After introducing a $40 base plan and then doing away with extra charges for cellular tablets and giving them a free gigabyte of data, T-Mobile is at it again by doing with overage fees. The elimination of domestic overage fees hits all T-Mobile plans. T-Mobile CEO John Legere called out his competition, pointing out that overage fees amount to $1 billion in extra payments from consumers every year.

Being the poking and prodding type, T-Mobile has also started a petition on Change.org to put a voice towards ending overages on competing carriers as well. It's a PR stunt, sure, but it also gives a bit of a voice (let by a corporation) to the people.

When T-Mobile Simple Choice subscribers do go over their limit, they won't be hit with overages now. Their access to data will continue, but their speeds with be throttle back to 2G speeds. On the Simple Starter plan with its 500MB cap, they'll be presented with the option to purchase additional data passes to make it through the end of the month.

Press release:

T-Mobile Abolishes Consumer Overages, Challenges Other Wireless Providers to Follow Suit

Legere Starts Petition for Consumers to Call on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to End Overages

BELLEVUE, Wash. - April 14, 2014 - T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) today shifted the national conversation on wireless to a new level, unveiling its latest Un-carrier move - a campaign to eliminate overage penalties, one of the most reviled wireless industry practices. While abolishing overages for all customers on T-Mobile consumer plans, its CEO has also laid down a challenge to the nation's largest carriers, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, to do the same.

More than 20 million Americans were hit with punitive overage charges in 2013. And these penalties from the three largest U.S. carriers take more than an incredible $1 billion out of consumers' pockets every year.

"Today I'm laying down a challenge to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to join T-Mobile in ending these outrageous overage penalties for all consumers - because it's the right thing to do," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. "Overage fees are flat out wrong. Agree with me? Join me in putting this challenge to all the major national carriers by signing my petition on Change.org. Right here. Take one minute to be a part of this consumer movement."

Last year, T-Mobile banished annual service contracts and began phasing out overage charges with the launch of Simple Choice. T-Mobile's stance against annual service contracts is now well known by consumers, and today it's taking on the even more unpopular and unjustified practice of slamming consumers with surprise bills in the form of overages charges.

"Charging overage fees is a greedy, predatory practice that needs to go," continued Legere. "Starting in May for bills arriving in June - regardless of whether you're on Simple Choice, Simple Starter or an older plan, we're abolishing overages for good. Period."

Traditional carriers' entry-level plans lure customers in with a low monthly fee for a fixed amount of domestic minutes, texts or data. Once consumers go over those limits - even by a little - they're hit with much higher rates, often dramatically higher. These plans are purpose-built to drive customers over that invisible line into massive overage charges. The result has been a culture of fear, worry and surprise every time the wireless bill arrives. For example, an individual on AT&Ts entry-level plan, advertised at $45 per month, will pay $125 if he uses just the average amount of data for a U.S. smartphone user (1.5 GB per person).

"The worst thing about these overage fees is that they're often inflicted on those who can least afford them," added Legere. "As an advocate for consumers, we're putting a stop to that. I personally won't be satisfied until we obliterate this shameful practice from the entire wireless industry."

To give a voice to U.S. wireless consumers, Legere has started an online petition at Change.org/AbolishOverages calling on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to end overages. You are invited to sign the petition and add your voice to the growing movement to rid the wireless industry of domestic overages once and for all.

For more information, visit the T-Mobile Newsroom, download T-Mobile b-roll or read John Legere's blog about today's announcement.

Overage estimates from third party bill screening report surveying over 20,000 wireless customers multiplied by major U.S. carriers' reported postpaid subscribers. No overages for U.S. domestic calls, texts, and data usage only. Visit a T-Mobile store for details. As always, we encourage customers to review their plans and features, and talk with our retail associates to make sure their current wireless service gives them everything they need.


Reader comments

T-Mobile putting an end to overages on all consumer plans


No they aren't. The only announcement that T-Mobile made is that they started a petition on Change.org for something that AT&T and Verizon will NOT change for a very long time (or at least until T-Mobile bolsters their network to compete with them..).

They must hate this guy right about now. But, my tmo coverage is getting better and better, so as much as this could be a "stunt" he's taking care of home team too. :)

Their LTE plan is ambitious. 100% of the network running LTE within like a year. Some areas are still EDGE, they'll just plain skip HSDPA/UMTS.

Yeah t-mobile still has a lot of edge sites. Just about all of thier 3g sites have already been upgraded.

So what about T-Mobile's $30 plan - more calling maybe???

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Well once you hit 100 minutes, you're account is deducted at $.10/a min for additional.

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If you only add $30 at a time though then yes, the voice service just stops working.

I guess after this move this is the way it'll work even if you have some extra money in there and you'll have to actually choose to apply that to more time.

does that plan include mobile to mobile?, I've been eyeing that plan myself but always wondered if it included the mobile to mobile thing

You're given 100 minutes. No matter what type of phone u call, it deducts the same.

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Get a Google Voice #.
Download the GrooveIP App.
Make all calls over the data network.
Receive all calls over the data network.

Only uses about 1mb of data per minute.

Keep phone # forever.

Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, K00949438Yd FRAMILY!

T-Mobile really is doing it right. They're the only carrier I'd consider switching back to from AIO.

PS, couple typos...Doing "away" with overage fees....And, "led" by a corporation.

Moto X/Nexus 5

I've been more than happy with Aio as well. I hope (although I'm not holding my breath) that we may see a rise of the bandwidth ceiling once AT&T starts converting Cricket towers from CDMA to GSM.

It doesn't say what happens when you hit your data cap. Something is going to happen, or why have all those different plans? They also don't rule out the first born thing either.

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Once they keep there word and update the whole network to LTE I'll be a happy camper I'm in 4g most of the time but I would love some LTE
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"Once the keep there word"

So far they have expanded the LTE coverage faster than their roadmap called for AFAIK.

Essentially, is this a petition for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon to offer only unlimited everything post-paid plans??? If Verizon and AT&T brought back unlimited data, there may be a T-Mobile exodus because they can't compete in terms of coverage. T-Mobile could be digging their own grave here...

I was thinking about this. So they eliminate overage fees but then how would they control data? Throttle or shut off completely? If they throttle then technically it would be unlimited data. If they shut off data completely then that would make sense because you use what you pay for and never worry about getting charged for going over.

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The petition needs to be more clear in its intentions. If AT&T throttled unlimited data, there would be no point to having AIO wireless, or even Cricket since AT&T now owns Cricket. I just can't see data being shut off completely. Shutting off data could pose major safety/information risks. You wouldn't be able to use a GPS app. What if carriers throttled night time data? In a perfect world, there would be unlimited high speed data for every plan and everyone pays the same exact base price.

their unlimited data plans would be ridiculously expensive. like $120+/month...cant even touch t-mobiels $70 plan.

$70 for 5gb unthrottled data only if you signed up after March 23rd, 2014. You get to keep your $70 unlimited high speed if you signed up before.

Which still doesn't beat my plan on AT&T. 2000 anytime minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data for $40.

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Which doesn't beat my grandfathered Verizon plan. Unlimited EVERYTHING(text, data,calling) for $30.

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Your bill is only $30 per months for your line alone...with EVERYTHING unlimited on Verizon??? Or is this a multiline plan and that's your equal portion of the bill?

Guess I should be glad I changed my plan around and got the $70 plan with unlimited 4g on 3/15. I had no idea that was changing. The only plan changes the lady on the phone told me about were that the $60 2.5gb data plan was getting bumped to 3gb for the same price.

No, it's a petition for them to either stop providing you data and make you choose to spend that extra money or to throttle back to 2G speed.

At this point, I don't see how tmo can do this without some sort of throttling after so much data - the cell site backhaul would get congested pretty quickly - not to mention the layer 1 transport upgrades that would be required.

While I agree the change in usage won't be that extreme, I imagine that it will increase quite a bit. Behaviors that had previously been more of the norm with data caps, (staying connected to WiFi whenever possible, etc.) will reduce. After all, if the speed is good enough in the wireless network, why have the additional battery drain of having WiFi enabled? Why sign into a public hotspot if you don't have to?

Little bits here and there will add up.

I'm not 100% familiar with the type of network terminating equipment they're using - maybe just a card or SFP-level upgrade on that end, (so long as their plant can support it,) but it could potentially increase their transport needs greatly. That's where things could get... messy.

Actually, I had - but at the time it was originally posted, and at the time of my comment, the article stated that they were unclear about possible throttling, etc. and had reached out to T-Mobile for clarification. The article has since been updated.

Yeah if u go over with T-Mobile they'll probably just throttle u down to EDGE, which doesn't help at all. I'd rather just keep 4G and pay the extra $10 or whatever..

Yes if you go over you get throttled. Im not sure if you can upgrade your plan at that time or not. But you do get unlimited talk, text and data on all the simple choice plans. Your 4G bandwidth varies depending on the plan you choose.

The pre-paid plans are different.

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Was this article updated?? When I first read it I didn't see the last part explaining the throttling part, it just said they were going to get a better explanation from T-Mo.

I wish the writer would have pointed that out so the readers could stop calling each other stupid.

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I'm sure they'll throttle. And if they can get all the other carriers to throttle as well, it could benefit them.
Throttling and/or overage are the most common ways to keep the data hogs from ruining it for everyone.

Also, if they can hit the big carriers in the pocket book by doing this, they might be able to catch up sooner.

Ya know, I switched to T-Mobile at the end of 2011 from Verizon (lost my Unlimited Data I was promised I'd be grandfathered into while having my bill raised by $20/month) and I think the only drawback I've had is when I went on a roadtrip out west. Through a lot of the northern states (SD, WY, etc) I had virtually NO coverage - and when I did it was roaming on ATT.

T-Mobiles business practices and the coverage I get at home are the reason I can keep supporting what they're doing. They are doing business the correct way, and I will support them for it for as long as the little 4G icon is in the corner of my screen. From the looks of it, that's only going to keep being more often.

Very cool things they're doing, and I hope they keep it up.

They will just stop data and prompt you to buy more or wait until next billing cycle. I couldn't find it but it was mentioned in a press release last week

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T-Mobile drops you down to 2G if you go over but you get to keep using your data, good luck using 2G.

If you go over with Verizon rather it's voice, text, or data all you have to do is call them up and ask them to move you up to the next higher plan for the month. When you do that they drop the overage charge and just month you up for that month.

Switched from Sprint to T-Mo 6 months ago. Never going back. Love their attitude and (mostly) their network. Saving $140 a month from my old Sprint plan, and they keep giving me stuff without increasing my costs...more data, better coverage, no contracts, etc. A no-lose proposition

Do people even read these stories before commenting? Given the erroneous statements and assumptions in most of these posts, apparently not.

Enlighten us? Because I've read the story a few times now. My understanding is that T-Mobile wants other carriers to remove overages as they do not charge for going over data use. They throttle if you are on a limited highspeed plan. The question is how would the other carriers accomplish this if it was to happen to avoid overage charges?

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It looks like the article may have been updated with more info while ppl were still reading it, so the comments may not reflect that.

So T-Mobile has unlimited data now huh? 2g is about all you can get from them in a lot of areas....

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Sprint is not all the that but it works for you right? So T-Mobile works for other people. Jumping to a conclusion like well most areas have 2g seems a bit biased. When I had T-Mobile I had great coverage. Yes I did have 2g sometimes. But I had LTE pretty much the rest of the time. And the LTE was ridiculously fast. And no I do not live near a major city. However I got screwed on pricing. Sprints coverage seems pretty good as well but the 3g is less than 1mbps and the LTE was maybe 10-11 Mbps. The coverage may be great for you but not for others. My employer has a corporate account with sprint so I use it plenty. I am now on att for my personal account and pay less than I would on sprint or T-Mobile with my discount. You gotta do what works for you. Just leave biased comments aside.

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The problem is that the people who like T-Mobile are like iSheep. But the vast majority of people have spoken and have declared T-Mobile to not even be as good as Sprint.

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Personally I would take T-Mobile over sprint in my area but again that's my personal situation

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I call out to the CEO of T-Mobile to add more coverage. I can only get 2G data at my home and office. The nearest location with 3G data(yes, 3G) or better is 21 miles away. I don't get how T-Mobile doesn't feel ashamed seeing this on the coverage on their own website.

Overages are ended for all post-paid accounts, prepaid is still 'you get what you pay for', just confirmed it with a T-Mobile rep via chat.

if at&t made their plans LTE/HSPA high speed and then throttled people down to 3G i'd never leave.

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