( @tmobile @googlenexus )
I had this conversation with so many people in the last year that I decided to capture it and publish it on my blog.
Around this time last year, my 2-year contract with Verizon was up and I was looking to renew and get new phones. Then I received a letter stating that they were switching us to a family-share plan once we selected new phones. We would be moving from unlimited data to a 4GB shared plan. Also, my plan was going to go up about $10 per month.
I was furious.
My wife and I didn’t come close to using 4GB (we usually averaged 400 MB), but I didn’t like that the unlimited data plan was going away and that I was being charged more for what I considered to be less (plus the smart phone I had at the time sucked and I assumed a new phone would eat more data). For the first time in 6 years I started shopping around.
Also around this time, Google announced they were selling a completely unlocked phone called the Nexus 4 for $300 (no contracts). An unlocked smart phone with a perfect android experience that gets updates immediately directly from Google? That sounded perfect. But the phone was not compatible with Verizon. Yet another reason to start looking around.
I started calling companies that the Nexus 4 would work with. AT&T ended up being just as much as Verizon. My wife suggest calling T-Mobile but I hesitated. Even though Verizon has the best coverage nationally, I did not have a great signal in my house. I assumed that if Verizon gave me problems, T-Mobile would have absolutely no signal in my area. I looked up their coverage map and my house was in a dark green area (excellent coverage). Then I checked work…dark green again. Then I started looking at places we go to frequently…all dark green.
Not to belabor the point, we decided to give T-Mobile a shot and cancel if we had a bad experience. I am going to be honest, we almost did. Getting the right sim cards (mini) and an issue with the first payment time almost derailed the whole thing. Several days/hours on the phone with their customer support was like shoving nails in my eyes, but I powered through it. In the end, we settled on an unlimited everything plan (data, voice, text) and I am saving $90 per month.
The coverage has exceeded my best expectations. I always have a great signal in the places I am the most. I have also been traveling quite a bit for work and haven’t had any issues (unless I am in a basement or heavy concrete building). Also, instead of having a phone where I am always saying “I wish my phone did that”, the Nexus 4 is constantly surprising me with some useful thing it does in the background (like Google Now’s ability to automatically check flight status, traffic, and even hotel reservations).
I rarely experience situations where making switches like this ends up being dramatically better (there is almost always a compromise). By switching to T-Mobile and buying a Nexus phone I saved money, actually got better mobile performance, and was able to shove it to a company that I didn’t feel was treating me well. I have been using the service for 10 months and had no issues. Last week T-Mobile announced it was ending roaming charges internationally. Another move that tells me this company wants to be competitive and understands what is driving customers away from other mobile providers. I thought it was a good time to share my experience and offer my suggestion.
So that is my (completely not paid for or sponsored by) opinion, I hope it helps.