September of last year marked the release of a brand-new phone plan from T-Mobile ONE just for seniors. John Legere, president of T-Mobile and creator of T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier manifesto,” proudly and in no uncertain terms announced a new plan offering the same features as the standard T-Mobile program, but priced exclusively, and economically, for those 55 and over.
A cell phone plan geared for older adults
This plan, as he emphasizes, is geared for all seniors, including those who use their Smartphones as much as the kids do. After spending the past few years courting the younger clientele, Legere has become serious about scooping seniors away from the competition, showing respect for their growing tech-savviness by rewarding them with an economical choice.
T-Mobile President throws shade at competitors
More specifically, why did Legere create this deal? As he states in his impassioned Youtube video, he could see no reason why “the generation that invented wireless” should be “patronized and monetized” by phone carriers, unambiguously targeting T-Mobile’s two most significant competitors, AT&T and Verizon.
We love this video featuring Legere, he doesn't hold back on calling out other carriers who have created plans and phone that seem condescending and patronizing to boomers and seniors. It's a little long, but worth the watch. And to give a fair warning, there is a little bit of sour language used.
Details of T-Mobile's ONE Unlimited 55+ plan
If you use your phone only for calls or for summoning emergency aid then, according to a December 1, 2017, article at Whistleout.com (a site that offers comparisons of all available phone plans), your best choice is Greatcall’s 1,000 Minute plan which gives you the benefits of the provider’s own 5Star Urgent Response service, complete with 911 support and follow-up, all for $35 a month.
For those who use their phones for a broader range of activities, though, check out the following features of T-Mobile's ONE plan.
Requirements and features of the T-Mobile ONE senior plan:
- Must be 55 or older to qualify; proof of age required
- No contract
- Unlimited calling, texting, and data. (This includes Gogo Inflight with unlimited texting and one hour of free smartphone Wi-Fi on all Gogo equipped domestic flights.)
- Applies to any phone type
- 4G LTE Network
- T-Mobile phone coverage equal to that of AT&T and Verizon; use your device in Mexico and Canada without additional fees
- 30 MGb
- One phone line costs $50 per month (this amount includes all fees and taxes). NB: In contrast, T-Mobile non-seniors pay anywhere from $40 to $60 more per month for the same plan.
- A second line can be added for only $10 per month (also including all fees and taxes)
- Use Autopay and receive a $5 monthly credit (final bill for two lines: $60; without Autopay: $65)
- T-Mobile will pay all costs of switching from your current carrier to T-Mobile up to $650 per line
- access to T-Mobile Tuesdays discounts
- T-Mobile number can be used on compatible phones, tablets and PCs
- Mobile Hotspot: Tethering is unlimited at 3G speeds
- Current users must go to a T-Mobile store to switch to this plan. New customers can do so at a store or online.
When reading the previews of this new deal, back in September, there was nary a negative note sounded. The closest came in the faint caveats via wirefly.com’s preview.
- Unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data (Data speeds, however, may slow temporarily once you have reached 32 gigabytes during high network congestion times)
- Video streaming is at standard definition (460 p)
- We’re waiting to see if a third line can be added, and for how much
Since then, the praise for T-Mobile’s senior phone plan has only grown. Lifewire.com, in its November 20th review, declared that, after studying the four top competitors –Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile – T-Mobile ranks first, especially for heavy data users. A comment was made about T-Mobile’s having spent the prior two years “beefing” up their geographic coverage, thus making a switch to T-Mobile even more reasonable.
Whistleout.com, in the same December 1 article referenced above, also lauds this choice as the best for heavy-users among seniors, stating that other providers have already begun to step up their efforts to offer better deals themselves.
Bottom Line for Senior Cell Phone Users
The good news is T-Mobile’s ramping up the game will further force the competition to get creative. AT&T, e.g., might choose to update their “Senior Nation” plan, which has drawn harsh criticism from many sources for being the only carrier to offer a plan that is built on limited-minutes. The key components of this plan are 200 anytime minutes, 500 night and weekend minutes, and no data.
If you’re one of the many seniors who object to phone providers treating you as though you don’t know the meaning of, let alone use, streaming, data, and social media, while those same providers charge empty-nesters (not to mention childless seniors) more for using their phones than when they may have qualified for a family plan, the T-Mobile 55+ plan manages to look even more appealing.