T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages

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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Sarah Thomas 4/14/2014 | 11:20:14 AM
Re: over overages Wow, I did not hear that story, but I believe it. I spent $250 to send two emails once in Italy, but calling to complain about it got the charge removed pretty quickly.

Which album was it? Totally worth it?
mendyk 4/14/2014 | 11:08:08 AM
Re: over overages Speaking of overage charges, did you see the story about the woman (a math teacher in the UK) who spent 2,600 pounds to download a Neil Diamond album when she was in her cups and visiting family in South Africa?
Sarah Thomas 4/14/2014 | 11:02:58 AM
Re: over overages If they can accept that unlimited gone, then they have to be okay with something happening once that cap is hit. They are given the opportunity to pay more if they want more data at that point, so it's basically an overage fee by a different name. If they don't want to pay that, they have to wait it out on slow speeds until the next billing cycle starts.
mendyk 4/14/2014 | 11:00:49 AM
Re: over overages I understand the visceral reaction to anything called an overage fee, but do you think users are going to be happy when their data rate throttles down after they hit their cap?
Sarah Thomas 4/14/2014 | 10:35:55 AM
over overages This really isn't that groundbreaking, since T-Mobile had already moved away from overages with Simple Choice and it doesn't apply to international data, where the charges tend to be most dramatic. It'll be interesting to see if the other operators respond though. They do make a good business from overages now that most are on tiers.
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