A couple of weeks ago, I was sad to learn that Sprint was going to get rid of their 2 year contracts. A fellow reader commented that it was still possible to get the 2-year contracts at certain stores, like at Best Buy or Target. At the time, I was not able to take advantage of the extension because I was still under contract. Our phones were only upgrade eligible for certain “leasing” plans (no, thank you). Well, 4 out of the 5 phone contracts have ended, but so have the 2-year contract extension at the retail stores.
No More Two Year Contracts
We May Have to Part Ways, Sprint
When people say that subsidized phones aren’t free because you are technically paying for it in the form of higher monthly fee, they are absolutely right. However, we had factored in the cost with the 2-year contracts. Now that the contracts have ended, it no longer makes sense to pay a higher monthly rate than what is currently available on the market — especially if the new phones are no longer subsidized. It’s a virtual certainty that I will be moving on from Sprint.
Which Carrier Am I Going to Switch To and Why?
I’ve had Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T as my wireless carrier over the years, so I have a good idea of how reliable each of the networks is in my area. After reviewing the options, I plan to switch to T-Mobile. I like T-Mobile for its unlimited plan, competitive family plan pricing and international data roaming (which Sprint has but gets far less attention for it). I always wanted a GSM phone, and T-Mobile has that too.
I did not consider Verizon because it’s on the CDMA network (same as Sprint), while my personal preference is for a GSM phone. They also do not offer “free” international roaming like Sprint and T-mobile, which is a deal-breaker for me. While Verizon is known for their “reliable” network, their pricing is also higher than their competitors. Although I have not had Verizon as a wireless carrier, I have not been impressed with their service when we had issues with our landline.
AT&T, on the other hand, is on GSM and also has a reliable network. Like Verizon, they do not offer a “free” international roaming and their pricing is less competitive than Sprint and T-Mobile. I personally think that AT&T has a lot of potential but it hasn’t done anything to make itself stand out. If it beefs up its offerings, AT&T could be an interesting choice.
I like competition so I don’t want any of the major carriers to fail. However, if anyone has learned, it’s that even behemoths can fail. We need to look no further than Blackberry.
When To Make the Switch?
I am planning to switch when there is a good deal, especially since I am dealing with a 5 lines switch. In hindsight, I may have already missed the boat with the trade-in offer for the iPhone 7 a couple of months ago. However, with the holidays around the corner, I am hopeful there will be a few more promotions. In fact, there is already a leak on T-Mobile’s promotions for Black Friday.
Interestingly, there is nothing mentioned in the leak about iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus deals. If T-Mobile brings back the trade-in deal, I’m in. Otherwise, I plan to wait it out a bit longer. The worst case scenario? We will switch when the iPhone 8 comes out. After all, everyone is expecting something big from Apple given that next year is the 10th year anniversary of the iPhone. You never know, that could just be the new “next big thing”.