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T-Mobile Quietly Discontinues $15/Month Unlimited Messaging, 10¢/Minute Plan

With not so much as a whisper to the press or users, T-Mobile USA has discontinued their $15/month messaging plan. It included unlimited text and MMS (picture messaging) with calls charged at 10¢/minute.

The $15 plan is no longer listed on the T-Mobile site's Prepaid Plans Page.  The option to select the $15 plan has also been removed from the mobile (m.web2go.com) and desktop (my.t-mobile.com) versions of the T-Mobile customer self service portal.

A T-Mobile prepaid telephone support representative confirmed that the plan is no longer available to new customers or to current customers who are not already using it. Existing customers already on the plan can keep it indefinitely as long as they don't allow it to expire.

At one time the $15 monthly plan was heavily promoted by T-Mobile.  I believe that it is still quite popular, especially with teens and parents.

It costs a mobile operator almost nothing to transmit text messages and very little for picture messages. I don't believe for an instant the T-Mobile was losing money on the messaging plan.

If you are looking for an alternative to T-Mobile's discontinued messaging plan, three good options are listed below:

Unlimited Prepaid Text Plans
Operator Plan or Package Network Technology Monthly Cost Voice min. SMS Data
Verizon Unlimited Messaging* Verizon CDMA 20.00 0.25 unlimited 0.99/day
AT&T Unlimited Messaging AT&T GSM 19.99 0.10 unlimited 1¢ per 5 KB ($2/MB)**
PagePlus PowerTextVerizon CDMA 15.00 0.04-0.10 unlimited $0.99/MB
* non-smartphones only ** data not available to smart phone users

Update: I've seen several reports of existing T-Mobile prepaid customers who were allowed to switch to the discontinued $15 plan by calling T-Mobile customer support.  So there is some grandfathering.

Source: HowardForums

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28 comments:

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  1. Depending on how "unlimited" your needs are, Ting could also be a good option. $20 buys 6000 texts, if you actually use that many, and adding on voice minutes probably comes out cheaper than the options you listed.

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    1. Ting is an interesting company. Sprint network with no extra cost voice roaming and a unique pricing model. They recently announced that they will have BYOD "soon".

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  2. Just to be clear, Ting offers voice roaming on what network(s)? It's a real shame T-mobile is no longer offering that plan - seems like a nice deal for a niche. Are you sure page plus permits text only plans or does it need to be paired with something?

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    1. Ting roaming is supposed to be the same as Sprint postpaid. In areas Sprint doesn't cover, you roam on whichever operators Sprint has roaming agreements with.

      Sprint doesn't divulge who their roaming partners are but users have reported roaming on Verizon and regional operators like Element Mobile. Ting's coverage map.

      PagePlus' PowerText plans are add-ons to the pay as you go "Standard" Plan, which doesn't cost anything extra unless you make calls or use data. AT&T and Verizon's unlimited text plans are also add-on's to their pay as you go plans.

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  3. i'm a current user of t-mobile unlimited text plan it kind of sucks because i was going to move up to the unlimited text and web 5gb 4g speeds at $30 a month but when i do that i won't be able to switch back to the unlimited text plan the months i don't want the $30 plan. i'm not cheap just i have 3 cell lines and don't need full services on all them. i got one t-mobile line on $10 pay as you go because it is just an extra line and i pay that only every 3 months, then this t-mobile line on unlimited text for $15 i pay monthly. i'm soon porting another extra line i have to t-mobile on the the $10 pay as you go plan also.
    yeswap are you aware that sept. 5 next month t-mobile will offer a truly unlimited 4g data plan for postpaid customers? i'm assuming that the reason they are discontinuing this plan is to get another plan. a lot of people on blogs and forums wanted the unlimited text plan to include some minutes and a lot people including me are willing to pay more for a few minutes. hopefully they replace this with a plan like unlimited text and 250-300 minutes for like $25. i'm basing this on the fact that att has a go plan for $25 unlimited text and like 200 minutes i think. t-mobile does better deals than att so that is why i would believe the new plan if t-mobile replaced this one with it would be better than att. also now that t-mobile for the last two months have offered the once only wal-mart exclusive 5gb 4g speeds with unlimited text $30 plan now on their website it seems that will just stay as a normal plan. t-mobile kept their other $30 plan 1500 text/talk plan, they might get rid of this one or change plan. i can't say for sure but i do believe t-mobile will either restructure some monthly 4g plans or add some especially after they are rumored to release a truly 4g unlimited data plan for postpaid customers on sept 5.

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    1. Your guess is as good as mine regarding what T-Mobile will do next with their prepaid plans.

      I believe that dropping the $15 plan is intended to increase prepaid APRU (average revenue per user) by moving heavy text users to more expensive monthly plans.

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  4. Yeswap - I think you got it correct in that the $15/mon was decreasing their APRU which is probably a metric tracked at the corporate level. An unlimited prepaid text plan is the cheapest option for most teenagers who don't use their phones for talking much and who's parents don't want to pay for data. I think that it would be a smarter move to just increase the cost to $20/mon and include a few minutes to keep these customers. Now, their cheapest plan with unlimited data is 2x as much at $30/day!

    I had kept my teenagers on T-mobile's unlimited texting plan only during the school months and dropped down to pay-by-use during the summer since they didn't text as much. Now that I see T-mobile has doubled the price of the unlimited text plan, I will be moving them all to AT&T's $20/mon unlimited text plans!

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  5. Seeing how T-Mobile usually is very competitive in the prepaid market, I feel as though the plan will be replaced with one similar to the one that ptomnas stated. Cricket/Radioshack have a similar $25 300 Min UL Text & UL Web plan. Even MetroPCS had a $25 UL Talk UL Text plan which is now $30 & includes Picture Messaging, not to forget their BTM plans also. If I were to not have my plan anymore I would happily leave T-Mo for Cricket which has the next best deal for me.

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  6. I called to get a sim unlock code and then asked about the plan. The rep said it was grandfathered but that I could still get the $15/month plan. First he said he would have to check with his supervisor, then, without checking, he said I could have it. Maybe he said so because I've been using T-Mobile for years or because I requested an unlock code. I'm not sure if that plan will be best for my son, but it does seem to still be an option for some. If anyone is interested in it, I would recommend calling.

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    1. Thanks for the report. A couple of T-Mobile customers posted on Howard Forums that they were able to switch to the $15 plan by calling CS. So apparently it is grandfathered.

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    2. We were able to get on the plan by calling CS, but had to ask to speak with a supervisor to get it done. They clearly stated, however, that if we ever switch away from the plan we will not be able to get it back. We have been with T-Mobile for a few years, I don't know if that mattered.

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  7. I've also been with t mobile for years and I recently switched over to the pay as you go plan. I would like to be switched over to the 15 a month plan and i believe i would be grandfathered in. I've been trying to get in touch with CS for about 2 days now. can anyone give me a number to call? the number on their website takes me to a machine and I'm not sure how to talk to a person from there.

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    1. Dial 877-778-2106. To quickly reach a human, say "representative" at every prompt (three in all) including the initial one for your phone number. Support hours are 6 AM - 10 PM local time 7 days a week.

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  8. thanks for posting this - I hadn't heard about it.

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  9. I just switched to the $15 a month plan without any hassles. I called the number and just kept saying "operator" every time it asked me a question until it transferred me to customer support (about 3 times). I had to call twice, and neither representative blinked when I asked about switching to their "unlimited texting" plan. They both just said "Yes, the $15 a month one. No problem."

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    1. I'm glad you were able to get the $15 unlimited texting plan so easily. Are you a new T-Mobile prepaid customer or one who was using T-Mobile before the plan was discontinued in August?

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  10. Just tried to get the $15 unlimited texting on my youngest daughter' phone, and they would not give it to me. Nice.

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    1. What were you expecting?? This article is about T Mobile canceling the unlimited text plan and was written 5 months ago!

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    2. Hi, just called T-Mobile and successfully got our phone plan changed to this $15/mo unlimited text and 10c/min. plan. We have been with T-Mobile prepaid for years.

      Took about 15 minutes with the customer service representative who initially said the the plan was no longer available (877-778-2106). We had to ask her two times to speak to a supervisor. Although we were never connected to the supervisor, after the second request the rep came back on the phone stating the they did in fact change the plan for us.

      I guess the moral of the story is to keep trying...

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  11. I wish I could share the same good news. I tried getting the $15 plan for my son (my daughter already had it for a couple years) and was unsuccessful with the agents and two supervisors. Even though I and my husband are long-time T-mobile customers and I told them we would now leave their service, I was told it is no longer available.

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  12. March 10th, 2013
    I bought a prepaid phone on ebay, samsung Dart.
    called activation center to activate the phone, and I requested for $15/month unlimited text plan. CCR/supervisor declined me. No luck and I am debating which plan is best for my elementary school daughter.

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  13. You can activate the phone with Tmobile, and use it for 60 days. You can pick unlimited texts for $1/day; 10c/min voice. Then, when you have met their unlock criteria, ask them to unlock the phone for you.

    After unlock, you can use the AT&T unlimited texting plan, described here on this blog:
    http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2011/02/best-prepaid-voice-plans.html
    She should be able to get by at first with 1000 messages, $9.99 per month. At least until Middle School. Voice is 10c/min.

    It might be less expensive to get her an AT&T messaging phone with a keyboard for now. Pay for it with the first two months savings using AT&T. You could keep the Dart as a present in Middle School when she maintains good grades ;-)

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  14. If you think your daughter will use <500 texts per month, the Ptel Pay-Go plan is a good option for the Dart. $5/month minimum average cost. Since you bought it to use on the Tmobile network, I assume you have good Tmobile coverage. 2c/sms.

    Teach her how to control data usage if you can, or just do not configure data for Ptel on the Dart (APN = 'wholesale').

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  15. Just want to add that as of April 7 2013 I was able to get onto this plan. I have been a prepaid customer for a couple of years (by choice: I use very little voice and text so have been buying 1000 mins/texts for $100). Before that I was a post paid TMo customer for several years, perfect bill payment throughout. I dont know if I just got a great CS representative or they read the survey I filled out all disgruntled and threatening to leave, 2 days ago. But either way she did confirm this was a 1 time switch and if I let payment lapse then it would revert to another kind of plan and I wouldn't be able to get this one back. She did say she wanted to go straight to her supervisor and get permission in order to keep me happy. I told her I had heard other customers were having difficulty switching to this grandfathered pla, and asked was my being a tmo customer a factor in her doing it so quickly and easily / cheerfully, and she confirmed yes, that, and also she just wanted to keep me happy as a customer. It sort of made me wonder if they are having a campaign right now to push for keeping customers.. Anyway, thats my news. If your case is similar to mine, give it a shot! You might get lucky and get another great CS rep too!

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    1. Sorry, typo. I meant to say that I asked her if my being a tmo customer ***for so long*** was a factor.. etc

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  16. I have a $15/mo account that was tied to my CC. At some point in the past few months, TM discontinued charging me. Because I don't use this phone very much, I did not notice it until now that it had stopped working. Yesterday, I went to TM store and asked why it was not working. The Rep said she could not find my SIM in the system, the $15 plan was no longer available and I would need to buy a $30/mo plan that included voice and web - both services I don't need nor want. I'm going to call CS, this is not right!

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    1. They might reinstate the plan if you are nice to them. If not, the $2/day plan might be a better alternative since you do not use the phone very much. 20 sms or minutes/day to break even vs. the best Tmobile minute plan (and no extra cost for the data you do not need). Lycamobile is a less expensive alternative at avg. 2c/sms or minute, but you lose the roaming ability. Their plan breaks even with the $15 Tmobile plan at 750 minutes or sms/month, so you would pay less if you do not use the phone very much.

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    2. If you use this phone for voice calls, the Lycamobile $16/month plan is a better value than the Tmobile $15 plan that was discontinued a year ago.

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