I just had to get this off my chest because I know others are going to be hit by this, just without knowing beforehand.
I do most of my studying online for most things I purchase, and I figured I’d see what T-Mobile had. Now before we go too far here, I am a very happy T-Mobile customer who has been with them for going on 3 months now. That being said, I was lied to by two different point-of-sale locations… one of those times while I had another customer for them right next to me that I brought in!
I have the “Even More Plus” plan, which basically means I purchased the phone outright, which saves about $20 a month on the bill. I purchased the phone independent of T-Mobile, and signed up for the plan online. (recieving the sim card and popping it in)
Logic would tell me, if I purchased something from T-Mobile, it’d be available at their point-of-sale locations as well… you know, seeing as they’re an (inter)national cellphone provider.
That’s where my logic is wrong. Both times I have gone to one of the locations, I was told that the Even More Plus plan has been discontinued in the past, and it’s either impossible that I have it, or I’ve been “grandfathered” in and I should never drop it. The first time, I even proved it still exists by showing them the website purchase page, and they went as far as saying that T-Mobile sometimes has problems with updating their own pages, and it’s going to be updated soon to reflect the discontinuation. That was when *I* was shopping for my service! I wanted to buy from a physical location to cut the lag time of mail, etc. I repeated myself at least 3 times, and each time was laughed at and belittled as if I was a quackjob that walked in asking for an iPad made by Microsoft or something.
Sooooo, the only other option I had was to go home, and purchase online. The sim came, popped it in, and happiness since that time.
A good friend of mine was looking for service because of the provider used, and I recommended T-Mobile simply because it’d provide what was needed, for the price they wanted. One of things I said to my friend was straight up, “If you buy your phone on your own, you can sign up for the Plus plan, and push off the lock-in that happens when you overpay for the phone over a 2 year contract”. ($500 HTC HD2 = $99 + $20*24 months = $580, including lock-in)
We went to lunch, and casually walked in right before eating somewhere. Naturally two sales people have to approach at once, since we’re two people. I let things go, being the passive listener until I could see where they were steering my friend. They were going for the $180+ family plan, and really trying to push the high-end phone. Now, I know it’s natural since comission is their thing and I respect that. However, the moment I told my friend that the Plus plan was an option (with a low conversation voice), the sales people had to correct me from across the room… multiple times. This was in October… and the T-Mobile page *still* was selling the Plus plan. I was very casual and easy-going, just saying that I have it and it’s available on the site. The excuse for them was that it was originally a pilot study plan, and it wasn’t available in Phoenix any longer… adding in that the only way to do it now is contract, and they are sorry.
What do you say in situations like that? I mean, being civil, and friendly. My friend looks at me, and starts asking a question and they come in for the attack… i just tell my friend we’ll talk about it over lunch. After that, we both just nodded to the sales team and waited for the talk to end as we looked at the G2 and blackberries.
Let’s do the math here to see what they would have denied my friend:
3 person family plan Even-More: $179.99 Even-More-Plus: $139.99
Phone: Usually $99 to $199/piece.
In this case, 1 phone was taken care of, 1 phone needs to be simple, and the most expensive would be an unlocked blackberry torch.
Now, most phones you can get for under $100 away from the provider, if they’re the simple kind. A Torch isn’t even available through T-Mobile, but you can get one unlocked for $500-$750.
Doing the math, getting a phone for the normal $99 for 3 people would be $270+tax initially, and $40/month for 24 months. That equals $1,230 for 3 phones, while being stuck in a 2 year contract.
OR purchase 3 phones for less and pocket the difference… all without the help of real people, which sucks but hey….