T-Mobile eliminates overage fees, challenges the competition to do the same

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,046   +152
Staff member

t-mobile ceo overage fees

T-Mobile on Monday announced plans to do away with expensive overage fees for all customers on consumer plans. CEO John Legere took the initiative a step further by publically inviting AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to do the same.

The outspoken T-Mobile chief said the act of charging overage fees is a greedy, predatory practice that needs to go. He added that the worst thing about them is the fact that they’re often inflicted on those who can least afford them.

Traditional wireless plans would include a fixed bucket of talk minutes, text messages or data bandwidth. Once a subscriber had eaten through the allotment, they’d be hit with an additional fee for the overage which, depending on the plan, can get expensive pretty quick.

It’s a scenario that T-Mobile said has created a culture of fear, worry and surprise every time the wireless bill arrives.

Of course, that’s only partially accurate as the Federal Communications Commission launched a “bill shock” plan a few years ago that requires carriers to alert users as they approach or exceed a specific threshold. Sure, bills can still arrive with overages but you’re much more likely to be aware of them now compared to before.

Legere said he wouldn’t personally be satisfied until they obliterate the shameful practice from the entire wireless industry. To help drive the point home, he launched a Change.org petition that calls on the top three carriers to follow his lead. The petition has more than 2,000 signatures as of this publication.

Permalink to story.

 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,312   +2,318
I'm not excited yet. What happens when you do go over? Are you cut off, are you allowed a certain amount of minutes/data, do you pay for more on the spot using your phone or what?
 

Camikazi

Posts: 982   +339
I'm not excited yet. What happens when you do go over? Are you cut off, are you allowed a certain amount of minutes/data, do you pay for more on the spot using your phone or what?
What T-Mobile has done before is move you down from 4G to a lower speed until your month is up and then you get your full limit again. I believe they still do that now if you are not on their unlimited plan. As for minutes and texts they might just move you to the next tier of pricing for that month and drop you down to your own tier the following month.
 

Guest17

Posts: 92   +37
"Of course, that’s only partially accurate..."

Why are TechSpot (and the majority of other tech) "journalists" always so quick to defend the status quo? To say that Legere is only "partially accurate" by saying the FCC has implemented an essentially toothless and unenforced regulation is merely a feeble attempt to denigrate what T-Mobile is doing to disrupt the same predatory and greedy telecoms.

Why not roll up your sleeves, do a little legwork and give us a story about exactly what the FCC is doing to implement its bill shock regulation? Some of us then might actually believe you're engaged in credible journalism rather than a corporate shill whose only claim to fame is recycling corporate press releases.
 

Gamesinner

Posts: 86   +3
I think they should all just do away with overage charges and instead have the mobile device issue an electric shock to the user whenever they use their device and over their minutes. Ya know now that I think about it why can't cell service just be free? It could be if it weren't for those greedy telecoms, you know, employing thousands of people, building expensive infrastructures, and trying to make buck to grow my 401k. I just want to go back to the days of my old rotary phone in the kitchen and having to pay .45 cents a minute to call someone in the next town over. Damn you, you corporate hordes and damn you capitalism!
 

Holotus

Posts: 67   +9
Data caps shouldn't exist in the first place. The phone bill should only cost $10 a month.

It seems the only company who will do this will be Google with their upcoming gigabit drones to launch next year.
 
G

Guest

I'm sorry, normally I would not post something like this....but what the hell is he wearing? And that hair...
He just looks funny, like one of the local "can I help you?" salesman in Best Buy, and not a company CEO.

Its a fact that actual job skills and performance are more important than looks, but at least TRY to present yourself professionally.

Or maybe I'm out of touch and this is considered 'hip' and 'cool' in the tech crowd these days?
Or maybe he's intentionally going for the "Hey dirty masses, I'm one of you" look?

Anyway, too bad that this is spokesman we get instead of the T-Mobile Girl. Anyone remember her? I think she was the best publicity stunt T-Mobile ever had.

--------------------

Well, all joking aside, we have been using t-mobile plans for at least 10 years, and for a while they had the cheapest unlimited plans out of everyone.
At first they offered multiple lines service with only 5000 and 7500 minutes as a maximum, and overage fees were pretty steep. As a small business owner you would inevitably run over the limit every 2-3 months and end up with a 50-70% higher bill for, at most, 10% overuse of minutes. Unfortunately its not like you can just stop taking work calls when you are near the limit...Furthermore, all the various fees, charges and taxes actually made the final bill about 30-50% higher than the advertized base rate, and if you add overages, paying 2x was not uncommon.

Eventually they begun offering unlimited plans and texting, and got rid of all those ridiculous price differences between weekdays, weekends and nights. And for a while its been great, but right now the main problem comes not from prices but from coverage. Dropped calls, unable to connect, bad sound quality has been noticeably increasing, especially compared to other companies like verizon. Maybe its only limited to the particular area (we operate within 80 miles radius in the valleys and mountains around LA).

But in any case, we will be switching soon. In this day and age of unlimited plans overage fees have not been a concern for a long time (and when they were, t-mobile was cash grabbing like everybody else, if not more). Call quality and service availability is more important.
 

Capaill

Posts: 1,199   +744
In my contract I get free calls and texts on the same operator and 100 minutes / 100 texts to other operators. And at the end of every month I usually have over 95 mins/texts left. Why? Because I use Viber, WhatsApp, etc. on data or wifi.

As Guest noted above "Call quality and service availability is more important." I agree. But will an operator invest heavily in a voice infrastructure that is being rapidly replaced by data services?

If mobile/cellular operators want to maintain their profits, they need to take control of providing data services (including broadband and wifi hotspots).
 

mctommy

Posts: 415   +141
Data caps shouldn't exist in the first place. The phone bill should only cost $10 a month.

It seems the only company who will do this will be Google with their upcoming gigabit drones to launch next year.

Good luck with that. If you understand what supply chain management and the cost to deliver service or goods to you, you would know that it's not that cheap and involves a lot of expenses.

Plus on top of that and unlike other countries which are more condensed, the US is quite large and thus require many more towers. The cost of equipment to cover Hong Kong vs. the cost to cover the most populated areas in the US is significantly different.