T-Mobile Is Doing Away With Taxes & Fees On Monthly Bills

Today at the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas, T-Mobile US’ Chief Executive Officer, John Legere, announced that America’s third largest national carrier is going “all in” with monthly bills. In short, the carrier is putting an end to what it is calling “all those crazy monthly fees and added taxes” that competitors, especially AT&T and Verizon Wireless, add to a typical monthly bill. Legere, joined by T-Mobile US’ Chief Operating Officer, Mike Sievert, announced the change at the “Un-carrier Next” event. Legere and Sievert gave the example of a $110 monthly family plan with Verizon Wireless that after various surcharges, fees and taxes, is increased to $210.70 a month. T-Mobile explained that Verizon have a total of 75 additional surcharges that may be levied onto a customer bill. T-Mobile US also laid into carriers offering what it calls “exploding promotions,” that is, a special deal that expires a number of months later and which increases the monthly cost. T-Mobile explain that the price advertised is “never” the price actually paid and over the entire US industry, customers pay over $17 billion a year in carrier-added fees and taxes.

In the Un-carrier Next event, the company made a number of new rules and the first is “What You See Should Be What You Pay.” This move means that T-Mobile US are including all taxes and monthly fees in the price quoted for the T-Mobile ONE plan; this means that if a line is advertised at $40 a month, this is exactly how much the line will cost. The second rule is “You Shouldn’t Have to Pay for What You Don’t Use,” and to this end the Uncarrier has introduced “KickBack” on the T-Mobile ONE plan. The idea here is that low data use customers - considered as those who use 2 GB or under a month - will receive a $10 credit on the following month’s bill, per qualifying line. T-Mobile go on to explain that as an extra line costs $20 a month, for a low data use customer, this could drop to just $10 a month after the KickBack. If this sounds familiar it's because this is exactly what Google has been doing with Project Fi since it launched.

The third rule is “Only YOU Should Have the Power to Change What You Pay” and here, T-Mobile US is introducing the “Un-contract for T-Mobile ONE.” This is essentially a price guarantee on their unlimited 4G LTE plan. This means that T-Mobile US will never change the price the customer pays for the plan. The next rule is that “The Mobile Internet Shouldn’t Be Sold by Bits & Bytes” and here, the carrier explains that 80% of consumers do not understand what a gigabyte of data is but many wireless operators ask customers how much data they need every month, and then insist that they pay by a metered access. This, of course, is the foundation for T-Mobile ONE: the plan that allows unlimited airtime, text messaging and data. Today T-Mobile’s Chief Executive Officer announced that the carrier is only going to be offering the unlimited ONE plan, although existing customers can keep their current plan if they want to. Furthermore, customers do need to opt into T-Mobile’s new “All In” ONE plan from the 22 January, and the new plan charges will take effect from February 2017.

T-Mobile US are also introducing from tomorrow a cashback of $150 per line (for up to 12 lines, and only for a limited time) for customers bringing a line to T-Mobile. Customers will not need to trade in a device or set up an equipment installation plan in order to benefit from this deal, and are free to spend their $150 per line however they want. And finally, the carrier is also introducing a new social media hashtag #feeface and is inviting customers of other carriers to post a selfie of their reaction to their inflated wireless bill onto Facebook, Instagram and / or Twitter. These fee face selfies will be entered into a daily contest and each winner will get a smartphone of their choice, a year of T-Mobile ONE service and a pair of beats headphones. Furthermore, each winner will be entered into the grand prize drawing of a four night, five day trip for to to Las Vegas including first class air travel, tickets to the hottest T-Mobile Arena shows and “cold hard cash to party the night away.”

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.