Cell Phones and Providers

Updated on November 03, 2009
J.L. asks from Gilbert, AZ
21 answers

Hi Mama's,
I have had T-Mobile service for about 6-7 years. I have purchased many (10+) phones thru them during this time frame. Most recently I bought a new phone for ~$100.00 to replace a phone I purchased just 6 months prior which went dead. I only had the new/replaced phone for 3 weeks when it mysteriously just stopped working. I took it the T-Mobile store and they discovered water/moisture inside the phone. Of course warranty does not cover such damage....The said I could purchase another phone for ~$100K only if I sign ANOTHER 2 year contract, otherwise the phone costs ~$250.

I'm getting sick of throwing money at T-Mobile. Does anyone have a magic solution of how to avoid having to continue signing 2 year contract extentions everytime you need to replace/purchase a phone?

There must be a way around this monopoly, but I don't know what it is. Thank you in advance for your suggestions/ideas.

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M.P.

answers from Phoenix on

I can't give you a way around buying a contract but I've had several service providers and have had Verizon for about 4 years now and COULDN'T BE HAPPIER!

They have great customer service and amazing coverage. No dropped calls.

Give them a try.

M.
p.s. Neither I nor anyone I know works for Verizon. I just really like them that much!

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V.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Look into Boost Mobile. They have no contract, just month to month. I believe it's $50/month but it's unlimited calls, internet, texting, etc.

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M.F.

answers from Phoenix on

Get insurance on the phone when you buy it. Not sure if T-Mobile has this option or not, but I know Sprint does. Insurance adds another $7 or so to your monthly bill, but they will replace your phone no matter what happens to it-ran it over in the driveway, dropped it and destroyed the screen, washed it in your jeans, anything!

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C.B.

answers from Albuquerque on

We have had AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, and without a doubt, we will stick with Verizon! LG phones are the best as far as we are concerned and Verizon has the BEST reception and largest area of coverage than ANYone! We have been getting a good deal with them for several years now. They have given us new phones at no charge 3 times, with No insurance!!! Also be sure to ask any carrier for a (Military, public servant, teacher, retiree, etc.) discount on any plan. Verizon offers MANY discounts, but do NOT advertise this! Best wishes! C.

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J.J.

answers from Phoenix on

I was with tmobile for 10years. I had the exact same problem. It was incredibly difficult for me to switch companies since I am loyal but I was so sick of purchasing phones through them that never lasted!!! I learned a trick though. I would call the customer service line and talk to a salesperson. I would ask for the prices for their best customers since I had been with them so long. they would say no and then I would ask for their supervisor. Ca-ching! they would give me a great discount!! I did this for 2 years. I eventually left because their phones really sucked. but you can't beat their customer service!

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K.G.

answers from Phoenix on

You can buy a phone off of ebay but you will not have the warrenty. The bonus is that you can shop around the carriers and find one you like without having to sign a long contract. We have been with Altell for years and now they are being bought out by Verizon and we are locked into our contracts and can't move. Verizon does not have a good reputation. My husband is looking into buying a phone on ebay and then we'll see where to go. Sprint is looking good right now. Good luck.

R.A.

answers from Phoenix on

I don't know if it is true, but I have heard if you make your phone purchase with your provider at 'Costco'....they have to honor the take it back/exchange policy. I'd check on this but I am lucky with my phones. Never having any problems. Verizon has my loyalty. Though I think I pay too much for service. Oh and you can make a request on Freecycle online, ask if anyone has a phone they no longer need which they purchased through TMoblile. I did have to replace my son's phone this way.

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S.W.

answers from Phoenix on

My husband works for a company that is a one-stop shop for ALL the major service providers, so you could switch from T-Mobile to Sprint, ATT etc. and get the phone for free or for very cheap, depending on the phone you choose -- you would still have to sign up for a 2-year contract because that's how all the service providers are set up now, but at least you'd save $$ on the hardware. The other option is to stay with your T-Mobile contract but renew and get a free phone with your renewal. You do have options. Buying directly from T-Mobile's kiosk at the mall, for example, is about the most expensive way to do it.

Our Co is kind of similar in concept to the travel agency -- instead of calling each airline directly to compare prices and services, the agency does all that for you, but you pay them nothing because the airlines pay them. Same sort of deal, and you can shop for whatever phone you want and whatever service contract you want -- they are all the same as what you would get in the store.

Just a thought. If you are interested, drop me a personal message.

S. W

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A.R.

answers from Albuquerque on

I have T-Mobile and their insurance sucks too. I called them and they will replace the phone for $90. HUH???? What's the point? Not all insurance is the same.

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C.P.

answers from Phoenix on

My sister and I both have t-mobile and have had this issue. So now we have been going to Costco when we have phone issues...At their Kiosk you can buy a pre-paid phone (well actually pretty much anywhere you can buy a t-mobile phone but Costco has had the best phones for the cheapest price) anywhooo....we just take our sim card out and move it into the new phone and voila..new phone..that usually costs me about $65 and T-mobile know's nothing else about it

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D.S.

answers from Phoenix on

J.,

I don't mind signing a contract with Verizon because their coverage is so good everywhere I go and the phones have been great. I always get the phone insurance because it is very inexpensive and well worth it. Hope this helps.

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L.R.

answers from Phoenix on

Hey J.,

I've had the same issues. I finally went to Target, bought a prepaid phone (or, pay as you go) for $20.00. You have to buy the Tmobile compatible phone. There's a couple more to choose from. There's one for 49.99 and one for something like 75.00. The best thing is...you open the box, put your sim card in the phone and you're done! No contracts to extend. Just a suggestion!

Good luck!

L.

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K.P.

answers from Phoenix on

Get the insurance when you buy the phone. It covers you for any damages and it only costs you $50.00 deductible with no contract for your phone to be replaced.

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M.C.

answers from Albuquerque on

My suggestion: drop T-Mobile. Everyone that I know who had their phone service through T-Mobile had a very similar problem. I'd personally suggest Verizon (now that Alltel and Verizon are combined you have service everywhere and don't have to worry about dropped calls. They have great service and they are good about getting you a new phone if you have a problem where your phone stops working correctly without giving you a lot of hassle). hope you have some better luck!

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J.H.

answers from Flagstaff on

We do prepaid Virgin Mobile phones for our family. They have camera phones, phones with keypads and plain old phones. You can get them at Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and other stores or you can go online and order it. You can have it automatically deducted from your bank account or you can pay it monthly by topping up that can be done online or you can purchase more minutes at Circle K or any of the stores I mentioned above. They have all sorts of affordable plans that include texting and other options. You are never locked into a 2 year agreement with them. We have had them for about 2 years now and haven't had any problems with our phones.

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I.R.

answers from Tucson on

You don't have to purchase a phone from them everytime you need a new one. You can look around on your local Craigslist site or even Ebay and get a phone for much cheaper. Then when your contract is up you can just drop them if you want. I'm a member of Freecyle here in my city and sometimes people are giving away phones or you can even ask for one and may get lucky. It's a great site!

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R.S.

answers from Tucson on

J.,
You can go online to Craigslist or ebay and buy a phone. You just need to put your SIM card from your old phone into the new one. They will do it for you at T-Mobile. Another option is to buy a pay as you go T-Mobile phone at Target for $20 and put your sim card in that phone. You do not need to sign another contract. If you do buy another phone directly from T-Mobile you may want to buy insurance since you are having so many problems with phones.
good luck.

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M.B.

answers from Albuquerque on

J.,

Really the only way around it is to buy the phone at full price. Its awful to have to spend that much on a new phone. I would also suggest getting insurance on the phone. This way you if it is something that the warrenty will not cover at least you can replace the phone.

Good luck!
M.

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D.D.

answers from Phoenix on

We had Sprint and the insurance, my husbands phone needed to be replaced and it still cost 50 dollars to get the replacement and it was a rebfurb. Sprint has very poor phone customer service. Not sure if customer service is really better anywhere else. We have Verizon now but only for about 5 months so no real experience to report on. Good Luck.

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A.E.

answers from Phoenix on

I understand. I would say buy it off of craigslist or get a T-mobile on the go phone. The only con is that it is not cover under the insurance but my phones always last and I rarely have any problems with them.

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K.K.

answers from Albuquerque on

I agree with the advice of buying one off of ebay. That is what I am in the process of doing.

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