Harbor, launched over a year ago selling individual lines of service starting at $30/month for unlimited talk and text and 2.5 GB of data. The same plan with 4.5 GB was $40 and unlimited talk, text and data was available for just $50 per month. There was also a 5 GB tablet plan for $15/month. Those are great prices for prepaid but Harbor plans also included the perks of T-Mobile postpaid plans including free international 2G data and text roaming, call forwarding and Music Freedom free streaming music.
If that sounds too good to be true, it probably was. Since July 8, Harbor has not been activating new lines of service. Customer service representatives and a cryptic message on the Harbor website have blamed the inability to sell service to new customers on website updates.
Anyone who knows anything about web development or business continuity knows you don't stop accepting new customers for a month to update a website. I suspect what really happened is that T-Mobile cut them off. Harbor appeared to be splitting up multi-line business plans and selling single lines to individuals. I doubt this is allowed by T-Mobile's reseller agreements. Two other T-Mobile resellers that had a similar business model selling single lines, 35orLess and MobalFreedom, also shut down abruptly and it looks like Harbor met the same fate.
There have been rumors for weeks that Harbor would relaunch as an AT&T reseller or MVNO and today the company confirmed that with a post on their Facebook page saying;
SERVICE UPDATE: As you can see we are going through some changes. Harbor is built on transparency and our relationships with our customer. That being said we need to get you all up to speed with what is going on internally.
Good news: We are transitioning to become an AT&T Platinum Reseller!!
So so news: We are no longer signing on new T-Mobile lines.
EXCELLENT NEWS: and all our current customers that signed on with us and T-Mobile will continue to receive the customer service they have come to expect from our all star Harbor Mobile team smile emoticon
Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns or comments -- through facebook, instagram, twitter, google+, website, email or phone! Our team is here to help.
Will the AT&T plans be as inexpensive and offer the same perks as the T-Mobile ones did? I doubt it, AT&T charges more than T-Mobile across the board. It also doesn't have any equivalents to T-Mobile's Music Freedom or extensive (over 120 countries) free data and text roaming. However, Harbor AT&T customers might get the free Mexican and Canadian voice, text and high speed data roaming that AT&T's GoPhone and Cricket customers do.
Will current Harbor T-Mobile customers get to keep their plans and service? The Facebook post doesn't actually say they will, only that they will get the same level of customer service. However 35orLess and MobalFreedom customers were able to keep their T-Mobile service and plans after those companies stopped activating new lines. I think there's a very good chance that Harbor customers will also be grandfathered.
When will Harbor start selling AT&T service? I don't know but the Harbor website promises "Updates" next Monday, August 17.
Whatever happens, I hope Harbor Mobile can successfully relaunch on AT&T with new offerings as affordable and disruptive as their T-Mobile based service was.
Source: Facebook via HowardForums
Harbor Mobile - New Bargain Priced T-Mobile MVNO With Roaming and HotSpot
Mobal Freedom No Contract Plans Include Free International Data and Text Roaming
35orLess Closes to New Customers, Current Users Can Keep Service