Regular readers know that I have been a loyal T-Mobile customer for over 10 years. After testing out the Samsung Galaxy S III I decided to buy one for myself so visited my local T-Mobile store on Friday. I have a two year old five phone family plan with unlimited data so made sure that my plan wouldn't change with this purchase and was assured it would stay intact. A couple hours later I received a text message and warning that I was over a new 2GB monthly allotment and that my data was being throttled.
At first I thought this was just a temporary error as my account was updated with my new phone and microSIM card. However, I was trying to use Google Maps Navigation the next morning and couldn't get any maps to load fast enough to navigate (I went to my Lumia 900 on AT&T for navigation). I ran a speed test and found data down in the 100 kbps range and could not believe I was seeing EDGE data on my new Galaxy S III. I've written in the past that it wasn't that big of a deal for T-Mobile to throttle data after 2GB or 5GB, but after experiencing this EXTREME limit on data speeds I now agree Sprint is the only true unlimited data carrier left.
After a day and a half I checked my T-Mobile account online and still saw it showed a 2GB limit. I was fuming and ready to make some heads roll since I specifically made sure that my plan wasn't going to be changed. I called the T-Mobile customer service line and after checking out what was going on I was told that they could not reenable my grandfathered plan and the only way to get more data was to pay another $15 per month for the 5GB plan. They said I could go to the store to see if they could help, but there was nothing else they could do.
I then called back to find out what my ETF would be to cancel T-Mobile service so I could return the GSIII, cancel my plan, and make a move to a new Verizon shared data plan. The customer loyalty representative acknowledged my 10+ years of service and immediately put my 5GB data limit back in place. He then told me he was wiping out my upcoming $200 July bill and then even applying a $10 credit to my bill every month for the next 24 months. WOW, I was just simply trying to get my 5GB data limit back and T-Mobile showed me respect deserving of a 10+ year customer. I am now signed up for another two years with T-Mobile, but given how pleased I have been during this time I have no problem with that. Thank you T-Mobile for quickly restoring my faith and showing me why I continue to stick with you.
BTW, I also learned that ETFs are assigned for the plan and not individual phones like they were in the past so it would cost me $1,000 to cancel my T-Mobile service even with just 3 months left in my current contract. Given that all phones are now on the new two year contract and eligible for full subsidizes, I may see if my wife wants to upgrade to a Galaxy S III as well.