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View Poll Results: Your take on T-Mobile $30 Prepaid plan (100 min, unlimited text, 5GB of 4G data)
Something like this would be great for me 285 78.51%
Not for me 78 21.49%
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 05:52 PM   #551
PreYeah
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Arrow Questions about T-Mobile's PrePaid Plans from a noob

I thought I'd piggyback on this thread since I'm looking to join T-Mobile on this plan. Here is my situation and any feedback/ insight would be greatly appreciated:

I'm currently a VirginMobile USA user with a CDMA iPhone 4S device. My plan is 30$ / month for 300 minutes, unlimited text and data. I didn't want to be on contract so I chose VirginMobile since at the time, they were the first to offer the iPhone off-contract starting with the iPhone 4 and 4S (they first offered it last year even though Apple had already released it 2 years ago). After paying 400$ for the instrument and a year and a half later, it's still not completely mine to own and cannot be legally unlocked which is making me want to....

... buy an unlocked Sim-free iPhone 5S ( (since I'll also be able to use it internationally) from the Apple Store and use one of the TMobile prepaid plans.

I'm between the 30$ / month prepaid plan (100 minutes, unlimited text, first 5GB of data at LTE speed) and the 40$ / month prepaid plan (unlimited talk and text, with 500 MB of data at LTE).

My questions are:

- Do either come with visual voicemail? I don't want to pay 700$ + dollars on a phone and not be able to get full functionality of the device, and the iPhone voicemail feature is very handy.

- Will I be able to FaceTime on the prepaid plans?

- I'm usually connected to WiFi (at home and even at work), and I don't use the phone to talk a whole lot. Wouldn't this mean that I won't use a lot of minutes and data? Keeping this in mind, would the 30$ / month prepaid plan be better (I think its 10 cents / minute if I go over and I'm fine with that in the rare event that I do go over).

- What is the difference between the TMobile PrePaid plan and the Simple Choice Plans? I was comparing plans here: http://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-p...ndividual.html and notice how the 30$ / month prepaid plan isn't on the chart.

The cheapest on that chart instead is the 40$ / month one. So is the 30$ and the 40$ / month two different kind of plans? I understand they are both off-contract but I was told the 40$ (and up)/ month Simple Choice Plan come with Visual Voicemail unlike the TMobile Prepaid Plans. Is this true?


I'm sorry if I'm over-complicating this. I spoke to the T-Mobile sales chat representative and I kept getting different answers. Like one rep said that I will not be able to add money to my account for minutes and 20 minutes later, he said I'll be able to? Things like this just lower their credibility and my trust in them so I'm asking on here before I put down that kind of money.

Thank you very much!

Last edited by PreYeah; Jul 7, 2014 at 06:10 PM. Reason: typo
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 07:13 PM   #552
skimcpip
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Hey. Forget what any of the customer service people say. I've been on this plan for a year, coming over from Verizon. Visual voicemail and all other services work and work as expected (give it a few hours after porting your number).

You can also add money at any time.
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 07:19 PM   #553
PreYeah
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Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by skimcpip View Post
Hey. Forget what any of the customer service people say. I've been on this plan for a year, coming over from Verizon. Visual voicemail and all other services work and work as expected (give it a few hours after porting your number).

You can also add money at any time.
Thank you very much, Skimcpip!

For anyone else who may be wondering, I just learned that there is a difference between the prepaid and Simple Choice Plan (both don't need a contract):

repaid Plan
* $30 - 100 minutes talk, Unlimited text, First 5 GB at up to 4G speeds (not sure what happens after used all 5GB, probably topup to add more) - This plan is only available for devices purchased from Wal-Mart or devices activated on T-Mobile.com
* $35 - Unlimited talk, Unlimited text, Web not included (Data package must be purchased separably)
*Pay per day ($3 or $2)
*Pay as you go (top up for minutes, messages and data package)

Simple Choice
*Monthly - $40-$80 ranges from 500MB to Unlimited Data (lower than 4G speed after passing advertized 4G LTE Cap), all included unlimited minutes and messages

Does anyone know whether it costs to upgrade from a 30$ / month prepaid to the 40$ / month Simple Choice during the middle of a billing cycle? The TMobile rep said I would be able to but at an extra fee. Is this true? Has anyone tried downgrading as well?
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 07:59 PM   #554
BruiserB
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If you ever leave the $30 plan, you can't go back.

If you use your 100 minutes, you pay $0.10 cent a minute. If you use up your 5GB, you get unlimited at 2G speeds until your renewal date, or you can call customer service and they can charge you $30 to start your plan over for another 30 days.

I love the $30 plan.....never have used up my data. I stream audio but not usually any video. Have gone over occasionally on minutes, but never enough to make having a higher plan make sense. I have a google voice number and use the hangouts app to make calls when at home on wifi so I don't burn up minutes.
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 08:05 PM   #555
PreYeah
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Thanks, Bruiser.

And can we also add money to our account which goes towards minutes (so if we go over a 100 minutes, it'll start deducting minutes from our account before charging us 10 cents / minute, if that makes sense)

And just to reconfirm, you do get visual voicemail, right? (Even if u don't have an iphone 5S)
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 08:16 PM   #556
BruiserB
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T-Mobile $30 Prepaid plan (100 min, unlimited text, 5GB of 4G LTE data)

Just keep more than $30 added to your account. I usually buy refills online to avoid sales tax..... Callingmart.com is reliable.

If you load your account with $50, then $30 will deduct right away for your plan and you will still have $20 left. If you go over your minutes, $0.10 will deduct from the $20 for each minute. You will need to add more money by the end of 30 days to have at least $30 in your account for the next month. I always reload with cards and always keep some extra on my account just in case my minutes go over.

I do have a 5S, I mostly use my google voice number which has its own voicemail. I have had calls go to the phone's voicemail and I'm pretty sure it's the full "visual voicemail" experience. That just means you see the list of voicemails and can select which one to listen to and delete, etc., right? You don't have to call into the voicemail system and go through messages individually.

Last edited by BruiserB; Jul 7, 2014 at 08:18 PM. Reason: correction
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 08:34 PM   #557
PreYeah
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Arrow

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Originally Posted by BruiserB View Post
Just keep more than $30 added to your account. I usually buy refills online to avoid sales tax..... Callingmart.com is reliable.

If you load your account with $50, then $30 will deduct right away for your plan and you will still have $20 left. If you go over your minutes, $0.10 will deduct from the $20 for each minute. You will need to add more money by the end of 30 days to have at least $30 in your account for the next month. I always reload with cards and always keep some extra on my account just in case my minutes go over.

I do have a 5S, I mostly use my google voice number which has its own voicemail. I have had calls go to the phone's voicemail and I'm pretty sure it's the full "visual voicemail" experience. That just means you see the list of voicemails and can select which one to listen to and delete, etc., right? You don't have to call into the voicemail system and go through messages individually.
Thanks for confirming that, Bruiser. Yes, Visual Voicemail is the ability to view / delete voice messages from the device itself without having to call the atMobile number to retrieve voice messages.

I was also asking a TMobile rep whether at the end if each billing cycle, would I be auto charged for the same plan for the next month's billing cycle.

He said that because it's a prepaid plan (I was talking about the 30$/month plan), that I would have to manually set the plan every month by logging into TMobile and choosing the plan (Even if I don't want to upgrade). I feel like this could be a it if a hassle. Has anyone not been auto charged every month? What about for the 40$/month Simple Choice Plan?
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 08:47 PM   #558
BruiserB
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The rep is wrong....your plan auto renews each month as long as you have enough credit in your account for it. You can also sign up for auto charging of your credit card for the renewal. I've never done this as I would have to pay state sales tax on the renewal....plus it will charge just enough to cover your plan, so you wouldn't have any extra credit if you go over your minutes. That's why I just add manually so there is extra. Tmobile will text you 3 days before your renewal to remind you that it's coming up so you remember to recharge in time.

----------

If you don't recharge in time for renewal I think your account goes into suspended state. You don't lose your number (unless something like 60 days pass) but you can't make or receive calls and your data cuts off till you recharge.

----------

And you can only get the $30 plan by selecting it when you sigh up online (or I think Walmart can do it as well). You can't sign up for it on the phone or at a tmobile store.
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 09:14 PM   #559
Woochifer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PreYeah View Post
Does anyone know whether it costs to upgrade from a 30$ / month prepaid to the 40$ / month Simple Choice during the middle of a billing cycle? The TMobile rep said I would be able to but at an extra fee. Is this true? Has anyone tried downgrading as well?
It should be seamless. When you go in to manage your account, you have the option to switch your plan over at any time. I believe it would take effect at the end of your billing cycle.

Other differences between the prepaid and Simple Choice plans.

- I believe that the Simple Choice plans include some domestic roaming, so the coverage is not just limited to T-Mobile's network. As I'm sure you've heard, T-Mobile's network has a lot of gaps once you move outside of the metro areas.

- You have to pay taxes and fees on the Simple Choice plans.

- Keep in mind that the $40/mo. Simple Choice plan cuts off your data after 500 MB. All of the other Simple Choice and prepaid plans will throttle the data down to 2G speeds after you use up the high speed data, but otherwise remain unlimited with no overage fees.

- Simple Choice plans include mobile hotspot/tethering. With prepaid plans, you pay $15/mo. (prorated, depending on the time within your billing cycle that you activate the feature).

As Bruiser already said, you cannot go back once you upgrade from the $30 prepaid plan. But, if you switch devices and/or SIM cards, I believe that you can reactivate the service.

I was able to activate the service by phone because I bought an iPhone with the TMo SIM card preloaded and one of the numbers needed to activate online did not come packaged with the phone (it's normally printed on the cutout card that the SIM comes on). It was very easy, and the $30 100 min/5 GB prepaid plan was one of the options the rep gave me. Then they told me what I needed to do to move my number over (it was originally tied to an AT&T GoPhone, so I had to call them first). Service was great (then again, I've had good service with AT&T as well, lucky I guess).

The TMo prepaid plan fits my needs exactly, so aside from long distance road trips and occasional problems in big buildings, I have had very few issues with TMo's network coverage. Even their HSPA+ ("4G") network has decent speed -- certainly fast enough for basic audio and video streaming. And they've built out their LTE network at an astonishing rate.

And with prepaid cards, I use a Target RED card, so that knocks 5% off the price. Plus, occasionally they'll also put prepaid phone cards on sale, so I can buy for the sale price plus the additional 5% off. In CA, NY, and some other states, prepaid cards are non-taxable.
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Last edited by Woochifer; Jul 7, 2014 at 09:24 PM.
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 09:18 PM   #560
BruiserB
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I have had voice roaming on the prepaid plan in isolated areas....I believe I roamed on ATT while on a business trip to Great Falls, MT. But there was no data roaming. Not enough of a problem for me to change from prepaid.
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Old Jul 7, 2014, 09:35 PM   #561
Woochifer
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Old Jul 8, 2014, 03:19 PM   #562
PreYeah
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Arrow

Has anyone tried making / receiving international calls on this prepaid plan (or on any of the Simple Choice Plans)?

On Virgin, if I made international calls, it would start withdrawing from my minute bucket (money I had put into my account). Once it ran out, I could no longer make international calls. But I know that I was still able to receive international calls instead (maybe it counted towards my existing minutes on my minute plan, don't know).

[QUOTE=BruiserB;19329510]The rep is wrong....[COLOR="#808080"]

It worries me the amount of miscommunication I've had with them. This has all been though the online chat with the TMobile sales representative.
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Old Jul 8, 2014, 08:44 PM   #563
BruiserB
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Receiving calls doesn't matter if it's domestic or international....you will just be charged airtime minutes. If you place international calls you will have to see the rates for both prepaid and Simple Choice plans. You'd probably be better off getting a calling card where you call a US number and then it connects you to the international number.....you'd use domestic minutes plus whatever the calling card charge is. You could also use something like Skype or Google Voice for low international rates and use data (4G or Wifi) to make international calls for low rates. Or have the person you call get an app that offers them a US number that you can dial directly.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 04:00 PM   #564
PreYeah
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Thanks a lot for your help!

I'm just about ready to do it. I'm a little nervous stepping outside my comfort zone and putting down this kind of money on a phone (797$) and switching to a new carrier.

Just in case something goes terribly wrong, here is my backup plan:

(I'll save my CDMA iPhone 4s which runs on Virgin, that is , my current instrument just as a back up in case the new phone and service don't work out)

- Buy unlocked sim-free iPhone 5S from a Apple Store
- insert TMobile SIM card that got delivered yesterday and activate a prepaid / non-contract plan
- have TMobile port my number from VirginMobile
- try service and phone for 14 days before Apple's trial period is over.

If the service / phone is bad,

- Have VirginMobile report my number from TMobile
- return phone to Apple
- go back to using VirginMobile on my CDMA iPhone 4s

Has anyone ever had to do something similar befor ?

Last edited by PreYeah; Jul 10, 2014 at 04:21 PM.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 06:45 PM   #565
BruiserB
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Haven't ever returned a phone to Apple before, but your plan seems reasonable.

Do you definitely want to buy a new phone from Apple? Your other option could be to look for someone selling a used one on Craigslist or similar. Either unlocked or a Verizon one which is unlocked for sure. You could always resell on Craigslist if you decide you don't like it. I bought my 5S new, but right at release....now you're buying new right before a new phone comes out.
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 06:55 PM   #566
PreYeah
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Originally Posted by BruiserB View Post
Haven't ever returned a phone to Apple before, but your plan seems reasonable.

Do you definitely want to buy a new phone from Apple? Your other option could be to look for someone selling a used one on Craigslist or similar. Either unlocked or a Verizon one which is unlocked for sure. You could always resell on Craigslist if you decide you don't like it. I bought my 5S new, but right at release....now you're buying new right before a new phone comes out.
You're right, Bruiser, that's good sound logic.

I was actually wondering if I should just buy a new iPhone 6 since it releases in 3 months but I dont really want the latest and greatest. All these rumors of it having a big screen (since apparently the 5S's screen is too small for some, but I have an iPad mini if I want a portable bigger screen) doesn't really justify too much the wait and the cost (and I'll be traveling overseas soon where I'll need an unlocked GSM phone)

I did look on Craigslist / eBay for used and unlocked 5Ses but I've read of so many scams. IMEI of the phones being blacklisted and such. I feel like if I have to spend more than 350$, my peace of mind is worth it. I plan on keeping the 5S for 3 years or so (I'm not too much of an early adopter so I'm not quick to jump ship)

If anything, I *may* wait closer to the iPgone 6 launch on discounted prices on unlocked 5s-es (although Apple may pull it from their stores to push the I
Phone 6).
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Old Jul 10, 2014, 07:19 PM   #567
BruiserB
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As long as you've fully thought about your options. You do have to be careful with IMEIs/ESNs, etc. And make sure previous owner has turned off find my iPhone and removed their security, etc.

You could buy the new one and if all is good with the service then buy a used one within your return timeframe. That way you'd have the service already working and could use the SIM to make sure everything works in the used phone before buying it. If you are pretty sure you won't want the bigger iP6 and will keep the 5S for a long time, then I can also understand buying new.

Best of luck to you! I really have been happy with T-mobile!

----------

One additional thought.....instead of buying the SIM free version, you could ask for a VZ one "device only" without service. Same price, same compatibility with T-mobile. Only difference is that it would also be compatible with VZ if you resell it in the future....it's the most flexible model so would have a larger potential resale audience.
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Old Jul 18, 2014, 07:27 PM   #568
aajeevlin
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Can anybody suggest the cheapest way to refill this particular plan? Is there some sort of discount refill card that I can buy?
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Old Jul 18, 2014, 07:33 PM   #569
rui no onna
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Originally Posted by aajeevlin View Post
Can anybody suggest the cheapest way to refill this particular plan? Is there some sort of discount refill card that I can buy?
Try CallingMart.com.
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Old Jul 18, 2014, 07:40 PM   #570
aajeevlin
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Try CallingMart.com.
Awesome thanks. Love this plan.
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Old Jul 18, 2014, 08:19 PM   #571
Christian 5G
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Just ported my phone number from cricket wireless to tmobile prepaid and now can't use neither of those sims and for some resin I CANNOT log in into my tmobile account, it says you are not registered.... But they took out money from my account
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Old Jul 18, 2014, 09:54 PM   #572
iolinux333
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I love this plan so much. Except I just got back from Europe where I had 5gigs data, unlimited voice and text for 30 days. For 8 euros. Not a typo. So I love tmobile USA a little less. Oh well. We all know we're getting shafted in the US. Tmobile just gives us a little lube.
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Old Jul 19, 2014, 09:34 PM   #573
Christian 5G
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Just switched back to tmobile back with different SIM card and the sad thing is on my last one I had a wifi hotspot feature somehow appeared and on this one I am missing this.
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Old Jul 20, 2014, 02:54 PM   #574
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Take my words back woke up and here it is

Already checked an it works
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