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Fixed: Secure Sites and Apps Not Working With T-Mobile's $30 "Walmart" Plan

Update 1 - 10/19: It appears that the issue with secure sites has been resolved. Users started reporting that they were able to access the blocked sites, which included Gmail, Twitter and Facebook, at around noon today.

At 5 PM T-Mobile community manager "Will" posted the following on the thread on the T-Mobile Help forum where users originally reported the issue:

"A big 'Thank You!' to you and everyone else who posted here! This thread helped us identify the problem, track down the cause, and fix it. We're pleased to read the posts from those of you confirming it is working properly now and we apologize for any inconvenience this caused."

I'm still waiting for a definitive answer from my T-Mobile press contact as to exactly how existing T-Mobile prepaid customers can switch to this plan and keep their current mobile number.

Update 2 - 10/26: A T-Mobile spokesperson relayed the following to me as the official T-Mobile policy:

"The new $30 Walmart plan is only available to new T-Mobile Monthly4G customers. At this time, it is not possible for existing T-Mobile no annual contract customers to port their number to this Walmart exclusive plan."

The new T-Mobile Walmart or Web-Only $30 plan launch seems to be having more problems. On paper, the plan which provides unlimited messaging and data plus 100 voice minutes for $30/month, seems like a great deal for a lot of folks who text and use the web and apps alot but don't talk much.

The problems started on Sunday, roll-out day,  when T-mobile's website started advertising the plan without an providing any information on how to actually get it. At Walmart, where the plan and an exclusive 4G Android phone were supposed to available for purchase, sales people for the most part didn't know anything about the plan or the 4G phone. To make matters worse, existing customers who called T-Mobile were told they couldn't switch their accounts to the new plan but had to activate a new SIM on a new number, losing their balance and possibly their phone number.

The latest fiasco is that many, perhaps all, users who managed to get the new plan activated are reporting that secure (https) sites and apps that make encrypted connections like the Android Market and Gmail apps do not work and that attempts to visit Facebook or Twitter are redirected to a page saying that the user doesn't have a data plan. These are not isolated issues with dozens of such complaints showing up around the web including on Howard Forums, T-Mobile's own user help forum and in comments on a TmoNews post announcing the new plan

All these issues point to a badly planned and botched rollout. The HTTPS issue is likely just a miss-configuration of a network gateway or firewall and should be relatively easy to fix, although it's hard to understand why after 72 hours it's still broken. Forcing current customers to forfeit funds in their accounts and possibly even their phone numbers to switch to an advertised plan is unacceptable, unethical and quite possibly illegal. T-Mobile owes its users an apology, an explanation and a fix. Yet so far no one from T-Mobile has said a word.

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  1. They were lucky they fixed it. If it kept going the way it did, they'd be no better then Virgin mobile which has a complete mess of a 3G cdma network with chronic data/mms outages.

  2. Keep up the good work, existing customers should be able to switch. Hopefully T-Mobile can fix this and not just try to justify a stupid decision!

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