I came across this thread
on the T-Mobile support forums regarding the $30 unlimited data/text + 100 voice minutes plan that is available only to new T-Mobile activations (online only) OR Wal-Mart customers who purchase a pre-paid phone.
The main take away from that thread and how it relates to getting this plan activated on an unlocked iPhone 4 or 4S is this -- perform the actual activation online. In my first post
(before I received the prepaid activation kit), I mentioned that one possible way to get a new line activated was to talk to a customer service representative after going through the prompts provided in the initial voicemail message. Based on the messages in that thread, it seems more confusion occurs in taking that route as opposed to activating service from the website (which is what I did
). Some users also experienced issues with the IMEI number they entered. I had no problems with entering in the actual IMEI for the 4S but in the event that you do, the 99999999999 "trick" seems to work.
Also, the other reason for activating online and not via talking to a service representative OR getting activated at a T-Mobile store is because this particular plan is only available online at T-Mobile or if you purchase a prepaid smartphone from Wal-Mart. If you perform the activation in any other way, they will put you on the other $30 monthly plan -- that one is for 1500 voice minutes, unlimited text, and 30MB of data (that is where the confusion occurs for some when they tell the CSR they want the $30 monthly plan). Again, the only way to get the unlimited text and data with 100 voice minutes is via online activation or by purchasing a qualifying prepaid smartphone at Wal-Mart.
Another question people may have is what happens if you use up all your voice minutes for the month. I've heard two different (and possibly conflicting) reports. One poster
said they lost voice service after going over 100 minutes and that they were able to get additional minutes by refilling their account. I've also heard (but haven't yet been able to get actual confirmation) that anything over the 100 minute allotment basically turns into pay as you go at a rate of 10 cents per minute. This means you still need to have sufficient funds in your account in order to pay as you go for voice, which seems to sort of jive with the user who said they were able to get additional voice minutes by refilling their account.
Another caveat with this particular plan is there is the lack of call details. Normally, your paper bill or online account will provide a detailed breakdown of both incoming and outgoing calls. With this plan, all T-Mobile provides is a simple usage overview (see below).
While the data usage is nearly the same as what the iPhone logs, there is a huge discrepancy with the amount of minutes used for voice. As seen above, it says I have used around 30 minutes. The minutes logged by my iPhone however is actually what I know that I used since almost all those calls were for testing things out and I carefully tracked the amount of time I spent on those outbound calls. The only incoming ones I received were ones I tested for Google Voice, one from my outgoing basic Verizon handset, and two calls from a known telemarketing spammer (Tawag na). The total inbound usage was only around 5 minutes of usage. The following is what my iPhone has tabulated since activating service.
Notice the data usage is close to what the T-Mobile site says. The call time however has a 17 minute gap which is not accounted for from both incoming and outgoing calls. For myself, this wouldn't be a concern since I rarely use voice and 100 minutes per month is more than enough. The issue I have though is having these minutes used up when I'm not actually using them. The same poster
who went over the 100 minutes also mentioned a similar observation. I haven't yet given out this number and I do have it linked to Google Voice (but have do not disturb turned on) so I plan on testing over the next week or so to see if the minutes logged starts creeping up without my actually using the service.