Having rebranded itself as the Un-Carrier, T-Mobile has made significant efforts to distinguish itself and itself into a real threat to the other national carriers. First it dropped two year contracts for service (though, unless you have $800+ to drop on a new phone, you might as well be on a contract), then it expanded it's coverage, and now it offers unlimited data.
With all of this in mind, I decided to break away from Verizon and give T-Mobile a chance. My phones were old, my husband's battery wouldn't stay charged, and the unlimited data would be nice for the four hours a day I spend commuting.
We're two weeks into our new plan and... I'm not impressed or thrilled.
I live and work in the greater DC metro region, so I never expected to have coverage issues here. My daughter lives a few hundred miles away, and whether or not she would have coverage was a consideration. A quick visit to T-Mobile's website assured me that her rural area should not only be covered, but should have more reliable 4g coverage than her current Verizon plan.
Awesome. That was one thing I could take off the worry list. Right?
While coverage is plentiful in DC, and my tunes and podcasts find less interruptions on I95, the service in rural Kentucky was spottier than the map had me believing. We had to deactivate my daughter's phone as she couldn't reliably is it at home.
At the Store
WeWe purchased our phones at the store in the mall. There was one helpful clerk, one overly-chatty and Nick Burns-esque guy, and a rather shifty female clerk on duty. The whole process took several hours, and at one point we wandered off for more shopping while waiting for things to get set up and our phones transferred. Honestly, I was just tired of Nick Burns extolling the virtues of the Apple universe. He had definitely drank the KoolAide.
This was also the first real problem I experienced. The female clerk laid out cases and told us to choose one; we politely informed her that we would prefer to buy our cases elsewhere. She told us that these were included in our purchase.
"Free?" We asked. And only after her confirmation did we accept. But they show on our bill as something we are being charged for.
We also took advantage of a BOGO on the Galaxy Note 8, but we're not told how to get the rebate. Nick Burns just said it would be taken care of later.
Four days into service I needed to call customer service. I had waited the requisite 72 hours trying to create my online account but had been unable to do so.
Eight days into service I had to call back because data stopped working on my phone and getting anywhere in Chrome resulted in a page saying my account didn't have a data plan.
Fifteen days in and I can't make calls or use data.
So roughly in my first two weeks of service I've had to call or tweet in for a number of problems. The customer service agents have all been nice and polite...but none of them called me back with a resolution to my problems. They just start working again after a few hours or, in the case of the online account, days.
Only once did an agent call me back, and that was 24 hours after she said she would.
Is it Worth Switching?
Honestly, at this point, I can't recommend it. I've had too many issues in my first month, the sales ckerks have left a bad, fishy taste in my mouth, and I'm not certain T-Mobile is sufficiently prepared to be a major US carrier.