T-Mobile Ripoff

Oh my goodness! I’ve had a pre-pay T-Mobile account because Starbuck’s are so ubiquitous, but when I tried to log in right now it said my account has expired, even though I know I’ve hardly used it. Not that big a deal though, I can just refill it, check my email, post, and go along my merry way. So I start the refill process, and it wants $50. WTF? Let’s take a look at each of their plans to see what a ripoff it is:

  • Unlimited National — $29.99 a month. This looks like the best deal until you notice that it requires a 12-month contract, and has a $200 early termination fee. What a rip.
  • Unlimited National — $39.99 a month. This actually is the best deal, which is sad because this is how much I pay for my cell phone. They need to have something cheaper.
  • Prepay 300 — $50. This is the plan they wanted me to refill to. What a rip! Those three hundred minutes expire in 120 days if you don’t use them and the minimum session time is 10 minutes, so at most you could get on this thirty times before you’re out.
  • Pay as you go — 10 cents a minute. Okay finally we have something reasonable here, right? I can pop in and out, probably using under a dollar worth of minutes. Plus if I did end up using 300 minutes it would still be cheaper than their stupid prepay plan. But wait, it looks like there is a 60 minute minimum per session, which means every time you log on you would be paying $6.

These plans are ridiculous, and I’m going to take my WiFi card elsewhere. Or maybe I’ll stop in and try some of their very reasonably priced coffee. I feel strange saying this, but McDonald’s has the right idea. I would be happy to get a meal and some WiFi, or pay a reasonable $3 for an hour of access. Plus I assume that cash is an option, which is a plus. Of course there are some very good independent coffee houses around which I frequent, but unfortunately none of them are convenient to my next appointment, so I’m stuck without access. I guess it’s time to go war-driving and find some good nodes in the Montrose area.

I’m not trying to say that the above plans are wrong for everyone, just that for my planned usage of quick, infrequent stops here and there is no plan which I won’t pay out the nose for. I have come to the conclusion that T-Mobile is the devil though. Now I’m just going to head to my haircut, and then to the long-anticipated mid-term.

6 thoughts on “T-Mobile Ripoff

  1. I just bought here in Houston, Texas, a T-Mobil EasySpeak prepaid phone with 125 minutes included which expires on February 24, 2004. You wrote your comment on March 13, 2003, and today is December 30, 2003, where there have been some changes in T-Mobil service plans. Now when you purchase any prepaid card for $25 or more it will not expire for one year. I was informed by T-Mobil that if I add a $25 prepaid card to my account by December 31, 2003, the total minutes will not expire for one year.

    With EasySpeak I received a Nokia 3390 phone, it is not color, but it has good features like it can be set to vibrate, can be use for Internet, can download tunes and can set tunes to telephone numbers. It is not a picture phone, but look at the bright side, its used would not be banned in certain places because have being able to take pictures like what is happening to the use of picture phone in some places.

    The disadvantage of prepaid phone is that you don’t have unlimited nights and weekends, but you have a phone for important calls and emergency and don’t have to be concerned about monthly cell phone bills. T-Mobil prepaid has gotten better, for example, with a $100 prepaid T-mobile card you can get 665 minutes that doesn’t expire for one year. After spending $250 in prepaid cards you get what T-Mobil call Gold Rewards Whenever Minutes. For $10 you get 40 minutes, for $25 you get 150, for $50 you get 375, and for $100 you get 1000.

    If you need a cell phone to do a lot of talking then prepaid may not be for you, a service plan with monthly fees may best fit your needs.

    Best regards,


  2. T-mobile hot spots are expensive, but well worth it if you must have high speed net access while on the road. I pay $29.95 a month and it’s paid off in the amount of work I’ve been able to do away fom the office. Otherwise, I think it would just be an expensive luxury. Hot spot service is cheaper for T-Mobile phone users.

    T-Mobile easy speak seems ok for the low volume cell phone user. A must for those who might have to pay a large deposit for regular cell service. I’ve used their service when I need a number in a different area code to save my clients toll charges. It is good for business.

  3. Free nights, right? WRONG. T-Mobile would be an honest cellular provider if they advertised their “free nights” plans as “free LATE-nights”. While most normal people define “night” as when the sun goes down, T-Mobile’s skewed sen$e of reality says that nighttime doesn’t actually happen until 9pm.

    So beware — Don’t think you can start gabbing on your ride home from work, or even after supper — because you’ll end up with an enormous cellular bill!

  4. It’s been a while since the last reply and it appears the prepaid plan is a bit better. With an initial $100 prepaid T-mobile card you can now get 1000 minutes that doesn’t expire for one year. After spending $100 in prepaid cards you get what T-Mobil call Gold Rewards Whenever Minutes where any new refills have a 365 day expiration date and all unused minutes rollover as well to that new date. For $10 you get 50 minutes, for $25 you get 150, for $50 you get 460, and for $100 you get 1000. It’s best to spend the $100 initially for the best deal as well as future refills if you can afford it.

  5. This is right on, and T Mobile’s prepaid WIFI cards are even more of a ripoff. Why is it that connectivity is so expensive in the US? In Germany you would have a hard time finding a cell phone plan >40$, but here, in ripoff land, that is the norm. What we need it a consumer revolt!

  6. Yeah, I’ve stopped going to Starbucks entirely. There’s a smaller coffee house in town that has friendlier service and an open WAP. As far as T-Mobile goes, I think that cellular companies have the wrong idea about data and communications and they want to try to squeeze every last drop of blood out of a stone once they have their hands on it.