(The original saga is here)

Is this girl's hair huge or is it just me?

So, we’re still with T-Mobile. After spending a few weeks battling it out and writing letters and contacting the BBB (which, in case you don’t know this, is pretty much a complete waste of your time), we decided to cut our losses and ride out the rest of this contract. It all came down to the early termination fee. My husband, being the Virgo he is, just couldn’t stomach paying $400 to get out of a contract.

Today, however, Mike gets a text telling us we are eligible to convert our prepaid (AKA: flexpay) account to a “regular” account. Yay! Sounds great! As I mentioned in the original post, we could save a lot of money per month by switching to a value plan. I was thrilled. So, I dial 611 and immediately start the process. Person #1 hands me off to person #2. Person #2 starts telling me the wonders of having a postpaid account. Whatever, lady, lets just get down to brass tacks- you’re eating up my quiet time.

Before I called, I looked up the rate plans online. I am a visual learner and spoken words tend to get jumbled in my head after a while. The rate plan I wanted to switch to was $79.99, a value plan with a bunch of stuff- 1K minutes, unlimited texts, and some data. I told the rep this and she said OK, but I would have to pay a $200 migration fee. I argue back and forth with her and finally realize this migration fee thing is a bunch of bologna and to see any savings, it would take 6+ months. So, no. So, we start talking about their other family plans. I pick out one that is slightly more than the value plan and has most of the same amenities. When it gets right down to it, though, after taxes and whatnot, I would only save $5-10/month. Which would be fine, except then Person #2 tells me that I would have to extend my contract by 8 months.

Wait, what?

She explains that I will be starting on a shiny new contract and that they will have to tack on time to the end of the new contract. The way she worded it was odd- I thought she meant I only had 8 months left, which I knew wasn’t right. So, I make the woman tell me 3 times what she meant. Finally, I get that she means that I have used 8 months, which they will tack on the end of my contract, so, in essence, I would have a new 2 year AND 8 MONTH contract- almost 3 years. After I pick myself up off the floor from falling off my chair, I then ask about the value plan- at this point, paying $200 to migrate doesn’t sound too bad. She gives me the same oddly-worded statement that makes it sound like I only have 8 months left on my contract, and I ask her point-blank, “So, if I switch to the value plan, I will have to pay $200 to migrate AND extend my new contract by 8 months?” “Yes ma’am.”

Oh.

Hell.

NO.

The kicker? Even with this new contract, you don’t qualify for new phones or anything. You’re paying for the right to stay with T-Mobile. I told the woman “No, thank you.” and hung up. The wording they use is scripted, obviously, to screw with people. It makes it sound like you’re getting a wonderful deal and they’re doing YOU a favor. I can see a lot of people buying into it without asking questions and being stuck for almost 3 years. If you are in this situation, please, please, please STOP. Ask questions. Make sure you understand what is going to happen 100% before you sign your new contract. They CANNOT make you sign a new contract (even if they say they can, THEY CAN’T- at worst, they cancel your contract (they also cannot charge you an ETF if THEY cancel the contract), at best, you ride out the rest of yours at your current rate plan). You will not be turned away from the pearly gates of heaven just because you didn’t sign one. Kittens and puppies will still be fine even if you do not sign a new contract. Make the rep explain things and write them down. Get the rep’s NAME and BADGE NUMBER and record the price and conditions you were quoted. If anything seems fishy, stop. You can always call back.

I know T-Mobile is doing away with the Flexpay option (you can’t even access information about it on their website anymore). No one seems to know when the final day will be and they’re scrambling to scare everyone into switching to a regular account. Frankly, I’ll stay with my Flexpay account until the bitter end. At least it doesn’t surprise me.

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