The Truth: T-Mobile And Their No Contract iPhones


With all the recent hype re regarding T-Mobile and their ETF’s (Early Termination Fees) and no contract plans it seems that T-Mobile is the best way to go. They now claim to have the fastest network, even over our existing friend Verizon. In addition they are also claiming no contracts for users who switch over to their plan. Of course everything sounds good, and I don’t care who you are there is always some underlining truth that may apply when you switch.

I am here to break it down for you



See that nice small text that is hard to read at the bottom of T-Mobiles website… yeah that should always be the first thing you read. Let’s break it down

Data usage varies by device; mobile internet devices may use more data for email and applications.

This is simple, they are just saying that when you are using your phone that some applications may use more data than others. For instance if you love Vine, be prepared to use a TON of data.

Calculations of data usage are estimates only; actual amount of data used may vary significantly.

Basically what you see on your current usage section of your account may not actually be the amount you are using. It could go up, it could go down. Be mindful if you have a limited plan and need to stay under a certain amount of bandwidth. It’s like every electrician says “Pull more cable than less, you are safer that way”. Here it is the opposite. Stay more under that over, or just basically give your self some buffer room.

Capable device required for 4G speeds.

Simple: If you want 4g speeds get a 4g capable phone, don’t expect fast speeds with their free phones.

Limited time offers; subject to change.

They can change their minds anytime they want. Keep track of their policy changes which like everyone else are hard to read and impossible to find.

Taxes and fees additional.

Whenever a company quotes you are price, they never tell you about the taxes and fees. Always ask your salesman exactly what the total amount is with taxes and fees.

Unlimited talk and text features for direct U.S.??communications between 2 people.

If you are not in the US when using your phone, do not expect the same rate. If you travel keep this in mind. The second part of communication between 2 people is kind of vague. Could this mean on the same network only? out of network? What about text messages from other companies that send you those cool status updates on your account like AMEX.

General Terms: At participating locations. Domestic only. Credit approval, deposit, and $10 SIM starter kit may be required.

Blah Blah Blah, you may pay an additional $10 for a SIM card

If you switch plans you may be bound by existing term (including early termination provisions) and/or charged an up to $200 fee.

T-Mobile is not going to pay your early termination fee if you leave them for sure, so do not expect to get a free ride from them.

Wait! I thought there were no contracts, it is true but only if you are not going to have them pay off your ETF’s. If you have them pay them, then they are going to put you in a contact.

Regulatory Programs Fee of $1.61 per line/month applies.

I actually could not find out what this charge was, I called T-Mobile customer service and guess what? The rep couldn’t even tell me what it was…Awesome!

Taxes approx. 6-28% of bill.

28% of bill????

Partial megabytes rounded up.

This one sucks big time. You know how many megabytes you use? A TON! rounding each one up is lame IMO.

Full speeds available up to monthly allotment; then slowed to up to 2G speeds for rest of billing cycle.

Can we say at&t?

Roaming and on-network data allotments differ; 500 MB full-speed plan includes 10 MB roaming; 2.5 GB and Unlimited 4G full-speed plans include 50 MB roaming.

TBH 10 MB roaming is NOTHING! you will blow through that in a second. What happened to free roaming?

Unlimited Intl Talk & Text: International calling from U.S. to landlines in over 50 countries and texting to any mobile in over 200 countries.?See for lists of countries.

Very cool, but it’s only when you are calling from the US to a land line over seas so be careful. Here is a list of those countries.

Qualifying service with unlimited domestic messaging and unlimited domestic calling required for each line.

Make sure you actually get the unlimited service for both talk and text. I’m sure they are nice enough to include it with the plan, but you may want to make sure.

Calls and text messages must originate on T-Mobiles U.S. network; otherwise standard international roaming rates apply.

Kind of a tricky one, if you are not on a T-Mobile tower then you are going to be charged standard international rates. Which means if you are ever seas you are mosy likley not going to be on their network when using your phone. Guess how many towers they have overseas?

One – check it out here

Text messaging applies to mobile phones only; other types of messages (e.g., picture messages) are charged per message.

Want to send a picture over text? Unless you are unlimited text and web you are going to pay for it.

International calling decrements plan minutes (overage rates apply). T-Mobile may change countries at its discretion. Discounted rates to additional countries subject to change.

Great so you can visit a country that T-Mobile says is covered under their plan and they can change their mind at anytime and charge you for it.

Smartphone Mobile Hotspot (Tethering/Wi-Fi Sharing): Qualifying service required. Plan data allotment applies; Unlimited 4G data includes 2.5 GB of tethering.

If you are going to tether, its not unlimited so you have been warned. You are going to pay for anything over 2.5 GB

Roaming and on-network data allotments differ: 500 MB full-speed plan includes 10 MB roaming; 2.5 GB and Unlimited 4G full-speed plans include 50 MB roaming.

Roaming for data? Didn’t even know that. 10 MB is nothing BTW. 10 minutes of a Netflix movie and you are done.

Use of connected devices subject to T-Mobile Terms and Conditions.


Wi-Fi Calling: Capable phone and Wi-Fi connection required for Wi-Fi Calling; may decrement plan minutes.

Like to use Google talk? Guess what it can take away from your talking minutes even though you are totally using the internet for that call. And yes they can tell when you are using those apps.

Most devices will not transition between Wi-Fi and the wireless network.

Some apps do not switch automatically to the wired connection you are wanting to use. The best thing to do is make sure after you switch wireless connections to shut your app down and start up again.

See your selected service for details. Coverage not available in some areas. Network Management: Service may be slowed, suspended, terminated, or restricted for misuse, abnormal use, interference with our network or ability to provide quality service to other users, or significant roaming.

Don’t abuse what you got and you won’t get banned is all this is saying

Alright here it is. The fine print explained about T-Mobiles no contract phones. I am not saying that it is a bad thing by showing you this, I am just making sure you do your homework before you switch.