People are constantly battered with television commercials and advertisements of the rivalries between the major cell phone carriers in the United States. With so many factors to contend with such as cost, coverage, customer service, and plan offerings, it can be difficult to determine which cell phone plan is right for you.
I have evaluated the different aspects of T-Mobile and Verizon's cell phone plans to help you measure who is the victor. Let's begin with an overview of Verizon.
Verizon Wireless Overview
Verizon Wireless provides the customer with the strongest and most reliable network, covering 99 percent of the nation. The provider even boasts a subscriber number of 142.8 million as of July 2016.
By 99 percent of the nation, this includes rural areas. In fact, Verizon is a host to the LTE in Rural America Program, which allows coverage for 2.7 million rural residents in 169 counties.
Despite the sparkling numbers Verizon hovers over, the service is more expensive compared to your average carrier. In fact, it is one of the most expensive wireless providers in the nation, especially since it doesn't carry an unlimited plan. However, you can at least admit that you're paying for quality, even in areas such as customer service.
Verizon is known to be rated a little lower than AT&T and T-Mobile - at least in regards to the ACSI numbers, as it bears a score of 71 - but some publications have claimed its customer service to be the second best, behind T-Mobile.
How much will Verizon pay to switch?
Like other major carriers, Verizon will attempt to lure you in with its "switch" incentives. Verizon will offer up to $650 per line in the form of a prepaid debit card once you trade in your phone. However, the trade-in must be in good working and cosmetic condition and have a value of more than $0.
Additionally, if you have an outstanding balance for your old device, you'll receive up to $650. However, if you just paid an early termination fee, you'll only earn up to $350.
Verizon's rival, T-Mobile, offers an extensive network but said the network is speedier. That being said, the service doesn't cover rural areas well, which can be a major downfall for quite a few customers.
T-Mobile also showcases a wide array of plans, including an unlimited plan. Even if you don't opt for the unlimited cell phone plan, you can always partake in T-Mobile's Music Freedom and Binge On features attached to its other plans.
Not only that, but T-Mobile boasts the best customer service among the four major carriers, scoring a 74 on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. And the cherry on top? It offers an incredible loyalty program.
How much will T-Mobile pay to switch?
Like Verizon, T-Mobile will offer up to $650 per line (up to 12 lines) in the form of a prepaid MasterCard card. If you're worried about the early termination fees or being unable to pay off your phone, T-Mobile has you covered.
There may be some exclusions to the deal. For instance, the iPhone 7 trade-up offer is ineligible with the switch.
Verizon vs T-Mobile Plans
Verizon and T-Mobile both offer a wide variety of cell phone plans to suit nearly anyone's budget, data usage, and phone preference. Let's take a look at who reigns superior.
Verizon Cell Phone Plans
Verizon offers unlimited talk and text with its data plans, but unfortunately, it does not offer any "true" unlimited plan. The size-labeled data amounts a customer can take advantage of range between 2GB and 30GB data (Small to Extra-Extra Large), though you can also purchase up to 100GB of data at an incredibly hefty fee.
All new Verizon cell phone plans come with a safety feature, titled "Safety Mode." With Safety Mode, you won't be charged any overage fees once your data limit has been exceeded. Instead, you'll have to deal with slower network speeds until the end of the billing cycle.
Overall, Verizon has some solid plans, but unfortunately, it's a tad outdated. In fact, Engadget has criticized the carrier for being "woefully outdated." The statement is rather true; after all, Verizon still lacks unlimited plans like its contenders.
Like T-Mobile, Verizon also offers prepaid cell phone plans and data-only plans. Prepaid plans only come in 5GB or 10GB for smartphones or unlimited talk and text and unlimited mobile web for basic phones. However, the prepaid plans come with the Carryover Data, which means your unused data will carry over to the next month.
T-Mobile Cell Phone Plans
T-Mobile's cell phone plans fall into the following categories: T-Mobile ONE, Prepaid Plans, and Other Plans. First, T-Mobile's ONE plan, which provides the individual (or entire family) with unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data.
T-Mobile has a little bit of a limit with its ONE plan. For one, the top 3 percent of data users (those who use more than 28GB per month) will experience reduced speeds until the next billing cycle during congestion periods. Furthermore, videos will stream at up to 480p, games will stream at up to 2Mbps, and music will stream at up to 500kbps. You can always instead pay for HD video and better quality streaming with T-Mobile ONE Plus. You can also add international perks to the ONE Plus plan for an extra fee.
Fortunately, you can save a few extra dollars per line per month with the AutoPay feature. If T-Mobile ONE is a tad too pricey for you (in a lot of cases, it's actually cheaper), you could always adopt T-Mobile's prepaid cell phone plans or Simple Choice plans.
With Simple Choice plans, you'll have access to free unlimited streaming for both video and music, be able to pay no overage fees, and make unlimited calls and send unlimited texts to and from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Simple Choice plans range from 2GB to 10GB of data.
Prepaid plans are broken up into these types: individual monthly plans, no contract plans, family monthly plans, mobile internet plans, and the international tourist plan. Individual monthly plans range in data amounts from 3GB to 10GB of 4G LTE data.
So in the case of T-Mobile vs Verizon, who is the clear victor? T-Mobile is. The plans are much more affordable, and T-Mobile also offers an unlimited data package.
T-Mobile vs Verizon Family Plans
Staying in touch with family is important. Fortunately, both T-Mobile and Verizon make it easy to accommodate families with reliable plans. But which one -Verizon or T-Mobile - is better for families?
T-Mobile Family Plans
T-Mobile cares about family. That's why T-Mobile has family cell phone plans available. For one, T-Mobile allows the ability to add lines to its T-Mobile ONE plan. In fact, you can add more than nine lines to the plan.
T-Mobile also offers family monthly prepaid plans, complete with multi-line discounts with family plans that begin with up to 2GB of 4G LTE data for each line. These prepaid plans come with Binge On unlimited service and Music Freedom unlimited streaming service. The first and second lines are typically the most expensive, but each additional line can be included for cheap.
T-Mobile also provides Simple Choice plans, which includes the unlimited music and video streaming features, for families. Data ranges from 2GB per line to 10GB per line, but keep in mind that T-Mobile ONE is cheaper if you want more than 6GB of data per line.
Verizon Family Plans
While T-Mobile's family plans stick out, it doesn't mean that Verizon doesn't care about families. In fact, the service simplifies families by integrating up to 10 additional lines to its New Verizon plans. All you need to do is select a plan and add lines to that plan. Simple!
You'll also receive an extra 2GB for every line that is added to the plan.
So when it comes to Verizon versus T-Mobile in the battle for family plans, who comes out on top? The point would have to go to T-Mobile, as it offers an unlimited plan for families. Sure, you gain an extra 2GB per line with Verizon, but it's hard to beat unlimited.
T-Mobile vs Verizon Coverage
T-Mobile and Verizon are always competing with each other in terms of coverage, but who has the better network?
If you happen to live in an urban area, then T-Mobile has got you covered. T-Mobile will provide you with strong coverage and the fastest 4G LTE speed in the nation.
However, if you live in a rural area, then you will find T-Mobile's coverage in the location rather shoddy.
Verizon has the best coverage and reliability in the nation, covering 99 percent of the map. As mentioned in the overview, the coverage also blankets over remote areas.
Unfortunately, most of Alaska, some of Maine, Western Virginia, and some of the Western US do not have access to the 4G coverage, but the provider offers LTE across 2.4 million square miles of land.
T-Mobile LTE only happens to cover 1.4 million miles. So yes, Verizon has a greater amount of coverage in comparison to T-Mobile, making Verizon the clear winner in this category.
T-Mobile vs Verizon Customer Service
Without good customer service, there wouldn't be a loyal customer base. According to HelpScout, it takes 12 positive experiences to recoup one unresolved negative experience. Furthermore, news of bad customer service reaches twice as many people compared to good customer service praise.
So how does one stand against the other?
T-Mobile Customer Service
T-Mobile has earned a high score - in fact, it has earned the highest score on just about everyone's lists lately. It has earned an ACSI score of 74, which is the highest out of all wireless carriers.
Furthermore, T-Mobile offers incentives, friendly and knowledgeable support, and a fantastic loyalty program. It's hard to top something like that.
Verizon Customer Service
Verizon's customer service, on the other hand, isn't bad at all. It's actually rather solid, scoring a 71 on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. Overall, you can receive exceptional customer service through various outlets, including forums, social media, FAQs, chat box, and phone.
Verizon or T-Mobile: Which is Better?
Verizon and T-Mobile are constantly dealing big blows to each other in an effort to be the best wireless provider. While T-Mobile has better customer service, more affordable plans (including an unlimited plan), and faster 4G LTE data, Verizon has greater coverage and a more reliable network.
So when it comes to reliability and network, Verizon is far better, which makes all the difference in the world. Until T-Mobile comes out of its rural slump, Verizon takes the top spot.
Wanting to learn more about the other contenders? Then be sure to read our review of the best cell phone plans.