T-Mobile Customers Seeing Magenta

by Colin Berkshire

T-Mobile is rapidly transforming into a big, bad customer exploiting carrier. It’s customers should be seeing red, er, magenta.

John Legere transformed T-Mobile from a broken-down carrier with a dysfunctional network into the un-carrier. His brilliant transformation strategy was simple: become customer friendly. He canceled contracts, slashed prices by up to 75%, and became easy to work with. It is clear that he focused on one thing: satisfying customers. Now, with the completion of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger he is gone.

T-Mobile has rapidly become a bad, almost evil company. The MBA-suits are in charge. In response to their promise to not lay off Sprint employees they had a massive layoff. In response to their promise to not raise prices they have “Updates” where prices increase by 25% for existing customers. And, you can’t get those low-priced deal plans any longer. Some of their prices have quietly increased by 300%.

The biggest price increases happen in three ways:

  1. Outright price increases, although they call these “updates”. These happen in the forms of add-ons, misc services, fees, and of course outright price increases.
  2. Grandfathering No More. You want to add a service or line or make a change? Your must switch to a current plan at higher (and current prices.) This is technically not a price increase since you are switching plans. But because you are coerced into the new plan it is effectively a price increase. My wife was told that to add a line to her account she would need the entire plan to move to current pricing. Old plans are discontinued, new ones have higher prices. A switch means a price increase.
  3. Scrubbing promotions from your account. Many changes will scrub (remove) older promotions for your line. Perhaps you had an old stateside calling promotion, or a corporate discount, or some other “Lifetime” deal. Those will be scrubbed from your account when you make many types of changes.
  4. Feature erosion. Features on older plans are degraded. It may be that your international roaming speeds are cut in half (or more) or just stop working, or it may be that the regions within a country or carrier is removed from the plan. These are just “routine” changes, but the effect is that you pay more.
So that “Stateside Calling” plan may change from $5 to $15 a month. Roaming speeds may be a third of what they once were, and entire cities may no longer be available. International roaming rates may be 25% higher.

Ah, and do you know that T-Mobile now charges you $3 a minute to call China! It’s egregious, outrageous, unreasonable, unethical, and a price increase.

Yes, T-Mobile has finally arrived, it’s now right up there with Verizon and AT&T.