New Client of the Regulatory State Expects Results

by on April 16, 2012 · 122 comments

When the federal government torpedoed the AT&T/T-Mobile USA merger in December pursuant to the current administration’s commitment to “reinvigorate antitrust enforcement,” it created a new client in search of official protection and favors.

It was clear there is no way T-Mobile – which lost 802,000 contract customers in the fourth quarter – is capable of becoming a significant competitor in the near future.  T-Mobile doesn’t have the capital or rights to the necessary electromagnetic spectrum to build an advanced fourth-generation wireless broadband network of its own.

T-Mobile’s parent, Deutsche Telekom AG, has been losing money in Europe and expected its American affiliate to become self-reliant.  In 2008, T-Mobile sat out the last major auction for spectrum the company needs.

The company received cash and spectrum worth $4 billion from AT&T when the merger fell apart, from which T-Mobile plans to spend only $1.4 billion this year and next on the construction of a limited 4G network in the U.S.  But it must acquire additional capital and spectrum to become a viable competitor.

Unfortunately, every wireless service provider requires additional spectrum. “[P]rojected growth in data traffic can be achieved only by making more spectrum available for wireless use,” according to the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.  Congress recently gave the FCC new authority to auction more spectrum, but it failed – in the words of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski – to “eliminate traditional FCC tools for setting terms for participation in auctions.”

Everyone fears it will take the FCC years to successfully conduct the next round of auctions while it fiddles “in the public interest.”  That’s why Verizon Wireless is seeking to acquire airwaves from a consortium of cable companies, and why T-Mobile will do anything to stop it.

T-Mobile previously looked into buying the spectrum for itself, but it didn’t happen.  If regulators can be persuaded to block the Verizon Wireless from acquiring it, that would reduce the market value of the spectrum and create an opening for T-Mobile to acquire it at a significant savings.

When government intervenes to protect an underdog, it diminishes the rewards for success and the penalties for failure that drive competition and innovation.

In this case, T-Mobile is arguing that (1) spectrum is not created equal, (2) Verizon Wireless has acquired more than its “fair” share of the most valuable frequencies, (3) Verizon Wireless is acting with anticompetitive animus to foreclose T-Mobile’s access to a critical input, i.e., low-frequency spectrum, which (4) Verizon Wireless itself does not need but intends to “warehouse.”

The argument that Verizon Wireless has ended up with valuable frequencies while T-Mobile has not does not stand up to close scrutiny.  The FCC has wisely declined to take this bait in the past.

Although it is true that it takes fewer towers or cell sites to serve a geographical area at a lower frequency, superior coverage counts for less in urban areas where heavier demand requires more towers to boost capacity.  In higher population densities, low and high frequencies offer almost equivalent performance, according to Peter Rysavy.  Operating in the higher frequencies in congested areas, as T-Mobile does, if anything, provides a competitive advantage, because those frequencies have a lower market value and therefore cost less to acquire.

Verizon Wireless does require additional spectrum, just like every other wireless provider.  The issue here is simply who is more “deserving” of spectrum that is available for purchase now on a secondary market while the rest of the industry waits for the FCC to play its political games.  No one is suggesting that any entity has more spectrum than needed to accommodate rapidly increasing demand for wireless services.

The contention that Verizon Wireless plans to warehouse the spectrum it seeks to purchase ignores the fact that the FCC imposes performance requirements on licensees.  There are buildout deadlines, plus the necessity to demonstrate that substantial service was provided in order to win a license renewal every ten years or so.

When the Department of Justice and the FCC prevented AT&T from acquiring T-Mobile last year, they apparently thought they were promoting competition.  But government efforts to enhance competition, accelerate private investment or attract new entrants almost always have unintended consequences.

The principle of moral hazard posits that if the cost of failure will be borne by someone else, those who are in the best position to minimize risk will have little incentive to do so.  When government partners with private companies, it often ends in bankruptcy.  As a nation, we depend on businesspeople to manage firms with skill and foresight, not on taxpayers to bail them out.

If T-Mobile can’t make it on its own, which seems more likely than not, the FCC and DOJ have merely laid the foundation for a vicious cycle of regulatory battles, of which Verizon Wireless/SpectrumCo/Cox Wireless transaction is just the beginning.  One suspects the agencies have signed on a high-maintenance client.

  • Conniestar84

    Theyre losing customers because they keep screwing us over. They keep changing policies to squeeze more $ out of us loyal customers. Want to pay them more per month? CONTRACT EXTENTION 2 YR MINIMUM! Want to pay less – in a bind? Hardship? 2 YR CONTRACT EXTENTION- Tell you things are removed from your bill then they arent. Raise prices and dont give notice (as required by FCC regulations) –and NO iphone! —so gee, why WOULD i stay ??

  • lakeconroeangel

    The customer service of T-Mobile has gone down hill and I would not be able to recommend them to anyone.  They have gone the way of Verizon.

  • Reader

    This was a tremendously written article.
    I left TMobile simply because of their inability to offer me the iPhone.

  • Bloggerfeedback

    Sounds more like right-wing political editorial dressed up as a business article. Research Discovery Institute.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002346158837 Buster Keaton

    After being with them for over eight years, they will lose me in August because of their unconscionable greed. I no longer needed a third line, which they refused to cancel until the end of the contract. So, they felt that an extra $60 from me is better business than keeping me as a long time customer.

  • Anonymous

    Judging by the reasons given below from actual, former customers, I’d say the writer did a pretty fair analysis.  “Inability to offer iPhone.”  “customer service…has gone down hill”  “changing policies to squeeze out more money.”  Fact is, it takes money to remain competitive.  It costs them royalty payments to offer the iPhone.  It seems like they are cutting staff, leading to the decline of customer service and changing policies so they can garner more capital just for sustainment.  The truth is, the left either doesn’t understand the consequences of their actions or are content in destroying American business.  Being in the technology field I have witnessed this first hand, being part of a company that went from 10,000 employees to just under 4,000 in less than 2 years due to unnecessary regulations imposed by the current administration.  And yes, I am one of the 6000+ unfortunate souls.  I’ve watched as badly needed funds for R&D were pulled to implement the required regulations.  With the Democrats possessing a super-majority in Congress and controlling the White House, the right was powerless to stop them.  The left can blame all they want but some of us are smart enough to see the real culprit.  Democrats are killing the economy.  The real problem is, though, that most Americans are oblivious unless it happens in the amount of time it takes to get through the drive-thru at McDonald’s.

  • Trevtnyc

    Whatever, it was AT&T trying to acquire your company’s greed and thinking they could just waltz in and takeover that did them in, not Dems.  I was a loyal T-Mobile customer for years until this move and their lack of service in the Midwest, no way was I going to be a slave to AT&T’s shitty service!

  • oxygen thief

    maybe T-Mobile just sucks

  • Eric

    Mr. Haney misstates several things, here, and seemingly represents Verizon. 

    For the market place to work, there has to be competition. If some players become too dominant, the market begins to fail as they extend their oligopoly. America needs more than two dominant cell phone providers, one each for the two primary technologies, CDMA and GSM. It is harming the market and consumers, including the vast majority of small businesses.

    Right now, ATT and Verizon (formerly parts of the monopoly Ma Bell) collude on a number of fronts. There is inadequate competition in the wireless provider market. There is a role for government in protecting this markets, for being a referee, and for managing spectrum which ultimately belongs to all of us.

    Eric Dolson

  • Guest

    I used to love T-Mobile. However, over the past year they have become HORRIBLE. Most of my phone calls are not coming through and I have to power my phone off than back on just to get my text messages. My dad showed me where he called me several times, and not one time did i get the call. Their phones are no where near  worth what they are selling them for. I can go on and on. As soon as I am financially able, I will be switching to Verizon. Yes, they are higher, but have better service and phones!!! I do not predict TMobile being in business much longer. They have already closed down 7 call centers

  • Passive Observer

    So now it’s the government’s fault that T-Mobile doesn’t offer the iPhone?  It’s government’s fault that T-Mobile’s customer service sucks?  It’s government’s fault that T-Mobile is expensive and engages in shifty contract legalese?  Cuz those are the actual reasons people are listing here for quitting T-Mobile.   I don’t see anyone quitting T-Mobile because they don’t have enough spectrum, which was the author’s argument. So I don’t see how the article reflects what “actual, former customers” are actually saying.

  • NadaHobo

    I’m leaving T-mobile because of the poor customer service, poor cellular service, and unscrupulous business practices.  I think they all thought they were losing their jobs when there was talks of merger with AT&T, which negatively impacted their customer service. Frankly, they treated me like I was a hobo asking for a hand out every time I called to complain about lack of service, over billing, and the bald faced lies about their products (was given a 2G sims card and told it was 3G).  T-Mobile should consider a change of management along with a change of name, but even that may not save them at this point.

    The article was well written, but lacking insight of the future of telecommunication. A new business model is on the horizon and it goes by the name Republic Wireless. The new frontier of cellular bandwidth that is being discovered is located in many peoples homes now.  Republic Wireless is attempting to build a network utilizing their customers wi-fi for voip using Sprint for roaming. I have high hopes for this new business model and will be watching it as it goes into beta this summer, but then I had high hopes in driving a hover car in the 70′s and am still waiting for them to become affordable.

  • http://twitter.com/Kush_x_Gambino Kushtopher D. Thomas

    What ” Super Majority” ?

  • Guest

    T-Mobile is the best carrier for no-contract phones, perhaps they should aim to become dominant in that market.

  • Jtaylor821

    I was dumb enough to purchase the T-Mobile Internet Access stick for my laptop last fall after reviewing their data coverage map and promises of super fast access speed.  As I traveled the country, there was absolutely no service in many states and slower than a snail in many more.  When I called them to complain they told me it was my fault for not entering a specific address to see if coverage was available there. They would not explain to me why they produced a data coverage map showing service in the areas I was complaining about.  To make a long story short, they refused to cancel my contract and have now turned me over to a credit collector as I told them where they could shove their contract.  T-Mobile going out of business?  Non to soon from my perspective. 

  • guest

    Tmobile took it upon themselves to remove my grandson’s unlimited texting then sent me a $2800 bill. Then they removed my loyalty plan for unlimited data for $20 a month and put on a $30 plan without asking me. I paid for parental controls for months that never worked. I started out with my grandson’s phone blocked from using the internet only to have them remove the block 2 years later then charge me a huge fee for overages on it then tell me they’ve never had a web block before. then they sent my grandson a text msg to have him click on a link to open up his use of the web again after we’d had it restricted again. When we added the 3rd line my corp acct allowed me to have the activation fee waived. At the same time there was an internet special that said there was no activation fee. Guess what? They charged me a $35 activation fee. Now, 3 months later they say they’ve removed it and keep promising that “next cycle” is when I will see the credit. In the meantime I keep paying each month but they don’t give the money back.Then when we were having financial issues and wanted to downgrade our plan to the 49.99 a month unlimited to save some money, they told us that in order to do that we’d have to pay $150 fee per line to do it.  And that would be on top of the $200 ETF’s per line.

  • Kellyrucker

    The ironic fact to the demise of T-Mobile is the extreme greed of it’s own cutomer base. Everyone wants it all for free and a business simply can’t be profitable enought to stay in buisness by giving phones and services away. Nothing in the world like being disrespected and abused by a customer who has exceeded his minutes and proceeds to blame it on the CSR trying to help! Wake up and smell the truth!

  • Churchill1000

    I have not had my prices raised without notification. As for no iPhone, I purchase a phone to talk on–period. The iPhone is the new toy, and everybody except yours truly feels that he or she must have it.

  • WhocaresboutTmobileanymore

    maybe you should know a bit more about your government. Your Repubs are the majority in Congress, Boehner ring a bell? Dems only control Senate. Plus, T-Mobile failed its customers with bright lights and bad representation of itself. No one to blame here but your old co-workers and superiors. T-Mobile always sucked to me, even when I worked for them. T-Mobile will tank further and further because of missteps and . I dont think even the iPhone can help. I wish Deustche Telecom just give up in the US market and rid theirselves of T-Mobiles issues. 

  • FurtherFromTheTruth

    No Kelly, T-Mobile and all the cell phone companies are greedy, T-Mobiles issue was that they Promised all these things for their customers and then, according to everypost on here, started charging for things they promised were free or discounted. Seems like T-Mobile just didnt stand by its own wording is the reason behind their demise. At least notify your customers on what the hell rate increase or new fee Tmobile is going to charge. Seems like a lot of people on here get dupped into unexpected fees and rate increases without notification. The truth is, Tmobile sucks, and a little under a million folks left last quarter because of that. I can bet that not 100% of them left because of no iphone, but because they were tired of the bull’ish practices from the company as a whole. Unfortunately, their seems to not be an end to the bottom of bad practices Tmobile has in place. Maybe a name change is a good thing or divest what they have and get all the money they can to the parent company, and leave the American market to the other greedy companies, that do tell their millions of customers that they are raising rates and increasing fees. 

  • Newsworthy44

    Cell phone companies are rapeing in hugh profits so don’t think for one minute (Oh..need to add a charge for that) that TMobile is not greedy.  The comments most have published are in line with what we experienced with them after years of loyalty.  The taxes the government gets for overpriced cell service is just downright greedy.

  • Anonymous

    Is this a nom de plume for Grover Norquist or is there really a Hance Haney? “Fiddling in the public interest”… Classic.

  • Dolphinfreedom2004

    Almost 6 months ago I switched from Sprint to T-Mobile. BIG MISTAKE!
    I was given incorrect information on the kicker that swayed my decision to switch cell phone service providers. The main issue that fueled my frustration & anger against T-Mobile is: I was told that b-cuz of who I was employed with- I would receive a substantial discount on all  services for the length of my 2 yr contract (received this in writing also). Needless to say after 4 months of numerous phone calls to T-Mobile Customer Care – inquiring about where this wonderful discount was on my statement, I was finally told that NO discount exsisted nor has it ever. I was told that I would need to write a letter requesting my contract be terminated & why I was making this request. I then wrote my letter (not once but 2 seperate times) requesting th termination of my contract & asking they waive the ETF (Early Termination Fee) due to the fact that I signed up for this service under false beliefs as to the discount I would be receiving on all services.I immediately wrote up my request &sent it to the 3 contact address I was given. I called several times after 2 weeks had passed & I had heard nothing. I was simply asking about the processing time line on such request’s decision. On the 21st business day after sending the 1st letter, I was informed:  they had not received any such request. I verified the fax # & email address & mailing address – I had them ALL correct! I asked for a contact phone # & was told “that department” did not have a direct line. So I played along & sent the 2nd letter to all three contacts,This time I waited only 4 business days to call to verify that my request had been received (as I was told i would receive a decision in 14 business days from the day it was sent after being contacted by someone from “that department”).  Nobody contacted me & I finally received a denial notice in the mail 23 business days after they received my request.
    Sad to say but this doesn’t even address the bogus charges that “will be credited on the next statement” issues, the phone being replaced 3 times so far &I was charged the $5.95 S& H  to have T-Mobile send me a replacement  phone when the problem was a glitch with this model of Samsung touch screen phone

    I am researching other ways of taking care of this issue & have several complaints being prepared to be filed with the Better Business Bureau offices across the United States not to mention other officials that hold the proverbial air valve for T-Mobile.
    I will go to all lengths to protect my rights as a consumer & try to protect some other unknowing human being to fall into the pits of lies & deception this company seems to be relying on to stay in business. 

  • Kokshuvdinyermomzazzwhole

    T-mobile should be castrated and their cots shuvd in their mouths and sewn shut! Those neeeeaky cork soakers! 

  • KundtLuvvinKoksukir

    Someone needs to bend T-Mobile over and shuv a metal pipe right up their AZZWHOLE! 
    Those kundts ripped us all off for years! 

  • Al Allen

    Bunch of whiners, rookie posters. Here in Hawaii I’ve had nothing but stellar service from them. I finally switched from a 1,000 minute plan to monthly for my new smart phone. $62 a month, 2gb fast, up to 5gb slower, works for me. Local rep was awesome on my conversion. I am fully satisfied with their service. No way was I going to AT&T or other blood sucking companies. I like the underdog and wish them all the best in the coming years.

  • Driveless

    I live in the middle of Los Angeles and have better phone service with T-mobile when I go to Germany. 

  • Brownstone706

    Uh…….wow, what a bunch of whiny and off-base
    comments.  First, this was an excellent
    article.  Contrary to what many of the
    comments suggest, the information presented does not appear to favor any
    particular political leaning.  It
    presents the facts in a fair and unbiased manner.  The message being communicated is that the
    survival/failure of any business in the United States should be based on the laws
    of capitalism, not on government intervention. 
    Plain and simple.

  • Kfighter4u

    I agree. But I disagree with the noted distaste for T-Mobile feeling they are being unjustly represented. I’ve been with them since 2005 and have excellent service as well as fast, up to date technology. But maybe that’s just here in Tulsa, OK. I’m able to switch my plan at anytime (given the plan stays within my 2 year agreement), can add or discontinue extras such as wireless, protection plans, etc. at any time, and still pay less for my line than if I’d switch to another provider. Don’t get me wrong, every 2 years I start shopping for better deals but have always found T-Mobile a keeper. I often feel convience is starting to change the way consumers think. If you sign a contract, read and understand your contract. When  your agreement is at an end, simply stated, your agreement is at an end. It’s not up to your service provider to tell you this. Most will do so as a convience, and to build customer relations, but are in no way obligated to do so. I personally have never felt Cingular or Sprint or AT&T were that great. They offered different phones and cost more. It’s in my opion that T-Mobile has to be doing something right to even have customers in the first place. How many people have iPhones? If you don’t, but would like to, than you will need to go to a provider other than T-Mobile who will be more than happy to lock you into a contract. If you do have an iPhone, who much do you pay per month? Per line? Can you change anything? Is your service that much better than a competitors? Or can you even tell since your iPhone died already. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an iPhone fan and absolutely love my current SmartPhone. But the facts are there. I always have fast service, an internet connection that blows the buttons off my wife’s blackberry and a very affordable plan. Though I do wish they offered iPhones.

  • Anonymous

    Simple Mobile is the reason.

    Same network, no pretense of customer service, cheaper plans.

  • Jayman

    you can use an iphone….at&t works on the same network as we do…so in turn put your sim card into an iphone!!!! brilliant idea!

  • Anonymous

    We left T-Mobile because they didn’t have cell phone coverage in some of the areas where we needed it – 18 miles around the town my dad lived in in Illinois, no coverage at all, not even roaming for other companies’ towers. No coverage at a stepson’s house in western MN (not even roaming), no coverage on most of our trip to Texas. If a company doesn’t have cell phone coverage in places that I need it, why should I keep giving them my money? I’m paying to be able to use that cell phone for something other than a paperweight or a decoration.

  • John Cozen

    I too tried a T-Mobile stick on the Island of Oahu and in a few places on the mainland.  It worked GREAT every place I had a high speed or Ethernet connection coming out of the wall.  Translation – the performance of the stick sucked!  I bit the bullet and paid the early termination fee.

    Given my work is IT focused it is nice to get away from the net.  I think I’m going to keep the $50 per month for 4G in my pocket.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FOC22ASOR22OMA5U2ACKXG3CCA ew

    I use TMobile, and only for one reason.  Where I live they have the best coverage of all the carriers.  Otherwise they’re like one electric company vs another.  Same product, similar price and service, not much to choose among them.  

  • Anonymous

    After years of good service, T-Mobile charged me a $10 late fee for refusing to pay for ringtones I never ordered.  Also, I have been waiting since December for the $50 rebate they promised when I bought my last phone.  They are nickel and diming their customers and they will soon be out of business.

  • Pede93063

    Personally I did not have problems with AT&T and I have no problems with TMobile. TMobile’s been my cell phone operator for total at least 8 years. Who needs iphone when there is Galaxy?

  • najo

    How does a GOP controlled House create a Democrat supermajority in Congress? The reality on our economy is 10 years before Obama, Clinton gave in on deregulation of banks and Wall Steet and signed NAFTA. Then when Bush junior took office his tax cuts, wars and excessive spending created a massive economic ditch we are barely starting to get out of. You can’t cut taxes and up government spending at the same time, which was what he did. The Democrats only had control till the mid-term elections. Since then we have been in Federal gridlock as the GOP say no to anything the Senate or Obama tries to pass through the House. Since our recession has receeded some, and nothing has gotten done since the GOP started blocking after NOV, that means the stuff the Dems could do before has worked. It took 10 years of bad GOP policies to create the recession, and Obama has only had 2 years to implement fixes to it until he got blocked. The economy would have recovered faster if it got more stimulus and the tax breaks were leveled out, which would get more money circulating and bring debt down. The only reason the GOP exists today is to make the 1% more rich at the expense of everyone else. All the moderate GOP went across the isle or became independants. GOP is like the kings of old, delcaring eveything in the name of God but really using people’s navity to get themselves rich and powerful. Open your eyes. Obama and the dems are trying to stop this, the GOP is the problem.

  • Kdfja

     I changed from T-Mobile to AT&T three days in to my new months billing cycle.  Since I was porting my number over (as opposed to cancelling), they charged me the full amount for the whole month.  I called them, and they absolutely refused to prorate anything.T-Mobile is sh*t and I will never use them again.

  • Boshk13

    why would you want a phone that doesnt let you do anything except what they tell you you can do with it? apple is junk.

  • Myemail

    I’ve had TMo for over 6 years and no problems.  I live in the LA area and get awesome 3G data speeds.  I’ve tried others such as Sprint and Verizon by way of company issued phones and nationally, Verizon has great coverage but Sprint does not.  I have no complaints with TMo though because the plan prices they offer have been much more affordable than Verizon or ATT.  I think TMo is solid for my experience and where I am.  I also suspect that many of these upset people are going to be equally upset with any company given the scenarios they describe… not just TMo.

  • Samiam888

    Except, of course, that that message most certainly DOES have a particular political leaning.

    (And unfettered / unregulated capitalism as a viable control set for the marketplace has also been debunked, thoroughly…) 

                        –Samiam–

  • Dov Todd

    I can’t speak as to Tmobile. But in all fairness, AT&T isn’t a saint either. I did have one problem with AT&T. I wanted an Internet connection, and AT&T insisted I had to pay for a landline if I wanted access to the Internet. So I paid for it. But I never used the landline the entire three years, while I used the access to the Internet daily. When I moved, at the new town 5 miles away, AT&T did not serve that area. They told me to switch to Sprint. I switched to a different company there (not Sprint, I can’t remember the name of it as I’m typing this, this was 5 years ago and I’m living in a different state now), but they allowed me to pay for Internet access without paying for a landline. So, that is one negative experience that I associate with AT&T. Why did AT&T require me to pay for a landline if I didn’t need it, if I was able to arrange for Internet access without a landline with a different company? I read an article some time back that said the reason is that the telephone companies make most of their profits on landlines, and they lose money when we make telephone calls over the Internet, which is what I do. 

    My telephone number is attached to my email address, not to my residential address. My telephone number is free for me, in a sense. I am deaf, and I use a telephone number assigned to me but which is owned by an online telephone relay service of my choice with hearing telephone relay operators, and the federal government pays them for operator services to make my telephone calls possible with hearing people; legally only deaf people can apply for such telephone numbers, and it is the existence of such telephone numbers that allows deaf people like me to be able to use 911 in an emergency, because I must register my residential address with the relay service to be able to get a telephone number. Telephone calls over the Internet are therefore free for me. (Obviously, as U.S. taxpayer, I still pay for it, just in a more indirect manner.)

  • Anonymous

    I have had T Mobile since 2003. I have had great coverage, not only in Southwest Florida where I live, but everywhere I have travelled. I also have lived in Dallas, TX. and SoCal and had great service. 4-5 bars.

    Initially, I had the usual 2 year contract. Once that expired, I NEVER allowed them to get me into another contract. I buy my phones used off Ebay or Craigslist.

    I see all you whiners crying the blues. Mostly because you signed a contract. LIVE WITH IT. You sissies blame EVERYONE but yourselves. Because I have NO CONTRACT, T-Mobile treats me like gold. ie: In 2009, they called ME, and said because I was a good customer, paid my bill on time and was a long time customer, that they wanted to offer me their Customer LOYALTY plan. It is $40.00 per month, ALL YOU CAN EAT (AYCE) with free long distance and roaming. IF I want to upgrade to add AYCE texting and Internet, I can do that for an extra $10.00. Total of $50.00 a month. And, if i addd a second line, it is month to month, NO CONTRACT.

    You sissies sound like those Occupy Wall Street flunkies. Blaming your misery on EVERYONE else but yourselves. To the commenter here who have switched to ATT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc. I want to wish you GOOD LUCK!!! LOL! You are going to need it. If you think that T-Mobile has bad service, wait until you have to call THEM!!! LOL!!!! Let me clue you. There are NO wireless carriers that have good Customer Service. They ALL treat their customers like the locked in flunkies that they are. It’s YOUR fault for playing their game. DO NOT get and cheap or free phones from them in return for a NEW contract. If/when you do, you DESERVE all the whining that you will have. WAAA! WAAA! WAAA! Versizon stinks. WAAA! ATT&T stinks. LOL! No, YOU stink. Get a grip people. Stop being a victim all your life.

  • Charronegro1971

    not to play devil’s advocate but if u think verizon, at&t or sprint won’t charge u an early termination fee for cancelling a contracted line before the contract actually expires, ur an idiot. a contract is a contract regardless or tenure. 

  • bob

    Every cellular provider has its ups and downs. T-Mobile is the least expensive major US carrier. If you want to spend more for your cell phone, do it. If you want the Iphone ( overpriced for 2 yr old hardware) you can use it unlocked on T-mobile and the monthly savings will more than pay for it unlocked and unsubsidised direct from apple. Although for now it will be only 2g web.

    Every cellular provider has a few crappy reps or a few call center employees having a bad day.

    Verizon is overly expensive, Sprint has slower internet speeds, AT&T is both. If you have money to burn or have poor coverage from T-Mobile than by all means go somewhere else.

    If you would like to keep some money in your pocket, arent an Apple-zombie (phone preference is like religion and politics, tough to argue) then T-Mobile is the the best bet.

    I, my family and friends have had 0 billing issues with TM over my last 10 years with them. My Samsing Galaxy s2 makes the Iphone seam slow, small, overpriced and just plain outdated in its current design (which is all painfully true, just don’t tell the Apple fans)

  • Antonio Nihash

    I had T-Mobile for 9 years.   I was happy with the service, I had no contract, I was never late on paying my bill and was loyal to them.   Last year, after hearing about the merger with ATT,  I made a decison to switch my service to ATT.  I went into a T-Mobile store, cancelled my service, switched my phone number and told them thank for serving my wireless needs for years.   A month later I get a bill for one months service,  when I went into the store to questions this charge, I was told that I  NEVER cancelled the service.   I asked them doesn’t transfering  my phone number to another provider closes my account?  I was told NO!    I talked to  5 different people in customer service to no avail.    I ended up paying a one month service fee for nothing to protect my 805 FICO score.  IF T-MOBILE WAS THE ONLY WIRELESS PROVIDER IN THE USA,  I WOULD NOT HAVE A WIRELESS PHONE.    T-Mobile and its employees are ALL crooks!     They are getting what they deserve.   Good luck!

  • Guest

    The previous poster mentions that “T-Mobile is the least expensive major US carrier.” While that may be true when only considering “major” US cell providers, there is new company emerging called “Republic Wireless” that is by far the lowest cost cell phone provider using all possible metrics of comparison. I believe this new company will radically change the cell phone market. They are introducing a new concept called “hybrid calling”. Hybrid calling combines Voice Over IP on a cell phone connected to a wireless internet connection with traditional cell phone service. By routing the majority of their data over inexpensive internet connections they are able to limit the amount of expensive cellular bandwidth they have to purchase and dramatically reduce the cost of the service they provide. Republic Wireless is offering unlimited voice, data, and text for only $19/month. The cellular service Republic wireless provides is over Sprint’s cell network, via a partnership they have together. The service is currently only available to Beta testers but will probably be opening to the larger public sometime in the next year. I have had excellent service with Verizon for the past 8 years but I have already signed up to join Republic Wireless this coming summer as a beta tester because it will significantly reduce my monthly cell phone bill. This service may not be for everyone, as you have to have access to wireless networks to perform the majority of your calling (the business model is defeated if you place all of your calls over cellular networks). However, for many users, like me, who make most of their calls at locations such as home and work where you have access to wireless internet connections, this model works just fine and provides massive savings on your monthly cell phone bill. Given the sales pitch I am making here, many of you may think I have a personal connection to this business. I do not. I am just extremely excited about this new business concept and want to see these guys become successful. I am worried that this business could become such a threat to big cell that once they get wind of it they will try to inhibit its success. Hopefully, by spreading the word about this great new idea more people will jump on board and make this company a success. Check out the company yourself by searching for “Republic Wireless”.

  • Traveler

    Who cares. A phone should be for making calls. T-Mobile got rid of the good plans and service, Verizon is known for bad customer service, and AT&T has sucked since Cellular One took them over and then changed the name back to AT&T.

  • Sunshynsue

    I was also with them for 8 years and after problems with wanting to change my service to their 49 month rate and I could not unless I paid a 200 fee.  I dropped them and now have a prepaid for 40 a month with Simple Mobile and screw them and the 1000.00 they say I owe them Whatever!

  • Sunshynsue

     I purchase a hot spot which later found out that I didn’t need because my cell phone is a hot spot and I also travelled and guess what… no service the whole time I was in North Carolina. I tried to cancel it but they said I couldn’t unless I paid a 200 fee. well 5 months later. I dropped them and they can kiss my you know what for that cancellation fee.  They have gone so down hill with customer service. They SUCK!

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