So finally I went out and spend some money on replacing my Samsung Dart (why do I always want to call it a Dodge Dart? Guess because they both kind of suck)
I went to the T-mobile store and picked up a Samsung Galaxy S 4G. The cost of the phone with a qualifying prepaid or "monthly 4G" plan was $250. The problem is these idiots in the store forced me to buy a $60 activation kit for the phone which I do not need since I am already an existing customer who is just trying to upgrade the phone that I currently have.
This problem left me with an extra line of service that I do not need, and $60 poorer. I called T-mobile customer care and found out that I needed to have the pin number for the new account that the store set up for me, which I did not have since they never asked me to set a pin up. This required me to get off the line with customer service and set up a pin for my "new" account. Once that was done I called back and spoke with the stupidest rep ever. She thought I was calling to provide them with my IMEI number. HELLO it is a GSM phone all I need to do is swap my SIM card! Finally she made it seem like she was on the same page as me and told me that the credit for the account that I was forced to open would be transferred over to my existing account within 2 hours. 6 hours later and the "new" account is still active and the credit has not yet been transferred over. So I called back and finally got someone who immediately posted $25 credit to my account and advised me the remainder of the credit will post within an hour, and the "new" account will be deactivated. Finally someone who knows what they are doing.
Not sure if this is a win for me or not. The $250 price for the phone supposedly is for new prepaid service with a qualifying plan, while the full retail of the phone is closer to the $400 range. So perhaps the store was right in that to get the $250 price I had to get the activation kit, which still saves me about $100 compared to the full retail price of the phone. But since I have no use for 2 unlimited prepaid plans I figured I would try my luck at getting the money I paid transferred over to my active account.
Failing everything else, I did pay for the phone with 2 different credit cards. I put the bulk of the cost on one card, and about $50 onto another, so I could always dispute the charges on the lesser credit card if they fail to provide me with the credit.
[update] The credit was applied to my account, leaving me with no monthly charges the following month since my monthly plan is $60 and they credited my account the full $60.