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  • Giving Up On T-Mobile

    November 21st, 2021
    phone, tech
    I'd been thinking of moving away from T-Mobile since their depressingly cavalier account messaging a few weeks ago where they sent what were effectively "your account is in the process of being hacked" notifications as part of migrating to a new billing system.

    This billing migration continues to be poorly handled, and after a series of conflicting messages I no longer have service:

    2021-11-02: As part of your new My T-Mobile experience, your Autopay feature needs to be re-setup prior to your next bill cycle date. To avoid a service interruption, please login and re-setup your Autopay at [url]

    2021-11-18: Please refill your plan within the next 3 days to ensure continued T-Mobile service at [url] or press 611. Please disregard if you've already paid for next month's service.

    I tried to log in and update my billing information. The service was extremely slow and it timed out after I entered my credit card information. I thought I probably hadn't successfully enabled autopay, but I wasn't sure.

    2021-11-18: Your T-Mobile plan will renew in two days via AutoPay with an estimated charge of $30.00 before taxes/fees/surcharges. Thank you for being a T-Mobile customer.

    I took this to mean that my credit card change had actually gone through, and I was all set.

    2021-11-20: Please refill your plan before 12:01am tomorrow to ensure continued T-Mobile service by visiting [url] or dial 611. Please disregard if you've already paid for next month's service.

    I received three of these, one after another. This was surprising, but it did say to disregard if I had already paid. I thought there was a good chance that my service was going to be cancelled, but at this point I was grumpy enough that I figured that if they cancelled my service that was fine with me.

    2021-11-20: Auto-Pay is cancelled. Your next T-Mobile plan payment will not be paid automatically. To re-enroll, call *233 or visit [url].

    2021-11-21: Your T-Mobile service has been suspended. To restore service, contact your Primary Account Holder or make a payment at [url].

    None of this is that bad, but it was frustrating enough that I decided to move away. I care about cost, hassle, and the chance that my account is stolen, and Google Fi (disclosure: I work for Google, speaking only for myself) seemed like a solid option. The marginal cost was $20/month, since Julia already uses it. She's had a good experience, and Google is probably the company I trust most for security. I've now switched; it was simple, didn't need a SIM, and my phone number ported quickly.

    The only wart so far is that since I ported my number from Google Voice (I had been using GV without giving out my underlying number) I wasn't able to read my old messages in GV until I signed up for a new number. The way I would have liked this to work would be for my GV history to move over to Fi, and I'm sad they didn't set that up.

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