Fed up with the unfair business practices of cell phone carriers? The ridiculous prices on text message packages? The high monthly rates to subsidize you getting an iPhone for a few hundred less than retail? The exorbitant cost of international travel plans? The knowledge that the reason there's a cell phone store on every corner is because they're making far too much money? Believe it or not, there really is a solution here in the U.S. but not many people use it because it's the forgotten fourth carrier: T-Mobile. Now, I do not work for T-Mobile or make money off this in any way and can't even vouch for their signal strength (coverage map here, great for large cities but not good for most of Iowa itself, sadly) or customer service because my cell is a work phone through Verizon and my wife has been a legacy AT&T user because of the iPhone. But I will be moving my wife to T-Mobile ASAP on the new iPhone 5s that they have because of these T-Mobile facts:
1) No 2-yr contract. Drop their service whenever you like with no cancellation penalty.
2) Phone price subsidizing: Optional (you can pay for it up front), no interest loan, and the extra cost that was added onto your monthly plan when using their interest-free loan stops when you've paid off the phone. No more $100/month bills for the iPhone after you've paid it off, back to their standard monthly rates ($50-$70 for everything depending on how much data you buy).
3) None of the annoying "To leave a callback number, press seven, to leave a message, stay on the line". WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN AND WHY IS IT WASTING MY TIME.
4) All calling plans come with unlimited calls, texts, and free tethering. Data usage is the only variable in price.
5) They do now have pretty much all the latest phones including iPhone 5c and 5s and the latest Samsungs, this was a huge problem earlier and why they're currently #4 in the race
6) Just recently, T-Mobile got completely rid of the crippling international travel costs associated with cell phones. Got rid of them entirely. International data: $0 extra. International texts: $0 extra. International calls: 20c/minute for over 100 countries, again without adding on a plan, it's just built in. You can actually travel with your phone now! Holy shit!
7) Most of these were rolled out last year, and if you make the jump like I will be for my wife's phone, you and I won't be alone. For Q2 2013, T-Mobile added more new customers than all other carriers in the U.S. combined. Funny how treating people better and not fucking their wallet every chance you get leads to more customers.
So anyway, I'm making the switch. Just wanted to inform y'all of a company doing the right things. Probably because they were forced to from a position of falling so far behind, but doing the right things nonetheless. Some of their work has already started to make its way to the other carriers due to outrage (less onerous contract cancellation fees now the norm), so you could also wait it out on your current carrier if you wanted, but I'm taking it and running with it now instead of waiting for 3 years of phasing in. Yay, un-evil cell carrier.