Three years ago, T-Mobile USA set about to disrupt the North American cellular industry. They called themselves America’s Uncarrier and have worked hard at changing how the industry works. It has taken some time, but the other carriers have changed their behavior in order to follow T-Mobile’s lead. In some respects, the competition have also preempted T-Mobile’s behavioral changes but let’s not forget: it was T-Mobile that loudly started this revolution. The business has enjoyed success, too, comparatively recently overtaking Sprint in order to become America’s third largest carrier. And today T-Mobile USA published what it is calling a Bill of Rights on their website, which details their interpretation of the wireless rights all customers should have.
The document, which is published via a PDF at the source link below, goes into some detail to explain in layman terms what it believes customers should expect from their wireless carrier. This includes the ability to walk away from the relationship should it not be working out. As part of this, T-Mobile also believes that customers ought to love their device and be able to replace it when they want, rather than be tied into a two year contract. T-Mobile USA also explain how they do not believe customers should ever receive “bill shock,” that is, additional charges because customers go over their account limits. The wireless bill of rights also explains how T-Mobile does not believe carriers should increase prices for data overuse. And where customers have paid for additional data, T-Mobile USA believe they should have this kept safe in their account for at least a year. T-Mobile USA also mention streaming video and music without fear of going over data allowances – explaining that the wireless company “should help you do what you love” and makes reference to pushing their own (streaming) services onto customers seemingly in order to run up data use and perhaps push customer accounts into overuse and hence additional charges.
T-Mobile USA also reference their international roaming options, explaining that customers should be able to “roam without fear,” and that customers should not have to switch off their ‘phone or their data connection when going overseas for fear of excessively high roaming rates. Partially linked with this is T-Mobile USA’s belief that customers deserve great coverage but where the cellular network does not reach, should be able to use Wi-Fi instead: this means using Wi-Fi to route calls and text messages. And finally, T-Mobile USA believe customers should never be left wondering if they have received the best deal from their carrier – and that businesses should get the best price up front just as ordinary consumers do.
T-Mobile’s wireless bill of rights has the makings of a charm offensive: the poster asks customers of other carriers to take it into their local stores and make these demands. The Uncarrier has been the subject of some adverse publicity in recent months, as other carriers have complained that T-Mobile USA does not fully explain that its customers are only free to leave their service after they have paid for their equipment. However, the poster should certainly make for interesting reading for customers of other carriers.