T-Mobile’s Kids are Free Until 2012 Family Plans are a Bit Misleading

I’m sure you have seen the commercials for T-Mobile’s Kids are Free until 2012 family plans. On the surface it sounds like a great deal, right? Well, yes and no. When you start to dig around you realize that this plan is only worthwhile if you already have 3 or more people in your family. Because the discount only applies to family plans that have 3 or more lines. So does that mean that single parents with one child are out of luck?

Either way, there are “catches” to this promo. For starters, the ‘free’ lines are not entitled to web access – unless you pay for it separately for each line. And the fine print says that these lines are subject to additional charges too. What these charges are, remains a mystery.  Both the Shared-Minute Family Plans that include 750, 1500, or 3000 minutes for the whole family to share and the Unlimited Family Plans entitle you to these free lines.  However on the Unlimited Family Plan, you’ll have to pay extra if you want those lines to have unlimited talk time as well. Finally, the reality is that you don’t necessarily have to have a kid to get these free lines, so anyone who is mooching off of you at the moment can enjoy a line.

So as you can see, the whole campaign is extremely confusing and at the end day, that extra free line may not be free at all with all the additional charges. Basically all this offer does is save you on the cost of adding additional lines to these family plans.

That said, T-Mobile still offers some decent rates for their family plans and they do have a large selection of phones that would appeal to families with a wide range of tastes. The new Motorola Charm would certainly appeal to tween’s or teenagers who like to text. For the power users in your family, there is always the Samsung Galaxy or even the upcoming T-Mobile G2.  And for those who just want a phone that makes calls, the Sony Ericsson Equinox line will do the jo as well as the Samsung Comeback or Samsung Gravity which are both extremely budget friendly phones that can take a beating or two.