Author Topic: Has anyone switched carriers using the contract termination deal with T-Mobile?  (Read 7782 times)

AMustachianMurse

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I would theoretically cut my bill in half going from Verizon to T-mobile, however if T-mobile doesn't actually cover the termination fee completely, then the added costs of the plan could make it take years to break even on the deal, much less save money.

Any one have any experience doing this deal?  I have a fully functioning Galaxy S 3 to trade in if that helps with the information.

Daley

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Flyinhawaiian

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Just did this last week, though I haven't received my credit from t-mobile yet so I can't comment fully on the entire process.  Once you get the final bill from Verizon, you upload it to a website and t-mobile credits you on a future bill.  There are 3 requirements to be aware of.  First you need to turn in an old phone.  Doesn't have to be your current one, so if you have something older than your galaxy you could do that.  Second you have to buy a new phone from tmobile.  Since I was bringing a compatible iphone5 over, I just bought their cheapest phone ($100) they sold to satisfy this requirement.  Lastly, you have to port your existing number over.

Neva6

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I did it with 4 smart phones on Verizon. They reimbursed the etf but not some taxes and fees which came to about $70. I got 2 Mastercard pre paid cards about 3 weeks later totalling $750 or so. Other than a little hassle getting new phones setup and all that it worked great. Good luck!

Neva6

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Oh and we also got around $400 for the phones we traded in. The math comes out to a long term benefit for sure.

AMustachianMurse

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I did it with 4 smart phones on Verizon. They reimbursed the etf but not some taxes and fees which came to about $70. I got 2 Mastercard pre paid cards about 3 weeks later totalling $750 or so. Other than a little hassle getting new phones setup and all that it worked great. Good luck!

Can you cancel your verizon account online?  Or do you have to talk to people on the phone and/or go do it in person.  I seriously hate getting hassled for cancelling things, and since I work 9-5 now I hit the traffic rush every time I want to do errands.  The thought of going to a packed verizon store during rush hour to get hassled endlessly while cancelling my phone makes me want to blow my brains out lol. 

AMustachianMurse

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You might want to give this a read:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/

One major factor in my decision to go to t-mobile, other than the dramatic price decrease compared to verizon, is that I travel internationally fairly often: once every 1-2 years, and T-Mobile has this amazing thing where you can get free data all over the world.  When I was in the philippines with my gf, her t-mobile phone, literally...well figuratively saved our lives numerous times when I ran out of minutes on my international prepaid sim card, and we were in places I did not know how to get out of, in a language we did not understand.  She was able to text my family members for free and get us out of the jam numerous times.  I cannot tell you how useful having her T-Mobile phone was internationally. 

I suppose once every 2 years is not that big of a savings economically, however when you consider I spent about $100 getting a nokia phone + sim card + minutes in a 3rd world country, plus the dangers of being in a country with no mode of communication...I think T-Mobile is the best option for me.  Now, whether or not I need a smart phone...well I have a tough time defending that logically, but I've found my smart phone to be an extremely useful tool.  Perhaps when I've mastered the frugality martial art as you have I will be able to kick the expensive habit. 

Thank you again for your advice!

AMustachianMurse

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Oh and we also got around $400 for the phones we traded in. The math comes out to a long term benefit for sure.

How fast were you able to get the new line up and running?  Did you have any downtime where you didn't have a phone?

the fixer

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Free international data is not something I'm aware of, I didn't have it as of my plan that I established in 2009. They're always changing plans around so who knows... but T-Mobile will do international roaming at exorbitant rates if you call them and ask to get it turned on. I never used international data, but I have made some calls and texts overseas. If you only travel every 1-2 years and even then only need connectivity for emergencies, don't pay for a plan to do this, just eat the high rates you occasionally pay.

oldtoyota

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her t-mobile phone, literally...well figuratively saved our lives numerous times when I ran out of minutes on my international prepaid sim card, and we were in places I did not know how to get out of, in a language we did not understand.  She was able to text my family members for free and get us out of the jam numerous times.  I cannot tell you how useful having her T-Mobile phone was internationally. 


This sounds like an excuse to me. The phone saved your life?

There was a time, not so long ago, when people did not have mobile phones and they traveled through foreign countries where they did not speak the language and did just fine. I was one of those people. I navigated taxis in Prague with people who only spoke Russian. I used hand gestures. I navigated the Paris metro in the middle of the night going from deGaulle to Orly…using extremely limited French (I knew three words, and one was "taxi.")

I was just at a conference where a man said he could not go jogging because he did not have his mobile phone.  A woman nodded in an understanding way and said she could not get around the city we were all in because her phone with GPS was not working. This led me to think that people no longer understand grid systems or maps or cities.



« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 07:20:07 PM by oldtoyota »

Beckyemerson

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her t-mobile phone, literally...well figuratively saved our lives numerous times when I ran out of minutes on my international prepaid sim card, and we were in places I did not know how to get out of, in a language we did not understand.  She was able to text my family members for free and get us out of the jam numerous times.  I cannot tell you how useful having her T-Mobile phone was internationally. 


This sounds like an excuse to me. The phone saved your life?

There was a time, not so long ago, when people did not have mobile phones and they traveled through foreign countries where they did not speak the language and did just fine. I was one of those people. I navigated taxis in Prague with people who only spoke Russian. I used hand gestures. I navigated the Paris metro in the middle of the night going from deGaulle to Orly…using extremely limited French (I knew three words, and one was "taxi.")

I was just at a conference where a man said he could not go jogging because he did not have his mobile phone.  A woman nodded in an understanding way and said she could not get around the city we were all in because her phone with GPS was not working. This led me to think that people no longer understand grid systems or maps or cities.

I think because cell phones are so common natives expect travelers to have them and therefore are less helpful. And travelers don't know what to do without their phone.

Travis

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Free international data is not something I'm aware of, I didn't have it as of my plan that I established in 2009. They're always changing plans around so who knows... but T-Mobile will do international roaming at exorbitant rates if you call them and ask to get it turned on. I never used international data, but I have made some calls and texts overseas. If you only travel every 1-2 years and even then only need connectivity for emergencies, don't pay for a plan to do this, just eat the high rates you occasionally pay.

T-Mobile came up with their international plan in October 2013.  It is an intergral part of their new plans so there is no adding it on.  It is free texting, free data*, and $.20 a minute calls.  At the moment it is a loss leader for them, but is gaining them customers which seems to be the goal.  From what I've read the big carriers make a 90% profit on providing international service, but since T-Mobile isn't charging extra for it they're losing 1-2% to provide it.

I've been a T-Mobile customer for several years.  They don't do contracts anymore, but if you were still on a contract when they made the change last year your contract still has to run its course.  Mine is done in November.  DW and I have smartphones.  She doesn't use much of anything and I do lots of texting in addition to some data.  Together we probably use a max of 500 mins a month.  Our base bill is $80 and I pay an extra $10 for more data.  She uses half of her 500MB while I use about 1GB of my 2.5GB (there's no in-between).  I'm in the Middle East for the rest of the year so I'm making good use of the international plan.  When I get home I'll be looking to switch to an MVNO.  I could probably get her what she needs for $15-20 a month while I would cost around $30-$35.

*I pay for 2.5GB of data on my plan which translates into 1GB of international roaming at 3G speeds.  The minimum data plan with T-Mobile is 500MB which translates to 50MB international.  If I go over that limit during the billing cycle, it drops down to 2G until the next cycle.  You can get 4G, but you have to pay extra.

AMustachianMurse

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Free international data is not something I'm aware of, I didn't have it as of my plan that I established in 2009. They're always changing plans around so who knows... but T-Mobile will do international roaming at exorbitant rates if you call them and ask to get it turned on. I never used international data, but I have made some calls and texts overseas. If you only travel every 1-2 years and even then only need connectivity for emergencies, don't pay for a plan to do this, just eat the high rates you occasionally pay.

T-Mobile came up with their international plan in October 2013.  It is an intergral part of their new plans so there is no adding it on.  It is free texting, free data*, and $.20 a minute calls.  At the moment it is a loss leader for them, but is gaining them customers which seems to be the goal.  From what I've read the big carriers make a 90% profit on providing international service, but since T-Mobile isn't charging extra for it they're losing 1-2% to provide it.

I've been a T-Mobile customer for several years.  They don't do contracts anymore, but if you were still on a contract when they made the change last year your contract still has to run its course.  Mine is done in November.  DW and I have smartphones.  She doesn't use much of anything and I do lots of texting in addition to some data.  Together we probably use a max of 500 mins a month.  Our base bill is $80 and I pay an extra $10 for more data.  She uses half of her 500MB while I use about 1GB of my 2.5GB (there's no in-between).  I'm in the Middle East for the rest of the year so I'm making good use of the international plan.  When I get home I'll be looking to switch to an MVNO.  I could probably get her what she needs for $15-20 a month while I would cost around $30-$35.

*I pay for 2.5GB of data on my plan which translates into 1GB of international roaming at 3G speeds.  The minimum data plan with T-Mobile is 500MB which translates to 50MB international.  If I go over that limit during the billing cycle, it drops down to 2G until the next cycle.  You can get 4G, but you have to pay extra.

Damn, you were the first one that I felt was supporting my switch to T-Mobile, and it seems you are wanting to go MVNO.  I might have to rethink this strategy.

Paul der Krake

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The free data abroad is a gimmick- 10 minutes planning and cheap local SIM cards are enough to keep using a MVNO the rest of the year, pile up the savings and invest them in said local SIM cards over there.

That's fine if your goal when you go abroad is to be one of those pampered study-abroad-type Americans who travel in packs of 12 while being, like, omg, totally exposed to a different culture. Are you one of them, or are you a kick ass traveler looking to step outside of his comfort zone? :)

oldtoyota

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her t-mobile phone, literally...well figuratively saved our lives numerous times when I ran out of minutes on my international prepaid sim card, and we were in places I did not know how to get out of, in a language we did not understand.  She was able to text my family members for free and get us out of the jam numerous times.  I cannot tell you how useful having her T-Mobile phone was internationally. 


This sounds like an excuse to me. The phone saved your life?

There was a time, not so long ago, when people did not have mobile phones and they traveled through foreign countries where they did not speak the language and did just fine. I was one of those people. I navigated taxis in Prague with people who only spoke Russian. I used hand gestures. I navigated the Paris metro in the middle of the night going from deGaulle to Orly…using extremely limited French (I knew three words, and one was "taxi.")

I was just at a conference where a man said he could not go jogging because he did not have his mobile phone.  A woman nodded in an understanding way and said she could not get around the city we were all in because her phone with GPS was not working. This led me to think that people no longer understand grid systems or maps or cities.

I think because cell phones are so common natives expect travelers to have them and therefore are less helpful. And travelers don't know what to do without their phone.

The Phil. is a poor country. AFAIK, it would be more likely that people in remote areas--presumably these are areas where you would get lost and not be able to get a map??--would have fewer cell phones due to the expense. I do not know for certain though.

People will still help you. I ask people for help all the time.

As for travelers, learned helplessness is not an excuse to me. If others want to spend a lot of money to use a service for infrequent overseas travel, that is entirely up to them.




Travis

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Free international data is not something I'm aware of, I didn't have it as of my plan that I established in 2009. They're always changing plans around so who knows... but T-Mobile will do international roaming at exorbitant rates if you call them and ask to get it turned on. I never used international data, but I have made some calls and texts overseas. If you only travel every 1-2 years and even then only need connectivity for emergencies, don't pay for a plan to do this, just eat the high rates you occasionally pay.

T-Mobile came up with their international plan in October 2013.  It is an intergral part of their new plans so there is no adding it on.  It is free texting, free data*, and $.20 a minute calls.  At the moment it is a loss leader for them, but is gaining them customers which seems to be the goal.  From what I've read the big carriers make a 90% profit on providing international service, but since T-Mobile isn't charging extra for it they're losing 1-2% to provide it.

I've been a T-Mobile customer for several years.  They don't do contracts anymore, but if you were still on a contract when they made the change last year your contract still has to run its course.  Mine is done in November.  DW and I have smartphones.  She doesn't use much of anything and I do lots of texting in addition to some data.  Together we probably use a max of 500 mins a month.  Our base bill is $80 and I pay an extra $10 for more data.  She uses half of her 500MB while I use about 1GB of my 2.5GB (there's no in-between).  I'm in the Middle East for the rest of the year so I'm making good use of the international plan.  When I get home I'll be looking to switch to an MVNO.  I could probably get her what she needs for $15-20 a month while I would cost around $30-$35.

*I pay for 2.5GB of data on my plan which translates into 1GB of international roaming at 3G speeds.  The minimum data plan with T-Mobile is 500MB which translates to 50MB international.  If I go over that limit during the billing cycle, it drops down to 2G until the next cycle.  You can get 4G, but you have to pay extra.

Damn, you were the first one that I felt was supporting my switch to T-Mobile, and it seems you are wanting to go MVNO.  I might have to rethink this strategy.

I like T Mobile.  It suits my needs and is the most affordable of the big carriers, but if I can find a better deal when my contract is up and I get back to the US I'll take it.  My problem is I'm a huge texter and few of the MVNOs have texting plans that would make the switch enough of a saver.

AMustachianMurse

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The free data abroad is a gimmick- 10 minutes planning and cheap local SIM cards are enough to keep using a MVNO the rest of the year, pile up the savings and invest them in said local SIM cards over there.

That's fine if your goal when you go abroad is to be one of those pampered study-abroad-type Americans who travel in packs of 12 while being, like, omg, totally exposed to a different culture. Are you one of them, or are you a kick ass traveler looking to step outside of his comfort zone? :)

Thanks for this response.  Leave it to the MMM forums to give you the facts and FACEPUNCH you with it haha, that's why i love the community.  Thank you for the tough words, they are well taken, and I will fold that into my thoughts.  So pivoting away from the old strategy.  An interesting thing about my work is that there is a freaking ATT&T cell tower on top of it, and for whatever reason (legally or not) no other providers get cell signal inside the hospital.  I am in the OR with my verizon phone with 0 bars.  T-Mobile users have it next best with 1 or 2 bars of 4G.  AT&T Full bars 4G constantly. 

Knowing this, what are your guys picks for ATT compatible MVNOs?  I'll do a search in this forum for the info as well, but if you have any direct links to speed up my education I would greatly appreciate it. 

Thanks again for your time and kind words everyone.

Daley

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Knowing this, what are your guys picks for ATT compatible MVNOs?  I'll do a search in this forum for the info as well, but if you have any direct links to speed up my education I would greatly appreciate it.

It's already been directly linked in the first response. That guide has an entire section devoted to MVNO selection based on what your actual calling needs are, including which network the MVNO operates on. I did all the work of consolidating down the best stuff into one location so you don't have to scrape the entire forums and rest of the internet.



OT, Paul... thank you both for laying down the smack. It was sorely needed in this thread. :)

Neva6

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Oh and we also got around $400 for the phones we traded in. The math comes out to a long term benefit for sure.

How fast were you able to get the new line up and running?  Did you have any downtime where you didn't have a phone?

Sorry I haven't responded sooner. There was no downtime. We walked out with new T-Mobile phones and they worked to call out. The actual phone number transferred within an hour. You don't have to talk or interface with Verizon at all. Verizon will send you you're last bill with the etf.

As a caution you are paid up a month ahead on Verizon and they will not prorate your bill. So make sure to do the switch near the end of your billing cycle. Give it a few days buffer because I've been told that it can take a few days for the actual transfer to be realized on Verizon's side although the phone works immediately. You wouldn't want to transfer on the day your cycle starts because you'd have to pay Verizon an entire month for 1 day of service.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 10:10:45 AM by Neva6 »

MrsPotts

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I cut my phone bill in half by making the switch.  Had my rebate in 4 weeks.

dragoncar

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Just did this last week, though I haven't received my credit from t-mobile yet so I can't comment fully on the entire process.  Once you get the final bill from Verizon, you upload it to a website and t-mobile credits you on a future bill.  There are 3 requirements to be aware of.  First you need to turn in an old phone.  Doesn't have to be your current one, so if you have something older than your galaxy you could do that.  Second you have to buy a new phone from tmobile.  Since I was bringing a compatible iphone5 over, I just bought their cheapest phone ($100) they sold to satisfy this requirement.  Lastly, you have to port your existing number over.

So let me get this straight, I'm on AT&T with an iPhone5.  I tell them I want to buy out my contract, and pay the fee.  Then I ask them to unlock the phone.  Then I sign up with T-Mobile, purchasing their $50 phone (currently cheapest option).  Then T-Mobile reimburses me.  Then I simply transfer the SIM card to my iPhone? 

Did I get that right?

Daley

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Did I get that right?

Not exactly. The ETF payoff is more of a numbers shell game to dupe people into going under contract, spend more money than necessary, and create more electronic waste. If you actually run the numbers, you'll find it's not much of a bargain... but most people only see "free money", are terrible at math, and don't give a crap about being wasteful consumer whores so they will buy another new phone at the drop of a hat whether they need it or not. Run the numbers:

http://www.techmeshugana.com/tools/wirelessroi.html

If you want to switch to T-Mobile, you'll have front all the money, buy a new iPhone at full retail price (with or without two year payment plan contract) with T-Mobile, then sell your old phone to T-Mobile for whatever price they want to pay you for it. You're also going to have to commit to a minimum $50/month plan with them, which only provides 1GB of data for that money (since I know your data habits). Details on the gimmick here:

http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/switch-carriers-no-early-termination-fee.html

Also, legally, no carrier can actually buy out your contract with another carrier. Not T-Mobile, not Ting, not anyone. What actually happens is that you have to front the entire cost of the ETF, the new phone and switching, and then you submit copies of your final bill with your previous carrier and get a service credit.

Buying out your own ETF, getting your handset carrier unlocked, and pricing an MVNO is always going to be cheaper.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 07:48:05 AM by I.P. Daley »

dragoncar

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Did I get that right?

Not exactly. The ETF payoff is more of a numbers shell game to dupe people into going under contract, spend more money than necessary, and create more electronic waste. If you actually run the numbers, you'll find it's not much of a bargain... but most people only see "free money", are terrible at math, and don't give a crap about being wasteful consumer whores so they will buy another new phone at the drop of a hat whether they need it or not. Run the numbers:

http://www.techmeshugana.com/tools/wirelessroi.html

If you want to switch to T-Mobile, you'll have front all the money, buy a new iPhone at full retail price (with or without two year payment plan contract) with T-Mobile, then sell your old phone to T-Mobile for whatever price they want to pay you for it. You're also going to have to commit to a minimum $50/month plan with them, which only provides 1GB of data for that money (since I know your data habits). Details on the gimmick here:

http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/switch-carriers-no-early-termination-fee.html

Also, legally, no carrier can actually buy out your contract with another carrier. Not T-Mobile, not Ting, not anyone. What actually happens is that you have to front the entire cost of the ETF, the new phone and switching, and then you submit copies of your final bill with your previous carrier and get a service credit.

Buying out your own ETF, getting your handset carrier unlocked, and pricing an MVNO is always going to be cheaper.

I see.  I started considering because I'm on a big ATT family plan and everyone is interested in switching.  The marginal line would only be $40 for unlimited everything (give the primary line w/ 1 GB to someone who doesn't use as much data). 

Some people are on contract, and some are off.  So I was thinking those who are on contract can "buy" the new phone to get the ETF service credit, and just give it to one of those above-mentioned people who are out of contract with old broken phones, who don't use as much data.  Then, those on contract (who have new phones) can just keep their fancy new phones. 

But that's all dependent on the phone being compatible, and T-mobile playing along w/ the sim card switcharoo.

Either way, service that works at home is certainly a bargain compared to service that doesn't work at home.  That being said, I just realized maybe I can ditch my ATT contract due to poor service in my new address.

Thegoblinchief

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I just ditched T-Mobile for AirVoice. Saving me $25 a month.

Daley

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Some people are on contract, and some are off.  So I was thinking those who are on contract can "buy" the new phone to get the ETF service credit, and just give it to one of those above-mentioned people who are out of contract with old broken phones, who don't use as much data.  Then, those on contract (who have new phones) can just keep their fancy new phones. 

But that's all dependent on the phone being compatible, and T-mobile playing along w/ the sim card switcharoo.

Either way, service that works at home is certainly a bargain compared to service that doesn't work at home.  That being said, I just realized maybe I can ditch my ATT contract due to poor service in my new address.

It's a great idea in theory, but unfortunately you don't get to keep your old phones to do that with under the T-Mobile deal. Everyone has to buy overpriced new phones and give their old ones to T-Mobile for bottom trade-in dollar. If you're still keen on a T-Mo postpaid switch, it would probably still be cheaper to just eat the ETF, unlock phones, buy replacements where necessary, and roll with the same plan you'd get otherwise.

You're absolutely right, though, service that works at home is a bargain in comparison. It's also getting harder to argue that point in this day and age with the big carriers due to femtocells. Worth a shot, though.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 08:31:02 AM by I.P. Daley »

MrsPotts

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Did I get that right?

Not exactly. The ETF payoff is more of a numbers shell game to dupe people into going under contract, spend more money than necessary, and create more electronic waste. If you actually run the numbers, you'll find it's not much of a bargain... but most people only see "free money", are terrible at math, and don't give a crap about being wasteful consumer whores so they will buy another new phone at the drop of a hat whether they need it or not. Run the numbers:

http://www.techmeshugana.com/tools/wirelessroi.html

If you want to switch to T-Mobile, you'll have front all the money, buy a new iPhone at full retail price (with or without two year payment plan contract) with T-Mobile, then sell your old phone to T-Mobile for whatever price they want to pay you for it. You're also going to have to commit to a minimum $50/month plan with them, which only provides 1GB of data for that money (since I know your data habits). Details on the gimmick here:

http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/switch-carriers-no-early-termination-fee.html

Also, legally, no carrier can actually buy out your contract with another carrier. Not T-Mobile, not Ting, not anyone. What actually happens is that you have to front the entire cost of the ETF, the new phone and switching, and then you submit copies of your final bill with your previous carrier and get a service credit.

Buying out your own ETF, getting your handset carrier unlocked, and pricing an MVNO is always going to be cheaper.

You dont get a service credit.  You get a Prepaid Mastercard.   And if you own a phone that is compatible with t mobile, you just switch the sim card.   We switched 3 numbers over and bought 2 phones, bcause my daughters nexus 5 was compatible.  I had an old dead phone that I turned in in its place. 

Daley

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You dont get a service credit.  You get a Prepaid Mastercard.   And if you own a phone that is compatible with t mobile, you just switch the sim card.   We switched 3 numbers over and bought 2 phones, bcause my daughters nexus 5 was compatible.  I had an old dead phone that I turned in in its place.

Glad to be corrected about a couple specifics, but I still think it's a sucker's game for most people who switch. ;)