Switching to T-Mobile, is it better to buy online or in store?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Tomacorno, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Tomacorno macrumors regular

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    Sep 29, 2009
    #1
    For those of you who have switched, what has your experience been? In the store before the iPhone 5S was released they did try to upsell me on unlimited data, jump, and/or warranty coverage. This after I explained my Verizon annoyances and desire to switch to them because of my perception that I would be getting more - better data plan and possibility of my bill coming down when phones were paid for. Two of my 4 Verizon contracts ended in July but, of course, my bill has not come down at all. Verizon wants to take away my unlimited data and charge me more for less. Online with T-Mobile the chat person said that there would be no activation fee and free shipping if I signed up online. I don't recall the store rep telling me there was an activation fee. Weirdly, the Verizon rep I talked to claimed that yes, I would pay more with them but that you get what you pay for and you pay more for a Mercedes when buying a car. Which is a fairly nonsensical statement for cellular coverage, particularly when they are charging $100 more up front for the 5S than T-Mobile is.
     
  2. NoCleverSNForMe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    #2
    Hey there! If you struggle saying no to sales reps (I have many friends that do), then I'd say go online.

    However, one trick I've learned if you come across a pushy sales rep is adding what you want to your cart online, printing your cart, and taking it to the store. Just say - this is exactly what I want...nothing more, nothing less.

    The get commission/bonus/a hug out of selling you on JUMP ($10 insurance) and the unlimited data package, so that's what they'll try to do. Be direct, know what you want and don't let them change your mind.

    If that's too much effort, no worries! Online is great too. You should get your phone in 2-3 days if they have it in stock.

    EDIT: There is no activation fee in-store or online. You pay $10 for the first SIM, but you won't pay for this again. (They do free SIM swaps once you've become a customer)
     
  3. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #3
    Yeah if you can't say no then go online. Otherwise I would go in store. Good luck finding one that actually has a 5s in stock though.
     
  4. rockitdog Suspended

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    #4
    I'm a happy T-Mo customer and have been since last fall. My only suggestion is to make sure you're in an area that is covered by them. They have the smallest coverae area of the 4 major carriers in the US and for a lot of people they won't work. I'm right in the heart of LTE so I'm ok but if I go an hour out side of where I live, I lose my LTE/ HSPA+ and end up on Edge speeds so it's definitely something you have to know what you're getting into.
     
  5. Tomacorno thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #5
    Thanks for the responses.

    I don't have a problem saying no, I have a problem not getting annoyed. :) I know that that is their job so I let them make their pitch but then, please drop it if I say no.

    Coverage looks ok in the main areas I go to but where we go up north it says "service provider" so I don't know if that means it goes to Verizon's network or what that means. I am aware that they are not as far reaching as Verizon but I don't think it will affect me too much in my day to day. On the unexpected family trip, maybe.
     
  6. Lancetx macrumors 68000

    Lancetx

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    Just throwing my experience out there...I just switched from AT&T to T-Mobile with the release of the 5s. I ordered the unlocked T-Mobile 5s online direct from Apple early on 9/20 and received it on 9/25.

    I had to call T-Mobile customer service to have it activated on a new postpaid plan (the $70 mo. plan where everything is unlimited). It took about 10 minutes on the phone including the time it took them to run a credit check (which is required for postpaid accounts) and the phone was activated. I did have to call them back the next morning because the CSR forgot to provision my new account with Visual Voicemail service, but that was the only hiccup. They did not try to up sell me on anything at all and it was a fairly easy and smooth process. I was not charged any activation fee either.

    Oh and just for those wondering, yes the phone was indeed unlocked when I received it and it indicated as much in iTunes when I first plugged it in.
     
  7. takeshi74, Oct 1, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #7
    As with any question of best on any topic it's a subjective matter. If you can't deal with the sales push then online may be better. If you want instant gratification then in store may be better. You have to decide based on your specific preferences and priorities.

    It's a poor analogy. Every carrier has holes in coverage -- even Verizon. The analogy would only hold if the Mercedes turned into a Yugo in certain places. In any case, always consider the source. You were talking to a sales person.

    If you're relying on coverage maps then don't. You need to inquire with people about real world coverage and/or sign up and test coverage where you need it before your period to cancel without ETF expires. Maps are procedurally generated. They don't send people out to actually measure coverage at every point on the maps.
     
  8. parseckadet macrumors 6502a

    parseckadet

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    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #8
    I'll be switching soon too, so I'm curious whether people prefer store vs. online too. Sounds like online will be less of a hassle, and I'm assuming no stores will have any 5s stock anyway (I'll be getting two phones too, which makes it even harder).

    I'm curious if there's any way to not pay the $10 for the SIM, since that seems a little silly to me (it's a de facto activation fee). I've got a prepaid SIM coming this week so I can test out the coverage before plunking down any cash. Would I be able to convert that to post paid once I sign up? It only cost me $1 with free shipping. If they can give away SIMs for $1 to pre-paid, you would think they could do it for post paid too.
     
  9. Lancetx macrumors 68000

    Lancetx

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    If you order the unlocked T-Mobile iPhone at full price direct from Apple as I did, the T-Mobile SIM is already included/installed at no additional charge. If you go through T-Mobile themselves to get your iPhone, you can always ask a rep to waive the $10 charge and see what they say. I agree that it's quite silly to charge more than $1 for one.
     
  10. Tomacorno thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #10
    That made me laugh. I have mostly been happy with Verizon coverage but where my daughter goes to school she has 0 voice service from her dorm. So, Verizon is full Yugo there and I was thinking about that when the sales person was telling me it was worth the extra money for their coverage. Good point about checking and not relying on maps. Of course, even if T-Mobile is spotty it will be also spotty there rather than a deal breaker since now she cannot make voice calls. When we want to talk to her in her dorm we have to use Skype from her computer.
     
  11. karmamule macrumors 6502

    karmamule

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Location:
    Waltham, MA
    #11
    I ordered my silver 16gb 5s on the 20th around 4am from T-Mo directly and it arrived that following Monday. Out of the box it was already on the network and working. I called t-mo to make sure all was ready to go (because I still saw my old phone working too) and the rep verified all was good, so a very painless experience.

    I tend to prefer online to stores for the convenience, and only go to stores if my "GOTTA HAVE IT NOW" urge is overpowering. (which has been known to happen in the past.)

    As a gadget-aholic who replaces them frequently their jump program with an upgrade every 6 months is great, and that it has insurance included is a big plus. Overall I've been very happy with them so far.

    Good luck whichever way you decide to go!
     
  12. Saberj macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    #12
    I'm going to be switching from Sprint as soon as my contract is up on Oct 6th. I'd love to be able to go into the store that day and get a 5s, but that doesn't seem too likely. The annoying thing about ordering online is that it includes a $7 shipping fee, which is extremely annoying. If I had my choice, I would actually go into Best Buy, but as far as I can tell, you can't setup the monthly payment for a phone purchased at Best Buy. And I don't think they were even selling iPhones for T-Mobile.

    Not to mention, I'm getting a phone for my wife too. I already went in and purchased a SIM card to try out the service for abit to make sure I was ok with T-Mobile. So from what I can tell, I'll have to place two separate orders in order to change the phone on my plan, and add a new line. Which means an additional $24 between the two shipping fees and the $10 SIM fee. Seems pretty annoying. If they don't have the phones in the stores, then there should be an easier way to make the purchase than having it shipped to you. I would be ok with it being shipped to the store itself if that would eliminate the shipping fee, but I'm guessing that's not an option.
     
  13. franko v, Oct 1, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013

    franko v macrumors member

    franko v

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #13
    I'm in the same exact boat as you. My contract ends on Oct 6 too. I already ordered two phones, one for wife and one for me.

    However I ordered them both through T-Mobile (on 9/22) and then on Apple.com (on 9/27). Now it will be whichever order goes through first, the other one gets canceled. However, I had "free shipping" on both orders - so I'm not sure why you have a $7 shipping fee.

    I'm also leaning on just canceling the T-Mobile order because through Apple it would be unlocked from the get-go.

    On a related note, my one regret is not having enough foresight to know that the Gold 5S's would be in high demand, because then I would have ordered sooner and it would be better timed with the end of my Sprint contract.

    Oh well... but I do hope you get your phones sooner than later. I'm expecting that I will have to spend a few more weeks with Sprint after the end of my contract.
     
  14. franko v macrumors member

    franko v

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #14
    I will be switching from Sprint to T-Mobile, and I too did not experience bad customer service. In fact, I encountered great service. I had fully planned on getting unlimited data for me and 2.5 GB for my wife. After I shared with the sales agent that neither of us ever went over 1 GB with Sprint, he said that I should go with 2.5 GB for me and 500 MB for her. He added that if I felt either of us needed more then we could change at that point! I mean who offers to downgrade?? That to me is great service.

    Now I wish I could say that I have my phones in hand; I don't. However, I will definitely love having NO CONTRACT. That is what sold me on switching and even if I have a little bit less coverage, the principle of having no contract matters a great deal!
     
  15. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #15
    ive generally had good customer service inside a tmobile store.

    I've had horrible customer service dealing with the idiots who sell for tmobile at kiosks in the mall. I remember once they flagged me down saying hey come get this new G1, its awesome. I was like no thanks i have an iPhone loads better. Then hillarious bullcrap like "everyone ive talked to who has used both says the G1 is ages better than the iPhone" .... blah blah blah lol idiots. I love it when salespersons try to test my intelligence.

    I would go in the store. If anything goes wrong, its better to have a live person in front of you instead of a person on the phone.
     
  16. Saberj macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    #16
    Well, I just ordered both phones I wanted from T-Mobile. I ordered my wife's online. Easy-Peasy. Then I called in to order mine, because I wanted to see if I could get around the shipping cost. Other than having a sales agent on the line that was so confused that she was confusing me, it wasn't too bad. The only issue hear is that I'm going to have an extra Micro-SIM where I originally bought one at my local store to try the service out. The agent on the phone said that I could return that for a refund within the first 20 days, but that sounds a bit iffy to me. We'll see.

    Next up, selling my iPhone 4s on eBay to offset some of the cost in buying the two new phones. That would go a lot better had my wife not had her phone stolen. :rolleyes:
     

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