T-Mobile plans to abolish overage charges across its US consumer plans starting May 1st. The latest "Uncarrier" move isn't as drastic or game-changing as it initially sounds, however; T-Mobile already phased out most overage charges with the introduction of its Simple Choice plans. Rather than hit subscribers with extra fees, the company instead slows down data speeds once customers run past their monthly allotment — a practice known as throttling. Still, today's announcement could benefit customers on some of the carrier's legacy plans, as CEO John Legere notes that the new policy applies to all consumer plans, not just Simple Choice.
"We’re putting an end to the fear of getting one too many pics or clicking on one too many links — and bam, you’re hit with overages. Not at the Uncarrier," Legere said in his latest brazen blog post. T-Mobile's fine print notes that the change applies to domestic voice, text, and data overages, so you may still run into some trouble while overseas or in other scenarios. We've asked the carrier to provide a list of cases where overages still apply.
T-Mobile customers rarely deal with overages anyway
"The consumer wireless movement is rapidly approaching a tipping point," Legere said. "Imagine the smile on my face as I watch millions upon millions of Americans flipping the bird to the insanity and pain of the past and joining this consumer revolution — while I sit back and watch the competition flounder." Legere hopes T-Mobile's decision will lead to a "national conversation" that eventually convinces Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint to eliminate any overage charges tacked onto their current plans. "It’s the right thing to do," he said.
In a separate press release, T-Mobile claims overages "take more than an incredible $1 billion out of consumers' pockets every year." But overages rarely lead to the "bill shock" they once did. Shared plans from AT&T and Verizon both offer large buckets of data that can prove difficult to accidentally exceed, and consumers can also sign up to be notified — more than once — when they've nearly hit the limit of those packages. For T-Mobile, today's news marks the end of the carrier's latest string of "Uncarrier" announcements. Those include a new Simple Starter voice plan and more free data for tablet customers.