14
Apr
TMobile-Thumb

T-Mobile introduced a whirlwind of changes last year as it rebranded itself as the "Un-carrier," with perhaps its most substantial shift being the decision to forgo annual contracts, breaking away from a long-standing practice among carriers in the US. Now the company is doing away with another perpetual mobile pain in the rear by eradicating its domestic overage charges. This applies regardless of whether you're on a Simple Choice plan, the new Simple Starter, or an older plan - and it will take place starting in May, with those bills arriving in June.

CEO John Legere, not one to shy away from making grand gestures, has taken to Change.org with a petition calling on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon to abolish their overage charges as well.

T-Mobile

This announcement follows two days of preceding ones last week, starting with the unveiling of a new $40 "Simple Starter" plan with unlimited talk/text and 500MB of data. T-Mobile came back the next day with Operation Tablet Freedom, offering LTE tablets for the price of their Wi-Fi variants. The company then paused on Friday for the global launch of the Galaxy S5 and its personal launch of its HTC One M8.

See the full press release for today's announcement below.

T-Mobile Abolishes Consumer Overages, Challenges Other Wireless Providers to Follow Suit

Legere Starts Petition for Consumers to Call on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to End Overages

BELLEVUE, Wash. – April 14, 2014 – T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) today shifted the national conversation on wireless to a new level, unveiling its latest Un-carrier move – a campaign to eliminate overage penalties, one of the most reviled wireless industry practices. While abolishing overages for all customers on T-Mobile consumer plans, its CEO has also laid down a challenge to the nation’s largest carriers, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, to do the same.

More than 20 million Americans were hit with punitive overage charges in 2013. And these penalties from the three largest U.S. carriers take more than an incredible $1 billion out of consumers’ pockets every year.

“Today I’m laying down a challenge to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to join T-Mobile in ending these outrageous overage penalties for all consumers – because it’s the right thing to do,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “Overage fees are flat out wrong. Agree with me? Join me in putting this challenge to all the major national carriers by signing my petition on Change.org. Right here. Take one minute to be a part of this consumer movement.”

Last year, T-Mobile banished annual service contracts and began phasing out overage charges with the launch of Simple Choice.  T-Mobile’s stance against annual service contracts is now well known by consumers, and today it's taking on the even more unpopular and unjustified practice of slamming consumers with surprise bills in the form of overages charges.

“Charging overage fees is a greedy, predatory practice that needs to go,” continued Legere. “Starting in May for bills arriving in June – regardless of whether you’re on Simple Choice, Simple Starter or an older plan, we’re abolishing overages for good. Period.”

Traditional carriers’ entry-level plans lure customers in with a low monthly fee for a fixed amount of domestic minutes, texts or data. Once consumers go over those limits – even by a little – they’re hit with much higher rates, often dramatically higher.  These plans are purpose-built to drive customers over that invisible line into massive overage charges. The result has been a culture of fear, worry and surprise every time the wireless bill arrives. For example, an individual on AT&Ts entry-level plan, advertised at $45 per month, will pay $125 if he uses just the average amount of data for a U.S. smartphone user (1.5 GB per person).

“The worst thing about these overage fees is that they’re often inflicted on those who can least afford them,” added Legere. “As an advocate for consumers, we’re putting a stop to that. I personally won’t be satisfied until we obliterate this shameful practice from the entire wireless industry.”

To give a voice to U.S. wireless consumers, Legere has started an online petition atChange.org/AbolishOverages calling on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to end overages. You are invited to sign the petition and add your voice to the growing movement to rid the wireless industry of domestic overages once and for all.

For more information, visit the T-Mobile Newsroom, download T-Mobile b-roll or read John Legere’s blog about today’s announcement.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Severo Rivera

    I know this isn't related to the article or anything, but I think Sprint just released Android 4.4.3 for the Nexus 5 today. Just something worth mentioning.

    • Guest

      Google releases updates to Nexus.

      • Richard Markert

        Google releases updates for nexus they sell through the play store. Carriers release updates for the ones they sell.

        • remister

          Did you forget about Verizon Galaxy Nexus?

          • Guest

            Verizon did.

        • deltatux

          That's only true for the Galaxy Nexus. After that mess, Google didn't repeat that for the Nexus 4 and iirc the Nexus 5 as well.

        • Rudy Ballesteros

          That is not true all google play editions or nexus devices regardless if they are sold in the google play store or in a carrier store, updates are handle by Google.

      • Severo Rivera

        Yeah, the Nexus 5 on Sprint is a Nexus. Remember Sprint does not necessarily handle updates to the Nexus 5. Google does.

    • WhoaManWtF

      If the update were actually up to sprint you wouldn't be seeing it for a while..

    • Kieron Quinn

      They haven't. They are "in the process of releasing" an update that is LIKELY 4.4.3, but we don't know for sure. It's not news yet.

      • hp420

        It's posted to the product page. It's news.

        • Kieron Quinn

          Wasn't properly when I posted that

  • flyingD023

    Do roaming fees could as overage fees?

    • http://david.spatholt.com Spacks

      This is the question I want answered. Esp considering the 10 mb limit on data roaming.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

        It's 50 MB, not that it's much better. You can burn through 50 MB checking Instagram.

        • flyingD023

          Yeah. Only reason I get antsy with TMo. When you want to enjoy a scenic trip through rural areas, you really are off the grid with them.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            Indeed. Of course, when you're roaming, 99% of the time it's on AT&T's network, and they throttle roaming traffic to EDGE speed, so burning 50 MB on EDGE is actually harder than it sounds. That said, I've done it.

          • asdakkkkkeeeed

            I thought tmobile had the best edge coverage? Anyways I havent been anywhere without coverage so far.. but i do stick to LA and freeways in between which are always covered

        • Jadephyre

          Then don't check Instagram... or is there suddenly more to see than stupid people taking pictures of their food?

    • Jephri

      It is considered like international calling as a usage fee.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Overage fees are terrible. Cutting off service half way through the month should be incentive enough for people to boost data/texts/talk.

  • Tom

    Why do they want other carriers to get rid of overages? It's their huge selling point, don't they want to be known as the only major carrier without overages? If other carriers do it too they are back to where they were 2 years ago.

    • Cael

      Because they know they won't. The petition is symbolic and LBR, is purely just to put T-Mobile in the news. Overages are a big money maker and Verizon and AT&T are not going to get rid of them. Therefore T-Mobile is directly trying to get their customers to see they won't get rid of overages, make them look bad, and get their customers to switch over to them.

    • AussieB

      They've done t that with everything, saying they want to change the industry. Everything they're doing can be copied. The other CEO s have said they'll wait and see but already have started copying.. ATT CEO even has said he'll like to get rid of subsidies. Legere gives me an arrogant vibe and his looks creep me out. But the more competition the better. Hopefully they can become profitable.

      • yoddy

        Other ceo s can say whatever but until they actually do it doesnt matter. Besides the consumer is winning with legeres moves because he is creating competition thank god att wasnt able to buy tmobile!!!!! If so alot of these changes might have not happend

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    Maybe just make everything unlimited instead of abolishing overage fees? I guess it would be basically the same thing.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      Some plans, such as the new Simple Starter, simply cut consumers off when they hit their limit. They can then *choose* to pay for more data if they want it. This explicit choice should at least cut down on people unknowingly running up their bills, even if, technically, they're still being charged to go over a certain amount of data.

      • My1

        why are they doing that and not simply slowdown...

  • cjohnson481

    So if every plan doesn't have overages starting on 5/1, isn't it best to just choose their lowest plan and rack up overages that you won't get charged? Am I missing something?

    • Jephri

      All of the current plans are already overage free

    • Sorian

      Instead of overages, they just throttle bandwidth after the limit, might call and "suggest" going to the next tier data plan.

  • Matthew Brown

    I know that Three UK have started to do this. You get whatever you have on your plan in the UK, abroad. So I got unlimited data (25GB) in the US for free. Also SK Telecom in South Korea has a huge portfolio of countries that you can visit for no extra charge!

  • Tony Pearce

    I am pretty sure overages will not be allowed at all if there are no overage charges. U will simply be cut of at your limit

    • Steve Freeman

      I think they just throttle down your data speeds after you hit the limit. I highly doubt they'll completely cut off your data...though I could be mistaken.

      • Anthony B

        Looks like it depends on the plan - found this on another site:

        "When T-Mobile Simple Choice subscribers do go over their limit, they won't be hit with overages now. Their access to data will continue, but their speeds with be throttle back to 2G speeds. On the Simple Starter plan with its 500MB cap, they'll be presented with the option to purchase additional data passes to make it through the end of the month."

  • ProductFRED

    I don't care if it's all for show, I love this guy and I love this carrier. Screw the other guys. This is how you win over customers.

    - No overage fees

    - Unlocked bootloaders (well, except for Xperia Z and Z1S, but better than ALL phones)

    - Wifi Calling to make calls, texts, and MMS work over Wifi, even while abroad for free

    - Their phones are compatible with AT&T, whereas AT&T disables AWS HSPA+ so you have trouble using their phones on T-Mobile

    - Real unlimited data with no overage fees

    - JUMP includes insurance, plus you pay a lower bill if you bring your own phone or buy one outright.

    • Steve Freeman

      I agree, and if their coverage was better I would switch to them today. That's literally the only thing keeping me on VZW right now.

      • Sean Stone

        Granted I live in the Bay Area, but I was concerned about my coverage switching from VZW to TMO, but I've actually had the same, if not better, coverage. The only time it was an issue was out in the rural Central Valley of CA. If you're in even a semi metropolitan area, you'll probably be well covered.

      • ProductFRED

        I can't compare since I live in NYC (Brooklyn, but travel to either Manhattan and Staten Island almost every day). I have coverage pretty much everywhere. Even in places I wouldn't expect it, like rural Long Island. But I totally understand your scenario. When I drive up to Canada for example, I have no service or I roam on AT&T half the trip. But that's fine with me because I spend most of my time where I live.

      • KlausWillSeeYouNow

        Hang on just a more longer. Good things are on the way. :-)

      • A2theC

        I was with VZW for 10 years, my first cell til last year, and I never had a dropped call and always had service where others didn't. I've switched to TMO after a few years researching them and I liked what they had to offer (before all this craziness) and I finally switched early last year which turned out to be a rollercoaster of a year LOL. I haven't had any issues with my service, only in some rural areas I "only" have 2G full signal but great voice. They are in the middle of switching all their 2G coverage to 4GLTE so if you want to switch it's only getting better.

      • Steve Freeman

        Well, I live in the Cleveland suburbs, so VZW's coverage is pretty...well, truthfully, only OK, I wish I could say great. I get usually 3-5 bars just about everywhere, though reception is SO much better on my new phone (M8, coming from a Galaxy Nexus). That being said, If I go to the metroparks to ride my bike, I like to have at least some coverage so my cardio app records my route. I don't go out of any city/suburb areas too often. In another year or so I may switch, but for now, especially since my job covers most of my cell phone bill, and since I'm still grandfathered into unlimited data, I'll stick with VZW. But I would love to be on a carrier that wasn't so hostile to the modding community!

    • Matthew Fry

      Eh. Jump is only a good deal if you're grandfathered in to the old version.

      • ProductFRED

        JUMP isn't for me because I buy my phones outright (usually used, but mint condition). But it's nice that it's more worthwhile than the other carriers' versions.

      • ltredbeard

        What changed?

    • GazaIan

      "- You pay a lower bill if you bring your own phone or buy one outright (Like $20+ lower)."

      Also, your bill price actually drops once the price of the phone is paid off.

      • ProductFRED

        That too.

      • AussieB

        Same thing. But its all stuff others can copy. ATT and even Verizon ate charging less if you bring your own phone now too.

    • Dillon Shepherd

      John Legere is a boss. Literally and figuratively. Nuff said

  • Brayden Reesor

    I think it's pretty funny that they're making such a big deal about overages.. Yet my parents are stuck on an old plan under contract where they each have 200MB of data with OVERAGES if they go over.. I've tried to just get this changed to where it gets throttled instead of charging them if they go over, but I can't do anything until their contract is over without paying some absurd fees.

    • Kevin Mills

      that's what this announcement does. classic plans are no longer charged overages.

      • Brayden Reesor

        Oh. Hm.. Guess I didn't read this closely enough, my bad.

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    • -_-

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  • supremekizzle

    I fucking love this guy.

  • Robert Alex Kibler

    Does this include overages from phone calls? I'm on the $30 plan and would love to be able to make more than 100 minutes of phone calls.

    • Jonathan Ly

      More likely than not this will be for Post-Paid customers rather than pre-paid.

    • tim242

      If you need more than 100 minutes...get off of the $30 PREPAID plan.

    • ins0mn1a

      no overage doesn't mean you can start making calls for free after you reach your plan limit. it means you will not be able to make more calls unaware that they are being charged at a crazy rate.

      having said this, the rate for extra minutes with the $30 plan is not that crazy, it's 10c per minute. this is fairly reasonable, compared to the alternatives. if you want to avoid this as well, use hangouts or skype or viber or some such (with skype you can also call phones for smt like 2c per minute). i am also pretty sure that voip phone calls are coming soon to google voice on android (they are already there on ios), which will pretty much eliminate the very concept of carrier minutes for g voice users.

  • firesoul453

    Their "we'll buy you out of your contract" is a scam. Thats all I need to know about T mobile.

    • GazaIan

      How is it a scam? I didn't go this route (came to T-Mobile and brought my own phone each time I changed phones), but I know a few people who did this and it turned out pretty good for them.

      • firesoul453

        If it was buy your contract and you get a contract with them, then thats a good deal for the customer and a decent deal for T-mobile though I can see why they didn't go that rout (not a ton of profits in it).

        Now they also require you to buy a device in full in addition to their plans. Sure its cool and all that the price isn't hidden but you are still paying for a brand new device at full price. Now its about a half decent deal for both parties.

        But on top of that you have to sell them your old phone. This alone pays for the ETF. So basically your getting into a contract because you don't want to have to sell your phone.

        I guess its not that bad if you wanted to get into another contract anyway but your phone bill is an issue then there are cheaper plans out there.

        I guess its not really a scam, its just not a better deal then any of the other carriers.

        • Televise

          Uh whoa, you can give them any piece of shit phone. The only thing that changes is the amount of credit you get towards the new tmobile phone. This isn't supposed to save you a shit load of money (you save that on plan costs), it's to make it so you don't have to PAY money to leave a carrier. You don't have to buy a device right away, you would use jump in order to get a phone right away and just make monthly installments.

          • AussieB

            It would seem to be that they make you buy a phone to try to lock you in since many people get stuck on installment not able to pay it off. If they don't make profits on phone sales, why make you buy one from them if you have a compatible one you can use?

    • Jephri

      I've personally had over 100 customers come in and switch using this program without a complaint or cancellation. What scam are you referring to?

  • jer85008

    I finally dumped Verizon after having 3-5 lines on a family plan for many years. I live in San Diego, the coverage here is great - and I'm literally paying half of what I did before. T-Mobile is taking the bottom-up approach to winning customers, and I'm now a very happy one! (And, I FINALLY have a Nexus...) So long Verizon, you won't be missed.

  • missinginput

    I was really hoping for something more substantial for day 3, T-Mobile already abolished their own overage program by not offering any plans with overages.
    So this is just another attack add on att and verizon, nothing wrong with that $15/GB is immoral but what is T-Mobile going to do different today about it other than calling it out?

  • My1

    what is that overage thing anyway?

    Note: I am not a US person, so pls be gentle with me...

    • ins0mn1a

      typically people have a monthly service plan that includes x minutes, y text messages and z amount of data for n dollars. once you spend the allotted number of (for example) minutes, any additional minutes are charged extra, often at an unreasonable price.

      that's the theory anyway, but most t-mo plans include unlimited minutes and text, and some amount of high-speed data but unlimited edge speed data after that. so i am not sure what overage charges they are abolishing, since in this scenario you can't really go "over". probably for the small subset of plans that don't include the unlimited stuff.

      • My1

        most plans in germany are also like that with x free minutes and/or text or even unlimited and x data with slowdown...
        but too bad that non-business customers can't even get unlimited data, especially if you have no broadband at home available...

  • AussieB

    Tmobile is stupid to keep challenging the other carriers to do the same. If they do that, Tmobile loses what makes them different and is left with poorer network coverage. Focus on changing Tmobile,; the industry will take care of I itself. The others are already experimenting with installments and lower rates for bringing your own phone, replacements, and everyone does unlimited talk n text. I didn't even think Tmobile had overages anymore. People want coverage in buildings and off the highway.

  • A2theC

    I was beginning to wonder WTF happened to day 3? As I'm affected by these changes I want to know what is going on.....sad though I still can't get my new phone as they haven't listed the 32GB model.....*tears*

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