Verizon subscribers have been pounded for the last 24 hours on social media with the dangling carrot of cheaper cellular rates from T-Mobile’s outspoken CEO, John Legere. Of course, lower rates are one thing, but when Mr. Legere and company are offering to pay off your iPhone or Pixel device, in full, then let you use it on their network, something doesn’t seem to add up. Taking a closer look at the #GetOutoftheRed offerings, depending on your plan and usage, it may or may not be the way to go for many users. Here’s a quick rundown of the Verizon portion of the offer as the Sprint and AT&T converts have a much more simple alternative available to them.
Verizon iPhone, Pixel or Pixel XL users that are paying for their device under the Verizon Device Payment Program and that have made at least 2 payments on the device can come to a T-Mobile store, and port their number to a T-Mobile One plan and add the T-Mobile Premium Device Protection Plus for $15 per device, per month. It’s pretty simple, but is it actually a decent deal or not? Of course, not content with that, Legere goes on to offer the fourth line free once again. Breaking down the pricing for a single line, it looks like this:
Verizon: $65.00 unlimited data fee + $20.00 line access fee – $5 autopay discount + 20% taxes (varies by location) = $96.00 a month plus phone payment
T-Mobile: $80.00 unlimited data fee + $0.00 line access fee + $15.00 premium protection + $0 taxes = $95.00
The true comparison here is how much you owe on that device. If you purchased the device on a $10 or $15 a month deal, you could save a bit of money over the next year having T-Mobile pay it off for you, but if you spend $30 a month or more on that device, you could really rack up some savings quickly. Now, a family of four is where the savings really start to pile up, if everyone is on board.
Verizon: $110 unlimited data fee + $80.00 line access fees (4 lines) – $10.00 autopay discount + 20% taxes (varies by location) = $216.00
T-Mobile: $140 unlimited data fee + $0.00 line access fee + $60.00 premium protection +$0 taxes – $20.00 4th line fee = $180.00
With all of this said, the bottom line with any service plan is if it works where you need it to. As with any major change to your cellular plan, we always recommend ordering a lower cost prepaid SIM (preferably a PayGo card with $10 loaded on it) so you can see what coverage is like where you use the device the most. You can always take a leap of faith, but for less than $20 a year on a single line, Verizon still has more coverage in more places for not much more money. Of course, if you are paying off a $35 a month device and have $500 left to pay on it, that savings adds up much faster. Family plan users have a much more difficult choice to make. With a standard savings of almost $450 a year right off the top, it becomes much easier to deal with a few gaps in coverage. Add a few of those $35 phone payments in, and instantly you are saving over $2000 in the first year.
Is the T-Mobile move the right one for you and your family? Only you can say that for sure. For now, let your wallet be your guide and jump on this deal if you think it’s the right one for you.