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

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dmk1974, Mar 31, 2014.


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

  1. Remain with T-Mobile

    16 vote(s)
  2. Go back to AT&T

    18 vote(s)
  1. dmk1974, Mar 31, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014

    dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008

    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:

    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

    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.
  2. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000

    Dec 28, 2009
    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.
  3. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    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.
  4. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
  5. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    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.
  6. mnsportsgeek macrumors 65816

    Feb 24, 2009
    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.
  7. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012
    I really think Legere has something planned going by his response
  8. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    What response and what exactly would he possibly have planned that adds value? Other than money, I really am curious.
  9. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012

    Idk but he said even more is coming soon
  10. shawndc1 macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2014
    stay duh, its still unlimited and youre still paying less
  11. PsstGreek macrumors 68040


    Oct 21, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    UnCarrier 5.0 is coming soon. Hopefully it's something good.
  12. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX
    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.
  13. shawndc1 macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2014
    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
  14. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    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.
  15. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Look at AIO.

    Cheaper than TMo. No contract like TMo. ATT coverage.
  16. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX
    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.
  17. shawndc1 macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2014

    all sounds personal to me. im all for saving a buck especially in todays stay pay less and keep my 18,
  18. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX
    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.
  19. Charadis macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2010
    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.
  20. scott523, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014

    scott523 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    Saint Charles, MO
    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.

    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:
  21. dmk1974, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014

    dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    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:

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

    $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).


    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.
  22. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    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.
  23. shawndc1 macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2014
    hey man lol i only pay $72 unlimited everything with tmobile. im a govt employee so my discount is safe like mike trout lmao
  24. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
  25. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    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.

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