AT&T's T-Mobile Buyout: Customers Speak
AT&T may be excited about its pending acquisition of T-Mobile USA, but T-Mobile users are wary of losing their beloved carrier and their cheaply priced plans. Some are threatening to run away from AT&T once their contract is up, while others are wondering if they can cancel their service without getting slapped with an early termination fee (ETF). Others are just sad to see T-Mobile go the way of the dodo.
It's still too early to know for sure if AT&T will get to buy T-Mobile since the deal still has to get regulatory approval from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. This process is expected to take at least 12 months. But the long goodbye hasn't stopped T-Mobile's dedicated users from fearing the worst and bidding farewell to the smallest national carrier in the U.S.
Oh, No, Not Again!
"I hate this. Every time I run away from AT&T they buy up who I ran to," says T-Mobile forum user Molotov. "I went from Verizon to AT&T; went to Cingular... then to T-Mobile; and back to AT&T. I guess there's no escaping my destiny. Here AT&T. Here's my Bank Pin Number. Let's get this over with."
Chalk up one easy assimilation for AT&T; welcome to the hive Molotov.
Can I Cancel My Contract?
Another prevailing theme among T-Mobile users is the question of whether they can cancel their contract if AT&T takes over.
It's doubtful that AT&T will just let customers walk away free and clear from their contracts, so don't count on that. The most common way to get out of a mobile contract early is if your carrier hikes up the cost of your service before your contract expires. Should that happen, then you may have an argument. But considering that AT&T is obligated to honor all T-Mobile contracts until they expire, don't count on being able to break your contract early because of price hikes.
What About My Plan?
Others are also concerned about losing their unlimited and cheap phone plans.
"Am I going to loose my unlimited data plan after this acquisition completes," asked T-Mobile user awsule. As with the previous concerns, AT&T would be required to honor your current T-Mobile contract, but it's unclear what would happen after your contract expires.
Don't Do It Or I'll Jump
"I have absolutely no use for AT&T If your merger gets approved then I will cancel service," says user seanmachado in one thread on T-Mobile's forums. Those sentiments appeared to be a predominant theme on the forums.
"I have 5 lines through Tmo, and I will certainly take them elsewhere if this deal goes through," says jcindy81.
"I've only been with tmo for 4 yrs, and my contract is up in sept. I will not re-up simply because this deal might go through. If the FCC and the DOJ do the smart thing and shoot down this merger, I'll come back," says T-Mobile user nine.
The iPhone Did It?
You might want to put on your tin foil hats for this one folks, because the source of all suffering has been tracked back to the iPhone.
"The number one reason why T-Mobile is going under is Apple," says the oddly-named user attmobile. "When you have a product like the iPhone with the potential to revolutionize the smart phone industry, you simply cannot sell it exclusively to one carrier. Spread it out so that carriers can still compete on price and also network usage is evenly distributed."
Goodbye, Old Friend
Another group of users appears resigned to their fate and are taking this moment to thank T-Mobile for its service.
"I would simply like to say "thank you" to the T-Mobile employees and leadership which have made my experience so great over the last decade," says one T-Mobile forum user. "Here's hoping that enough of that spirit lasts with the AT&T transition that I won't want to throw my new phone away right away."
"It was the hard-working dedicated T-mobile staff from the store to customer care you guys are amazing and have made what T-mobile is today," says josemedina1983 in the same thread.
"I too have found T-mo customer service OUTSTANDING. Not a time would go by that I wouldn't hang up the phone after contacting them that I wouldn't wish OTHER companies I dealt with could take lessons from them," says another user. Many people voiced similar compliments for T-Mobile's service.
They Will Be Assimilated? Excellent.
AT&T customers are also weighing in on the T-Mobile acquisition. Over on Technologizer, Harry McCracken asked his Twitter followers what they thought of the merger and several AT&T users say they can't t wait to point their antennas at T-Mobile towers.
"I am already an AT&T customer so if it improves signal coverage and speed without increasing cost I'm all for it," Michael Halbe says.
Twitter user Caleb Davis tells McCracken, "I frequently travel to places [without] ATT coverage and everyone there uses unlocked iPhones on T-mobile. I can't wait."
One insightful user on Facebook identifies what may be the most important issue. "My main concern is how this will affect T-Mobile's marketing campaign," says Wes Platt. "And whether it means we'll get a commercial in which the T-Mobile girl loses HER shirt because she's now partnered with AT&T."
T-Mobile: Don't Lose Your Shirt