T-Mobile's allegedly revolutionary ONE Unlimited plan has been met with a lot of skepticism thanks to its oxymoronic limitations on streaming video and tethering, plus new tiers of service that undermine the idea of a "single" data plan for everyone. Even so, CEO John Legere said that the company is "doubling down" on the ONE plan. In his typical bombastic and profanity-laden style, Legere announced that starting January 22nd, T-Mobile will only offer the ONE Unlimited plan to new post-paid customers. That's $70 for talk, text, and "unlimited" data for the first line, $120 for two lines, and $20 for each line after. That includes a $5 discount for auto-paying customers.
The next part of the presentation was more interesting: the latest iteration of the ONE plan will get rid of expensive taxes and fees that are a staple of the mobile industry. T-Mobile can't actually make government taxes and fees go away, of course, it will simply be included in that $70-and-up ONE plan so that customers never pay more than the "retail" price they've agreed to. It's a refreshingly pro-consumer move (especially since taxes can change from state to state and city to city). New customers will be added to this automatically, while current ONE subscribers can "upgrade" to a tax and fee-free plan after the 22nd.
Lastly, T-Mobile announced a new Kickback program: users will get paid back via bill credits for the data they don't use. How can you get paid back for what you don't use on "unlimited data" - would that mean you get unlimited money if you don't use all the data in the world? No, it's not quite that interesting. The Kickback program gives customers a $10 bill credit ("paid back, in cash, in the form of a bill credit," according to the somewhat confused presenter) for every line that uses less than 2GB of data in a post-paid month. Those bill credits can be for up to 12 lines at once for a maximum of $120 back.
On top of that, a new promotion will offer a $150 check or gift card to new One subscribers who port a number from another carrier. Customers on the existing One plan or the previous Simple Choice plans won't have to change to the new One plans if they don't want them. Which is good, since you can save a lot more than $10 a month if you're on one of T-Mobile's older metered plans. Other offers for pre-paid plans will still be available.
Las Vegas, Nevada — January 5, 2017 —T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) today kicked off the next phase in its Un-carrier Movement—and unveiled a barrage of new moves aimed at eliminating some of the worst customer pain points in wireless today. Speaking at the “Un-carrier Next” press event during CES in Las Vegas, T-Mobile president and CEO John Legere and COO Mike Sievert announced the Un-carrier is putting an end to all those crazy monthly fees and added taxes, giving you—and only you—the power to change the price you pay, and even putting money back in your pocket for data you don’t use.
“Wireless consumers pay Billions extra every year in added surcharges, taxes, monthly fees and carrier price hikes. It’s reached epidemic proportions! And, the carriers just keep inventing new ways to make their customers pay. So, the Un-carrier’s putting an end to it,” said John Legere, T-Mobile president and CEO. “Today, with Un-carrier Next, we’re laying down New Rules for the Mobile Internet, and with T-Mobile ONE, we’re creating the first unlimited subscription to the Mobile Internet that works for absolutely everyone.”
Carrier customers are subjected to a steady barrage of ads for wireless deals—only to face bill shock and wonder what the hell happened when their Verizon or AT&T bill arrives. Suddenly, that $110 family plan Verizon advertises on their web site has exploded to $210.70 for a family of four on average, because carriers could slap you with up to 75 other surcharges, bogus fees and assorted taxes that jack up the price by more than $100! Every. Single. Month.
Worse, the carriers raised prices on their customers at least 22 times in the last four years and launched at least 11 ‘exploding’ promos to lure customers with a sweet deal that expires down the road, increasing your monthly bill. The result is that the price carriers advertise is never the price you actually pay, and customers end up handing over an extra $17.2 BILLION extra every year in monthly fees and added taxes.
Today’s salvo of Un-carrier moves tackle these customer pain points head on and establish New Rules for the Mobile Internet.
New Rule: What You See Should Be What You Pay – Taxes & Monthly Fees Included on T-Mobile ONE
T-Mobile today went All In on T-Mobile ONE—completely wiping away monthly wireless service fees and even including all taxes on T-Mobile ONE. Now, the price you see advertised is actually the price you pay. When you sign up for T-Mobile ONE and AutoPay for $40 a line for a family of four, your bill at the end of the month is EXACTLY $40 per line for your wireless service. And not a penny more.
New Rule: You Shouldn't Have to Pay for What You Don't Use – Introducing KickBack on T-Mobile ONE
T-Mobile also unveiled KickBack on T-Mobile ONE. In yet another unprecedented Un-carrier first, T-Mobile will now actually pay you back for what you don’t use. When you use 2 GB or less in a month, you’ll get an up to $10 credit on your next month’s bill per qualifying line. So, you never have to guess how much data you’ll use. Just opt-in online, pay your bill on time and get paid back if you use just a little!
With an extra line costing just $20 on T-Mobile ONE (lines 3-12), you can add a line – for a tablet or family member – that could cost just $10 a month after KickBack.
New Rule: Only YOU Should Have the Power to Change What You Pay – Introducing Un-contract for T-Mobile ONE
Today, T-Mobile introduced the Un-contract for T-Mobile ONE – and notched another industry first with the first-ever price guarantee on an unlimited 4G LTE plan. With the Un-contract, T-Mobile signs, and customers hold all the power. Now, T-Mobile ONE customers keep their price until THEY decide to change it. T-Mobile will never change the price you pay for your T-Mobile ONE plan. When you sign up for T-Mobile ONE, only YOU have the power to change the price you pay.
New Rule: The Mobile Internet Shouldn’t Be Sold by Bits & Bytes
Mobile IS the Internet now. So why, in 2017, do wireless companies still start their relationship with customers by asking “how much Internet do you need each month?” when 80% of consumers say they don’t even understand what a gigabyte of data is?!
T-Mobile pioneered a new way with T-Mobile ONE – one simple plan with unlimited talk, text and high-speed data. Today, Legere announced the Un-carrier is going 100% unlimited, and later this month, T-Mobile ONE will be the only postpaid consumer plan available from the Un-carrier – one simple subscription to the mobile Internet with unlimited everything. Of course, existing T-Mobile customers can keep their current plans if they want.
“The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead – it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text,” said Legere. “The Internet was meant to be unlimited, and at T-Mobile, we believe that everyone should have unlimited mobile Internet. With the moves we’re making today, T-Mobile ONE is now the one plan that works for everyone.”
Get a 2nd Tax Rebate This Year
People hate taxes, but they love tax rebates. So, T-Mobile’s giving carrier customers a way to get a 2nd rebate this year and get paid back for all that money they’ve been wasting on the carriers’ overpriced, fee-heavy plans. Starting tomorrow, get $150 per line – that’s $600 for a family of four – for every line you switch to T-Mobile ONE up to 12 lines, for a limited time. There’s no trade-in or equipment financing required, and you can spend your rebate however you choose. It’s like getting a 2nd tax rebate!
Setting the Pace for the Wireless Industry
As part of today’s Un-carrier Next event, Legere also announced another record-setting year of growth at T-Mobile. During the 4th quarter, the Un-carrier reported 2.1 million net customer additions, including 933,000 branded postpaid phone net customer additions and the best ever fourth quarter branded postpaid phone churn at 1.28%. Over the course of 2016, 8.2 million customers in total joined the Un-carrier including an expected industry-leading 3.3 million branded postpaid phone customers.
As he has in years past, Legere also laid down his predictions about the future of the wireless industry, touching on everything from industry structure, competition and leadership to the future of TV and network technology. Check out his latest blog with a summary of those predictions.