Carrier T-Mobile elimination of 15% discount…should I just go back to AT&T?

T-Mobile elimination of 15% discount…should I just go back to AT&T?

  • Remain with T-Mobile

    Votes: 16 47.1%
  • Go back to AT&T

    Votes: 18 52.9%

  • Total voters
    34

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,153
103
UPDATE: LOOKS LIKE T-MOBILE REVERSED THIS 15% ELIMINATION!!!


After being with AT&T for over 6 years, I couldn’t pass up the savings presented by T-Mobile to move over to their network. I wanted to be able to get my Mother-In-Law an iPhone with data and the far lower cost from T-Mobile allowed me to do so in addition to saving money all around. That was with the assumptions of the ETF promo and the 15% discount that T-Mobile has been giving to employees at my company for years. I had a 24% discount with my company on AT&T as well as $10/mo credit until March 2015, but T-Mobile still came out much less per month.

So just under 3 weeks ago, on March 12th, I made the switch. I had 3 unlocked iPhone 5 phones that I would be bringing over. And would just get the cheapest basic phones for my 2 kids lines.

Since I had 5 lines porting over, 4 of which were still under contract until October for a total of $740.00 in ETF fees (not counting taxes on those upcoming fees), I paid a net of $195 to buy 4 cheap flip phones, the 5 starter SIM cards, and tax. Assuming that I will get the $740.00 reimbursed from T-Mobile via pre-loaded credit card, but still have to pay AT&T ~$155.00 in taxes and fees associated with the ETF charges, my planned outlay to just make the move would be a total of ~$350.00. Seems like a hefty charge to make the move even with the ETF promo, but since I’d be saving quite a bit per month vs AT&T, that would wash out before the end of the year.

With the announcement that T-Mobile now will be eliminating the 15% discount, my T-Mobile plan will now go up by at least $21.00 per month. Not very happy about this. I am looking at all options, even possibly going back to AT&T.

I contacted AT&T and they told me that if I port back over within 59 days of my switch from them, that I could go right back to my old plan the way it was with no activation fees and the ETF of course would be eliminated as well. I had an old plan, but to add just data for my MIL, it would cost at least $20/mo more for a lousy 300 MB/mo. I would likely switch to the AT&T Mobile Share Value Plan which would give me 10 GB/mo across 5 lines (3 iPhones plus 2 basic phones…with the option to upgrade the 2 basic phones to used iPhones). This plan is somewhat apples-to-apples compared to the T-Mobile plan I have since both lose the subsidized phone pricing (each has the option now to pay more per month by spreading out the payments).

For comparison, after taxes and fees (with the 24% discount in-tact on AT&T and now a 0% discount on T-Mobile), the plans I would be looking at are as follows:

T-Mobile
Simple Choice Unlimited Talk and Text Plan
  1. Me: Unlimited Data (I signed up for the “old” plan on 3/12…use about 3-5 GB/mo)
  2. Wife: 3 GB Data (uses 0.5-1.0 GB/mo)
  3. MIL: 1 GB Data (using approx. 0.2 GB/mo)
  4. Son: 1 GB Data (using no data, option from basic to used iPhone)
  5. Daughter: 1 GB Data (using no data, option from basic to used iPhone)
$140.00/mo pre-taxes and fees
$172.24/mo TOTAL

AT&T
Mobile Share Value Unlimited Talk and Text Plan
  1. Me: (use about 3-5 GB/mo)
  2. Wife: (uses 0.5-1.0 GB/mo)
  3. MIL: (using approx. 0.2 GB/mo)
  4. Son: (using no data, option from basic to used iPhone)
  5. Daughter: (using no data, option from basic to used iPhone)
$175.00/mo pre-taxes and fees and 24% discount
$190.96/mo TOTAL ($180.96/mo until March 2015 w/$10 credit)

So instead of saving almost $30/mo over the next year (and $40/mo after that), I’ll only be saving about $9 and then $19 respectively. That is a big difference!!! Especially since it would take a heck of a lot longer now to defray the “cost” of my switch in which I have already invested about $195 and am facing another $155.

If I were to sell off the 4 basic flip phones for ½ of what I paid, I’d be able to recoup $60 and then be out only $135 for this mess. Sharing 10 GB data should be sufficient for our use, especially since I’m the heavy hitter. I may even just cancel the 2 kids lines in October when the contracts are fulfilled. I’d also be staying with AT&T which does have overall better coverage, though in the Chicago area and where I live, no real issues with T-Mobile which is fast as well.

If I stay with T-Mobile as planned, it costs me about an extra $215 to make the move ($350 minus the assumed $135 net loss if I go back to AT&T), it now takes until October 2015 to realize any monthly savings (by looking at the monthly delta of saving $9/mo for 11 months and then $19/mo for 6 months). But it does give me truly unlimited LTE data and more than enough data for each of the other lines on the plan.

Anyway, considering all of the above, and the fact that I’m really ticked about losing this substantial discount after just a few weeks of switching, which is the better option for me to stay move forward with? AT&T or T-Mobile? Is there a real risk that AT&T may pull the same and eliminate existing corporate discounts?

Thanks for your patience in reading this…I have a feeling there may be several in a similar conundrum.
 
Last edited:

MattMJB0188

macrumors 68000
Dec 28, 2009
1,917
340
Chicago is a market in which T-Mobile will not have any lower band spectrum (700) from Verizon. In the burbs I found them to be unreliable, especially in buildings. Att will always be better, but that comes with a price.
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
Well, you already use a lot of data so the unlimited plan on T-mobile is attractive. If you all have great service with TMO it might be worth it to stick with them for that reason.

However, if your service is so so in your area and/or you travel to areas without goid TMO coverage then I'd consider going back to AT&T and getting your ETF's reversed.

Did you try calling TMO to complain about the loss of your discount? Since it factored into your decision, they may be willing to make some concession to you if you keep them.
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,153
103
Well, you already use a lot of data so the unlimited plan on T-mobile is attractive. If you all have great service with TMO it might be worth it to stick with them for that reason.

However, if your service is so so in your area and/or you travel to areas without goid TMO coverage then I'd consider going back to AT&T and getting your ETF's reversed.

Did you try calling TMO to complain about the loss of your discount? Since it factored into your decision, they may be willing to make some concession to you if you keep them.
I didn't call, but I did chat online. They understood the disappointment, but still touted their service as the best value out there. No compensation proposed or anything. Even vented my frustration since I just moved over and now, conveniently for them, I am just past my 14 day return window.

Service and coverage on my iPhone has been just fine...I'd say the same as it was from AT&T for where I have been. For the 2 basic phones I am having some problems that they supposedly have been looking into at the cell tower level nearest my house since Monday 3/25.
 

mnsportsgeek

macrumors 68000
Feb 24, 2009
1,623
946
I love how their reasoning for dropping the employee discounts is because they are "too confusing." Screw you t-mobile... $25 off a $600 dollar phone is 4%. Screw you guys.
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,153
103
I really think Legere has something planned going by his response
What response and what exactly would he possibly have planned that adds value? Other than money, I really am curious.
 

shawndc1

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2014
173
9
If you factor in the amount of money out of pocket to make the switch the ~$18 a month savings doesn't really matter at this point.
216 a year is plenty to save unless your rich lol, youre still forgetting the fact the its unlimited and still cheaper, so why go spend 18 more for something that isnt unlimited...but personally id stay
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
Chicago is a market in which T-Mobile will not have any lower band spectrum (700) from Verizon. In the burbs I found them to be unreliable, especially in buildings. Att will always be better, but that comes with a price.
I noticed it too in the Chicago burbs last summer. My bf had just switched to T-Mobile and got Edge a lot while I had LTE with Verizon. AT&T and Verizon generally have better service for the higher price as you said.
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,195
1,028
Look at AIO.

Cheaper than TMo. No contract like TMo. ATT coverage.
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,520
637
Plano, TX
216 a year is plenty to save unless your rich lol, youre still forgetting the fact the its unlimited and still cheaper, so why go spend 18 more for something that isnt unlimited...but personally id stay
Some people don't use enough data to justify paying more for unlimited. You also must have missed the part where he had to spend money to switch to T-Mobile.
 

shawndc1

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2014
173
9
Some people don't use enough data to justify paying more for unlimited. You also must have missed the part where he had to spend money to switch to T-Mobile.

all sounds personal to me. im all for saving a buck especially in todays world...id stay pay less and keep my 18,
 

TWO2SEVEN

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2010
3,520
637
Plano, TX
all sounds personal to me. im all for saving a buck especially in todays world...id stay pay less and keep my 18,
So you would rather pay $2-300 upfront and save $18 a month?

Of course it's personal, it's his account. :cool:

If between leaving ATT and signing up for T-Mobile he had to spend $300, it would take 19.44 months to get that money back saving $18 a month.
 

Charadis

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2010
907
119
I say come on back to AT&T. The grass is greener on the other side (here).

Disclaimer: I am currently a happy AT&T subscriber.
 

scott523

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2006
830
81
Saint Charles, MO
T-Mobile bill: $140.00/mo pre-taxes and fees
$172.24/mo TOTAL

AT&T bill: $175.00/mo pre-taxes and fees and 24% discount
$190.96/mo TOTAL ($180.96/mo until March 2015 w/$10 credit)
Your pricing are vague:

1. Looking at your T-Mobile bill, you have a 24% tax? I'm in Philly and I only get 15% in taxes/fees. :confused:

2. I have AT&T and my discounts come before taxes. You calculate the taxes first then take off the discounts which makes your AT&T estimate a bit overpriced.

3. Assuming that 24% is a FAN discount, you DO have 24% in taxes/fees and minus the $10 credit, your bill comes to about $175.73.

($100 - $24) + (5 x $15) = $151 + $34.73 tax - $10 = $175.73 ($173.43 if the $10 credit came before tax)

Since the difference between the two bills are so little, you should then consider the quality of service between the two and whether or not it's worth switching back to AT&T after what you had to pay to leave AT&T. Also, and you never know, AT&T might (and I hope to God they don't) follow suit and do away with FAN discounts.


Look at AIO.

Cheaper than TMo. No contract like TMo. ATT coverage.
Why don't you look at it again. How is that cheaper for the OP?

2 - Talk+Text lines ($25 x 2)
1 - 500MB line ($40)
1 - 2.5GB line ($50)
1 - 5GB line ($60)
5 lines = $200 before taxes :confused:
 
Last edited:

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,153
103
The up-front cost of switching to T-Mobile is somewhat high, since my monthly savings compared to the AT&T option is not nearly as good anymore by losing the 15% discount.

Factoring everything in between the two plans described in my long original post (and assuming I keep all 5 lines active), the next 12 and 24 months (and beyond) break out as such:

T-Mobile:
$2395.15 for months 1-12 (avg: $199.60/mo)
$2066.88 for months 13-24 (avg: $172.24/mo)

AT&T:
$2309.79 for months 1-12 (avg: $192.48/mo)
$2291.52 for months 13-24 (avg: $190.96/mo)

So, for the next year, since NOT saving the 15% ($21.00) per month, it will now cost me an extra ~$7/mo for T-Mobile. BUT after that, since not saving the 15%, it will still save me ~$19/mo going forward (instead of ~$40/mo though).

----------

Your pricing are vague:

1. Looking at your T-Mobile bill, you have a 24% tax? I'm in Philly and I only get 15% in taxes/fees. :confused:
Lucky you! I am in the Chicago suburbs. Taxes and fees are a killer. For the 5 lines, the total taxes and fees on the T-Mobile plan will be about 23% of my base bill. Bundles and extra lines get taxed differently.

For my previous AT&T bill, the overall tax and fees was only about 18.5% since they were grandfathered individual data plans that got my 24% discount as well as the 24% off the voice portion of the 700 minute data plan. When I contacted AT&T about the shared plan, they said that the 24% discount would only come off the $100 10GB share plan (so still $24 off), but not off of each of the 5 x $15 lines I'd have. So that share plan will still be $151 prior to the taxes and fees which I think will now be taxed higher since the base plan even after discount goes from $45.60 to $76.00. So I figure across all the lines my taxes and fees will be more like $39.96. Close to your figure, but about 5 bucks higher.
 
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CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,373
1,132
Charlotte, NC
If you don't need unlimited data and AT&T provides a better network experience in your area then I would just go back to AT&T in your case.
 

shawndc1

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2014
173
9
So you would rather pay $2-300 upfront and save $18 a month?

Of course it's personal, it's his account. :cool:

If between leaving ATT and signing up for T-Mobile he had to spend $300, it would take 19.44 months to get that money back saving $18 a month.
hey man lol i only pay $72 unlimited everything with tmobile. im a govt employee so my discount is safe like mike trout lmao
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,085
2,055
Oregon
Lucky you! I am in the Chicago suburbs. Taxes and fees are a killer. For the 5 lines, the total taxes and fees on the T-Mobile plan will be about 23% of my base bill. Bundles and extra lines get taxed differently.

For my previous AT&T bill, the overall tax and fees was only about 18.5% since they were grandfathered individual data plans that got my 24% discount as well as the 24% off the voice portion of the 700 minute data plan. When I contacted AT&T about the shared plan, they said that the 24% discount would only come off the $100 10GB share plan (so still $24 off), but not off of each of the 5 x $15 lines I'd have. So that share plan will still be $151 prior to the taxes and fees which I think will now be taxed higher since the base plan even after discount goes from $45.60 to $76.00. So I figure across all the lines my taxes and fees will be more like $39.96. Close to your figure, but about 5 bucks higher.
Those taxes and fees are insane. I pay $13.55 TOTAL in taxes and fees for my AT&T shared plan with 10GB and 5 lines of service.