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T-Mobile putting an end to overages on all consumer plans

After introducing a $40 base plan and then doing away with extra charges for cellular tablets and giving them a free gigabyte of data, T-Mobile is at it again by doing with overage fees. The elimination of domestic overage fees hits all T-Mobile plans. T-Mobile CEO John Legere called out his competition, pointing out that overage fees amount to $1 billion in extra payments from consumers every year.

Being the poking and prodding type, T-Mobile has also started a petition on to put a voice towards ending overages on competing carriers as well. It's a PR stunt, sure, but it also gives a bit of a voice (let by a corporation) to the people.

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.

Press release:

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 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 at 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.

Overage estimates from third party bill screening report surveying over 20,000 wireless customers multiplied by major U.S. carriers' reported postpaid subscribers. No overages for U.S. domestic calls, texts, and data usage only. Visit a T-Mobile store for details. As always, we encourage customers to review their plans and features, and talk with our retail associates to make sure their current wireless service gives them everything they need.

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • Most of their plans have unlimited calling and texting, and unlimited data even though it is throttled.  What overage charges are people getting from T-mobile?
  • Haha, you are right, there is nothing new here. Move along.
  • No, no I won't move along. I want this to stay in the news cycle as long as possible so it really pressures carriers to return to unlimited data.
  • I am under AT&T's 2GB plan, but even then, I was with T-Mobile's 2GB plan. I never went beyond 300, rarely 800, and even max of 1.3GB, yet I didn't find need to go over 2GB. Things can happen and I might go over, and you know what happens then.
  • But they never charged when you go over just slow you down
  • You must be replying to Shad0wguy. You are right, and they do tell you, you do get a throttle when you go past 2Gb(or 4Gb), even though it says unlimited. I am on the 2Gb plan, so I can't go over without charges.
  • I was wondering about this too but it must apply to their newer Simple Starter plan.
  • This certainly needs to be implemented across carriers. There is no reason to have a overage fee on top of the additional data cost if you go over. Greedy!
  • Post paid activations growth is slowing, people taking their phones to prepaid MVNOs with unlimited data will eventually force the big carriers to cut the shit.
  • Too bad T-Mobile still sucks.
  • and youre stupid for falling in line with att. switching plans costs 30 dollars, and overages cost around 10-20 dollars.  i can freely switch my plan on tmo without a fee, and unlimited data pretty much.
  • Not where I live. I have unlimited data on ATT through my job but when I leave I'm going to the big magenta.
  • I look forward to seeing you whine about the coverage when the reality of T-Mobile hits you like a ton of bricks by your second week of usage.
  • Not happening. I had TMo several years ago and coverage was perfect, I live in a semi-metro area of the Northeast and signal is great. Their speeds are terrific too. Only reason I left them was because I had a nice discount on ATT when I started working there.
  • As far as I know Sprint's data plans are unlimited. (Unlimited slowness, but still unlimited).   So I am not sure why they are including them in their PR stunt.
  • "Unlimited Slowness"....epic. lol
  • Not on Sprint Spark! I JUST had a combo with someone in the airport on Sprint who's speeds are incredible on Spark.
  • *convo
  • I was paying $230 a mth on att for 3 lines. I pay 128 a mnth on T mobile for 3 lines with each line getting 3g which I still get data if it goes over but the data slows down. Do the math. Some people have money to throw away. These days when everybody from corporations to people are trying to hustle you for your money this is far the best choice.
  • I went from T-Mobile to AIO wireless.  Just couldn't live with T-Mobile's poor coverage.  At least with AIO I still get AT&T's network.  3 lines there run me $135, taxes and fees included.
  • No thanks to throttled unlimited data.
  • I pay AT&T $150 for 4 line for 10gb shared data. Granted, I will be charged if I go over, but I haven't even come close to going over. I also get better coverage. I don't see being with AT&T as throwing money away.  Does your $128/mo include teh phone charge? I still get a subsidized phone with a 2 year contract. Since T-Mobile doesn't subsidize anymore, AT&T can come out a lot cheaper for a family plan. For individual plans, T-mobile still has better pricing.
  • All lines are on contracts here? I seriously doubt that.
  • Cue in that AIO troll claiming that T-Mobile is terrible and that people should switch to AIO... -_-
  • Cure that T-Mobile troll claiming T-Mobile is somehow acceptable and they totally still get great coverage in their parent's house so what's the problem?
  • She got you. LOL
  • Lol, you totally called it! He comments on every T-Mobile thread :) I think he's just sad that he doesn't live in a good coverage area.
  • Elated to be free of them, more like it. :)  But I get why you want me back suffering with you guys on T-Mobile.  Misery loves company.
  • No they don't want you back, just to stfu about AIO
  • The feeling is mutual, and no.  
  • Someone with such a personal vendetta against a company makes people think you're a shill. Good luck with that.
  • Yeah, and some people think T-mobile has acceptable coverage too. Just like some people may have trusted them to support the 810 when they got it.
    Others are now more... Enlightened
  • That has nothing to do with anything. Did T-Mobile touch you in your naughty place as a kid? Did they render you impotent?
  • Nothing like that. Just me poor coverage and prematurely EOLing the phones I used. I stuck with them for the cost and suffered through it. Then a better option came along.
    What about you? What explains your Stockholm syndrome?
  • Stockholm? Funny, considering I've been on ATT for the last 3 years. TMo gave me good service, and considering I use upwards of 10gb a month I have no other option but them.
  • Ah so you're still in the honeymoon phase.
    That will pass.
  • Where are you from that you've broken up with your first wife (T-Mo) moved on to a new one for several years (ATT) and that puts you firmly in the honeymoon stage with your first girl? I'll give it to ya, your employers are getting their moneys worth with you, you sure are persistent. Answer me this, how is AIO better when they throttle data?
  • AIO throttles data to 130kbps, T-Mobile throttles to 60kbps. That's how.
    And I work with higher education and the legal industry, nothing to do with telecom.
    But please keep trying to attack the messenger when you find your argument against the message pathetically.weak.
  • I have no argument :) .. I'm just curious how long you're going to take this. You're doing nothing to change my mind about TMo though, I find this amusing.
  • Ok, so overages are "flat out wrong", a "greedy, predatory practice", and "shameful".  But you were ok with them until now, and you expect us to see you as the good guys for abolishing them?  How about apologizing and explaining why you supported this practice in the past?  Hah!
  • Or take it a step further, refund them.
  • I'd rather them invest that money into their network.
  • tmobile have never done overages.  ever through out the decade ive been with them.
  • So... you're saying the headline and first paragraph of this article, as well as the first paragraph of the press release, are all complete lies then?
  • T-Mobile is stepping up to the plate. I like where they are going and it kind of forces other carriers to either follow OR find an alternative. If T-Mobile had the coverage or the phones I would love to go back to them. Best Customer service I've ever dealt with
  • I hate paying overages as much as the next guy, but how is charging extra for exceeding your plan greedy. It costs the companies more so It should cost the customer more. What most people don't understand is that most of the companies will offer credits on the bill for an occasional overage if they'd bother to call. Its the habitual over user that thinks this is greedy. Most carriers offer overage tracking solutions like text messages and account maintenance apps that customers can use to manage usage. Notice TMobile didn't have that in the press release.
  • This is in regards to tmobiles older plans. When they offered things like 1000 min, and fave five. There are still a lot of people (mostly older) on plans like $30 for a limited number of min and text. Now they can stay on these plans and not get overages. Its a pretty nice "thank you" to customers who have been there forever (some of these plans are ten years or older).
  • Good point.
  • Awesome :D! Make AT&T change their ways! Also i think there is a word misuse in paragraph 2. I believe you meant : (led by a corporation) not (let by a corporation)
  • its pretty stupid for people to fall for overages- -- att customers.  I left them the year they started doing this shit because I know data was gonna be huge.  Tmobile was my only choice.   Bottom line is, either get the right amount of GB and not get charged more or throttled data for free.. and 2g is fast enough for decent webpages or small apps.   But tmobile is pretty much considered unlimited data for me.
  • Now if they would just support the phones they sell for at least as long as it takes to pay them off.  </810>
  • I thought they already did this? I go over my data all the time and it just slows down to 2g
  • these editer writer was slow.
  • they bought metropcs they have coverage. they can expand now.
  • American phone companies are expensive, and frankly just weird.
    I have a free SMS/MMS, 3 hour talk-time and 20GB 3G for $25/month, and for an extra $2 I can get 4G LTE.
    Most plans here are free SMS/MMS with unlimited talk-time, and between 1 and 10GB of data for a low price.