Free data for life not working - anyone else?

  • 31 December 2018
  • 26 replies

I've had "Free Data for life" on my tablet for a couple of years now.  In July 2018 or so, it suddenly stopped working.  I've already spent hours on the phone and a few more hours in store talking to support, after which they promised to get back to me (they never did).  The device can access the T-mobile homepage just fine (so it's not a hardware issue).  It just can't connect anywhere else, as if it's being blocked.

Anyone else having any problem with "Free data for life"?  I'm in the SF Bay area, California, if that matters.

I don't seem to have much leverage since it's not like I can ask for a refund...


Best answer by tmo_mike_c 3 January 2019, 16:55

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26 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +15

Have you ever switched plans or made any data changes? That feature isn't available anymore so significant changes like that will boot that features.

Userlevel 4

I still have my FDFL Tablet Plan and it is still operational... i used it today to be sure it worked after I read your post.

Same device, same plan.  It was working up to early July.  Then one day in mid July, I was tried to use it and it wasn't working. I keep checking back every few weeks but it hasn't worked since.  I don't use it all that often (hence the FDFL is perfect for me).

If it was something like that, certainly the people at the T-mobile store and phone support did not mention it.

I haven't had the solid block of a few hours free to call them again, but perhaps I have to.

Userlevel 6
Badge +15

Yeah, I think that's a good idea to call. It's a feature that would be on the account and one of our TEX folks can double check on it for you and make sure it's there.

Userlevel 4

Early this month I contacted T-Force with questions regarding my data limit on 1 of my mobile internet lines.... I shouldnt have asked anything.... because a rep sent an update to all of my sim cards on my 5 mobile lines and a few days later... all of my FDFL was removed from 3 of my lines. I contacted T-Force back and they stated that they are sorry it was removed and they will put it back onto my lines... but Im waiting to get that text message that my FDFL has been renewed. . i will know more next month when it is scheduled to renew. It used to show up online as Free Data For life .20 GB available.... but now it shows nothing 😥

I merely asked a question... didn’t ask for any sim card updates !

Userlevel 4

My 3 mobile internet lines with Free Data For Life (FDFL) has been successfully added back by T-Mobile T-Force Team. I‘m so happy I can see it with my own eyes ”FREE DATA FOR LIFE” when I log onto my account via the T-Mobile account website. Hopefully it won’t ever get inadvertently removed again.

T-Mobile is pretty horrible all around. The data ALWAYS slows and for as big as the coverage area they claim to have it's always spotty as well. I've had better consistaco coverage with metroPCS. And they really rape a phone with their programming. I would have left years ago but my wife doesn't want to go anywhere else for cell phone service. I'm leaving my wife so I'll be leaving T-Mobile as well   

I noticed mine stopped working after a month where I was inactive to have the tablet repaired. I have since repaired the tablet and attempted to log into the site. The site keeps saying they are "improving my experience" without doing anything beyond saying that for months. I replaced the SIM to make sure that was not the issue and the account shows as active. The store employee found my account and verified it was still in good standing. I guess I have to call AGAIN and listen to someone read prompts from a screen without any clue what question they are answering...

P.S. I would give support more credit, had the first representative not told me I needed to provide him the full SIM number or he couldn't answer me, only to have the second one tell me I could simply walk into a store to update my SIM.

Userlevel 1

I still own/use my original iPad and never used another data plan/carrier other than the original T-Mobile FDFL.  On June 7th, T-Mobile emailed me that “You recently deleted your Mobile Internet account. If you would like to create a new account at a later point in time, you can use the T-Mobile ID username and password that you've already set up. Just click, 'Already have a user ID' when you set up a new account.”  I called them on July 10th to let them know that I did no delete my account and asked them to restore the FDFL.  Today is July 28th and I’m still waiting.  Every time I call, the customer service rep says they have escalated my ticket with “Engineering” and that someone will call me back in 48 to 72 hours.  Still no callback as of today.

As of Oct 7th, I got the exact same message from tmo indicating - “You recently deleted your Mobile Internet account. If you would like to create a new account at a later point in time, you can use the T-Mobile ID username and password that you've already set up. Just click, 'Already have a user ID' when you set up a new account.” and since then I am not able to access my data. None of the tmo geniuses are able to help. 

Userlevel 1

I finally got this resolved with T-Mobile after 4 months by filing a complaint to the FCC:  Too bad it came to that, but the person who eventually called to help me was very nice and advised that T-Mobile really does have a process for reinstating the Free Data For Life plan.  First, I provided him with the IMEI number of my device, my SIM number and my phone number and he then mailed me a new SIM card (for free).  Then I called back to confirm the SIM card number and he ported the phone number from my other SIM (not necessary, but it was my preference) and re-activated the plan.  Then I popped in the SIM and everything works just fine.  Under no circumstances should you let anyone set up a “dummy” SIM for you or give you another date plan to use while you wait for them to fix the issue.  That’s what happened to me initially and it made the whole thing more complicated and time consuming than necessary.

I finally got this resolved with T-Mobile after 4 months by filing a complaint to the FCC:  

Can you please share how you worded the FCC complaint and which “Phone Issue” drop-down you picked?

I’ve been calling T-Mobile for over three months.  Each time, someone looks into it, reads through the notes, puts me on hold to check with someone else, then says it’s a known issue and the fix is to create a ticket for a different department to fix, and swears the Free Data for Life will be back within 72 hours.  Last time I spoke with a supposed supervisor who swore he could create a special supervisor-to-supervisor ticket and this time it really would be restored.  He insisted that it was not possible for him to call someone at the other department, that he didn’t know who ran that department, that he had no access to a T-Mobile directory, and couldn’t talk to anyone else.

Thank you,



Userlevel 1

I said that “in 2013, T-Mobile started giving everyone who was using a tablet on its 4G LTE network 200 MB of data per month, called "Free Data for Life", which was effective for the time the customer owned the device, so long as the device was not used on another carrier's network. I purchased an iPad from Apple on XX/XX/XXXX and received this Free Data For Life promotion. I always used the iPad on T-Mobile's network and I still own the device, however on XX/XX/XXXX, T-Mobile cancelled my Free Data For Life.”  I then provided the names and dates of the individuals I spoke with at T-Mobile customer service and what they told me.  I also uploaded my iPad purchase receipt, the email that T-Mobile sent me when they cancelled the plan and a pdf of an online article that described the plan.

I hope this is helpful.

I hope this is helpful.

Thank you, I appreciate it.  Can I also ask about how long it took to get a response after submission?

Userlevel 1

One business day.

I’m happy to report that I finally have the Free Data for Life restored.  As with @jtemery, calls were useless, even the supervisors, but shortly after filing an FCC complaint, someone from T-Mobile reached out, and was able to send me a new SIM in the mail.

I tried calling T-Mobile multiple times and other than the fact they were able to see this on my account everyone involved including higher level management, has absolutely no idea what is going on and is unable to help. Said another way the account shows free data for life, but I’m paying per month for the basic data allotment where the credit to the account is not occurring. 

Unfortunately the new larger T-Mobile has become a victim of it’s own success.

Filed a consumer complaint with the FCC… Sigh.

I didn’t use my Free for Life 200MB/Mo data awhile as not on the road as much now. One day this week I got an email from T-Mobile about the current data breach and that since my iPad could not receive their text I needed to call to reset my account PIN.  I decided to check my data plan and found it was empty and not active. I called to fix the 200MB/Mo Free for Life Data plan and PIN. I was elevated to another person with lots of questions and was told the Free for Life 200MB/Mo plan was turned off for non-use and he could not be added back. When I told him it was “For Life,” he checked with a Supervisor and was told Engineering could add it back in 24-48 hrs and he would call back when it was done. I did not hear back in 48 hrs so I called back (another person). She reviewed the notes on my previous call. She told me her supervisor and other documentation made her think the plan was “probably” cancelled for a period of non-use or because it was retired in May and not even Supervisors could add it back. She asked, and I told her, that I got no notification about the cancellation. I asked her to to talk to the customer service staff that knew of the fix Engineering could do - but she said she had no way to get in touch with other customer service people and thought Engineering was only for work on cell towers. I said I would have to complain to the FCC is she couldn’t fix it, as many other customers had done that successfully. She suggested I wait for the initial customer service person to call me back. 

I have the Free 200MB data for life on 2 iPads. I’ve been having the same issues as everyone else. Plus I have not been able to get into my account online or on my iPads for 3-5 years. I have spoken to 3 people on the Executive Response team about it. Today I got confirmation from them that the “new” system they have migrated to does not allow access for this legacy program and will not in the future.

In other words, T-Mobile is doing everything they can to get out of their “Free for life” commitment by making it as difficult as possible for those customers. Let’s all file complaints with the FCC and BBB.

@sak1364 I never heard back from T-Mobile on the promised reinstatement of my summarily cancelled Data for Life program so I filed an FCC complaint and will try and update here with any results. 

I received account cancelation email on Thursday and my ipad 200MB FREE FOR LIFE quit working.  I called t-mobile prepaid support,  gave them my ipad phone # and pin # which I had recorded when first setting up the FREE account, and they then reactivated my ipad phone #.  At that moment, I received another email saying “welcome back”.  t-mobile support was then asking which plan I wanted to add, and of course there were no FREE options, so I declined.  HOWEVER, my ipad is getting FREE internet again. SCORE!!!

My FDFL got disconnected end of March 2022. Today got a “welcome back” email after number of calls to the Prepaid t-mobile line. However it is not working, apparently T-mobile is killing Free Data For Life. CSR told me the line was disconnected due to nonpayment, a payment has to be made every 90 days - I told her it was FDFL and never made a payment! Plan is no longer available to be added and they cannot tell me why the disconnected the line  - it was used often to check email when not on wifi.

How can I get an engineering ticket open so I can get mine restored? I never got any email saying my account was deleted but I can’t connect to anything either. So much for the whole “Free data for life” claim. Either T-mobile live up to its claim or they’ll find themselves on the wrong end of a class action. I’m hoping Tmo_Darren is still working there so he can hopefully help.


Free Data For Life on my Alcatel tablet stopped working May 15, 2022

I received an email telling me that You deleted your Mobile Internet account.

That is a joke. I did not delete the account. T-Mobile deleted the account!

I tried calling but the Customer Service Rep was unhelpful. They wanted a PIN which I never had.


T-Mobile lied about Free Data For Life. 😡




A year or two ago it showed my free data line was expiring. I called T-Mobile and they said it was just a glitch in the system and would be resolved. I called multiple times and they said the same thing every time. Then the free data for life disappeared and no amount of escalation or tforce could help with it. They kept blaming it on random things and couldn’t put it back on. Eventually I gave up and it was pretty frustrating.