A good, if not the best, deal.
Jan 30, 2008 (Updated Jan 30, 2008)
Review by mistsy
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:You get some minutes quick.
Cons:The $100 card is a far better deal.
The Bottom Line: You will find that you have to argue about which minutes expire when and more. Get the $100 card/refill.
"Cards" that you buy for tmobile are good for a prepaid account. That means that you are not on a plan, have no monthly bill, and simply pay for your airtime upfront. More on that later.
Recommend this product?
It is hard to write a review about a card that isn't a card, so bear with me.
You can buy a real card at some stores or you can go online or to many more stores and buy $25 worth of credit for you tmobile account. However you buy it, it's the exact same thing and there really is no reason to buy a card as all it is is a piece of plastic for which there is no use.
What you get for $25 is not so easy to understand. You get 130 anytime minutes. Those "expire" after 90 days. I hate that. If you pay for the minutes, you paid for them and should get them, no matter how long it takes you to use them. However, that's the deal. 90 days.
You also get "gold rewards" minutes. These are anytime minutes too, and they are separate from the the others that expire in 90 days. You get 150 of those minutes which you can use for up to a year. You can't have those minutes, however, until you spend $100 in tmobile cards/refills. However, this is so muddled on the tmobile conditions that you can probably argue your way into getting them.
In fact, it is so unclear what these gold rewards are that you can basically buy whatever card/refill you want and get those minutes for nothing.
I don't really want to be on the phone arguing with tmobile so I would not buy this card again. It's difficult to figure out which minutes expire when, which minutes get used when and all sorts of other permutations that will send you ballistic.
The simplest card/refill to buy is the $100 one. It includes 1000 minutes (10c per minute) and is very straightforward. The minutes expire in a year. If you can, buy that one so you know what you have and don't have to deal with customer service about your gold rewards.
That brings me to customer service. Yikes. It's the same run-around nonsense you get from any other company, replete with promises and threats, a sense that you don't matter, long hold time, CSRs who know less than you do, etc.
On top of that, as a prepaid customer, you are like dirt to tmobile. They actually have a separate customer service to deal with perpaid people and they assume, because you prepay, that you are bad credit risk and that's why you choose to prepay. They definitely do not understand anyone who prepays because it is cheaper than a monthly plan for people who don't use the phone to the tune of 1000 minutes a month.
I use about 20 minutes per month so about $200 in minutes is all I need for nearly a year. That comes out to about $10/month in prepaid vs. about $35/month for the cheapest plan. I am reminded that I can qualify for 10 lines each time I call (which is not often) and that I qualify for a plan.
I don't need a plan. I need a phone that works for the minutes I use per month. When you call customer service you are made to feel like you are a plan wannabe.
All in all, if you need a cell phone, this is the best company to be with if they have good service in your area. The rest charge a whole lot for nothing. For example, if you were to choose Verizon, you would need to pay them $50 per month just to have service - no minutes! I don't remember Sprint and ATT but it was similar.
Cell phone companies do not understand consumer needs/wants, except for tmobile. If you want to prepay your minutes, tmobile is the only company that will allow you to do so without a monthly fee unless you go with a re-seller.
Tracphone is one such company and I have a friend who uses them. The deal she gets is good, but it is cheaper to deal with tmobile by a cent or two a minute. (That adds up.) There are other, similar companies.
Assuming you have good credit and can qualify for a plan, I suggest you shop around tmobile stores, online, at the malls, wherever, and get a plan for one year - not the two years they want to sell you.
If you persist, you will get that one year contract and get a free phone - usually something good. I have a Nokia 6103 which is a camera phone and I can take pictures and connect the phone via a $5 cable I bought on ebay to the computer and download those photos for free.
Make sure, if you intend to use that camera, that you do what I do for free. Many companies, tmobile included, "lock" the phones so you have to upload the photos to their site and then download them for a fee. Nokia phones seem to be out of that trap.
Once your contract is up, you will have a decent phone that you can change to prepaid (and suffer the indignity of prepaid customer service.)
Should you buy this card/refill? If you're short of cash, you should dump the cell phone completely - it is expensive. If you can afford this card, I still wouldn't buy it. The $100 card/refill is far easier to understand and you won't have arguments with tmobile.
Don't buy this card. Wait until you can afford the $100 card.
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