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Discussion in 'iPhone' started by EbookReader, Feb 3, 2014.
Just among the 4 major carriers. So excluding prepaid, MVNO etc...
None of them.
Cause they offer so many plans the math gets confusing.
Add the new monthly device payments plans may add to the monthly charges advertised vs some people who bring their own phones. Or those even on tmobile older plans still are on contract with subsidy upgrades. So don't bother playing the tmobile angle either.
It's a mess. Than add taxes with vary by city and state.
My kids are both in college and they want to take their lines away and go off and get their own service so they can upgrade from their handmedown iPhone 4's and get shiny new iPhone 5's for $99 plus $40 a month. PLEASE. I explained to them that 4 lines of iPhones costs upwards of $250 on At&t or Verizon and a single line would cost even more (per line).
The 4 companies you mention are all tricksters. I've used all 4 of them over the years, indirectly if not directly. The following are some of my impressions:
Tmobile (they were called Voicestream at the time):
Very spotty coverage (I've heard it's better now)
Best international roaming these days (I've heard)
Ability to make calls on wifi (I've heard)
Nearly nonexistent LTE
Allows "payment plan purchase" of phone without "subsidy" in plan price.
Sprint (I had 2 Virgin mobile phones for my kids at one time)
Awful coverage, frequent dropped calls
Every change to account incurs a new contract (this is what Sprint reps repeatedly told me when I called to ask about a new account)
Aggressive pricing but arguably not as low as Tmobile.
Nearly nonexistent LTE
At&t (I have been with them several times over the years)
Recent "no contract" discount on smartphones of $15 a line. I have YET to see this actually show up on my bill (but customer service has issued credits until they get billing straightened out).
Fast 3G speeds
Clueless customer service, among the worst in any industry
Able to change plans without extending contract (from recent experience)
Verizon (I went from Verizon to At&t)
Absolute best coverage
Absolute highest pricing
Best customer service of any phone company
Able to change plans without extending contract (from experience)
Rather junky feature phones and replacing a broken one too many times leads to new contract, hence our move to At&t and all iPhones.
So how do I vote in your poll? I don't.
Buying cell phone service is a lot more difficult than interstellar faster than light travel. At this point, I would say it's best to save up and buy the unlocked iPhone you want then pick a PAYG "carrier" to use it with such as straight talk. The $40 "fee" for having a smartphone on an At&t account is reduced to $25 if you bring your own phone. So if you pay $450 for an iPhone, then bring it yourself, you save $360 over 2 years. If you had paid $99 for that phone up front your out of pocket would be $460 so if you can find the phone of your dreams for $450 or less, it makes sense to tell At&t to stuff the contract and buy it yourself. Sadly the cheapest new iPhone costs more than that. If you're willing to deal with the snake pit that is ebay, checking completed listings I find iPhone 5's sold in the $450 range and I spotted a handful of iPhone 5c's that sold in the $350 range. So for what you would have paid At&t in extra fees for having a subsidized phone for 2 years, you could own the phone outright up front and get a little something for it at the end (since it's unlocked). Iphone 4's are going for around $100 on ebay these days.
The latest ATT data plan just announced seems pretty simple.
$100 for 10gb
$15 per phone
the carriers do not want you to be able to make meaningful comparisons; they make them as difficult as they can.
Verizon is the simplest to understand. Full subsidies and standard rip off rate share plans.
None of them. They're all a cluster**** and hard to figure out, unless you know exactly what you're doing
^ That about sums it up. None of them have the easiest to understand plans. I get a headache comparing them. All I know is Verizon has the best coverage, I've been with them for YEARS (family=DECADES) and the coverage has always improved.
To pick a plan, your first task is to know what your usage are. Unless this is your first smartphone EVER, you should have some idea.
It gets confusing because you keep thinking, "what am I missing" and "shouldn't I go with 5GB *just* in case I need it?
Stick with your usage, run an App that monitors your usage so you won't go over. Practice restrain. Once you approach your max, stop watching videos, stick with your budget.
What if I only need 5gb?
I think the average Joe would be able to understand T-Mobile Plan. All they have is this.
If one of the lines need more data, they can add more data to that particular line:
Bring Your Own Phone or
Buy Your Phone Upfront or
Finance Your Phone.
You still get the 10GB plan. See how simple it is? If you need up to 10GB, get that plan. If you need more, get one of the higher ones.
My hope is that one day ATT will be able to offer one rate again, you pay a set fee and off you go to use as much as you want.
10gb is cheaper. I generally only use 2-3gb. With the new hotspot feature, I will jump it up when traveling though.
Verizon is the easiest to understand. The other 3 carriers now have all this "no subsidy, different prices for each line added, monthly financing etc." Just look at how long the thread is with AT&T customers attempting to understand their new complicated plans.
With Verizon, it's straightforward. $40 per smartphone, choose you data bucket, and $199 per iPhone 5S with a new 2 year contract. Pay a lot and get the highest quality service. They don't have to compete on price as long as the other 3 networks are so far behind in quality.
I know you are the biggest t-mobile supporter.
We all know the angle.
Regardless, T-mobile's plans are still confusing. Notice they have the 2GB and unlimited GB add ons in very small font. And it's per line per month. Don't you think it's deceptive?
And "no contract" only means that in the true essence if you bring your own phone or pay in full upfront. Otherwise you still will have to pay off a hefty balance if you finance a few iPhones. Financing is added to your monthly bill. If you finance 3 iPhone 5S. You could be in for a sticker shock and end up paying $100/month EXTRA. How is that simple?
If t-mobile offered one data plan rate (unlimited) with unlimited talk and text (regardless of pricing) than that would be the simplest to understand. But they don't.
I suggest you look at their website
It's very easy for the average Joe to understand.
1) Choose how many lines you want
2) Choose your data for each line
For example, on the third line
As for no contract, it's for the service. There is a contract for a device if you choose to finance it. If you choose to finance your house or car, you also have a contract that say you have to pay it off. It's the same thing with the device.
I believe most Americans are used to financing a car by now. Pay something upfront and pay the rest off in monthly installments. It's a simple concept that most American are used to.
As for sticker shock: It's spelled right there by T-Mobile:
You pay $0 upfront. But you agree to pay $25 a month for 24 months. T-Mobile give you a $600 Iphone 5s.
You get the bill that say the $25 monthly installment is due and you are shocked?
T-Mobile never claim that they have NO CONTRACT on FINANCING your device. It's as wise as a bank having no contract on financing your house. It's as wise as you allowing a stranger to borrow $600 without a contract to pay back the $600.
The no contract is always about the SERVICE.
T-Mobile gets confusing for the average customer when you bring the phone payments into the plan.
That's why I say Verizon is the simplest. Pay $199 for your phone, sign contract, pay set amount every month for 2 years. Certainly not the cheapest but easily the simplest.
Verizon and at&ts family plans seem pretty simple, chose your data, unlimited talk and text. 40 per smartphone, 20 for a basic i think and 10 for a hotspot or tablet. Simple to me.
Verizon new plan:
Like all carriers tweaking pricing, Verizon claims its simplifying its pricing plans, but in reality mobile plans are becoming more complicated than tax returns.
I really don't think any of the plans are that complicated. Pick how much data you need, pick the number of lines you need. Add them up. This isn't as complicated as you're all making it out to be.