Switching to T-Mobile from Verizon

by Colin Berkshire

I was a Verizon mobile customer for decades. I’ve had a cell phone for 35 years now (not many can say that) and I have always wanted (and was willing to pay for) the best service. And, for a long time, Verizon was the best. Particularly with their CDMA network (CDMA technology really just worked better than GSM). But CDMA is gone.

I switched to T-Mobile. They didn’t push me, bribe me, spiff me, or discount me. I made the decision, and I am happy that I did.

I made the change when I upgraded to the iPhone 12 because it does a superior job of interfacing with the T-Mobile network. T-Mobile has used some oddball frequencies and technologies in the past. Today, T-Mobile is the only carrier that has broadly implemented a fully-5G network – the official term is “Standalone 5G” and I have an upcoming post on this.

I’ve used T-Mobile as my main carrier for six months, and I have traveled more than most in the past six months despite the pandemic.

My observations are:

  1. The T-Mobile network is as good as the Verizon network ever was. Yes, it has holes, but there doesn’t seem to be any more of them, and they seem smaller and more predictable. T-Mobile seems to penetrate into buildings better and dropped calls are very rare.
  2. Speeds are vastly superior. Despite having “unlimited” data on Verizon, it was a miracle if I could actually watch YouTube videos on their network. Getting data from them was like asking a lawyer for a free day of service.
  3. T-Mobile customer service, while mostly located in the Philippines, seems intent on keeping customers happy. I have called with an issue and at the end of the call they asked me if I was fully satisfied and if they had done everything I wanted…and I responded that “no, I wasn’t happy…”: and was surprised. The agent immediately swung into action with all of the enthusiasm as if he was about to be fired. He got a supervisor on the line and they immediately fixed the problem. This has happened several times so it seems to be built into the way they do business: Make customers happy. They have a pretty messed up billing system, but the agents don’t hesitate to apply credits to make things right.
  4. They don’t jerk me around and stick a knife in my back through tricks and games like Verizon always did. I get off an airplane in Japan and my phone just works…and is fast…and is FREE. (250 kilobit speeds…enough for text, chat, and emails). For a reasonable $50 I get 15GB of overseas data and unlimited calling to 210 countries (calling from Japan to China is just free and unlimited with this option.) They don’t add taxes and regulatory fees to my monthly bill. It’s just a straight-up deal.
  5. I’ve traveled to a lot of areas, and my observation is that in every area T-Mobile is as good as Verizon was. Whether it is Miami or Atlanta or Seattle or Los Angeles, I don’t feel at a loss for having left Verizon.

So there you have it.