T-Mobile is well-known for its out-there CEO John Legere and similarly radical business practices, and today’s news fits right alongside their previous endeavors. The Uncarrier, in an attempt to draw attention to Verizon’s overage fee policies, wrote “End Overages Now” right into the sky above the larger network’s headquarters.
The move wasn’t an unexpected one. After T-Mobile’s popular decision to end overage fees in April of last year, the company has been promoting its new policy as an advantage over competing networks. Instead of charging customers for using more than their allotted data every month, T-Mobile throttles their subscriber’s data after their limit is reached. What this means is that customers who’ve reached their data cap experience significant slowdowns in their internet connection, but they won’t see additional charges in their monthly statements.
Legere took to petition site Change.org to shed further light on their rival’s use of overage fees. On what eventually became the site’s current #1 technology petition, Legere stood by a policy that would eliminate overages outside of T-Mobile and on all the major carriers. More than 330,000 people agreed with T-Mobile’s no overage fee stance, and Legere turned to social media to ask what his next move should be. Naturally, skywriting was asked for by a majority, and this morning Verizon watched as it became the target of T-Mobile’s latest promotional move.
Usually, the other carriers play it cool when T-Mobile plans for a big moment, but this time Verizon’s Vice President Jeffrey Nelson sent tweets back to the Uncarrier, criticizing its skywriting along with T-Mobile’s overall network coverage and dependability. “That time you found yet another form of communicating more reliable than the TMobile network. #SmokeSignals #Skywriting #PonyExpress,” he tweeted following the ordeal. Verizon’s official account was also active, quickly creating a graphic of its own skywriting, which reads “#1 in speed, reliability, coverage, performance,” and was captioned, “We get it, sometimes messages are unclear when you’re not on America’s best, most reliable 4G LTE network.”
In 2014, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint collected $1.5 billion in overage fees. T-Mobile considers this an “archaic practice” and stands by its no overages policy that has certainly sparked interest in the network, alongside its other business strategies. Whether T-Mobile was looking to bring attention to the overage issue as a political move or was simply using skywriting as a platform to promote its own network, this latest ploy is possibly its most creative yet.