Finally got fed up with all my calls being dropped by AT&T as I drive around the bay area (they are getting worse by the month here at the moment in terms of the number of places that have full signal strength but still drop you as you drive by). And that is on their old TDMA network; the GSM service in the bay area is supposed to be even worse at the moment (they are transitioning from one to the other at the moment).
So, we signed up for a family plan on T-Mobile. Seems that we can only transfer one number to the family plan (because our original plans were in different names, and the family plan is in just one name). Apart from that though, the plan was better than AT&T and they were willing to give us new phones that were not just the cheapest (AT&T’s best offer was a no-name phone or a $30 credit to the account – less than one month’s service).
Then we discovered that AT&T’s contract end dates are not 12 months from the date they show the contract starting on their web page – they back-date the start date when you call to change plans, but make the contract term then somewhere between 12 & 13 months.
Overall though, the change has been good so far. The only complaint I really have, and this affects all the GSM providers (as well as some of the non-GSM ones), coverage here in Alameda is nowhere near as good as their map would suggest. In my apartment it is impossible for me to get any signal at all, and it doesn’t get much better until I am almost back at the Oakland side of the island. With AT&T’s TDMA service I could at least get a couple of bars of signal, and usually make & receive calls successfully.