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T-Mobile: Rumors of What’s Next for the Uncarrier?

May 11, 2015 - Written By Cory McNutt

People either love him or hate him, but one thing is for certain…CEO John Legere, makes a lot of noise, and changes at T-Mobile.  These changes are generally a delight to its customers and a real headache for the competition, especially Sprint and AT&T, although even Verizon has started ‘caving’ in to the hysteria by offering up their own brand of incentives.  When the smallest carrier of the Big Four – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile – outgrows its larger siblings in almost every quarter the past two years, even Big Red (Verizon) has to sit up and take notice.  At first, T-Mobile, though gaining customers and growing in size, was taking a big hit in their pocketbook – after all, if you are paying the ETFs (Early Termination Fees) of those migrating customers and offering other incentives, it tends to hit your bottom line.  However, the initial impact has subsided, and as they continue to grow their customer base, so do their revenues.

There is nothing difficult about how T-Mobile accomplished this task – they simply went about tackling the issues that were upsetting customers on every carrier and like a surgeon, T-Mobile started addressing customer pain points with each of their past 9 major “Uncarrier-like” moves.  These included overages, ridiculous roaming fees, early upgrades, unlimited music streaming and the ‘hidden’ pricing of the subsidized phone.  T-Mobile has also addressed behind the scenes issues, such as simplified billing and gaining a transparency with the millennium customers with John Legere, the CEO, actually responding directly to customers on Twitter.  Like the ‘youngster’ T-Mobile is, the young people feel that T-Mobile’s CEO is ‘one of them.”

So, the big question is, what is next for T-Mobile and how will they continue to grow the “Uncarrier” mystique…this project that sources say is called “Universe 2.0.”  There is talk that it will tackle more in-house or customer service issues, getting everybody in the stores on the same page by not promising unrealistic expectations.  It is always better to exceed the promises made to a customer…it gives the appearance that T-Mobile is going above and beyond the customer’s expectations.  In other words, make this store-customer relationship as stress-free and positive as you can.  There could even be a system put in place that allows the customer to track their insurance or warranty claims, much like the customer care employees would have access.

The biggest part of the Universe 2.0 may be a rethink of the billing area – a continuation of last year’s simplified billing process.  Our source stresses that this may not even be announced this year, but it looks like they are thinking about following Amazon’s invoice design where the bill never changes…specifically, the price of your plan is the price that you pay every month.  There is nothing definite regarding those annoying taxes and fees that are always tacked on…possibly a postpaid service that works like a prepaid plan.  Playing with customer’s bills would be a big step and adjustment for customers, so they may take it slow, but everything T-Mobile has done in the past has led to easier billing – no overages, no roaming fees, no premium SMS fees, unlimited music streaming and data stash.  Rumors are always swirling about more changes to their JUMP! program, such as last year when customers no longer had to wait six months before upgrading.  The sky seems to be the limit with T-Mobile, as long as in the end, excellent 4G LTE coverage for the entire nation is their ultimate goal.