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T-Mobile Gold Plan gone 'Legacy' - no Data option available
Old 01-03-2016, 12:46 PM   #1
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T-Mobile Gold Plan gone 'Legacy' - no Data option available

I think it was sometime last year that the T-Mobile Gold Plan went Legacy. DW and I are 'grandfathered' in though.

As a recap, the Gold Plan was great for people who use only a few minutes per month on average, and rarely use data. Once you put $100 on, it only took $10 to keep the plan active for an entire year, and unused minutes rolled over. Each call/text deduct $0.10 per minute/text.

I rarely use my phone (have VOIP at home), so I've only been adding $10/year for several years, and still have minutes to spare from the original $100 (1000 minutes). DW started using hers more for texting (she had a Samsung low-end smartphone, I just upgraded her to a Moto G), so I have added $100/year the past 2 years for hers, so still < $10/month average.

The Gold Plan also allowed you to buy data on a day-by-day basis for $3/day. Since we rarely ever use data, that was a nice backup plan, if we needed it. Turns out we never really did need it, we could find a wi-fi spot (or one of our kids with full data plans was with us) - but of course it could be convenient to have ready access to data.

Well, I just called to verify, and since Gold Plan has gone 'legacy' there is no switching to a data-by-the-day plan. So I was considering that when DW's phone needs a refill, maybe switching to Cricket (mentioned in some threads recently).

https://www.cricketwireless.com/cell-phone-plans

Cricket uses AT&T/GSM towers (so our unlocked smartphones on T-Mobile will work on it). You get unlimited talk/text/data (hi-speed capped at 2.5 GB, then low speed) for $35/month, so that sounds pretty good, but really more than we need.

But the newer T-Mobile plan also looks good for low-minute users (and has a data option) - basically the same per min/text rates as the old Gold Plan, but locks you into spending a minimum of $3/month to stay active. Since DW uses over $3/month, really no difference. As long as I have excess minutes that rollover, and my usage does not increase, I'll stay at Legacy and add my $10/year.

Pay As You Go Phone Plans | Best Daily Prepaid Phone Plans | T-Mobile

$3/month gives you 30 minutes/texts combines, then $0.10/minute/text above that. DW's average of ~ 80 min/texts would run ~ $8/month. And with this newer plan you can buy data for $5/day (.5GB), or $10/week (1GB). So even if she used data two weeks every month (extremely unlikely), and averaged 80 minutes/texts per month, that's $28/month (plus a few $ taxes/fees?). And odds are we would not use data anywhere near that often, so savings over Cricket would be closer to $20/month, $240/year.

Again, this only makes sense for people who don't use the phone that much and/or are near wi-fi for the times they do want to use data. Maybe at some point I'll give in and get a plan like Cricket, as I'm sure we would find the full data access handy once we got it, but we seem to get by fine w/o it. I had planned to turn it on the last time we were in the city, but the hotel included wi-fi, and we were set.

But if you are a low-minute user, and only occasional data user, and T-Mobile provides good service in your area, it's an option to consider.

-ERD50
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:32 PM   #2
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We are on the legacy plan and I love it, I probably use $50 -> $80 per yr.

I also like pre-paid plans because if my phone is stolen, the max I can lose is what is already paid, even if the thief phones from a foreign country, unlike a subscription, where you could be on the hook for thousands due to roaming and long distance.

I had wondered if I could upgrade my phone and stay on the same plan ?
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:54 PM   #3
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I'd double check whether your unlocked phones will work on it. Our area has all the major players. Sprint and Verizon are CDMA. I thought our old verizon phones would work on the Sprint network - but they don't... (We have Ting - which uses the sprint network.).

Not saying they won't work - just that you should double check.
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Old 01-03-2016, 02:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
...
I had wondered if I could upgrade my phone and stay on the same plan ?
Yes, just take the SIM out and put it into any other unlocked GSM phone. I've switched between several phones in the family, from old bars and flips to smart phones. The newer phones will probably take the smaller sized SIM, I just went into T-Mobile, and for $15 you get a new smaller SIM and they transfer the account to the new SIM. They give you the blank cut out, so you could slip the smaller SIM back into the old phone if you needed. I've seen where you can cut the SIM down yourself, but for $15 I did not want to risk it.

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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I'd double check whether your unlocked phones will work on it. Our area has all the major players. Sprint and Verizon are CDMA. I thought our old verizon phones would work on the Sprint network - but they don't... (We have Ting - which uses the sprint network.).

Not saying they won't work - just that you should double check.
AFAIK, any unlocked GSM works on T-Mobile and AT&T. I don't know about the CDMA carriers.

-ERD50
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Old 01-03-2016, 03:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Yes, just take the SIM out and put it into any other unlocked GSM phone. I've switched between several phones in the family, from old bars and flips to smart phones. The newer phones will probably take the smaller sized SIM, I just went into T-Mobile, and for $15 you get a new smaller SIM and they transfer the account to the new SIM. They give you the blank cut out, so you could slip the smaller SIM back into the old phone if you needed. I've seen where you can cut the SIM down yourself, but for $15 I did not want to risk it.



AFAIK, any unlocked GSM works on T-Mobile and AT&T. I don't know about the CDMA carriers.

-ERD50
You can time this upgrade to a newer phone with a newer SIM to fit your phone by watching prepaidphonenews.com. T-Mobile often puts SIMs on sale for $0.99, you order online at the T-Mobile site and it comes in the mail. They also provide weekly survey of phones on sale and which carriers they work on. Great site.

Sometimes Walmart also sells these SIMS with $15 worth of phone time for less than the cost of the SIM and deposit amount.

I recently bought a new phone and migrated from the Gold plan to the $3 plan. You need to make sure the new phone will work on TMobile - it must be a GSM phone (big hint: buy a phone at WalMart designed for the ATT or TMobile network), then if you want to keep your number have Customer Service take care of that over the phone. If you want a new number Customer Service can just activate the SIM. The $3 plan still requires you to keep a balance in your account. You can add to your account at any time, minimum amount to add is $10.

I had money on the old Legacy Gold Plan, so I kept my number and had them move the $ to the new SIM. Takes about 3 minutes to do.

- Rita
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
You can time this upgrade to a newer phone with a newer SIM to fit your phone by watching prepaidphonenews.com. T-Mobile often puts SIMs on sale for $0.99, you order online at the T-Mobile site and it comes in the mail. They also provide weekly survey of phones on sale and which carriers they work on. Great site. ...


I had money on the old Legacy Gold Plan, so I kept my number and had them move the $ to the new SIM. Takes about 3 minutes to do.

- Rita
Thanks, I'll check out that site.

I had figured the $15 was worth it in this case, as they move everything for you, so I didn't have to go through a separate step of porting the number to the new SIM. I'm assuming that's what I'd need to do if I got a new SIM mailed from T-Mobile? It would come with a temp #, then I port? Plus, the phone was a gift for DW, so any 'hoop-jumping' would have diminished the effect. But good info to know, it sure might help out under slightly different situations.

At any rate, this is a one time charge and only $15. It's the ongoing monthly charges that I try to watch. Now maybe DW and I have really 'deprived' ourselves by not having data available whenever/wherever, but when I think back to all the years we have got by with an $0.83/month ($10/year) plan on two phones, and only recently needing to go to ~ $10/month for DW, that's some real cash over the past 5 years, compared to $70/month or more. Like ~ $65/month times 60 months.... $3,900 - whoah!!!


-ERD50
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:36 PM   #7
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Not to detract from the thread, but you can use CDMA or GSM phones on Ting now. Many more options for cell phones now!

Sent via mobile device. Please excuse any grammatical errors.
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:14 PM   #8
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Not to detract from the thread, but you can use CDMA or GSM phones on Ting now. Many more options for cell phones now!

Sent via mobile device. Please excuse any grammatical errors.
Thanks - I wasn't aware Ting was also GSM. That might make sense for us as well.

-ERD50
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Old 01-04-2016, 12:17 AM   #9
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I'll throw this out there for anyone looking for free cell service. Freedompop. Basic service (500 MB, 200 minutes, 500 texts) is free. You can use most Sprint branded phones on freedompop (I have a Galaxy S3). They also sell phones (a few options under $100).

Ring Plus is another provider that offers free basic service, but I'm not as familiar with them.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:36 AM   #10
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Thanks, I'll check out that site.

I had figured the $15 was worth it in this case, as they move everything for you, so I didn't have to go through a separate step of porting the number to the new SIM. I'm assuming that's what I'd need to do if I got a new SIM mailed from T-Mobile? It would come with a temp #, then I port? Plus, the phone was a gift for DW, so any 'hoop-jumping' would have diminished the effect. But good info to know, it sure might help out under slightly different situations.

At any rate, this is a one time charge and only $15. It's the ongoing monthly charges that I try to watch. Now maybe DW and I have really 'deprived' ourselves by not having data available whenever/wherever, but when I think back to all the years we have got by with an $0.83/month ($10/year) plan on two phones, and only recently needing to go to ~ $10/month for DW, that's some real cash over the past 5 years, compared to $70/month or more. Like ~ $65/month times 60 months.... $3,900 - whoah!!!


-ERD50
It's really one step when you call customer service. They ask for the SIM number, do the port and $ transfer at the same time. It took about an hour and I had service.

- Rita
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