Is it a good idea to break a contract with TMobile to get a phone?
November 25, 2012 9:27 AM   Subscribe

I might go on and then break a TMobile contract to get Nexus 4 phone. Is that a good idea?

Google has sold out of the Nexus 4 phone for the foreseeable future. Some TMobile stores still have the phone in stock for $199 *if* you go on contract with TMobile for 2 years. I'm reading that it costs $200 to break a TMobile contract. So, according to my calculations, I can get the phone for $399. (The phone, if it were in stock, is $350 direct from Google.)

What's wrong with this plan? Does anyone else have experience with this plan of attack?
posted by cowmix to Technology (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Doesn't TMobile also offer cheaper monthly plans if you bring your own phone? So the difference over 2 years could be more than just $50.
posted by asra at 9:38 AM on November 25, 2012

Response by poster: @asra: That would be my goal. Get the phone 'on contract', break the contract, the go to their monthly plans.

I'm just trying to have someone poke holes in this plan.
posted by cowmix at 9:56 AM on November 25, 2012

So you would stay with T-mobile, just on a different plan? They might not accept you as a customer because of the contract breakage.
posted by DoubleLune at 11:01 AM on November 25, 2012

Well, if you don't like T-Mobile's ROM, you'd need to root it to get it out.

Since T-Mob's "Phone warranty" seems to consist of giving you a phone from their stock and getting a refurb from Google to replace it in their stock with (and charging you a processing fee, to boot), you're not missing much there - But it DOES mean that you might be getting a refurb when you buy from a brick-and-mortar store.

Can't find the LG warranty online, but I know the Motorola warranties I've (tried to) use in the past were based on the hardware ID - Which, for a refurb may be way, way expired the minute you get it into your hand.

Have a friend go in and buy the monthly SIM for you if they give you any trouble about breaking the contract - I'm guessing they won't if you pay the fee.
posted by Orb2069 at 11:05 AM on November 25, 2012

So you would stay with T-mobile, just on a different plan? They might not accept you as a customer because of the contract breakage.

They don't care. I speak from experience :)
posted by wrok at 11:42 AM on November 25, 2012

I would suggest the $30/month prepaid plan exclusive through Walmart (or you can get it online at t-Mobile if you look hard enough.) You get unlimited txt and data (5g of data, then throttled) and 100 minutes.

That's pretty much the word on the streets as far as the best deal going.

Now for the phone... just wait a couple more weeks and buy it from the Play store. Selling out the first batch was mostly a marketing tactic, Google will have pleanty in a couple weeks. They have a white model being released next month as well.

Spend the extra $50 and get the 16g version.

That's the filtered recommendation from howard-forums.
posted by neversummer at 12:18 PM on November 25, 2012

You will have to pay for the 1st month of service + taxes and whatever activation fee there is, plus tax on the ETF.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:59 PM on November 25, 2012

Which means you will probably be out another $100 - closer to $500 vs $350.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:01 PM on November 25, 2012

Ah, I misread the the breakage as referring to your current contract. I suppose there is a 30 day return period or something that you might have to wait out. But you would need a service anyways for this period and it is just the difference between the two plans(~$15 ?) that would be the premium.
posted by asra at 3:23 PM on November 25, 2012

With your plan, you will be locked into T-Mobile for two more years. If you wait and buy from the "Play" store, you won't be locked into T-Mobile.

Plus, if you buy from the "Play" store you will get a "pure" unlocked google-nexus with no T-Mobile crap. This has some important subtleties. A "pure" google-nexus allows tethering, while T-Mobile may disable it in their ROMs. There might be other differences...
posted by sarah_pdx at 8:22 PM on November 25, 2012

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