Anyone who’s ever taken a stab at reading through a Terms & Conditions agreement knows that they normally rival the Iliad in length. There are two reasons companies do this: first, the more words, the more coverage and protection that company gets within its T&C, and second, the less likely you are to actually read it and find out that you’ve agreed to sell your first born child as payment for this or that product. Or worse, your warranty ends after the first month.
Since no one but lawyers ever enjoys reading these lengthy contracts, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to figure out what’s new in T-Mobile’s Terms & Conditions, which were updated July 24. In truth, not much has changed. However, a new clause regarding changing plans has found its way into the contract.
Section Five now reads:
“Changes to Your Service: You may be unable to change your Rate Plan, including services and features associated with your Rate Plan. You may request to change to another Rate Plan during your Term, and if we authorize the change, you may be charged a migration fee of up to $200 for each line of service, and you may continue to be bound to your existing Term or an extended Term. The amount of the migration fee will decrease as the time remaining on your Term decreases. For specific information about changing your Rate Plan, including migration fee details, call T-Mobile.”
This updated version of the T&C was released alongside a new set of cheaper smartphone plans from T-Mobile called “Value” plans. This new clause is meant to transition people from the old to the new plans. If you’re interested in switching from a Classic plan to a Value plan, here are some things to think about: The reason the Classic plan is more expensive is because it includes subsidies for new phones, and discounts when you’re eligible for an upgrade. With a Value plan, you’re required to pay the full price of the phone when purchased from T-Mobile, whether that be in one lump sum, or with a down-payment followed by monthly installments.
That bit in the T&C about “if we authorize the change” may sound a bit overbearing but T-Mo is actually just looking out for you. If you happen to be a repeat upgrader, than the lower monthly bills from Value plans may not be very helpful. The saved cash will likely have to go towards your next smartphone, since opting out of the Classic plans excludes you from any subsidies or upgrade discounts. By adding this to the T&C, T-Mobile is making sure that both parties are aware of the consequences that a plan switch-up might bring along.
On the other hand, if you own a travel phone or a secondary phone that you don’t plan on upgrading/replacing any time soon, a switch over to a Value plan may be your best choice. You’ll just have to eat that $200 migration fee.