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heffray
Sep 18, 2010





Multi-answer!

The ETF refund does require a non-free data plan attachment, so a possibly-lovely-retail salesperson claiming you need to buy that $10 2.5GB plan is maybe not just lying to you in order to increase his commission payout. Also, you should be able to pay for the phone up front and still get the ETF credit: it requires that you pay full price for a phone from T-Mobile, but doesn't care whether it's via installments or up front.

All metered data with Simple Choice is eligible for tethering- so if you're on the base 500MB, it's all fine to tether with, :10bux: 2.5GB is all tether-able, "Unlimited" $20 plan is 2.5GB for tethering and unlimited on-device. There are 4.5GB, 6.5, etc plans available for tethering-heavy cases, but I'm not sure anyone ever takes them. The various tricks of leaning on HTTPS, VPNs, or useragent modifications can help you avoid detection, but are probably more work than most people are willing to put in.

T-Mobile retail (including not-franchise locations that look like a T-Mobile store), Costco, Car Toys, and military exchange locations are eligible for the ETF refund. Online, phone activations, and other retailers won't work for this.

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heffray
Sep 18, 2010





Qu Appelle posted:

Anybody else with a corporate discount get a T-Mobile Advantage Program Verification postcard?

I did. but I'm no longer with the corporation that I got the discount with. If I switch to another one that I can legitimately use, will I still get the monthly discount, or do I just get the $25 card.

Alternatively, are there discounts for college students? I can claim that.
You should be able to move to the new employer's group and keep the discount.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





The $30 plan is restricted to phones. If you get a new SIM you should be able to do the 200MB/month free tablet plan on the Nexus 7, just plug it in and it'll force you through the activation process.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





As long as you activate it before the promo ends (no idea when this is, it's been live since October) 200MB/mo is free, with the hope that you decide to pay extra for more once you hit the cap. This looks like an attempt to talk people out of using wifi-only tablets, with the expectation that customers will decide that mobile data is worth paying for. If you don't want to pay though, it's (some) free data for a secondary device!

The only time I've activated a tablet on that plan, I attached it to a postpaid account, so the experience might be slightly different on prepaid- you can't have multiple lines on one account with the $30 plan, so there's no connection between your phone and tablet for billing in this case. But with one of those being $0/mo and one-off paid refills if you so choose, this probably won't be much of a hassle.

And yes, you can swap your $30 plan SIM between phones with no issue. The complication you ran into is that plans are either phone or tablet/hotspot-only, and you can't move between those groupings within the same plan.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





Cawd Rud posted:

Yes, although some people have allegedly been charged without having signed up.
A trustworthy operator would require intentional signup and confirmation after disclosing the ongoing fees, but there have been claims that some of the companies charging $10/mo for celebrity gossip might have ignored this, a bit. It'll also be interesting to see if other carriers see similar lawsuits on this topic- premium SMS subscriptions have always been super shady, but it's hardly unique to T-Mobile. Carriers knew this, but it was also very profitable before app stores became common, so they dealt with the customer complaints and enjoyed the revenue.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





If you're concerned about coverage: http://explore.t-mobile.com/test-drive-free-trial
It's free, you borrow an iPhone 5S for a week and return it unbroken (with Find My iPhone turned off) to a retail store, and hopefully it works well enough that you decide to purchase service.

Re: activation issues: yeah, prepaid customer service is outsourced and lovely. In-house CS, roaming, and equipment installment plans are pretty much the only difference between pre/postpaid at this point: you're saving a bunch of money, but getting less in return.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





Insane Totoro posted:

I have a question. Are the old legacy plans essentially grandfathered in perpetuity?

Versus the new Simple Choice plans.... Are those prices set in stone? Or are there mechanisms for both legacy plans and the new plans that make them easily subject to price increases?

Like I wouldn't mind moving to Simple Choice....
I'm not sure there's a legal requirement for grandfathering unless you're under contract, but T-Mobile has already done their biggest (yet) push to move customers off legacy plans and it was nearly always to equal or better plans at equal or better prices. A tiny handful of edge cases were a bit worse off, but most of those had customer service options to correct this. There are exceptions like $2.99 unlimited T-Zones that worked for smartphone internet for a while, but that wasn't a reasonable expectation anyway.

If Simple Choice is a better fit or price for you, you can pretty safely move to it. If T-Mobile totally changes course and screws you for as much money as possible with plan changes, grandfathered plans aren't any better than current ones (and are probably worse, since fewer customers would be affected and there'd be a bigger PR mess).

In most cases, Simple Choice or Nerd Plan are pretty good.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





Nerd plan needs a new account, you can't port your number directly from T-Mobile postpaid to it. Needs an activation kit, and you'll either bring a number in from another carrier or generate a new one.

Prepaid doesn't care about your identity.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





Phones and tablets (or hotspots, laptops) are differentiated on the network side, and plans are restricted to each device category. You might be able to do this with a less-recognizable device, or spoof IMEI somehow, but I would expect dropping an active phone SIM into a Nexus 9 to result in a message that it doesn't match, and please call customer service to move to an appropriate plan.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





If he moves to prepaid, he won't be able to get a payment plan. Otherwise these things are totally unrelated, and moving to a current plan now and changing devices later is fine.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





Orders before 9/15 don't have to swap to One for the free iPhone trade deal, newer ones do. This seems kind of obvious considering the size of the discount and add a line prices with limited data plans, glad it existed at all.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





For the MLB offer: you have to sign up while on the data network and not another carrier or wifi. Once you're registered you can watch on whatever the MLB service / apps support.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





iPhones 8, 8 plus, 7, 7 plus; up to $700. You can get a bit more $ value with the Samsung offer, and the GS8 Active is included (which includes 600mhz support).

The promo requires you to add a new line, which complicates things a little. Rhyno: it starts tomorrow and wasn't announced until today, likely the reps didn't notice it.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





Devices with cracked screens, water damage indicators, or Apple ID locks (or similar for other brands) are usually excluded from trade in, scratches / etc are fine.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





It's tiered: trading in a 7, 7+, or 8 gets you the full $300 promo, 6s or 6s+ is $200, other iPhones are $100. This is in addition to the trade in value based on exact phone model / etc (which usually isn't much).

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





The current trade in promo doesn't apply to the XR, and no one knows what offers will exist next month for the cheaper phone :iiam:. The current deal is a little unusual in that it doesn't require a ONE plan.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





E2M2 posted:

So cancelling afterwards is aokay? Basically switching one of the 7 account over?
Most "free" deals now pay out via monthly credits over time, and if you cancel the new line those credits stop.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





You still mail it in. The store might be mail it for you, but they won't do any inspection or approval for the trade in.

$400 toward any Pixel 3 variant with the trade in of an OG Pixel is a pretty good deal.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





T-Mobile has a tiny number of 5G phones on the network and is unlikely to have any 5G-only towers in the next year or two. 600mhz is the unusual one for rural coverage, if you have that service should be good across most of the map and generally comparable to other carriers. Porting over now puts you on equal or better footing to most of the customer base.

For anyone considering switching: each employee has 3 codes (each) for new customers getting 20% off Magenta plans forever, $200 off a 5G phone, or $200 off a 5G phone for existing customers. The Magenta plan lineup is a bit more expensive in exchange for the Netflix, Gogo, and international data perks, but the 20% discount more than offsets this.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





If anyone is on a 2ish year old device and wants a new approximately-flagship level Samsung, now is a good time. The Galaxy S20 Fan Edition 5G (so low and mid band, but not mmWave that competes with outdoor Wifi but not cellular) lists at $700 but is part of a promo for $500 off with a valid trade in:
https://www.t-mobile.com/content/t-mobile/consumer/modals/samsung-gs20fe-500-trade-in-prospect.html
The eligible devices are:
Apple: iPhone 11, XS Series, XR, X, 8 Series, iPhone 7 series
Samsung: Galaxy S10 series, Galaxy Note10 series, Galaxy S9 series, Galaxy Note9 , Galaxy S8 series, Galaxy Note8, Galaxy S7 series
Google: Pixel 4/4XL, Pixel 3A/3AXL, 3/3XL
OnePlus: 8, 8 Pro, 7T Pro McLaren, 7T, 7, 7 Pro, 6, 6T
LG: V60 ThinQ, G8 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, V50 ThinQ, V40 ThinQ

This is a little unusual because all the eligible trade in devices get the same payout, and all the eligible purchase devices get the same discount ($500 minus whatever actual trade in value). Good until TBD, which probably means whenever budget runs out. If you preorder, there's some sort of thing where ShopSamsung gets you an additional $70 toward your next Samsung purchase. The same $500 promo works on everything up to the $200 folding one, but if you're shopping sales maybe don't buy a $2000 phone.

tl;dr: have a Pixel 3a / GS7 / oneplus 6 or better and want a new phone? trade in and get a GS20 FE 5G with 2020 specs and 3 cameras for $200.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





nerve posted:

will my S8+ that doesn't even turn on be accepted ;-*
Nope! Trade ins don't have to be in perfect condition, but need: uncracked screen, powers on, clean liquid damage indicator, and locking features turned off.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





Did your brother get this at a retail store with an Insider 5G code, buy a different phone, and not attach a trade in? The Sprint version says "up to $500" but lists every option as $500, the T-Mobile version just says $500. I can't find a version of this promo that would be $200 instead of $500.

The S20+ 5G is $1099, which would be $46/mo before subtracting off the monthly credits. The FE is $400 cheaper but is a preorder and is not available for a couple more days.

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





Maneki Neko posted:

So far the iphone 12 deals are garbage, hopefully Costco does something decent.
There's a $200 rebate card for accounts over 5 years old & trading in any iPhone that was used on the tmo network between Aug 2 - Oct 2, and a trade in offer at $500 for 11 Pro or XS or XS Max; $415 for 11, X, XR, 8, 8+; $300 for 7, 7+, SE 2020; $215 for 6s, 6, SE; $50 for anything 5s or older. Bigger promos are available with trading in plus activating a new line. What were you expecting?

heffray
Sep 18, 2010





FCKGW posted:

No, the credits move from the device to the service level. You will continue to get the credit for the remainder of the contract whether you have the phone or not.
They don't stack with a later promo, though: if you get another device from T-Mobile with service credits it'll replace your existing credits.

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heffray
Sep 18, 2010





The slow version is free, getting normal data speeds costs money. Essentials plans don't include international data, Magenta or ONE does. Details: https://www.t-mobile.com/travel-abroad-with-simple-global. Calls are not free, but 128kbps data and SMS are free. It's pretty great for basic maps and email/web use, completely useless for streaming or media.

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