Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

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an_asker
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Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by an_asker » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:51 am

Maybe I didn't phrase it correctly, but the TMobile rep at the local mall told me that I cannot transfer an old grandfathered TMobile plan from a flip phone to an iPhone. I don't get it. Why can I not do that?

I mean, I can purchase a new TMobile SIM for the iPhone, but I should be able to transfer the grandfather account onto the new SIM, can I not?

I have planned to call TMobile customer service tonight, but was wondering if anyone here has run into a similar situation.

brad.clarkston
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Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by brad.clarkston » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:13 pm

That's extremely common in the telco/isp industry. The plan was discontinued many moons ago and is only allowed to continue as long as you don't modify the contract. Transferring it to a modern phone would modify the plan so you have to change to something new.

More than likely they have a new plan that's better than what you had. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say look into there "Unlimited 55+" plan it's 2 phones for $70 a month with some great perks ... the boss would kill me for promoting a competitors product ;)

an_asker
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by an_asker » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:19 pm

brad.clarkston wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:13 pm
That's extremely common in the telco/isp industry. The plan was discontinued many moons ago and is only allowed to continue as long as you don't modify the contract. Transferring it to a modern phone would modify the plan so you have to change to something new.

More than likely they have a new plan that's better than what you had. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say look into there "Unlimited 55+" plan it's 2 phones for $70 a month with some great perks ... the boss would kill me for promoting a competitors product ;)
I'm sorry maybe I was not specific enough. Mine is not really a plan, it is a pay as you go plan where if I purchase minutes, they are valid for the whole year then roll over. But I guess that is the same difference anyway. In which case, you are right, I should either go with one of the latest available plans or use Tello or Ting or some such!

yohac
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by yohac » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:25 pm

That sounds like the VERY old paygo plan, and I'm not surprised they won't grandfather it. But the current plan is good too, $3 per month minimum with 30 minutes included, and whatever dollars you have banked are good until they run out.

brad.clarkston
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by brad.clarkston » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:27 pm

an_asker wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:19 pm
brad.clarkston wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:13 pm
That's extremely common in the telco/isp industry. The plan was discontinued many moons ago and is only allowed to continue as long as you don't modify the contract. Transferring it to a modern phone would modify the plan so you have to change to something new.

More than likely they have a new plan that's better than what you had. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say look into there "Unlimited 55+" plan it's 2 phones for $70 a month with some great perks ... the boss would kill me for promoting a competitors product ;)
I'm sorry maybe I was not specific enough. Mine is not really a plan, it is a pay as you go plan where if I purchase minutes, they are valid for the whole year then roll over. But I guess that is the same difference anyway. In which case, you are right, I should either go with one of the latest available plans or use Tello or Ting or some such!
Yes that's still a pre-pay plan there's no difference to the telco's between a "pre-pay" or "post-pay" when it comes to the plans themselves its just a matter of credit check or no credit check.

Be careful if you decide to switch to a MVNO (tello/ting/etc) make sure you know who owns it and what network they use. For instance Tello uses the Sprint network while Ting uses T-Mobile. LTE coverage is a very local thing so if T-Mo is the better quality carrier in your area I'd say go with Ting but in my area it's Sprint.

While I work for Sprint and it would be easy to say "buy Sprint" telco and ISP coverage just doesn't work that way.
Go with the best quality provider in your area or you'll regret it.

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legio XX
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by legio XX » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:07 pm

an_asker wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:19 pm
I'm sorry maybe I was not specific enough. Mine is not really a plan, it is a pay as you go plan where if I purchase minutes, they are valid for the whole year then roll over. But I guess that is the same difference anyway. In which case, you are right, I should either go with one of the latest available plans or use Tello or Ting or some such!
No, they get you on that. The flip phone died nearly a year ago. I bought an entry-level android phone and got that 55+ plan - although with no use for a second line I pay $50. Whatever I had left of the last $100 bucks of minutes/text went down the chute with the phone. This is no doubt in the Terms of Service that were no doubt mentioned somewhere when you signed up for the pay as you go plan. ("For full TOS go to reallylongurl.com") Anyhow, I'm OK with the new phone even though it costs about twice what I used in pay-as-you-go minutes and gradually getting it to earn its keep. One reason to stick with TMobe is that it was reliable overseas. I used a lot of phone time this summer.

bloom2708
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:14 pm

Cricket Wireless should be considered an option.

https://www.cricketwireless.com/cell-phone-plans

Their plans scale for 4 phones (or 5) for the most savings. 4 Unlimited lines for $100 (capped data). 5 for $125 Unlimited (capped data).

$30 including tax for the Unlimited/Unlimited/2GB 4G data/Unlimited slower data plan for 1 user.

Better coverage (overall) than T-Mobile. Their website and port process is better than others. Transfer your number during the purchase of a new iPhone (6,7,8,X, XS, XR). Upon receiving the phone and activating your number is ported.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

ft2010
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by ft2010 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:20 pm

an_asker wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:51 am
Maybe I didn't phrase it correctly, but the TMobile rep at the local mall told me that I cannot transfer an old grandfathered TMobile plan from a flip phone to an iPhone. I don't get it. Why can I not do that?

I mean, I can purchase a new TMobile SIM for the iPhone, but I should be able to transfer the grandfather account onto the new SIM, can I not?

I have planned to call TMobile customer service tonight, but was wondering if anyone here has run into a similar situation.
Just make sure your destination phone is GSM based . T mobile corporate store should not have a problem to transfer account info from a standard sized sim card (your flip phone) to another new sim card (that fits your new GSM phone). You then place the new sim card to the gsm iphone (eg., not an Sprint iPhone), do a test call and text message before you walk out the store.

ft2010
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by ft2010 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:27 pm

If the handset you have is Sprint based, you could consider Tello (which requires sprint compatible phone); otherwise stick with a provider that best matches with your handset and each network (Att, Tmobile or Verizon) has relative lowrer cost prepaid include pay as you go plans.

PinotGris
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by PinotGris » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:03 pm

an_asker wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:51 am
Maybe I didn't phrase it correctly, but the TMobile rep at the local mall told me that I cannot transfer an old grandfathered TMobile plan from a flip phone to an iPhone. I don't get it. Why can I not do that?

I mean, I can purchase a new TMobile SIM for the iPhone, but I should be able to transfer the grandfather account onto the new SIM, can I not?

I have planned to call TMobile customer service tonight, but was wondering if anyone here has run into a similar situation.
I did exactly that. I have a grandfathered TMobile plan and had a flip phone. I bought an unlocked Iphone (6S) took it to the TMobile store in the same mall and the clerk did everything for me. Walked out and called my husband on my new phone.

I still have the same plan - 1000 minutes for $100, no data plan.
Last edited by PinotGris on Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

123
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by 123 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:06 pm

We had one old flip phone on a $10 a year (+10 cents a minute prepaid talk) plan with Tmobile that was on a Legacy or grandfathered plan. We had an old iphone (due to an upgrade by another family member). We were able to use a sim cutter to take the sim out of the GSM flip phone and insert it into the iphone. Talk and text worked fine as before. However on the $10 Legacy/grandfathered you cannot buy one of the "Data Passes" that lets you add data to the plan. The iphone web featurers worked fine on wi-fi. If you want to have an option to buy one of the tmobile "Data Passes" you must change from the Legacy/grandfathered $10 a year plan to the current $3 a month pay as you go plan. Whether or not you do that depends on your expected needs for the phone. To buy a data pass you have to call tmobile and use the automated voice-response system to add the data pass, the last time I checked there wasn't an app-based or web=based way of adding one.

Edited to add:
My experience with Tmobile phone stores is that they do not like the prepaid plans and will not provide much support besides directling you to call the 800 number (because of course prepaid doesn't give them any commission). However they are happy to convert your prepaid phone to a monthly plan. YMMV
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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BrandonBogle
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by BrandonBogle » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:27 pm

I wanted to echo others that if you do not want to use the newer functions of your iPhone on mobile (like web browsing when not on wifi), you could just have someone switch the service WITHOUT switching the phone to a new nano SIM and pop that into your flip phone with an adapter to make it whatever larger size you need for that. Then when you get in the car, pop out the SIM and put it in the iPhone. Alternatively, you could cut down your existing SIM to the size for the iPhone.

an_asker
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by an_asker » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:11 am

PinotGris wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:03 pm
an_asker wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:51 am
Maybe I didn't phrase it correctly, but the TMobile rep at the local mall told me that I cannot transfer an old grandfathered TMobile plan from a flip phone to an iPhone. I don't get it. Why can I not do that?

I mean, I can purchase a new TMobile SIM for the iPhone, but I should be able to transfer the grandfather account onto the new SIM, can I not?

I have planned to call TMobile customer service tonight, but was wondering if anyone here has run into a similar situation.
I did exactly that. I have a grandfathered TMobile plan and had a flip phone. I bought an unlocked Iphone (6S) took it to the TMobile store in the same mall and the clerk did everything for me. Walked out and called my husband on my new phone.

I still have the same plan - 1000 minutes for $100, no data plan.
After reading the other responses, I didn't call TMobile. But reading your response has given me fresh hope :-)

I think maybe the store dude thought that I wanted it for data! Need to make another trip now :oops:

What exactly did he do? Did he have to change something at the account level or just take the old SIM, cut it to size and put it in the iPhone?

In response to others: the iPhone I got is unlocked - it currently has a Sprint SIM (so works with CDMA) and at TMobile, the rep tried out his SIM which recognized the phone as well. So, I should be good with either.

an_asker
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by an_asker » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:14 am

123 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:06 pm
We had one old flip phone on a $10 a year (+10 cents a minute prepaid talk) plan with Tmobile that was on a Legacy or grandfathered plan. We had an old iphone (due to an upgrade by another family member). We were able to use a sim cutter to take the sim out of the GSM flip phone and insert it into the iphone. Talk and text worked fine as before. However on the $10 Legacy/grandfathered you cannot buy one of the "Data Passes" that lets you add data to the plan. The iphone web featurers worked fine on wi-fi. If you want to have an option to buy one of the tmobile "Data Passes" you must change from the Legacy/grandfathered $10 a year plan to the current $3 a month pay as you go plan. Whether or not you do that depends on your expected needs for the phone. To buy a data pass you have to call tmobile and use the automated voice-response system to add the data pass, the last time I checked there wasn't an app-based or web=based way of adding one.

Edited to add:
My experience with Tmobile phone stores is that they do not like the prepaid plans and will not provide much support besides directling you to call the 800 number (because of course prepaid doesn't give them any commission). However they are happy to convert your prepaid phone to a monthly plan. YMMV
I just hate wasting the $50 currently accumulated on the old SIM and want to use it all up before going for a new SIM (if needed). Besides, I have other phones for data etc anyway :-)

So, let me repeat the question I asked PinotGris - was cutting the SIM to size and inserting it into the iPhone all you had to do to make it function as a phone-only (LOL) phone?

PinotGris
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by PinotGris » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:39 pm

an_asker wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:11 am
PinotGris wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:03 pm
an_asker wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:51 am
After reading the other responses, I didn't call TMobile. But reading your response has given me fresh hope :-)

I think maybe the store dude thought that I wanted it for data! Need to make another trip now :oops:

What exactly did he do? Did he have to change something at the account level or just take the old SIM, cut it to size and put it in the iPhone?

In response to others: the iPhone I got is unlocked - it currently has a Sprint SIM (so works with CDMA) and at TMobile, the rep tried out his SIM which recognized the phone as well. So, I should be good with either.
I did not call, i walked into the Tmobile store in a mall with my phone. It was a store dudette, super smart. She took the sim card out from the flip phone to put it into my new iphone, discovered it requires a different kind of card, which also needs a tiny tool to install, and she found everything and installed it. (I am not sure about the cutting, i think it was a different kind of card altogether, because of the iphone maybe. I may be wrong.)

She moved all my contacts into my new phone, even found me a phone cover which was on sale for very cheap, and I was good to go. I am still on that plan and recently renewed it. No data and cannot add data.

ft2010
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by ft2010 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:16 am

was cutting the SIM to size and inserting it into the iPhone all you had to do to make it function as a phone-only (LOL) phone?

OP, if you are certain your iPhone is compatible with T mobile, then changing the size of your existing sim card is very likely sufficient to make it work. You can cut the size down yourself, or find a little cutter from Amazon. Before you do any cutting, write down the sim card number (the long series of number printed on the card itself). You could also try to sweet talk a T-Mobile store employee to help you cutting the sim, or they might be willing to transfer account info to another sim as you had originally planned to do. Once the sim card size fit your new phone, do a testing before you leave the store.

After all is done and well, you might want take another look to see if you can spend down the balance in other means. I have not tested this myself, but T-Mobile has an broadband mobile data plan starting at $10 per month for 2gb of data. The reason I mention this is that, the legacy T-Mobile payg per minute rate is not cheap in today's world (it was good for infrequent use and keep an active line). As you have a sprint compatible handset, using tello pay as you go is probably more economical, as long as you find another sensible way to use up already accumulated t-Mobile account balance.
Last edited by ft2010 on Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

student
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by student » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:21 am

If you have xfinity for tv or cable internet, I suggest taking a look at their cell service. Unlimited text and talk for free (around $2 tax). viewtopic.php?t=220754

ft2010
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Re: Moving TMobile account from flip phone to iPhone

Post by ft2010 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:30 am

Most folks having legacy T-Mobile pay as you go accounts, use very little talk time compared with the rest of population. Thus, switching to an unlimited plan often is not as useful. Finding good per mintue rate, with longer validity period (expiration), and of course, good network coverage based on individual location, are the important factors.

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