I have an unlocked Kryocera Dura XE Clamshell feature phone. I purchased the voice/text but no data plan. Before you say it is the phone, this phone has all the T-Mobile Bands, up to 4G LTE, except Band 71. T-Mobile has this phone listed as "compatible" as well. I put in a brand new OEM battery too.
I am experiencing unacceptably poor connection quality, with reception bars that bounce to between zero and three erratically, dropped calls, dialed calls not completing, voicemail breaking up and not even audible until several seconds into the message--the whole nine yards. This makes it unusable as a basic phone and occasional text, which is all I need.
As this brand is an unlocked former ATT phone, the T-Mobile store rep had this explanation:
First he said it was an old phone--No, the Dura XE first came on the Market in January 2016. It is still being sold, and is more than capable of receiving every T-Mobile band except 71. In fact the 4G LTE lights up when connected to the T-Mobile network--but it is being blocked by T-Mobile (because I do not have a data plan). Even if data is turned completely off on the phone (WiFi too), there is no improvement.
Then he said it did not support the Bands T-Mobile uses--Yes, it does, except for Band 71
I asked if I purchased a data plan would this improve? No.
Then he finally said since these were former AT&T phones, T-Mobile limits them to 2G, and even that signal is degraded now since they will be discontinuing it soon. He then of course offered to sell me the Alcatels they have that would not have that restriction, or one of their smartphones. I declined, since I just dumped Virgin Mobile because of the buggy OS on the low quality Alcatel that made it equally unreliable, and for many other reasons. The Alactel also not very durable and badly designed--hence my choice of the Dura XE. I don't want or need a smartphone either for many good reasons.
I was not told of this intentional restriction when I signed up and prepaid. In fact, I was making and receiving acceptable quality calls the first few days, then it degraded to unusable, which it has remained ever since. I also confirmed this has nothing to do with tower locations, what physical or signal interference may or may not exist, or the condition of the battery, the unusable poor quality persists everytime I use it now. It may have something to do with having to resign onto the network every time I power up the phone, not sure. Nothing I do there helps either.
Anyone else have this issue and how did you resolve it? I believe this was unfairly deceptive on T-Mobile's part, since a "compatible" phone means more than just 2G today, and means nothing at all if the connection provided is functionally unusable. There is no real reason T-Mobile cannot at least use 3G for those subscribers who have unlocked clamshell phones listed as "compatible" with the network, even if they don't have a data plan along with it.