After fixing its mistake, T-Mobile’s free tablet data is a great deal

tmobile lte ipad air

Yesterday I wrote a post going at T-Mobile pretty hard after it appeared to do the ‘ol bait and switch on its free 200MB/month data claims. I wasn’t alone. Numerous customers complained that T-Mobile reps were insisting that they sign up for a monthly plan in order to take advantage of the free data offer.

As it turns out, that was a mistake; a costly one as far as overall perception goes, but nonetheless a mistake. T-Mobile’s CEO clarified things yesterday via Twitter, and the company appeared to iron out any miscommunication between corporate and those on the front lines.

I’m very happy about this. Not so much due to the free data — everyone knows that 200MB on an LTE network is the equivalent to raving about skiing down a 10 foot slope — yes you went down fast, but it didn’t last very long. I’m happy because T-Mobile owned up to its mistake, and did what it said it’d do.

So, of course, I decided to return the Wi-Fi only iPad Air that I had purchased yesterday in disgust, and went with a 32GB cellular iPad with a T-Mobile SIM conveniently bundled in. In fact, it was so convenient that I didn’t even have to set a foot inside a T-Mobile store.

After finishing the exchange, I simply unboxed my iPad, turned it on, and went through iOS’ customary new setup process. During the process I was prompted to create a new T-Mobile account. No credit cards were ever needed for the setup, and I was issued my free 200MB of LTE “starter” data.

T-Mobile made the process painless and easy, and the fact that no credit card was required for the setup solidifies this as a great deal. You can even choose to use the free 200MB with iOS’ Personal Hotspot feature.

Indeed, I was pretty ticked off yesterday when it appeared that T-Mobile wasn’t actually doing something new, and appeared to be sticking to the oft-shady script of wireless carriers.

Today, I’m happy to say that I was wrong.