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The Corporate Observer A Publication by Attorneys Devoted to Protecting Consumer Rights

T-Mobile’s Simplified Plans – Simply Misleading

Posted in Consumer Protection

T-Mobile made a splash last week when it announced it would begin carrying the iPhone without a contract. The company has also made headlines with a new advertisement campaign claiming

We’re cancelling our membership in the out-of-touch-wireless-carrier club.

But are they?

Let’s move away from the iPhone to a more concrete example – a phone T-Mobile is already offering, the incredibly popular Samsung Galaxy S 3. Have a look at the website. A normal impression is that the phone costs just $69.99 plus $20/month. But that’s not the whole story.

You see, that $20/month doesn’t cover actually using the phone. In reality, it’s just an installment plan that ends up costing you the same amount of money as buying the phone outright.  You’ll still need to pay $50/month for phone service. So, consumers, that’s $69.99 up front plus $70/month (not $20)…quite a difference.

What’s more, the service plan claims it provides unlimited talk, text, and web. Ha! In reality, consumers only receive 500 MB of data before T-Mobile begins throttling (slowing) your service. Sure, there’s no overage charges; but throttled data is hardly “unlimited.”

In T-Mobile’s defense, the fine print can become clear with some in depth research and, perhaps, a call to customer service. As an added point in T-Mobile’s defense, their service is excellent in the Washington, DC area.

Still, this new ad campaign of “simplicity” and “meeting the customer’s needs” rubs me the wrong way. In my book, “simple” doesn’t include confusing and mislabeled installment plans masquerading as affordable pricing schemes.

Hey, John Legere (CEO of T-Mobile America), no matter what you say, you’re still a member of the “out-of-touch-wireless-carrier club.”