Help. T-Mobile charging for unneeded SIM

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by fronesis, May 3, 2013.

  1. fronesis macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I'm in store buying a new iPhone 5 and they are trying to charge me for a $10 sim activation kit.

    Can people confirm that this is nothing but BS and hucksterism or has someone heard of this as a new policy?
  2. PsstGreek macrumors 68040


    Oct 21, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    T-Mobile does this now because they do not have the "$36 activation fee"
  3. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    Wow. They should just say that they have changed the activation fee from $36 to $10.

    On the website you can order a phone without a sim kit and they aren't even giving me a sim kit - just charging me for it.

    Sure feels shady to me.
  4. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    $10>$36! I rather pay for an actual sim then an invisible activation fee.
  5. osofast240sx macrumors 68030


    Mar 25, 2011
    Most T-Mobile stores in NYC will give u s free sim
  6. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I already have a sim in the $580 phone I am buying.

    They aren't selling me a sim they are just charging me $10 for nothing and putting sim activation kit on the bill.
  7. as0016 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2012
    Are you going to be using the phone on tmobiles prepaid or the postpaid simple choice? If its prepaid that's why.
  8. tardman91 macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2009
    Tampa Area, FL
    And that's the SIM they're charging you for. It didn't get there by magic. T-Mobile paid to put it there. As others have said, the $10 SIM fee took the place of their $36 activation fee.
  9. bozzykid macrumors 68020

    Aug 11, 2009
    I'm guessing the poster is trying to get prepaid service. Prepaid requires an activation kit. This kit has always been $10 but they usually had it on sale for $0.99 or free. But since the new plans took place, they don't offer a reduced price anymore.
  10. osofast240sx macrumors 68030


    Mar 25, 2011
    Are u at a corporate store or authorize reseller?
  11. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I was at a corporate store, and I was signing up for postpaid service.

    I understand that prepaid setup requires a sim activation kit, and I have bought those before. They are fairly priced.

    From responses here I now understand that at least some tmobile stores are charging for sim activation kits with new postpaid accounts, and I still think this is shady. It is mentioned nowhere on the website and they Are ringing you up for an item that they sell in their store – but they aren't actually selling you that item. It is quite clearly just an attempt to charge extra fees.

    If they wanted to change the activation fee to $10 that would be fine, but to pretend that there are zero activation fees and then try to add a $10 extra charge on seems cheap and gimmicky and borderline scammy.
  12. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    If your phone already has a SIM card, just tell them you want to activate that one. At least they dropped the price down. I remember when I wanted to activate an iPhone 5 on T-Mobile, they wanted $25 for the nano SIM.
  13. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I'm not sure why I'm not being clear:
    1. I am buying a new T-Mobile phone from T-Mobile with a SIM already inside of it.
    2. They ARE in fact activating the SIM that is inside of the phone I am buying.
    3. They are NOT giving me a new card and they are NOT giving me a new activation kit.
    4. They are simply putting this charge on the bill - a charge for "sim activation kit" so that they can charge me $10 more
  14. paulbennett95 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    So it seems they're charging you $580 or whatever for the phone, then $10 for the sim that is in it, since iPhones don't automatically come with SIM cards.
    I see no problem?
  15. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    I guess some folks here think I'm over-reacting. Sure, it's only $10, but there are principles at play here. Most importantly:

    If I order from the Tmobile website, I do NOT pay this $10 fee. And nowhere on the website does it say anything about a $10 fee for a SIM card on any of Tmobile's phones.

    It's the bait-and-switch nature of it that is most annoying: they say there are no activation fees and then they charge you an extra $10 fee. It also seems clear that not everyone is getting charged this fee, and that those stores that are charging it are doing it to earn extra pure profit.

    My customer service agent seemed nice and he tried to do a good job. But he pushed the $12/month insurance WAY too hard; I had to say no 20 times. Same thing goes for the accessories. The $10 charge showed up after these sales pitches failed.

    For everyone else out there, just know that you'll save $10 if you order online, and that the in-store process can be painful. (I was there for almost 3 hours.)

    End the end, the store manager said he'd credit the fee back on our first bill, but I'll believe it when I see it.
  16. Boogsephine macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2011
    First part; you're not paying a $10 fee for a SIM card on the T-Mobile phone. You're paying $10 for the 'SIM Starter Kit' which yes like all other people said does replace the $35 ($38.77 after tax here) fee that goes on the first bill. If you see it without the SIM starter kit online or through customer care, then go through them and wait 5 business days to get it. They have way less overhead and don't pay commission like they do in the stores.

    Second part; it's not a bait-and-switch nature. I see Verizon billboards all over that say "Free phone with new 2yr commitment" but I wouldn't be complaining on a web board about the $35 activation fee when I received my first bill and claiming it as being shady because the billboard didn't state that. The fees are there. There isn't much you can do about it.

    If you feel you're being scammed, go sign a contract with another company. $10 isn't bad considering you're not paying $35 for the activation fee and you're not signing a contract. I'm not trying to go against you or bash you but I don't see the 'shadiness' in it. You either pay for it or go through CC and wait for them to send you a SIM card.

    I had to pay a $40 'evaluation' fee at my oral surgeon 3 weeks ago about having my last wisdom tooth pulled. I paid it and didn't think it was shady as the value I received from the doctor was worth it and much better than the competitor doctor I thought about going to.
  17. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    OK, sounds like this thread can be wrapped up, but with a line added to a Tmobile FAQ somewhere that says:

    No Activation Fee Online, but a $10 Sim Starter Fee will be added for new in-store Activations.

    (I had been reading up VERY closely on Tmobile over the past few weeks and hand't heard about this fee, so I was upset to have it added on. Others here seem to suggest it was normal procedure that folks new about. I'm delighted to have switched to Tmobile and have an iPhone that works on their network with a MUCH lower bill and no contract or phone subsidies to worry about.)
  18. Boogsephine macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2011
    I can see that being helpful. We do have customers ask about it when we ring something up whether it's a prepaid activation or a post paid activation. When doing a post paid activation, a page that shows the 'Activation Fee Credit' pops up and I always print that and kind of use it to cover the $10 SIM starter kit at the time of POS. I let them know it's replacing the activation fee and it's much cheaper.

    When customers call asking how much it'll be to start service (pre or post), I tell them $10 + first month of service for prepaid and $10 + phone cost + deposit if they have one. I'd rather be upfront than have to explain it all at the end.

    I do see your point though, OP.
  19. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Companies tack none sense fees on all the time. While people proclaimed that TMobile would be the savior from AT&T and Verizon, they missed the fact that they are in it to make a buck, not be your new best friend. That said, at $580, they're selling the phone cheaper than AT&T or Verizon or the Apple store would. Another $10 added to that STILL saves you $60 off retail. Doesn't make the OP's concerns any less valid, but it is what it is.
  20. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    Yep, if I'd had a salesperson like you who was clear about all this upfront, it wouldn't have bothered me nearly as much. The problem was exacerbated because my salesperson made a mistake in the computer system, and it ended up taking him more than 2 hours to set up our 4 line family plan.

    But overall I'm delighted with this setup with Tmobile. With the company discount we are paying $97/month for 4 lines. That's less than $25/line – cheaper than pretty much every prepaid option out there, and without signing a contract! If Tmobile's service holds up, I won't be switching for a long time. And I'm lucky to be in a Tmobile LTE city.
  21. Prime85 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2012
    What do you get with those 4 lines? With my discount on 3 lines i am paying $103.
  22. Boogsephine macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2011
    My guess would be this:

    First line -- $60 (unlimited talk, text and 2GB web)
    Second line -- $30 (unlimited talk, text and 500MB of high speed)
    Third line -- $10 (unlimited talk, text and 500MB of high speed)
    Forth line -- $10 (unlimited talk, text and 500MB of high speed)

    When he says discount it is probably 15% since that is what most of the organizations give out (state employees, etc.)
  23. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2012
    We've just got the standard new Simple Choice Plan, so unlimited minutes and texts with 500Mb of high speed data. The plan is $100, and the discount ends up offsetting all of the taxes/fees to bring it down just below $100/month. (Without the discount I think it would be about $112.)

    EDIT: Posted at the same time as boogsephine did. We don't have a line with 2GB of data, but he's right about the discount, which is 15%. I'm actually considering adding more data to one line, and then we'd be at $107/month. Either way, it's a fantastic deal.

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