T-Mobile UNcarrier Day 3 of 3: get rid of carrier overages



We thought T-Mobile would be announcing day 3 of their latest “UNcarrier” announcements last Friday — the first two days consisted of new plans and affordable connected tablets — but we had to wait a full weekend to hear anything (which CEO John Legere says was done to help support the launch of two of the year’s biggest smartphones). The day has finally come, though, with T-Mobile capping off this hat-trick with an announcement that they’re abolishing domestic carrier overages.

“The old carriers’ entry-level plans lure you in with a low monthly cost for a fixed amount of domestic minutes, texts or data. Once you go over those limits – even by a little – you’re hit with bill shock,” said CEO John Legere in a blog post today. “On behalf of all U.S. wireless consumers, we’re putting an end to the fear of getting one too many pics or clicking on one too many links – and bam. You’re hit with overages. Not at the Un-carrier.”

Simply put, they don’t want to charge you for accidentally sending a few too many texts or talking a couple of extra minutes. These changes will apply to all “consumer customers,” which likely means those on a business account might be subject to different rules. Regardless, it’s a pretty ballsy change, and T-Mobile is challenging other carriers to follow suit.

They’ve gone as far as creating a petition that calls on Sprint, AT&T and Verizon to fall in line with the vision. T-Mobile has always been pretty bold about calling out carriers and forcing them to compete, but this is the first time they’ve done something to make that happen in a tangible way.

Consumers can head to the petition here and sign it if they want to try and coerce these carriers into making similar changes. And if that doesn’t work, well, you can just as easily switch to T-Mobile. We’ll be awaiting the fine print on these changes before truly jumping for joy, but if T-Mobile’s other long string of unorthodox moves are anything to go by, we can be sure they aren’t pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. > “T-Mobile has always been pretty bold about calling out carriers and forcing them to compete, but this is the first time they’ve done something to make that happen in a tangible way.”

    Wow; real gusty to post a petition. Maybe it will get as many votes as the petition to send Justin Bieber back to Canada and be just about as effective. I would hardly call this “forcing the real carriers to compete”. ATT and Verizon seem to be competing just fine and have actual networks. If Tmobile wants to do something gutsy how bout they build out a network that works outside the city.

  2. In my country, there is a 3$ plan, which includes unlimited sms, 60 minutes, and 10MB. Any additional MB costs 5 cents, and 2 cents per minute.
    Why can’t the big US carriers do the same? My country is one-twenieth the size.

    1. Why can’t they do the same? For exactly the reason you stated, the country you live in is drastically smaller, therefore much easier for smaller companies to build a competitive network. In the much larger and spread out U.S.A., building a competitive network that covers nearly everyone is going to cost at least 20 times as much, eliminating the small guys from competing on a national level. I would love for what you are stating to happen and become available, but logistically it just won’t. We need small steps to happen like T-mobile has been pushing to make the whole market better for consumers here. I’m afraid we will never see the lower bills that some countries have because of the impossible competitive imbalance between the two and the requirement for a much more expansive (and more expensive) network to cover the whole country.

  3. >“The old carriers’ entry-level plans lure you in with a low monthly cost for a fixed amount of domestic minutes, texts or data.

    By “old” does he mean “plans from two years ago?” I can’t say I know every single plan every carrier offers but I was under the impression the majority were unlimited talk and text with data being the only variable, depending on the carrier. Any person on the older plans that do have a limited number of minutes and/or messages probably are doing so because that plan is a better fit for them anyways. Also how is T-Mo accomplishing this, simply hard-capping the limited-use plan? If I’m in an emergency situation where I need to use my phone and my carrier cuts me off for going over my voice or messaging limit in the middle of it because they think they’re doing me a favor, I’d be pissed beyond belief.

    1. I doubt they’ll shut you down. Maybe just throttle your service below LTE

  4. You do know that’s a horrendous plan? At 1.01GB of use you would be spending $53. There are plans here that are FAR BETTER than that and don’t have overage fees.

  5. Overages aren’t an issue on my current Sprint plan. 450 “Anytime” minutes, free nights & weekends – nights start at 7PM, unlimited mobile to mobile, unlimited texts, and unlimited data.

    Nice try, T-Mobile. Your craptastic coverage can’t convince me to jump ship to your company.

    1. A Sprint subscriber just called out TMO for crappy coverage? Queue up Alanis Morrissette song.

      1. Contrary to popular belief, T-Mobile DOES have terrible coverage. Worse than Sprint.

        The internet status quo makes you believe that Sprint has worse coverage than Metro PCS did as a standalone company. In fact, Sprint coverage is closer to AT&T than most people want to believe.

        1. Depends on where you live. Here in Central Florida Sprint’s network is trash.

          1. And thats Sprints headquarters. What does that tell you?

          2. Actually, I was in Central Florida in November 2013. For the 3rd time (as a Sprint customer) since 2010. Sprint’s coverage has improved greatly. You must live in a hole?

          3. I lived in Winter Park, Casselberry, and Altamonte Springs. Currently in Daytona Beach. Sprint is at the bottom of the barrel compared to the other major carriers in those areas.

          4. Yep I’ve lived in Palm Coast, Daytona Beach, and Orlando. Tmobile has Sprint beat in all of those places. Palm Coast was spotty for T-Mobile but Sprint had horrible coverage there.

        2. I’m glad that you are happy with your service but I’ve spent enough time as a Sprint vict…er…customer up to about a year ago to know how awful they are. I now carry a personal device on Verizon and an employer provided device on AT&T and have seen first hand how they crush Sprint on coverage and building penetration.

        3. i live in(location here) and use(mobile carrier here) and its(personal experience here).

          different strokes for different locations.

        4. I live right here in Kansas City Missouri where the world headquarters is for sprint and I know people who work on the campus that don’t get good sprint service… And that’s at the world headquarters… Explain that one

    2. Sprint is the worst network hands down. Everyone knows that. By the way your 450 minutes means you are subject to incurr an overage genius.

      Even places Sprint actually has LTE its spotty in those markets and slower than Tmobile 3G.

      1. Not sure where you live but here in MD I was getting 40 Mbps consistently. I stopped using my home WiFi because it was that good.

        1. Agreed. I consistently see 30Mbps here 30 minutes east of Atlanta.

      2. Ahh, yes “Everyone knows that.” – The same old crap line that every internet know-it-all uses when they can’t prove you wrong.

        T-Mobile’s network is trash compared to Sprint’s. If they had such better coverage, tell me super genius, why haven’t they surpassed Sprint to take over the 3rd position in US carriers? Oh, wait, their network sucks. Far be it from me to tell you, though. You just keep believing all the regurgitated garbage you read here about Sprint.

        I’ll admit, though, that Sprint isn’t the world’s best network, however, T-Mobile deservedly belongs in 4th place because of their craptastic network.

        Oh, and my Sprint 4G LTE? Yeah, without Spark, it’s faster than T-Mobile HSPA+42 in my area. Nice try, spanky.

    3. Free nights and weekends… Lol that’s so 2001! I didn’t even know that kind of plan still existed.

      1. Oh, so you didn’t know people still held on to plans they’ve had for years? You know, just like those unicorns over on Verizon & AT&T are barely clinging to their unlimited data?

        1. And that’s where the problem lies…

    4. Just switched from Sprint to T-Mobile. Best decision I’ve made in a long time. It’s great that my Sprint LTE was FANTASTIC in the middle of the Smokey Mountains while I was on vacation, but I’d rather have a functional device the other 360 days of the year when I’m actually trying to answer emails and get work done.

  6. yeah..i dont get it.

  7. I would have loved to see new tablet added to the T Mobile stable

  8. In Soviet Russia, data plans you!!

  9. Yea how about dem bootloaderso

  10. I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for a decade. Right now, I am happy to continue being one. Well played, T-Mobile, well played.

    (As to those arguing about coverage, it varies widely depending on where you are and what year it is. Nationally, T-Mobile’s coverage may not be as extensive as some, and they have definite gaps in some areas, but at least in Chicago they’ve been very good to me. Your Mileage WILL Vary, a lot, regardless of your carrier.)

  11. Okay, so if there’s no overage charges, what happens now if you go over your minutes? Do they cut off your service for the rest of the month? Or are you getting free service (I can’t imagine that’s the case)?

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