Why is Metro PCS cheaper than T Mobile?

The secret to whyMetroPCS is so much cheaper than T-Mobile for cell phone plans.
If you were like me – wondering “Why is Metro PCS cheaper than T Mobile?” – I was wondering how MetroPCS can offer T-Mobile cell phone plan service without a contract at a fraction of the price – until my personal experience with trying to use them.

First off – let’s dive into the low cost carrier and my excitement – hopes – and dreams with a Metro PCS. As a frugal business person that I am, I like saving money. I also like nice quality technology (particularly smartphones). Bringing together nice technology with frugal cost saving is a challenge when it comes to affordable cell phone plans for a business.

Outdated landlines are not only expensive but clunky and unpractical for my needs being on the go. Previously having been on Republic Wireless (a small company) I’ve been used to cell phone companies that don’t have stores you can walk into for support. I’d actually prefer to just sit on the phone getting help versus standing in a store. I was wondering “how difficult is it to setup MetroPCS byod (bring your own device)” – being a techie I felt up for the challenge.

In short – the answer to “Why is Metro PCS cheaper than T Mobile” is their customer service is designed to be inept.

definition of inept and why MetroPCS is cheaper than T-Mobile

Initially I was wanting to time my “switching to MetroPCS” from Republic Wireless with the end of my monthly billing cycle. Going from a $25/month cell phone plan to $30 per month cell phone plan it’s not much of a price difference but I figured I wouldn’t be able to get a refund for the unused days. Luckily – Republic Wireless actually does prorate and send you a refund 3-5 business days.

You’ll get sick of the “3-5 business days” line after a bit.

So I stopped into my local MetroPCS dealor (well, the local actual store not Walmart). The guys at that location of Metro PCS in Blaine MN (9846 Polk St NE, Blaine, MN 55434 (763) 432-2941) were actually super nice. While slow (more than an hour from when going in till leaving), they were friendly and did the initial porting of my number to them and selling me a Smartphone with “switch and save” price reduction. Not a bad way to get a prepay smartphone for not a lot of money.

All that aside – my plan was (and I explained to the manager and nearby customer rep) to activate a phone with simcard and then transfer that plan to my unlocked LG G3 with 32g storage, 4k video camera, and MicroSD card which is pretty much the best cell phone for listening to a lot of podcasts. (Which is the main reason I left Republic in the first place – the inability to have a premium phone with microSD storage).

After the initial 1-2 hours in store, I was told Republic Wireless had registered my number as a home phone and would take 3 to 5 days for them to port over my number. At the very last hour of 5 days they finished the porting of the number.

In store they successfully gotten the new phone they sold me to send calls and get a data connection – but I was told texts and incoming calls would come to my old device (Moto X – original 16gb).

Speaking with customer service on the phone (before going in to the store) I learned that I was supposed to just call customer service back when I had the new phone and they’d add my IMEI (sim card and phone device number) and activate it with new APN Settings and it’d be all good to go (as long as my phone was unlocked – which it is).

After swapping out the sim card I had issues – phone was not getting any data or being able to send texts. I could make calls (which was a sign that the SIM Card was indeed inserted normally). After numerous (no less than 5) calls with customer service and resolving the data issues (literally over 3 hours on the phone over a few days), I was told new changes were made and that I needed to wait another 48 hours. Nothing could be done until then.

Woohoo – 48 hours later still not fixed. Having spent well over 3 hours trying to fix the issue – I was instructed to update some MetroPCS APN Setting with T-Mobile APN Settings. This fixed the internet issue but I still could not send texts (either mms or basic texts)

What’s the solution despite spending on-and-off from morning until the afternoon with customer support?

In order to speak with a support technician they had to fill out a support request and I should expect to wait 3-5 days – at which I will get either an email or call. I’m told not to lose my MetroPCS support ticket because the number is very important.

So why is MetroPCS cheaper than T-Mobile?

When you pay the premium price with T-Mobile, you get customer service that can escalate an issue up the foodchain of command.

If you’re wondering how to get text messaging to work with MetroPCS and need APN settings – try the combination below in the table.

Worked for me!

I’ll just see how many days it takes now for them to get back to me with the support ticket. #3to5businessdays #metropcs


Update 2/4/2016:

While I had managed to figure out the texting issues myself (see the APN settings above if you’re having issues texting with LG G3 on MetroPCS), I have no clue if I did all of the necessary changes or not. 6 Business days later – still no call from technical support.

I learned that since their system had detected my sending texts, they closed out the technical support request and that’s why I’d not heard from technical support.

Oh, I’m probably getting ahead of myself. Why was I on the phone with technical support – why did I call them now 90 minutes ago and why is technical support so horrible at MetroPCS? I’d received the message that my 4g data was all used up and trying to upsell me on $5 add on for 1gb of 4g data. No thank you. When I was switching from Republic Wireless to MetroPCS, I had previously been on the 3g only data plan. I was getting about 1-1.5Mbps on 3g and was told I should get about 900kbps on MetroPCS. Not horrible – still attractive because it’ll stream video (unlimited) and allow unlimited tethering…

Turns out though I was getting 120kbps – and that was a throttled 4g (not 3g) data connection. It was not kicking me off of 4g, rather it was just throttling my connection speed. Throughout the 90 minutes trying to sort it out, the answer was that my slow connection was normal since I was on a limited 4g data plan. Sorry, 120kbps is not a normal 3g connection speed MetroPCS. That’d be one thing if it said I was connected to 3g – but when it went from numerous Mbps to now 120kbps – while still connected to 4g – that’s a deliberate throttling and not a technical 3g throttle.

As a temporary solution they could give me a one time 1gb high speed bonus credit. My thoughts: I don’t want 2gb of high speed and then have my internet die (120kbps makes my apps not even work which used to work perfectly fine on 3g with Republic).

After mentioning a blog, the customer rep escalated the call to her manager John – 304640 which offered $10/off my next bill – and would look into making it high priority “on this” support ticket so they can try to fix it “as soon as possible”. He then hoped that I’d hear from technical support within the allotted 5 days (but remember, that’s really 7 days when you include the weekend… oh well, I suppose customers cut you more slack when you tell them 5 days since that’s kinda correct… except why not clarify to customers 5 business days? Ugh…)

So here we are, learning about why MetroPCS is so much cheaper than TMobile again – in two words – customer support.

Hopefully that answers your question: “why is Metro PCS cheaper than T Mobile?”

Why is Metro PCS cheaper than T Mobile?