Tuesday, April 10, 2012

T-Mobile and the AT&T fall out

During the last year, T-Mobile made a number of changes to the way its run in order to make it more appealing to its suitor, AT&T. Fortunately, the AT&T deal went south, but T-Mobile still seems to be making the same mistakes.

  • Customer service is getting worse. And T-Mobile is using the opportunity to cut customer service jobs, instead of improving the service.
  • Plans are truly awful. With the removal of EMP, and the laughable creation of "Value plans" (contract plans that are cheaper than T-Mobile's regular plans, but in a dynamic industry absolutely guaranteed to be uncompetitive), T-Mobile has nothing that distinguishes themselves from other carriers except temporary price advantages.
  • Prepaid service whose plans are designed to appeal to contract customers, but whose services are awful.

What I'd like to see is T-Mobile undo some of the damage. But when the original AT&T take-over announcement occurred, for the first time in nearly a decade I started to look at other carriers. My wife and I will probably switch away within the year, and I'm not overly happy about losing that old friend that Voicestream was.


  1. I don't understand why you call the Value Plans "laughable." For me, they gave me a substantial savings over EMP. After weighing the savings, I decided it was worth signing the two year contract.

    In addition, you say, "T-Mobile has nothing that distinguishes themselves from other carriers except temporary price advantages." T-Mobile is the only of the "big four" carriers that offeres family plans with no subsidizing of phones. Phone subsidies are awful for the consumer because they hide the true cost of the phone and keep the devices artificially more expensive. Once their spectrum refarm is complete, they will be able to market themselves as the "bring your own device" low cost national carrier. I just hope that they can be successful enough at it that they can force other the other carriers to offer cheaper wireless plans with no device subsidy.

  2. Because they're laughable. I have an EMP family plan, and I don't know what savings you think you're getting, but the only way I can get the monthly charges to be lower than my current monthly charges is to go for a lower minute plan.

    Not subsidizing a phone doesn't really ring as an advantage if you still have to act as if it is subsidized. You sign a two year contract, pay an ETF if you want out, and pay something comparable to Sprint or one of the budget carriers (but I repeat myself...) I fail to see the selling proposition. I wouldn't recommend such a scheme to anyone I know.