Questions for T-mobile Support re: switching from AT&T, SIM cards & mobile hotspot/tethering

kennethadamscom

    Some questions:

    1.  When I switch from AT&T, exactly what fees will you cover ?  My expectation is that switching from AT&T to T-mobile should be ZERO cost to me.

     

     

    2.  I already have a T-mobile SIM card in my iPad Air 2, which I can use in my iPhone 6 Plus.  So I do NOT expect to have to pay for this, but instead use my existing SIM card from my iPad Air 2 in my iPhone 6 Plus.  Also making the switch from AT&T to T-mobile ZERO cost to me.

     

     

    3.  What are the exact usage terms for mobile hotspot & tethering using a smartphone to connect a Mac, PC and iPad to the Internet via T-mobile ?  This is not very clearly identified on your Phone Plans web pages.  It is NOT very UN-carrier of you to HIDE this in fine print or not disclose it clearly, or perhaps  at all.

     

     

    Your staff in your store in Santa Clara, CA said the 2GB plan does NOT include mobile hotspot & tethering, and customers need to go up to the 6GB plan but they didn’t know what the usage terms were (limits, etc.).  Frankly the store staff seemed pretty clueless, so I gave up trying to get anything useful out of them.

     

     

    I searched your support content also and found instructions on using these features with many different phones, but nothing absolutely confirming if they are included in your plans.

     

     

    You need to be crystal clear about:  Is mobile hotspot and tethering allowed ?  On which plans ?  Is there a special usage limit or restrictions ?  Mobile hotspot & tethering terms should be exactly the same as the plan.  IE.  2Gb LTE, then, slowed to up to 2G speeds through to end of bill cycle.  Your competitors handle it this way (same terms as smartphone use), for example AT&T does (I am currently an AT&T customer).

     

     

    There is a fine print item on your Phone Plans page when selecting the default 2GB plan that seems to say tethering usage terms ARE exactly the same as the plan, but I’d like you to confirm because your store staff said it was not.

    “Voice and text features for direct communications between 2 people. Charges apply for calls to other countries. Call forwarding only to U.S. numbers. Partial minutes/megabytes rounded up. Full speeds available up to monthly allotment, including tethering (Unlimited on-smartphone 4G LTE data option includes 14GB of tethering); then, slowed to up to 2G speeds through bill cycle. Certain uses, e.g., some speed test apps, may not count against high-speed data allotment or have speeds reduced after allotment reached. U.S. roaming and on-network data allotments differ.”

      All replies

      • stevetjr

        kennethadamscom wrote:

         

        Some questions:

        1.  When I switch from AT&T, exactly what fees will you cover ?  My expectation is that switching from AT&T to T-mobile should be ZERO cost to me.

         

        Provided you turn in your AT&T devices and start EIP's on new T-Mobile devices they will reimburse you your ETF or lease balance for each line you port in. If you change the number, say have 4 lines with AT&T but only port in 3 lines then only the fees/etc for the 3 lines would be reimbursed. Note it is reimbursed 8 to 10 weeks later once the appropriate documents are sent in so you may have to pay the fee's to AT&T before you get the reimbursement.  The only 2 common issues I have ever seen with the ETF issue (on this forum and my friends that have switched) is 1) when people get cute and try to switch numbers, keep some devices but no all and switch numbers between new devices and BYOD but in the short run get cute and don't just do X number of lines out and the same X number in. 2) There are a handful of area codes, AK I believe is one that since T-Mobile has no native coverage there they have no numbers and can't port the number in and this becomes a problem of course after you have already turned in your other carriers devices. As long as T-Mobile has native (not partner) coverage in the area code on the number you have then it's not an issue.  Also you would have to pay sales tax on the new devices, no way around that one unfortunately just reality.  As for SIM cards, most all new T-Mobile devices have a SIM Card in the box, I know everyone I have bought has had one and I get a new phone every 6 months.


        ETF Reimbursement: Eligible device trade-in, new device purchase, qualifying credit, port-in from eligible carriers, and qualifying service required. Pay-off your device requires trade-in of financed/leased device in good condition; your payments must be current. Payments consist of: (1) credit of device trade-in value, and (2) Prepaid MasterCard® Card in amount of carrier’s Early Termination Fee (for ETF offer) or remaining device balance, including lease purchase option if applicable, minus trade-in credit (for device offer) (card not redeemable for cash and expires in 12 months unless extended by Issuer). Sales tax on ETF/device excluded. You must submit final bill showing ETF or device balance (& valid exercise of lease purchase option, if applicable) within 2 calendar months of port-in and be active and in good standing with T-Mobile when payment is processed; allow up to 8 weeks. Additional validation may be required. Up to 10 lines; all lines must be activated in same T-Mobile market with same billing address. One offer per subscriber. Check your contract(s) with your carrier for your rights and obligations. T-Mobile Prepaid MasterCard® Card is rebate/reimbursement or exchange on new device, service, or port-in (maximum $350 per individual for ETF); for any tax implications of payment, consult a tax advisor. No money has been paid by you for the card. Cards are issued by Citibank, N.A. pursuant to a license from MasterCard International and managed by Citi Prepaid Services. This card can be used everywhere MasterCard debit cards are accepted.

         

         

        2.  I already have a T-mobile SIM card in my iPad Air 2, which I can use in my iPhone 6 Plus.  So I do NOT expect to have to pay for this, but instead use my existing SIM card from my iPad Air 2 in my iPhone 6 Plus.  Also making the switch from AT&T to T-mobile ZERO cost to me.

         

        My understanding is once a number has been assigned to a SIM card that it can't have another number assigned to it.  You can move a SIM from device to device but that it is with its original number.

         

         

        3.  What are the exact usage terms for mobile hotspot & tethering using a smartphone to connect a Mac, PC and iPad to the Internet via T-mobile ?  This is not very clearly identified on your Phone Plans web pages.  It is NOT very UN-carrier of you to HIDE this in fine print or not disclose it clearly, or perhaps  at all.

         

        Sounds pretty clear to me, full speed up to monthly allotment including tethering. The only plan that has a tethering limit is the unlimited plan which is limited to 14GB of tethering. 

         

        "Voice and text features for direct communications between 2 people. Charges apply for calls to other countries. Call forwarding only to U.S. numbers. Partial minutes/megabytes rounded up. Full speeds available up to monthly allotment, including tethering (Unlimited on-smartphone 4G LTE data option includes 14GB of tethering); then, slowed to up to 2G speeds through bill cycle. Certain uses, e.g., some speed test apps, may not count against high-speed data allotment or have speeds reduced after allotment reached. U.S. roaming and on-network data allotments differ.

         

        Your staff in your store in Santa Clara, CA said the 2GB plan does NOT include mobile hotspot & tethering, and customers need to go up to the 6GB plan but they didn’t know what the usage terms were (limits, etc.).  Frankly the store staff seemed pretty clueless, so I gave up trying to get anything useful out of them.

         

         

        I searched your support content also and found instructions on using these features with many different phones, but nothing absolutely confirming if they are included in your plans.

         

        Essentially this is to cover that if you do BYOD (bring your own device) some features may not work. Only T-Mobile branded phones have had their OS completely configured to support network features that only T-Mobile's network support such as Wi-Fi calling, GoGo texting, VoLTE, RCS (Advanced Messaging), video calling built into the dialer.  While some carriers support or are working towards supporting some of these features no carrier has all of them like T-Mobile.  Because of the nature of these features all having network access which require SIM card access they have to be built into the OS and cannot be apps due to that area of the SIM card being sandboxed.

         

         

        You need to be crystal clear about:  Is mobile hotspot and tethering allowed ?  On which plans ?  Is there a special usage limit or restrictions ?  Mobile hotspot & tethering terms should be exactly the same as the plan.  IE.  2Gb LTE, then, slowed to up to 2G speeds through to end of bill cycle.  Your competitors handle it this way (same terms as smartphone use), for example AT&T does (I am currently an AT&T customer).

         

         

        There is a fine print item on your Phone Plans page when selecting the default 2GB plan that seems to say tethering usage terms ARE exactly the same as the plan, but I’d like you to confirm because your store staff said it was not.

        “Voice and text features for direct communications between 2 people. Charges apply for calls to other countries. Call forwarding only to U.S. numbers. Partial minutes/megabytes rounded up. Full speeds available up to monthly allotment, including tethering (Unlimited on-smartphone 4G LTE data option includes 14GB of tethering); then, slowed to up to 2G speeds through bill cycle. Certain uses, e.g., some speed test apps, may not count against high-speed data allotment or have speeds reduced after allotment reached. U.S. roaming and on-network data allotments differ.”

          • kennethadamscom

            Hi Steve thanks.  But are you a T-mobile employee ?  Your profile is mostly blank and there is no indication that I can find in your profile that you work for T-mobile.  Although you are a very active community member 

             

            I just want to make sure I'm getting an official T-mobile response.

             

            Thanks again,

              • stevetjr

                You would be correct, I am not a T-Mobile employee as are most on this site as it is a user support forum. The handful of T-Mobile employees have user names that all start with tmo_xxxxx. They can and will answer a few questions but generally are more moderators and technical.  It can take a day or two to get answers so if you are looking for a faster contact source I would recommend T-Force which is on social media, I have included a link to the contact page that has their FB, Twitter and G+ links.

                 

                Contact Us

                 

                One benefit of this user forum is that we can sometimes make suggestions that an employee wouldn't be able to answer like something regarding a competitor, announcement leaks or other things that aren't "official".  When using this forum they (moderators) have identified those of us who have been here for quite a while and we usually have the annotation of "pillar of the community".  I have been with T-Mobile for 14+ years and can tell you the last 3 have been something short of amazing and I am not the only one since T-Mobile has added more customers than the other 3 combined the last 2 years in a row (which has led them to go from 33 million subscribers to 67 million in the same time frame) so they must be doing something right. I will also note I am quite familiar with the plans and especially the international stuff since I have had about 30+ of my pilot friends that have all gone through the switching process because free international roaming to a pilot is a godsend so they can now regularly keep in touch with their families even when operating to international destinations and not have to pay thru the nose for it. 

                 

                Again I would reach out to T-Force, they are pretty quick to respond. 

                • tidbits

                  I'll vouch for what he says. Those are the most common questions people ask and been answered a lot. If I answered first I would have given the same answers.

                  • tmo_mike_c

                    Just wanted to stop by and say our fellow community members have given some great information and a very good answers your questions. Did you need any other clarification?

                • e2k

                  A slight addendum to what others have already said:

                   

                  1.  When I switch from AT&T, exactly what fees will you cover ?  My expectation is that switching from AT&T to T-mobile should be ZERO cost to me.

                   

                  Go to the following link and make absolutely sure to read all of the FAQ's at the bottom of the page:

                  Switch Carriers without Early Termination Fees | No ETF's | T-Mobile

                  2.  I already have a T-mobile SIM card in my iPad Air 2, which I can use in my iPhone 6 Plus.  So I do NOT expect to have to pay for this, but instead use my existing SIM card from my iPad Air 2 in my iPhone 6 Plus.  Also making the switch from AT&T to T-mobile ZERO cost to me.

                   

                  Phone SIM cards and tablet SIM cards are different, and cannot be used interchangeably. In order to get your ETF/EIP reimbursed, you will have to buy a new device from T-Mobile, which will come with a SIM card. Thus, you should not need to purchase a SIM new SIM card for your phone.

                  Frankly the store staff seemed pretty clueless, so I gave up trying to get anything useful out of them.

                   

                  Never trust what you are told verbally, especially in a store. Instead, get your information from the T-Mobile website. If a rep tries to contradict the information that is on the site, simply refer him/her to the site. Reps misquote plans and policies all to often, but T-Mobile would be hard pressed to go against what is advertised on their website.

                  • miket

                    We have the "basic" "regular" plan w. 2G of data.  We have NEVER had a problem tethering to a PC.  (One of our lines uses it often.)  We realize that tethering would be cut off once we hit 2G in that month.

                      The 2G basic data plan does not include the video service called "Bingeon".  You need the 6G plan (or above) for that.

                     

                       Data is slowed (throttled) after you hit 2G.  There is never any surcharge for exceeding your 2G "limit".  Other carriers have started (I think) to follow TM's lead and not charge outrageous overage fees.

                    • matesny

                      Switching to T-Mobile WILL cost you some money as you'd need to purchase a T-Mobile branded new device to use the T-Mobile Network to its full capacity. This means you're likely going to buy a more expensive device than what you have PLUS the Sales Tax on it.

                      However, You will be saving much more than that in the long run, especially if you have multiple lines on the account.

                      Not to mention there will be Free Pizza on Tuesdays