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T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages

Sarah Thomas
4/14/2014
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For its latest trick, T-Mobile says it will abolish domestic data, text, and voice overage charges for all its customers on any plan, and it's calling on its competitors to do the same.

T-Mobile US Inc. announced the move on Monday, the third of its latest round of "uncarrier" moves. Last week, the carrier also introduced a $40 500MB data plan and reduced the price of the LTE iPad to WiFi levels. Killing overage charges is its final act for what could be seen as version 5.0 in its sequence of uncarrier shake-ups. (See T-Mobile Drops LTE iPad Prices to WiFi Levels and Look Inside T-Mobile's 'Uncarrier' Transformation.)

Overage charges -- fees incurred when subscribers go over their allotment of monthly data -- can add up quickly. T-Mobile CEO John Legere said Monday that more than 20 million Americans were hit with overage charges in 2013, making $1 billion for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless , and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) combined.

He's doing away with the charges for all of T-Mobile's customers on domestic voice, text, and data plans. T-Mobile already started down this road with its Simple Choice plans that include unlimited voice and text and throttle speeds rather than charge when the data cap is reached. (See T-Mobile Shuns Overage Charges.)

The T-Mobile chief has also started a petition imploring its three competitors to do join him in killing overages. Nearly 400 people had signed the petition at our latest check.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/18/2014 | 12:57:12 PM
Re: Overage petition
I imagine that this is one thing AT&T and Verizon won't budge on. Their entire future is predicated on people using more data and hitting these overage walls.

I also don't see a tremendously huge difference between automatically being billed overages, and just buying another chunk of data. It still comes down to lower price versus higher price. I'd go with the lower price (T-Mobile) if the company had a better nationwide wireless broadband footprint for when I travel.

Driving across the country from NYC to Seattle this summer, for example, and I simply don't trust T-Mobile to be there in the middle of Nebraska.
SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/18/2014 | 11:54:39 AM
Overage petition
Looks like the petition is up to 52,821, but now counter-moves from the other operators. Nice publicity stunt, but will it pay off?
SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/15/2014 | 12:56:47 PM
Re: over overages
Agreed. They conveniently left themselves out of that stat, which comes from "third party bill screening report surveying over 20,000 wireless customers multiplied by major U.S. carriers' reported postpaid subscribers." The third party is unidentified, but I'll do some digging to see if we can unearth T-Mo's numbers as well.
SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
4/15/2014 | 12:54:23 PM
Re: over overages
True, and T-Mobile's LTE is not everyone yet, so I imagine a lot of its customers are used to the slower speeds anyway.
DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
4/15/2014 | 10:47:47 AM
Re: over overages
I would still be interested to know how much T-Mobile was reaping on overage charges, since it's happy to point out what the other three biggest carriers were pulling in collectively. I'm betting the timing of this move was calculated--maybe T-Mobile felt its uncarrier buzz was fading and had this plan ready to go to revive it.
kq4ym
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kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/14/2014 | 7:01:43 PM
Re: over overages
Given the choice consumers will probably pick throttling vs. overages. And depending on what's being downloaded there may not be much difference seen by most in the throttling scenario. It's probably and win win for T-Mobile and customers and maybe others will follow.
Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/14/2014 | 5:27:19 PM
Re: over overages
No, the sad part is that so many of us know so much about Neil Diamond. 

I'm sure that woman was not thinking good times never felt so good. 

And now a gratuitous embedded video of Neil Diamond performing Sweet Caroline live:

 

mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/14/2014 | 2:07:38 PM
Re: over overages
The sad part is that Mr. Diamond won't see a penny from this transaction beyond his cut of the 8.99 fee to iTunes. Orange pockets the rest.
PaulERainford
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PaulERainford,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/14/2014 | 1:26:39 PM
Re: over overages
At that price it had better be the concept double album in the gatefold sleeve. In coloured vinyl.
mendyk
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mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/14/2014 | 11:24:58 AM
Re: over overages
The downloadee claims she's not even a fan of Jewish Elvis and that she was securing a copy for her boyfriend. Which may make this even worse.
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