T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Upgradeable Smartphone Plan Review

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T-Mobile Jump on demand
T-Mobile created a new wireless plan called T-Mobile JUMP!  to address the needs of customers who want to upgrade to the latest and greatest Smartphone when a new device is available or when you are tired of your current phone. This was later renamed to JUMP! On Demand in June 2015.

Normal Smartphone plans in America require shoppers to commit to a 2 year contract. People cannot change phones during this time unless they want to pay an expensive early termination fee (ETF), for cancelling their contract. With this new program, you can upgrade as many as 3 times a year, more often than AT&T Wireless or Verizon Wireless. As you read our T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand review, you will see how much it costs and whether it is worth signing up for.

JUMP! On Demand Features:

  • Never pay to upgrade, just trade in unwanted device
  • Zero upfront for new phone
  • No waiting 2 years to upgrade

$0 at signing + $X/mo. for 18-months on approved credit. If you cancel wireless service, remaining payments become due & you must return working device.

In a separate blog post, we analyze AT&T Next Plan and Verizon Edge Plan, which are similar to T-Mobile JUMP!, but significantly different.

T-Mobile Jump ON Demand started in June 2015 with the hottest phones at the time: iPhone 6 and 6 plus, Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Note 4, and LG's G4.

T-Mobile changes its plans from time to time, so we will reexamine them when necessary. Additional short term promotions may popup. They have already adjusted this plan to make it more attractive. They dropped the 6 month requirement before you can upgrade.

June 2015 JUMP! Changes

  • T-Mobile dropped the $10 a month charge in June 2015, but charges $8 a month if you want the insurance that was included with the $10 monthly charge. (AT&T and Verizon never charged extra for this)
  • With the 24 installment payments, you make 18 monthly, then must pay the 6 remaining at one time. (Few will wait this long before upgrading)

Upgrading early with a 2 year Contract

With a traditional 2 year Smartphone contract, a user wanting to upgrade to a new handset would have to pay the following:

  • $350 Smartphone early termination fee ($10 less with each passing month)
  • $649.99 or full price instead of $199 for the new phone
  • Another 2 year commitment
  • If you cancel a contract, you will lose your phone number
  • You need to pay off the phone’s remaining balance

This is a steep price, hence the JUMP! Plan was born.

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Smartphone Product Cycle

The cellular industry is built around yearly releases of major products. Samsung and Apple introduce new flagship devices every year. Each year, customers have to make a decision whether they want to break their contract to upgrade to the newest Smartphone.

The JUMP! plan allows users to upgrade as often as they would like (up to 3 times a year) without incurring penalties. There is always a catch, so we will examine the plan in detail. Most articles have labeled the JUMP! Plan as expensive and a way for T-Mobile to generate more revenue. Our analysis will give you hard numbers on the exact costs.

T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Plan

Here are the main features of this T-Mobile Smartphone Plan:

  • Get a new Smartphone whenever you want
  • Upgrade up to 3 times a year
  • When upgrading, you will trade in your eligible device
  • Get credit for remaining device payments, up to 50% of the original cost
  • Replace damaged or lost devices through premium device protection ($8/month) - You do have to pay a deductible
  • Lookout Mobile Security for Android is included
  • You can remove JUMP! from your plan at any time

How to Start a JUMP! Plan

Here is how you begin a new JUMP! Plan on T-Mobile:

  • Buy a new Smartphone or Tablet - finance your device
  • Select a Simple Choice Plan
  • Subscribe to JUMP! On Demand
  • You can now upgrade at any time
  • You can enroll within 14 days of purchase

Customers pay the normal monthly installment payment, which is the cost of the smartphone divided into 24 monthly payments. Typically $679.99 / 24 =  $28.33 a month.

T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Plan for iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6

We will list out the charges due when you setup a JUMP! Plan for two of the most popular Smartphones on the T-Mobile network.

iPhone 6 16GB or Galaxy S6 32GB with JUMP! On Demand Plan. This allows us to upgrade after one year.

Amount due at sale:

$0 free activation with Simple Choice Plan

$0 down

$15 SIM Starter Kit

Free standard shipping

Sales tax on full value of phone $57 in our area.

Total due at time of sale: $0 + $15 + tax = $72

Monthly Cost:

$26.24/month x 24 mos. installment charge for iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6

$60/month Simple Choice Plan 3GB with unlimited talk and text

$86.24/month

Total due each month: $86.24 + tax

Amount paid after one year:

$87 X 12 months = $1044 + $15 + $57 Initial Sales Tax = $1116 + tax.

You can get a new Smartphone at anytime

Amount Paid to fulfill handset payments: (24 months)

$87 X 24 months = $2088 +$15 + $57 Initial Sales Tax = $2160 + tax

iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6 value is now roughly $250

No Surprise – this is $240 More than normal 2 year plan! You're basically paying how much the handset is worth in extra JUMP! fees.

Costs When Upgrading After 1 year

Lets pretend that we started our plan with an iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6, kept it for a year, then upgraded to the iPhone 6S or Galaxy S7. Here are the costs involved:

First two years of Smartphone Ownership:

Year 1: iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6 $1111 + tax

We upgrade to a new Smartphone after one year. Trade in the existing Smartphone. Remaining payments $27/month x 12 = $324. T-Mobile will pay 50%, meaning that you will pay $162 at time of upgrade.

Year 2: iPhone 6S or Galaxy S7 $162 + $1111 = $1273 + tax

Total cost for 2 years: $2384 + tax

$469 premium using JUMP! on demand over a standard 2 year contract - but we upgraded to a new phone. You did not get to keep the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6 though.

Caveat – you do not own the phone, and had to trade in the first phone after the first year.

Anytime you want, you are ready to get another phone!

When is the T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Plan worthwhile?

There are specific situations where the JUMP! Plan is worth considering. One of these situations might depend on your timing on fulfilling the contract.

  • If you want to have the latest Smartphone
  • You do not like the hassle of selling your phone and upgrading
  • When T-Mobile has good service in your area and you plan to stick with them

The AT&T Next Plan can be cheaper and has situations where it is more cost effective.

Unlocking T-Mobile Smartphones 

If you wish to use your Smartphone Internationally or with a different wireless carrier's SIM card, you need to unlock your phone. T-Mobile does allow you to unlock Smartphones with SIM slot right away by calling customer service. Here are the requirements:

  • The Smartphone to be used for one day within the last 7 days before requesting an unlock code.
  • The line needs to have been activated at least 40 days since first use
  • Account needs to be in good standing

AT&T Wirelesswaits until you fulfill your contract. This is much better for international travelers.

Conclusion

T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Plan adds more ways for Smartphone owners to upgrade to the latest technology without waiting 2 years for their contract to be fulfilled. If you are a frequent upgrader, you should do the math and consider this plan.

Do you have a different opinion or a suggestion? Please leave a comment below.

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4 responses to “T-Mobile JUMP! On Demand Upgradeable Smartphone Plan Review”

  1. samuel says:

    The jump program of tmobile is a repoff they get people money because you still had to pay money from your package T-Mobile stilling from there costumers.

    • Bob says:

      To be fair to T-Mobile the $10 jump charge also includes Lookout pro anti-virus and replacement on the phone for breakage and theft.

  2. mike says:

    Your math is a bit off (not the math itself, but your understanding of their policies).

    From T-Mobile.com:

    “When you’re ready to upgrade, simply trade in your eligible device and receive credit for all remaining device payments, up to half of its original cost. You are responsible for any remaining device payments at the time of upgrade.”

    So after one year when you’ve paid $324 (half of the device’s original cost), they’ll pay all remaining payments because half of your device is paid off. If you had made only 1 payment because you wanted to upgrade after a month, they’d still only pay $324 and you’d be responsible for the rest. This is why having jump is very bad if you DON’T upgrade after a year.

  3. Aron says:

    Do you have to include the $50 plan fee in calculations?
    It should be ($27 + $10) * 12 + $57 per year.
    Still too much cost on customer.

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