Carrier Switching carriers

nrvna76

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Original poster
Aug 4, 2010
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AT&T is getting pretty awful. It’s supposedly easier to switch than it used to be however I am finding it to be quite confusing. Here’s my situation.

AT&T unlimited choice with a $10 loyalty and $10 autopay discount brings it to $105 for 2 lines plus taxes and fees. I think this will be $140 but annoyingly enough they can’t tell me the actual cost until the first bill is generated.

I have an iPhone X on the iPhone upgrade program (Apple) and an iPhone X that we paid $699 for through AT&T but has tied that line to a contract. ETF at 300.

I can get the T-Mobile one amplified with Netflix for $120. Since I already pay for Netflix the plan effectively becomes around $110.

T-Mobile will pay off the contract but only if we trade that phone in (currently worth $600).

I need that contracted phone (really just the number) to have service without interruption due to my wife’s business. Don’t really care about my number.

Even if I just pay the etf and cancel the phone will not be unlocked right away, not sure the easiest path that will prevent service interruption.

(May wait until September for new iPhones but not sure if that would add to the complications)

Any advice is appreciated!
 

Grimham

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You will regret going to T-Mobile just to save a few bucks. I've done that and Verizon and went back to AT&T. T-Mobiles coverage is really bad still compared to either Verizon or AT&T. And Verizon data speeds are pathetic.
 
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ray737

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Sep 11, 2014
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You won’t regret leaving ATT. I got rid of them 2 years ago and switched to T-Mobile and I have never been happier. Unlimited everything being able to use my phone all over the world at no additional costs for text and data.

I would recommend just paying off the phone. Once it’s unlocked which ATT took about 3 days then you can switch it to T-Mobile and keep your same number.
 
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eyoungren

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You will regret going to T-Mobile just to save a few bucks. I've done that and Verizon and went back to AT&T. T-Mobiles coverage is really bad still compared to either Verizon or AT&T. And Verizon data speeds are pathetic.
I think that depends on location.

I paid a bit more to go from no-service Sprint to speeds and coverage on T-Mobile that were three times or more then the best I could get from Sprint in late 2015.

I have double the lines I had on Sprint and pay only a little more. I even have devices that give me WiFi in my cars, something Sprint does not offer.

I don't live in one of T-Mobile's speedy markets but I'm happy with an average of 25 down on LTE everywhere I go.

And guess what? Unlike Sprint I can make phone calls, send text messages and use the unlimited data I pay for.
 
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nrvna76

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Appreciate it, I will read those threads. The coverage maps for both T-Mobile and AT&T are nearly identical in my area. My house is essentially an AT&T dead zone, I can’t even load macrumors without my WiFi connected.

It is about price, but mostly about all the taxes and fees that bugs me to no end.

I seem to have heard about several folks who have happily switched. I Will test the network first to ensure the service is at least as good as I have with AT$T.
 
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chabig

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Sep 6, 2002
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If you’re certain about your plan you can switch phones with your wife. Swap SIMs too. That way she will have an unlocked iPhone and can switch without interruption. You, on the other hand, can wait while the contract phone gets unlocked.
 
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Grimham

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Jul 2, 2018
178
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Appreciate it, I will read those threads. The coverage maps for both T-Mobile and AT&T are nearly identical in my area. My house is essentially an AT&T dead zone, I can’t even load macrumors without my WiFi connected.

It is about price, but mostly about all the taxes and fees that bugs me to no end.

I seem to have heard about several folks who have happily switched. I Will test the network first to ensure the service is at least as good as I have with AT$T.
Good idea to test it before switching it all.
 
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borgranta

macrumors 6502
May 9, 2018
298
96
AT&T is getting pretty awful. It’s supposedly easier to switch than it used to be however I am finding it to be quite confusing. Here’s my situation.

AT&T unlimited choice with a $10 loyalty and $10 autopay discount brings it to $105 for 2 lines plus taxes and fees. I think this will be $140 but annoyingly enough they can’t tell me the actual cost until the first bill is generated.

I have an iPhone X on the iPhone upgrade program (Apple) and an iPhone X that we paid $699 for through AT&T but has tied that line to a contract. ETF at 300.

I can get the T-Mobile one amplified with Netflix for $120. Since I already pay for Netflix the plan effectively becomes around $110.

T-Mobile will pay off the contract but only if we trade that phone in (currently worth $600).

I need that contracted phone (really just the number) to have service without interruption due to my wife’s business. Don’t really care about my number.

Even if I just pay the etf and cancel the phone will not be unlocked right away, not sure the easiest path that will prevent service interruption.

(May wait until September for new iPhones but not sure if that would add to the complications)

Any advice is appreciated!
I was told by a TMobile rep that 2 lines or more is required for them to offer the free Netflix feature.
1 phone and 1 tablet would probably meet that requirement. Keep the business line untouched that way AT&T can cover you in places with no TMobile coverage.
 
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nrvna76

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Aug 4, 2010
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I was told by a TMobile rep that 2 lines or more is required for them to offer the free Netflix feature.
1 phone and 1 tablet would probably meet that requirement. Keep the business line untouched that way AT&T can cover you in places with no TMobile coverage.
I don’t want to handle another bill. It’s all or nothing for me.

And I now see that my ‘unlimited’ plan that I just switched to is a max of 3Mbps. So I may just go back to my limited plan until I figure out the switch.
 
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avtella

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2016
228
175
T-MOBILE customer service in my relatives experience at least, was way better when compared to ATT and coverage as others have said depends on area, ignore blanket statements on coverage being bad everywhere. Talk to friends family who have it in your area and switch. It’s gonna get even better as they bought a ton of 600Mhz long range spectrum which is being deployed quite rapidly which 2018 iPhones should support.

T-MOBILE helped me with a iPhone BOGO deal that I’m not eligible for with my grandfathered plan but they made “temporary” changes to two lines which I can revert as soon as I get my gift card from a rebate. Managed to snag two iPhone 8 Plus Qualcomm phones from Apple store and submit receipts/rebates at TMO for a gift card which will arrive in 6wks. Their customer service in my experience usually helps you get good deals even when not officially possible at times vs more baiting on ATT side. Sprint from personal experience was also good CS wise but their coverage in my area of a Minneapolis suburb was atrocious at the time we switched to TMO in 2014.

Hopefully they don’t merge with Sprint or we will be back to square one rates and CS quality wise.
 
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BasicGreatGuy

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Sep 21, 2012
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In the middle of several books.
You will regret going to T-Mobile just to save a few bucks. I've done that and Verizon and went back to AT&T. T-Mobiles coverage is really bad still compared to either Verizon or AT&T. And Verizon data speeds are pathetic.
Depends on where one lives and routinely travels. Verizon and T-Mobile aren't bad for everyone, just because they may be for you.
 
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JackieInCo

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Jul 18, 2013
5,178
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Colorado
You will regret going to T-Mobile just to save a few bucks. I've done that and Verizon and went back to AT&T. T-Mobiles coverage is really bad still compared to either Verizon or AT&T. And Verizon data speeds are pathetic.
This may not be true. T-Mobile is far better in my area then AT&T. I can't even use my data on AT&T at my house because my signal is so bad and I have to use WiFi calling to be able to even make a call.

I have kept my three lines on T-Mobile open because I have far better service in my area here in Denver Colorado then I do on AT&T.

T-Mobile has come a long way over the past few years. They are just simply outstanding here.
 
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jamezr

macrumors G5
Aug 7, 2011
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I switched from T-Mobile to Verizon for 2 weeks. I switched because TMO service could not penetrate buildings very well. Especially where I work. I had no service if the phone was in my pocket or in back of the big data center I work in.
Verizon has the best coverage...but horrible customer service. They could not activate my AW series 3 with GPS and cellular from T-Mobile. They said it did not have a CDMA chip in it for it to work on Verizon. Its funny because all AW hardware is the same. They work on all networks Verizon has an older network that does not handle the new e-sim technology the AW uses. I went round and round with them. Spoke to supervisors and level 2 and 3 support. They told me i had to buy a new Verizon AW to work on their network. It's total BS.. Their customer service reps were not very friendly. They kept pushy me to buy a new one.
I called Apple and the rep called Verizon while I was on the phone to help activate my AW on their network. The Verizon rep insinuated that Apple was selling them different hardware even though the Apple rep was telling them they were all the same!
Apple rep asked Verizon to add the IMEI and serial number or what ever they needed to their provision database to get the AW to work...but Verizon refused. Saying I had to buy a Verizon AW to work on their network.
Yesterday I switched to AT&T and my AW activated in 5 minutes......
Verizon's customer service sucks!
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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I switched from T-Mobile to Verizon for 2 weeks. I switched because TMO service could not penetrate buildings very well. Especially where I work. I had no service if the phone was in my pocket or in back of the big data center I work in.
Verizon has the best coverage...but horrible customer service. They could not activate my AW series 3 with GPS and cellular from T-Mobile. They said it did not have a CDMA chip in it for it to work on Verizon. Its funny because all AW hardware is the same. They work on all networks Verizon has an older network that does not handle the new e-sim technology the AW uses. I went round and round with them. Spoke to supervisors and level 2 and 3 support. They told me i had to buy a new Verizon AW to work on their network. It's total BS.. Their customer service reps were not very friendly. They kept pushy me to buy a new one.
I called Apple and the rep called Verizon while I was on the phone to help activate my AW on their network. The Verizon rep insinuated that Apple was selling them different hardware even though the Apple rep was telling them they were all the same!
Apple rep asked Verizon to add the IMEI and serial number or what ever they needed to their provision database to get the AW to work...but Verizon refused. Saying I had to buy a Verizon AW to work on their network.
Yesterday I switched to AT&T and my AW activated in 5 minutes......
Verizon's customer service sucks!
In the past, it's always been Verizon's policy not to activate any phone that was not sold by them or intended for their network.

I've heard that the policy changed somewhat at a certain point, but in your case it sounds like it did not.

The work around has always been to use an already activated Verizon SIM from a different device.
 
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jamezr

macrumors G5
Aug 7, 2011
13,284
11,438
US
In the past, it's always been Verizon's policy not to activate any phone that was not sold by them or intended for their network.

I've heard that the policy changed somewhat at a certain point, but in your case it sounds like it did not.

The work around has always been to use an already activated Verizon SIM from a different device.
Apple Watches use e-sims. So that is not possible. There have been rumors of iPhones using e-sims as well
 
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nrvna76

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 4, 2010
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Didn’t mean to make this a which carrier is the worst thread. Coverage in my area is spotty with AT&T so the bar for T-Mobile is pretty low, especially since im capped at 3Mbps anyways. If I test the network and it is comparable I may have to switch phones with my wife, trade hers (now mine) in to get the etf paid and buy a new phone from T-Mobile. At this point it makes sense to wait for September to hope the new phones are compatible with 600mhz.
 
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Grimham

Suspended
Jul 2, 2018
178
69
T-MOBILE customer service in my relatives experience at least, was way better when compared to ATT and coverage as others have said depends on area, ignore blanket statements on coverage being bad everywhere. Talk to friends family who have it in your area and switch. It’s gonna get even better as they bought a ton of 600Mhz long range spectrum which is being deployed quite rapidly which 2018 iPhones should support.

T-MOBILE helped me with a iPhone BOGO deal that I’m not eligible for with my grandfathered plan but they made “temporary” changes to two lines which I can revert as soon as I get my gift card from a rebate. Managed to snag two iPhone 8 Plus Qualcomm phones from Apple store and submit receipts/rebates at TMO for a gift card which will arrive in 6wks. Their customer service in my experience usually helps you get good deals even when not officially possible at times vs more baiting on ATT side. Sprint from personal experience was also good CS wise but their coverage in my area of a Minneapolis suburb was atrocious at the time we switched to TMO in 2014.

Hopefully they don’t merge with Sprint or we will be back to square one rates and CS quality wise.
Sorry but the new iPhone won't support the new frequency for T-Mobile.

https://www.howardforums.com/showth...iPhone-won-t-support-T-Mobile-s-5G-NR-Network
 
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avtella

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2016
228
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Sorry but the new iPhone won't support the new frequency for T-Mobile.

https://www.howardforums.com/showth...iPhone-won-t-support-T-Mobile-s-5G-NR-Network

Band 71 is 600Mhz LTE, I wasn’t speaking about 5G that article points to 5G. Apple usually waits a for new technologies to mature/standardize completely that’s what it seemed to allure to. Nowhere did it talk about LTE band 71. As for LTE Band 71 by the time TMO finished aquiring that spectrum, the 8 series was already too far into its design, that’s the same reason TMO 700Mhz (LTE Band 12) wasn’t available on the 6 but appeared on 6S. Come September I’m certain it will be there on the 2019 phones.
 
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jshtroutman

macrumors regular
Sep 9, 2016
116
59
Switching to T-Mobile has been a great experience for me. I purchased a prepaid SIM card and popped it in my iPhone to try out the coverage before I switched. If you have good coverage with them in your area it’s a no brainer.
 
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nrvna76

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 4, 2010
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Switching to T-Mobile has been a great experience for me. I purchased a prepaid SIM card and popped it in my iPhone to try out the coverage before I switched. If you have good coverage with them in your area it’s a no brainer.
Glad to hear the positive experiences! It’s more about the how than if I should switch. Not sure if I can buy a cheap phone so I don’t have to trade in one of the X’s to get the ETF paid.
 
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avtella

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2016
228
175
Wait for the 2019 phones with band 71 support (600 MHz) for better rural/indoor coverage. Even if you don’t want the new models at least the older ones will drop in price by then.
 
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