

      Yeah, until you need it.

  67. Rowan Green

    I worked for Western Wireless, the company whose digital brand Voicestream became T-Mobile. T-Mobil’s corporate culture shared the values of its parent. Working in technical support at Western Wireless, the focus was on getting customers’ issues resolved on the first call every time, and delighting customers wherever possible. That’s what I’ve always experienced as a T-Mobile customer.

  68. Sandi Lin

    I’ve been a T-Mobile subscriber for nearly 5 years. Can’t beat the $80/month for unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB high-speed data. Their Wi-Fi calling is an awesome feature and has saved me on many occasions in areas with poor cell service. They have great discounts with many Seattle companies (their HQ and where I live). I only wish they had a better website!

  69. M. Edward (Ed) Borasky

    There’s great customer service, there’s reasonable pricing, and there’s coverage and bandwidth. T-Mobile can have fantastic customer service and pricing, but if I can’t get five bars, that’s really not much good. I see significantly poorer coverage with T-Mobile in the PDX suburbs compared to what I get with AT&T and what I used to get with Verizon.

  70. LissIsMore

    I switched my family plan from ATT to T-Mobile this summer after I realized how much the bundled subsidy was costing me. My experience has been excellent so far. Here are two features, bundled at no cost, that seal the deal for me:1. WiFi calling. I live in a rural area and cell tower signal is weak in my home. T-mobile bundles WiFi calling into all of their Android phones which switches my calls to my WiFi router. I get perfect calls now at home – at no extra charge.2. Tethered Hot Spot. This is another feature that T-Mobile bundles. ATT charges an extra monthly fee (I am not sure why).Add this to their policy of not charging overage fees on mobile data (they just throttle down the speed when you use up your allotment) and you have a very consumer friendly service.

  71. Saul_Lieberman

    Here in Israel, we have had a mobile revolution. For $30/month, I get unlimited local and overseas calls and internet, and a local number in the US and UK which rings to my phone here in Israel (service only, no phone).

  72. Andrew Hyde

    A note: international roaming starts at the end of October.

  73. Zpo

    I have been with tmobile since the late 90s as well. I was pretty pissed when they started asking you to pay for paper statements, but so did everyone else. I think that the no international roaming is awesome but it’s also new. It is definitely an improved experience. Free lower quality service with the option to pay in advance for better service (higher speed) rather than getting hit with a bill after the fact.

  74. mikenolan99

    Wow – spent an hour with T-Mobile and ATT the same day I read the article – I’m jumping off the ATT bandwagon on January 25th… the day all but two lines are free to move…

    1. fredwilson

      i am on the phone with ATT now. canceling lines and moving things around next i head to TMobile to port my and Gotham Gal back to TMO

      1. mikenolan99

        Hoping T-Mobile has reception at my rural MN house – my only concern.On another note – some ideas for conversation:#1 – the death of iGoogle – alternatives, what is google thinking, etc. It will dramatically change the way I function everyday… maybe DuckDuck should whip something together.#2 – How about an AVC meetup for lunch on January 10th? Just happens to be a day I’m in New York – would be great to put some names with faces – though I have skyped with JLM and had AndySwan speek to my class via skype!

        1. CJ

          They have wifi calling baked into their phones so if you get bad reception you can just jump on your home wifi. Works extremely well.

  75. ClaraMeyer

    you can bring $15000 of income every month… All you need is a computer and a internet connection and you are ready to start…­b­ℴ­w­6­.­ℂ­o­m

  76. bernardlunn

    I think of T Mobile as the telephone company for people who don’t like telephone companies. When I lived in America I loved their free on wifi service. Now I live in Switzerland but visit America a lot and to save roaming I get pre paid card from T Mobile on my unlocked iPhone. While the others are in Henry Ford’s land – “any color as long as it is black”, T Mobile actually find out what consumers want and give it to them.

  77. Robin Chan

    Thanks for posting this, its not really talked about enough. I’ve been on T-Mobile for years for the same reason.

  78. Homer Bartlett

    I went to Verizon for an iPhone family plan, but I loved T-Mobile for years. Can’t wait to go back. Here’s an anecdote that I think illustrates their customer mentality:Probably a decade ago I had the cheapest phone they offered. After about 2 years it no longer held a charge so I took it into a T-Mobile store for a replacement battery. Not surprisingly there were none, and the phone was discontinued. But “hold on a minute,” the person behind the counter said, having pulled up my account. “You qualify for a free replacement phone because you’ve been a customer for so long.”If you want a counter example I’ll tell you why we switched from AT&T to T-Mobile 15 or so years ago. AT&T posted our monthly payment to someone else’s account. After multiple phone calls, sending a copy of the check, escalations to supervisors, etc., months later they agreed it was their mistake and corrected our account balance. Meanwhile they had reported us as delinquent to the credit reporting agencies. Didn’t discover it until years later when purchasing our first house.Oh wait one more, cuz I’ve tried all the big ones. When Sprint was the best option for Treos (remember those?), I remember every 18 months or so they would change their plans and my bill would go up dramatically. At this point we had the benefit of the world wide wizzle, and what I found on several forums worked. By threatening to cancel my service, the Indian account service person transferred me to someone in the United Stated with the authority to reinstate my “legacy” plan.Yes, these are all anecdotal stories, but isn’t that what data are made of? 🙂

  79. kenberger

    Tmo is also generally more developer- (and arguably hacker-) friendly.Case in point is the new Note3. The tmo comes boot loader unlocked while the ATT model doesn’t. That point made me get the former.

  80. kenberger

    Another hugely cool difference: Tmo Offers PAYG sims in the US, att doesn’t. Just as I’m doing here in Italy now, walk in to a shop and buy just a no-strings sim. So if you are gifted an att phone with no service, you must get an att contract or buy a Tmo monthly sim (if you can manage to unlock) as att refuses to offer them (although 3rd party resellers of both also exist).The big downside re Tmo is 3g/4g data coverage is pitiful outside major US metro areas. Cruise rural Utah and Nevada with att and Tmo phones as I have and you’ll see.

  81. Dmitry Gudkov

    Population density in the US is 32 per sq.km. Population density in Austria is 100 per sq.km which is 3 times higher. Even assuming full territory coverage (which is not the case for the US) cost of network coverage would be 3 times higher. Yet, no unlimited plans for 21EUR (USD 25) per month in the US from national providers.