To Switch from ATT to Tmobile or not- Can't decide

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gadgetfreaky, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. gadgetfreaky macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #1
    I'm having a ridiculously hard time deciding to swtich and am entering analysis to paralysis mode which is not common for me. I am on a great grandfathered plan so the price delta is not as big as others with the voice plan I have and no text. I've listed the pros and cons- if you can- please help me decide!

    I'm in the SF bay area with most all usage in SOMA in SF (downtown).

    Pros and Cons of Switching for someone on Great Grandfather Unlimited i

    Pros
    - cheaper at $56 for full unlimited+ international roaming. ATT is about $64 with Great Grandfather Plan/ Fan Discount.
    - voice/text call switching is a bit of a hassle since I use google voice for calls and texts and wifi calling on ATT since I’m on a low minute plan.
    - International roaming at 256 is actually pretty decent. I wouldn’t have to buy local sims for most countries.
    - I have a hookup code with 20% off if I switch now. May also be able to get $150 to switch since I registered on Feb 28.
    - If I wait past March - unlikely to get that 20% hookup code again. It’s super temping
    - If I don’t like it I can switch back in 30 days and get my same old plan and discounts back

    CONS
    - Local Coverage. Local SF coverage is fine on the weekends but my neighborhood gets very congested during the week
    - Rural coverage- I hike a lot- coverage here is probably cruddy while ATT actually has good coverage for hikes.
    - May lose on upgrade from ATT altho this may be locked which will sucked
    - Ability to get phone may be impaired since ATT tends to have priority.
    - may lose GF Unlimited altho no value if no hotspot
    - coverage in rural areas (about 2-3 times a year)
    - Congestion. T-mobile speeds are fine during the weekends in SF but during the week they drop to less than 1mbs in the SOMA area as folks pour in to work here. It’s not that big of a deal tho since most of my usage is for apps/ news/ and I use sling player on audio mode. May be a bigger issue if I use data like Netflix/ Hulu.
    - Effective unlimited speed for Tmobile is Peak 25mbs and off peak 1mbs - which is less than ATTs lower tier 60 plan.
    - Att is probably going to cut prices again soon.
    - The price difference overall is not that big I just hate the annual price increases and the hassle of using wifi calling and google voice for texts is not that big of a deal for getting an increasinly uncontested network (esp as others port out).



    It’s not as simple as just picking which list is greater- different factors count for more.
    Extra heavy weights for

    - International roaming- I travel a lot and woudl love to not have to worry about the hassle of switching sim cards.
    - Rural hikes - I actually do hike frequently- no signal may be a pain and there is no roaming on ATT.
    - Congestion. I’m not sure when / how Tmobile will address this but as they get all these new customers it seems
    - I do care about upgrades since I always get the latest Iphone. Seems like ATT is better here and they subsidized me last year even tho contracts have gone away- may be part of Fan discount. In any event- I get the phones fast and tmobile is often deprioritzed by Apple


    So should I switch or not? Will congestion on Tmoble be getting better and is this hookup code the deal of a lifetime - especially with free international roaming? Maybe I shouldn’t be using my phone on hikes anyway!
     
  2. thadoggfather macrumors 604

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #2
    I cant decide either and would be paying $56/mo too with employee discount

    I think I might make a thread about my predicament since its a bit different
     
  3. POLBOSS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    #3
    AT&T brought us the iPhone 10 years ago...
    iPhone and AT&T customer since then...
    I gave up my unlimited plan when my wife bought an iPhone... and we moved to a "family plan", then my older daughter got an iPhone, then my younger daughter got an iPhone, then grandma got an iPhone, then grandpa got an iPhone... I kept adding them to my "family plan"
    So... here comes Facebook, youtube, streaming music, Netflix, and so on...
    And now we are consuming data like there's no tomorrow...
    So, all of a sudden 15GB were not enough for the family...
    and I was constantly stressing over data overages and telling everybody not to use the mobile internet...

    I didn't try to change cellular companies because basically all the other companies were the same...

    And along comes T-Mobile...
    we all know what T-Mobile did...
    I studied T-Mobile for more than a year, when they announced their ONE plan I got very very interested...
    So... about 3 months ago a friend began working at T-Mobile...
    All of a sudden about a month ago I asked her about T-Mobile... I asked her 1000 questions... A few days later I ported my number from AT&T...
    what I discovered is that in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex T-Mobile has good coverage, but here at home I was getting only 1 bar of service, but on the road (where my wife, kids and grandparents use the mobile internet) coverage is really really good. I told this to my T-Mobile friend, she gave me an LTE booster I can keep the booster as long as I am a customer... now I have 5 bars of service at home...
    I ported all my lines to T-Mobile...
    28GB of LTE data for each line can't be beaten.
    I also got the 20% insider hook up So now I pay less than we ever did with AT&T...
    I asked my wife what she thought of the service and her response was, I see no difference really...
    so that's good
    I really felt bad leaving AT&T but even now that AT&T announced the new unlimited plans, I'm still saving more with T-Mobile...
    since our phones are unlocked I feel that if T-mobile's service changes for the worst we can always go back to AT&T...
     
  4. Rayfire macrumors 68020

    Rayfire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    PNW
    #4
    Like what the poster above me said, and yours.. I pretty much was in the same predicament, granted I don't hike as much but we have a lot of hiking trails in PNW, I just use it to take pictures and I don't text/call/stream while hiking.

    My FAN doesnt have two year upgrades, I doubt if they'll lower prices as well.

    I've been lucky that congestion here is not that bad. The hookup code is confirmed lifetime, stays on the account as long as the number you used to register for the hookup is active. That 20% off code along with the free international roaming sealed the deal for me.
     
  5. gadgetfreaky thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #5
    How do you tell if your fan has a 2 year upgrade ?
     
  6. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    In the middle of several books.
    #6
    Get a pay as you go SIM from T-Mobile and try out the service in your area. That should give you a very good idea of what to expect.
     
  7. eyeseeyou macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #7
    I'd say that if rural coverage is an absolute necessity then stay with att.

    I just ported over 3 lines, 2 of which were the grandfathered UDP's, and found the coverage in my area(pleasanton, san ramon, dublin) is actually better than it was with att. plus saving over $100 a month with all of the recent promotions which included the 20% insider's discount and 3 UDP's for $100 not to mention the upgrade cost to trade in our phones to iphone 7's was close to 0. From $240 to $80ish a month.

    I'm rarely ever in rural areas so it's not as much of an issue for me.
     
  8. boltjames macrumors 68040

    boltjames

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #8
    It's not about the money, it's about the quality. If AT&T has better coverage, you're sticking with AT&T.

    BJ
     
  9. Rayfire macrumors 68020

    Rayfire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    PNW
    #9
    Just do a phone upgrade, if the 2 year contract is still listed then you can still do them. They've axed it on a lot of FAN accounts though.
     
  10. Brandonjr36 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Location:
    Joplin
    #10
    I hate T-Mobile personally. But if your in the city and plan to stay in the city then T-Mobile isn't bad. But if you plan on traveling at all stay with At&t or go to Verizon. I had T-Mobile for a week and it was the worst service I have ever had. I had a tracfone when I was 8 years old and that thing had better service back then then T-Mobile has now, I went to Verizon and haven't looked back they have best coverage. I never drop service with them.
     
  11. eyeseeyou macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #11
    You have to pay attention to a service that says they can save you over $1k a year right?

    T-Mobile has come a looong way since side kicks and the OG android phone
     
  12. boltjames macrumors 68040

    boltjames

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #12
    Some providers work better in certain geographic areas, there are spots on Long Island where AT&T simply won't work, spots in Vermont where Verizon is your only choice.

    Not sure about SF for the OP but sounds like he would be compromising his rural performance if he left AT&T and deadspots and frustration aren't worth saving money, even a grand.

    BJ
     
  13. eyeseeyou macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #13
    Of course.

    I also live in the Bay Area. T-Mobile coverage is pretty good. Actually better than att in my specific area. In sf even with att a strong signal was inconsistent.

    I'm not saying he should go with a garbage service provider just to save money I'm saying going with T-Mobile isn't as bad as a lot of people think. If you're in an area where T-Mobile is great and or you don't find yourself in the middle of nowhere a lot, I think it would be a good idea to put yourself in a situation to save $100+ every month.
     
  14. boltjames macrumors 68040

    boltjames

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    #14
    I'm not anti-T-Mobile. Simply put, AT&T is rock solid for me in Manhattan, Maine, Pennsylvania, Hong Kong, Ningbo, Guangzhou, Shanghai, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Turks & Caicos, Canada, basically everywhere I travel for business and vacation as a family. My family and I haven't had so much as a hiccup in service in the past 3 years. So I haven't shopped a competitor nor would I ever.

    If the service is stellar, saving a few dollars and risking dropped calls and dead zones just isn't worth it.

    BJ
     
  15. eyeseeyou, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017

    eyeseeyou macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #15
    If you travel a lot I'd suggest going with Verizon also. I'm not anti Verizon either. I'm pro not spending money on services you're not really going to use(I wish this was a possibility with car insurance).

    Umm unless we're talking about the latest and greatest iPhones lol.
     
  16. thadoggfather macrumors 604

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #16
    Even then 879 and tax was a tall order. 850 and tax was a tall order for my 6+. Got 6s+ as last subsidized phone so 400 was alright but geez!!!
     
  17. eyeseeyou macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #17
    With t-mobiles last port over promo they applied the value credit from my att&t 6s plus to cover the 128gb upgrade cost to a 128gb 7plus, so basically a free upgrade. So far a win win win situation.
     
  18. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #18
    It's really all about your local area and where you're spending most of your time. If TMO is better in your home area, go with them. If AT&T has better coverage, then stick with them.

    Yes, you could be paying less per month with TMO, but it would be a moot point if you don't have great coverage where you spend the majority of your time.
     
  19. eyeseeyou, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017

    eyeseeyou macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #19
    The possible savings for me to hop off att was too great to ignore. In my case tmobile was successful in their market and promotions. I would've never even looked into if tmobile had good coverage in areas where I spend the majority of my time. I would've just thought in the past tmobile was crap and probably still is. Glad I looked into it.
     
  20. cateye macrumors member

    cateye

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    #20
    If it helps, to add my experiences: I had no intention of leaving ATT, or upgrading from my iPhone 6, but the recent T-Mobile deals and offers became a little too much to pass up. Snagged a Friends-and-Family discount code with some digging, managed to take another $20 off the $100 two lines, all unlimited plan, PLUS traded in my iPhone 6 to get basically 3/4 off a iPhone 7 Plus. Couldn't trade in my wife's 6+ to get the same deal because her screen was cracked, but even with her 7+ on a payment plan, I'm still paying significantly less than I was on ATT with a 10GB plan month-to-month.

    And, I'll note, at home (where I am all day—I work from home) I now get 4 bars of LTE on TMob. I got 1 or 2 with ATT. Honestly, I really wasn't unhappy with ATT, and had been a customer of theirs for 12 years, but at some point, the amount of money they charge is just not worth it, even if TMob ends up, overall, not having quite as good of coverage. At least for me, so far, I'm getting pretty much equal coverage everywhere I've gone locally.
     
  21. eyeseeyou macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #21
    Basically was in the same situation with my daughters cracked 6s. Paid about $90 to get the screen fixed and then swapped for a 32gb 7 with the port over promo.
     
  22. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #22
    Same here. I'm paying $48 less per month with TMO and I get better coverage in my home area (compared to AT&T). Tack on that I don't have to constantly worry about how much data I'm using, it was obvious to me to make the switch.
     
  23. eyeseeyou macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #23
    Without my corporate discount my att fee would be around $240. So with tmobile being around $80 now I'll be saving over $2k a year
     
  24. zone23 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    #24
    What kind of tracfone phone was it?
     
  25. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #25
    There are many many threads on this same topic. The best answer is always the same. Get a pre-paid sim and test it out in the areas you frequent. It's great for some, not for others. Better in big cities. WiFi calling works wonderfully. You can get a "free" WiFi or LTE CellSpot for your home. If you travel internationally, it saves a lot. T-Mobile has improved significantly in the past 3-5 years. Anyone who had it more than 2 years ago and says coverage is bad lives in a different coverage time. My service on TMO is better than it was on AT&T when I left 3 years ago and continues to improve.

    They also have T-Mobile Tuesdays where you can get discounts and free things. I get weekly Lyft discounts, free magazine subscriptions, Fandango movie rentals, and I believe they are giving away MLBTV to customers again this year. They've been doing it for a couple of years. They were the first to have free 4g/LTE roaming in Canada & Mexico. Free international roaming speeds are 2G/3G but works well enough in all the places I've traveled (All over UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Norway, Philippines, Czech Republic). WiFi is everywhere in all of these places also so WiFi calling is awesome and you're never in 2G/3G land for too long. You can always get a call or text. Good enough for Social Media or pulling up maps. Last summer they had free 4G/LTE international roaming for the month of July, which was perfect timing on a 3 week trip I was on.

    But if service doesn't work for you in the places you need, none of the above matters. So testing it is the best advice.
     

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