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Unfortunately, switching from Verizon to T-Mobile wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped

T-Mobile Store Lacey IMG_0538For more than a decade or two, I’ve been a Verizon customer.

While its service has been fine, Verizon hasn’t been willing to offer me a deal on a new iPhone. I did research and decided an iPhone 12 would better meet my needs. I have iCloud, so rather than manually uploading hundreds of photos from my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone to my Google Drive, any new photos would automatically go into iCloud.

It was irritating that Verizon offered deals – to new customers. Every time I called or went in, Verizon employees said, “The deal is only for new customers,” and “Sorry, your phone’s too old for a trade in.”

I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $700 for a phone.

However, with my grandson, who lives in Madrid, coming to the United States to go to college in September, I volunteered to look into phone plans for him.

I found T-Mobile would give us a family plan: $90 a month for two lines including tax and two iPhones of our choice, one at no cost. An additional advantage – my grandson could have unlimited data when he was in Spain for the summer and would pay 25 cents a minute for calls. Verizon charges $10 a day for overseas service.

While the plan offer was good, getting it carried out was difficult. T-Mobile staff made these errors:

  • I wasn’t told that I’d need to unfreeze my credit to sign up. I tried to do it in the store, I had my passwords with me, but the Wi-Fi in the store wasn’t robust. I did it quickly at home, but we had to go back to the store. Time during our vacation was wasted.
  • I wasn’t given the correct information about the automatic payment plan, which is required for the two-for-the-price-of-one phone deal. I was told I could pay the bill monthly without a charge, and it would include the price of one iPhone divided into 12 or 24 payments. However, I received an email this week that said if I signed up for an app, I wouldn’t be charged an extra $5 per line. I decided I didn’t want to pay through an app, due to security problems with app payments, so I went over to the T-Mobile store and asked about it. The representative said if I didn’t want to pay through the app, I’d need to come to the store every month or call T-Mobile to pay. However, I received a text today saying my credit card was charged $139.42. I still don’t know how the payment plan is supposed to work.
  • I wasn’t told about several charges that needed to be paid before we could get service: a $35 fee per line; $43.74 for two chargers; and $161.68 that I think was tax on the cost of two iPhones.
  • I was told that if I came with my pin and Verizon account number, that’s what was needed to finish the transaction. Not true. What was needed was a transfer pin number and my Verizon account number. I brought my account log in and password and the pin I set up. That wasn’t what was needed.
  • I was told we could go over to a nearby Verizon store to get the transfer pin number and account number. We went over there. The Verizon representative said they don’t do those numbers. You have to get them from customer service. A wasted trip for me and my family.
  • I was told if I came back to the store by 8 p.m. with the transfer pin number and account number, my Verizon account could be canceled and the T-Mobile service launched. I dashed home and easily got the transfer pin number from the Verizon website. When I arrived at 7:55 p.m. at the T-Mobile store, the manager, who had helped us, was gone and the lone representative at the store wouldn’t help me. She said the tablets were shut down. She was rude. So we had to go back to the store yet again.
  • The representative who activated the phones put our sim cards in the wrong phones. When we were standing in the Sacramento Airport and my daughter called me, my grandson’s phone rang. He was getting my calls. When I called the manager about it later, he said to change the sim cards.
  • When the representative transferred some of the information from my Samsung phone, he imported 125,000 photos from iCloud onto my phone. When I went in, he said there’s nothing that can be done except delete them. I haven’t been able to reach the manager about this problem. I called for two days. A recorded message said some stores have reduced hours due to the pandemic. In addition, the mailbox was full. When I went to T-Mobile, the representative said he didn’t know that the phones weren’t working.

I do like my iPhone 13. It takes great photos, with a better wide angle lens that helps with low-light situations, and it has image stabilization. And, with the photos from my iPhone and Canon camera both in iCloud, it’s easier to find photos to use on my blog and share with family and friends.

However, I can’t post videos to Instagram. I’ll need to get that figured out.


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wow. I'm surprised you missed the deals Verizon had in May. Mother's Day, back to school, and Christmas are usually the best time to get cell phone deals. In May, Verizon had a deal that was the same for new and current customers. I was able to get an iPhone 13 Pro for 800 off and my husband got the latest and greatest Samsung s22 Ultra for 800 off. The rest of the price of the phone gets spread across our bills for 2 years but it was lower than the last time I spread the price of just one phone across my bills for 2 years. I won't switch from Verizon because experience has taught me that in disasters, they are the ones that have the best coverage and go all out to bring in temporary cell sites, etc. I've been through it multiple times and have handed my phone to others during a couple of bad storms.


Unfortunately, I wasn't eligible for any of the Verizon deals because I had an "old" Samsung phone. My preference would have been to stay with Verizon because they have fewer dropped calls. But, it had nothing for current customers with "old" phones.

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