In today’s world, everyone needs a cellphone to stay connected—to our friends, to our families, and to our workplaces. You don’t necessarily need a smartphone, but a simple flip-open cellphoneis essentially a must. A cellphone plan from one of the major carriers can be quite expensive, and if you are a senior who is on a fixed income, this may not be in the budget.
There are ways to have a cellphone without the huge bill. T-Mobile is one of a few companies that offers prepaid plans that are not cost prohibitive. There is no contract to lock you into paying a big monthly fee. You pay only for the data, talk and text you use.
What is the monthly fee?
|Between $45 and $75/ month|
How easy is it to return?
|You must return the device within 14 days of purchase (20 days online)|
Is the product easy to use?
|Ease of operation depends on the phone you choose|
Can I cancel my plan?
|You can cancel anytime for no fee. You must pay all prior charges|
Ease of access
|Customer care is available 24/7|
How much are the phones?
|Flip phones: $75, Smartphones: $150-$800|
Can I make international calls?
|International calls are included in the T-Mobile ONE plan|
Can I get music with my plan?
|All plans allow music streaming except for the pay as you go plan|
Can I stream videos?
|Yes, with select plans|
Is coverage nationwide?
|To see if your area is covered, check the coverage map on the website|
For most people today, a cell phone is a necessity. Its primary purpose is as a phone, but many people use them for playing music, watching videos, movies and TV, and surfing the internet. They have become an extension of our desktop computers. For younger seniors who are not afraid of technology, a cell phone or smartphone would help make life easier.
For those who are older or who may not have used much technology, a cell phone may be a challenge. Using one requires some fine motor skills and good eyesight, since the screens are small. Navigating the included programs and using one to its full potential may be more difficult for an older senior who is having some cognitive issues.
For seniors in great health, a cell phone will be very useful. If you are on the go, having a way to communicate with friends and family without having to run home is of great value. For seniors whose health is failing, using a cell phone could pose a challenge. Loss of eyesight would make it nearly impossible to use a cell phone. If the senior has advanced arthritis, using a cell phone would be especially difficult. Although many phones use touch to open programs, changing the volume requires dexterity, and plugging the phone in to charge it is necessary on a regular basis.
However, there is some value to using a phone with a speaker, which allows one to talk on the phone without having it near the ear. With assistance, this could prove to be helpful to a senior in fair or poor health.
T-Mobile is a large company that offers several different types of cellphone plans, including prepaid and post-paid, cellphones, tablets, and other devices. This is a well-regarded company that has invested in its network recently and expanded coverage across the country. T-Mobileisrated third after Verizon and AT&T for reliability. The company offers a good variety of phones and plans for prepaid service. This makes it a great option if you want some choice.
As far as customer satisfaction, the BBB reports that T-Mobile has received complaints on products, service, contracts, billing and sales practices. The BBB gives the company an A+ rating, which indicates the business made a good faith effort to resolve complaints, or has resolved them in a timely manner. In all cases, it is wise to read everything you are signing. Do some homework before you choose a carrier, as service can vary depending on where you live.
T-Mobile plans are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. The service might be more reliable than others at the same pricepoint. If you are interested in prepaid service from a large, more recognized company, this may be the way to go.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the coverage area of service?
T-Mobile’s website states that it has doubled its network over the past two years. You can check your coverage by entering an address on the map. The map will provide signal strength, network coverage and whether or not the information has been verified by T-Mobile customers.
Does the company offer a payment plan on devices?
T-Mobile offers a payment plan for devices purchased for its post-paid plans. No credit check is required for prepaid plans, so payment plans for these are not possible.
What is the process for refilling my account?
Each phone or SIM card comes with 30 minutes of talk, or 30 texts. You can log in to your My T-Mobile account, choose an amount, provide a credit card number and refill your account. You can also set up Auto Refill for a specific date each month. You can also purchase T-Mobile refill cards.
Overview: T-Mobile offers two similar prepaid plans. Neither requires a deposit or a credit check. Both offer unlimited domestic talk and text, wi-fi calling, and music streaming.
Package Details: The Simply Prepaid plan allows a choice of up to 4GB ($45) or up to 6GB ($55). To make calls to Canada or Mexico, there is an additional charge of $5/month. International calls to 70+ other countries are available for an additional $15/month. This plan does not include video streaming.
The T-Mobile ONE Prepaid plan offers unlimited data on a smartphone for $75/month. This plan includes calls to Mexico and Canada. International calling is an additional $15/month. Streaming video is optional for $3/day.
Other Services: T-Mobile offers a post-paid plan for those 55 and older called T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+. The cost is $60/month with all taxes and fees included. The company also sells insurance to cover your phone should it stop working.
Contract Details: T-Mobile’s prepaid plans do not require a contract. You pay ahead of time and must keep at least $1 in your account. Accounts can be easily increased online. If you purchase a phone, you will need to pay up front, or you can pay monthly. All smartphones require a $10 SIM card
Warranty: If you decide you don’t want the phone, you must return it in its original packaging with all included items. If you purchased at a store, the return must be completed within 14 days. If you purchased it over the phone or online, the return must be completed within 20 days. You cannot return the phone after the deadlines without paying in full.
Accreditations:T-Mobile has been recognized in several ways. It was recognized as a Best Place to Work and Top Employer by experts, the media and human rights organizations. Most of its awards have come from J.D. Power, which ranked it as the Highest Ranked Customer Service Performance among Full Service Wireless Providers and Highest Ranked Wireless Customer Service Performance several years in a row.
The company have also been designated a Top 100 Military Friendly employer, and one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. T-Mobile is not BBB accredited, but has a rating of A+ with the organization.
Company Details: T-Mobile has been in business for 19 years (since 1998). The company boasts an advanced nationwide 4G LTE network that delivers service to 69.6 million customers. By the end of 2016, the company employed approximately 50,000 people. In 2016,it earned $37.2 billion in revenues.
T-Mobile USA Inc.
12920 SE 38th St.
Bellevue, WA 98006-1350