T-Mobile makes a big move
Shopping for a phone carrier or comparing notes with your carrier’s competitors? T-Mobile is making a big move that could cause waves in the industry, filled with “me too!” screams in a competitive sector. The company has announced they will no longer charge overage fees, and wrote a public letter to challenge the rest of the industry to follow suit.
Beginning in May, overage fees will disappear, including domestic voice services, text, and even data for all consumer plans – changes will appear on customers’ June bills.
Instead of charging overage, consumers will have the option to pay for more access through day-long or week-long data passes, should they choose, rather than automatically be billed for any use beyond the limits of their plans.
Throwing down the gauntlet
“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.”
“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.”
Hashtags and conflicting acts at T-Mobile
Last year, the company did away with annual service contracts and phased out overage charges for their “Simple Choice” users, taking a stand against abusive service contracts. They say that T-Mobile is now “taking on the even more unpopular and unjustified practice of slamming consumers with surprise bills in the form of overages charges,” estimating that consumers pay over $1 billion yearly in overage charges. They’ve even launched the #AbolishOverages hashtag, asking consumers to pressure other carriers to follow suit.
For consumers the company is taking an advocacy position, but is still making moves that conflict with their pro-consumer public relations campaigns, namely the abolishing employee and college student discounts, which was met with uproar, so they restored the discounts to current customers, still removing them for future customers.