For years, Verizon and T-Mobile USA have been at each other's throats, striving for the number one position and the attention of consumers throughout the nation.
In fact, T-Mobile has gone so far as to launch a meme generator to attack Verizon with. But the petty vying for your affection has only become more confusing since the war between these top networks. The statistics have become messier, more plans have been introduced, and - generally - it's hard to keep up with all of these changes from both major providers.
So who should you side with? T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless?
We've done the work for you - we've cleared any confusion by providing you with clear-cut information that will answer your questions. With this guide, you'll find comprehensive information on the most important aspects from each provider, including the plans, features, and customer service. Finally, you'll find a cell phone plan comparison tool, which contains information on plans, phones, and more, so you can make an informed decision as to whether T-Mobile or Verizon is right for you.
In This Guide
Verizon Wireless Overview
Verizon Wireless provides the customer with the strongest and most reliable LTE network, covering 99 percent of the nation. The provider even boasted a subscriber number of 143.9 million as of Q3 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 LTE 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 wireless carrier. Even the re-introduced Verizon Unlimited Plan is more expensive compared to the prices of T-Mobile and Sprint's unlimited plans. In fact, it is one of the most expensive wireless providers in the nation. 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.
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How much will Verizon pay you 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.
You can learn more about switching to Verizon with our article on "How to Switch to Verizon."
Verizon's (most vocal) rival, T-Mobile USA, offers an extensive network but the network is speedier in the eastern US. That being said, the T-Mobile network doesn't cover rural areas well, which can be a major downside for quite a few customers.
T-Mobile plans also vary, but they've been shrinking. Now you're limited to either T-Mobile One or the various prepay T-Mobile plans. Even if you don't opt for the unlimited cell phone plan, you can always partake in T-Mobile's Music Unlimited attached to its prepaid 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 you to switch?
Did you know that you can switch to T-Mobile easily? Like Verizon, the T-Mobile offers an incentive of 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, the T-Mobile network has you covered.
There may be some exclusions to the deal. For instance, the iPhone 7 trade-up offer is ineligible with the switch to T-Mobile program. You can always trade in your phone online or at a T-Mobile store.
You can learn more about switching with T-Mobile here.
Verizon vs T-Mobile Plans
Verizon and T-Mobile both offer a wide variety of cell phones (including the Samsung Galaxy) and 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 Verizon Unlimited.
All of the newer 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 LTE speeds until the end of the billing cycle.
Overall, Verizon has some solid plans. It has also recently put out a new unlimited data plan, dubbed Verizon Unlimited, which is more expensive than T-Mobile and Sprint's unlimited plans, but it comes with unlimited data, HD video streaming, mobile hotspot, and more. Do note that the unlimited data may be restricted after 22GB of data, making the Verizon unlimited plan not all that unlimited. However, there is a mobile hotspot restriction of up to 10GB of data, meaning that you'll be able to use only 10GB of your unlimited data for mobile hotspot usage.
However, there is a mobile hotspot restriction of up to 10GB of data, meaning that you'll be able to use only 10GB of your unlimited data for mobile hotspot usage.
Like T-Mobile, Verizon also offers prepaid plans and data-only plans. Prepaid plans, which are no-contract plans, come in various sizes 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 and Prepaid Plans (which serve as no-contract plans). First, T-Mobile's ONE plan, which is the available T-Mobile unlimited plan, which provides the individual (or entire family) with unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data and includes mobile hotspot.
The T-Mobile unlimited plan has a little bit of a limit. For one, the top 3 percent of data users (those who use more than 30GB 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, faster download speeds for streaming with T-Mobile ONE Plus.
You can also add international perks to the ONE Plus plan for an extra fee. These perks include unlimited international calling to a landline in over 70 countries and mobile numbers in over 30 countries. However, it should be noted that the unlimited HD video streaming feature cannot be used outside of the United States.
Fortunately, you can save a few extra dollars per line per month with the AutoPay feature. If the T-Mobile ONE postpaid plan 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 T-Mobile's Simply Prepaid plans, which are examined further in the "T-Mobile Prepaid Plans" article, you'll have access to free unlimited streaming for both video and music, and be able to pay no overage fees.
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 4GB to unlimited amounts 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.
Read More: You can compare prepaid phone plans across all carriers here.
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 focuses on family cell phone plans with the introduction of T-Mobile ONE. After all, T-Mobile allows the ability to add lines to its T-Mobile ONE postpaid plan. In fact, you can add up to 12 lines to the plan.
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 family plans, which you can find more about here, by integrating additional lines to its New Verizon plans. All you need to do is select a plan and add lines to that plan. Simple!
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 at a much cheaper rate than Verizon.
Read More: You can compare family plans across all carriers here.
T-Mobile and Verizon are always competing with each other in terms of talk, text, and LTE coverage, but who has the better network?
If you happen to live in an urban area, then the T-Mobile LTE Network has got you covered. T-Mobile coverage is strong in urban and even many suburban areas, sporting the fastest 4G LTE speed in the east. However, it's 4G LTE upload and download speeds are not as fast as Verizon's on the western side of the United States.
With all that being said, if you live in a rural area, then you will find any form of T-Mobile 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 the available T-Mobile coverage, making Verizon the clear winner in this category.
Read More: You can compare the coverage among all four providers here.
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. However, if you do have an issue, T-Mobile provides you with several methods to contact customer service, i.e. the T-Mobile store or via social media.
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, and faster 4G LTE data on the east coast, Verizon has greater coverage and a more reliable network.
When it comes to the smartphone department, both are excellent iPhone carriers (if you're looking for an iPhone carrier that sports the latest iPhone), though they also provide customers with Samsung Galaxy phones as well. However, Verizon issues the Google Pixel. Furthermore, these phones are often kept plenty in stock. So if you're looking for an iPhone T-Mobile or Verizon has, chances are, the iPhone T-Mobile or Verizon carries will be available.
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 in the match of the decade, otherwise known as "T-Mobile vs Verizon."
Wanting to learn more about the other contenders? Then be sure to use our cell phone comparison tool.
Sprint is another of T-Mobile's fiercest competitors. To see how the two stack up, check out our comparative guide on Sprint vs T-Mobile.