Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

jt101

    Hello. I'm interested in the $3/mo PAYG plan. I read conflicting info about which phones can be brought to this plan. I am aware of the IMEI check and know that has to be clean, and that the phone has to support GSM/T-M frequencies. I plan on getting a 4G phone for GSM that might be locked to T-Mobile, or an unlocked GSM phone.

     

    1. Can you bring a smartphone with this $3 plan (even if you don't plan to use data)?

    (I read somewhere the $3 plan only supports old style flip phones.)

     

    2. Can you bring a new smartphone purchased from eBay or Amazon, tied to T-Mobile (locked to T-Mobile) but not previously activated?

     

    3. Can you bring an unlocked new smartphone, T-Mobile/ATT/etc compatible, not previously activated with any carrier?

     

    4. Used phones locked to T-Mobile are okay?  Or must they also be unlocked?

     

    5. And used unlocked phones previously tied to other carriers are okay, assuming compatible and good IMEI's, is assumed.

     

    I read somewhere the phone cannot be new, must be used and have had at least 6 months activation and in good standing, but don't know if that was for unlocked phones previously tied to other carries, or for ANY phone. IOW, if you cannot bring a new phone purchased other than from T-Mobile.

     

    Again, I understand the IMEI must be good (not lost, stolen, in bad standing) and the phone must be compatible with T-M. TIA!

      All replies

      • dc5fan

        Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

        I will try to answer MOST of your questions. I am on the PAYG $3 a month plan. I started out with an unlocked AT&T S5. It did okay. In Dec of last year I purchased an LG Stylo 3 Plus T-Mo branded phone. THAT was a smart buy. Now I'll try to answer each question. BTW, I use my phone for calls ONLY (No messaging or data):

         

        1) Yes, but check what bands are in the phone. In my area, Champaign/Urbana, IL Bands 2 & 4 are used. I can't really answer regarding the old-style flip phones. What I can figure is try to find something more up-to-date.

         

        2) Should be able, but STAY away from ebay. The IMEI needs to be thoroughly checked that it is completely "free and clear". In other words no balance owednfor the phone.

         

        3) An unlocked T-Mobile phone should be okay, but I would steer clear of others. There might be some non-T-Mobile phones might work, but do not quote me. I don't have that amount of experience.

         

        4) Locked or unlocked to T-Mobile  I would advise something that is 1 or 2 years old. There are some new bands coming down the pike.

         

        5) NO, unless you do the research of the bands tied to the phone. There is a link T-Mobile has of phones that may work. It seems to me bands are somewhat different through the US.

         

        I bought a new STYLO 3 Plus to use for my account. I paid about $280 for the phone and SIM. That phone can be found for about $100 now. WHEW! I feel like that last bell in the Hershey's Christmas ad. That's ok. There may be some other members in this Community that have MUCH more experience to add their 2 cents worth. Depending on what you are looking for I highly recommend the Stylo 3 Plus. Regarding your last sentence, YES, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

        2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • jt101

            Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

            Thanks for the reply. I am not looking for an expensive phone. This is a phone I will never use (won't even leave it turned on 95% of the time). Also won't use it for anything but a rare call (to voice mail).  Just need it for biz purposes to put a separate phone number on biz forms. Am trying to get away with spending $50-$60. Not crazy about used phones though, so might go with a cheapie new one like a BLU or something.

             

            BTW, some eBay sellers show the IMEI in the pics of the product, (easier to find those if you include "IMEI" in the search field)... then you can enter it in the T-Mobile IMEI checker. That's the only way I'd buy a used phone from anyone (verifying the IMEI first).  Most have wear, however, and those in mint condition are as expensive as a cheaper new one, so...

             

            OK, well sounds like whether I get new or used will stick to a phone locked to T-Mobile to be safest, and if used, look for one within a year or two old, Thanks again. (Lost the box I can mark as solved but will look for it when I post.)

          • jt101

            Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

            Forgot to ask... your new LG Stylo you bought... was that purchased from T-Mobile or a third party?

             

            I just want to be clear I can bring a new phone (T-Mobile carrier-branded) purchased from someone other than T-Mobile.

            • dc5fan

              Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

              Are you familiar with SWAPPA? They check everything!

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • jt101

                  Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

                  I might have run across SWAPPA... I found a site that checks phones but can't remember what it was. Will check that out.

                   

                  Can you tell me if the new LG you purchased was gotten directly through T-Mobile, or from another vendor (Amazon, whatever)? Don't wanna buy a new phone and find I can't use it with the $3 plan unless I've gotten it from T-Mobile!

                    • dc5fan

                      Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

                      I purchased my Stylo 3 Plus, new, from the corporate T-Mobile store in Champaign, IL. They placed a nano SIM, and set it up. A few minutes ago I checked SWAPPA for a Stylo 3 Plus T-Mobile phone, and they are going for about $80. BTW, I mainly use mine to play my mp3s (2200+ files). My phone works great  on T-Mobile in my area.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • jt101

                          Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

                          Thanks, so that's still my concern.

                           

                          Need to know if they will activate a new T-Mobile phone purchased from other than T-Mobile, for the $3 plan. Or if you can only bring your own USED phone... [but if you want a new one, have to buy from T-Mobile directly].

                           

                          If anyone could answer that, would appreciate it.

                           

                          Meanwhile checked out SWAPPA, thanks... I hadn't been there before... !

                            • dc5fan

                              Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

                              YES! I still say do your research if you use an unlocked non-T-Mobile phone!  I found this link:  BYOD & Sim Cards | Get a Sim Card For Your Unlocked Phone | T-Mobile  This should help. I believe SWAPPA only uses Paypal for payment.

                                • dc5fan

                                  Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

                                  I almost forgot. Check your area of what bands it uses.

                                  • jt101

                                    Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

                                    That link is the link I have been using (with the IMEI link as well) which makes it look like you can only BYOD a USED PHONE to the $3 plan. Reason I say that is, the first question it asks on the BYOD page is, "Select the wireless carrier you most recently used with your phone" ... well, that only applies to used, and it won't let you proceed without filling that in. Unless it's just poor wording and should read "Select the wireless carrier you most recently used with your phone, or choose T-Mobile if a new phone locked to T-Mobile."

                                     

                                    If you buy a new phone from T-Mobile directly,  then that's not a BYOD of course.

                                     

                                    So again... if any T-Mobile rep's frequent these forums, can someone please definitely answer if you can BYOD a NEW phone (qualifier coming) PURCHASED FROM A 3RD PARTY VENDOR to the $3 plan. Like buy a new T-Mobile phone on Amazon or anywhere else.

                                      • tmo_amanda

                                        Re: Pay As You Go BYOPhone questions

                                        Hey, jt101!

                                         

                                        Welcome to our Support Community! To answer the final question, yes, you can purchase a brand new device from a 3rd party and use it on your Pay As You Go plan . We've had a ton of users purchase from Amazon and as long as it's T-Mobile branded, you're good to go!!

                                         

                                         

                                        Thanks a million dc5fan for hopping in and answering their questions so thoroughly!