Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Warning: T-Mobile adding pay per use data without your permission

AppId is over the quota
AppId is over the quota
@palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)

I agree with you completely Matthew. Last month T-Mobile sent my phone a text message stating that they were adding a data plan to my account, but not to worry, as I would only be charged if I used it. I own a HTC Mytouch phone and I just use Wi-Fi when I am at work or at home. I pay $65 a month for internet at my house and because I am not so obsessed with living on my phone like most Americans now who feel the need to take pictures of everything and post it on facebook, I simply do not need to dish out the extra $35 a month for internet on my phone.

Well, to my surprise yesterday T-Mobile sent me a text saying I used over $10 of data this month. I was shocked, like I stated above, I don't use the internet unless I am connected to a Wi-Fi router. Some how while I am using Wi-Fi the phone must go back and forth and somehow use the 3G network as well. I immediately went on-line, checked my account and it said I used 8MB of data, which everyone knows is nothing, that is like emailing someone 3-4 pictures off your phone. The charge for 8MB? is $18. That is $2.25 per MB. Just at home this month, I have used 6502MB (roughly 6.3GB), that would cost $14,629.50.

I tried to remove the add on feature of the data plan and guess what? There is no option to remove it. T-mobile did not even add it as an option on the add ons. When I clicked the hyperlink that had how much data I had, it just took me to my account information. Nothing, no where was there a place to remove this feature.

So, I called T-Mobile, told the lady over the phone nicely that I did not want this data plan on my account and that I never asked for it and that there was no way to remove it on-line. She agreed, said she was sorry and that she would take $5.00 off the $18 that I supposedly owed from the 8mb that I used.

I said sternly to her that I have been with t-mobile for 8 years and that I am her customer. I gave her two options.

1. ) You can remove the $18 dollar charge and take off this data thing off my account so I do not get any-more of these fees and I will renew my contract for two more years, or option 2.

2.) You can require me to pay the $18 and keep the data service on my account and I will cancel my account, as my contract expired 3 months ago and you can lose a 8 year customer over a 18 dollar charge. Would T-mobile like to lose a customer over $18 dollars? What option would you like.

She said because you been a customer with us for such a long, long time (She said long twice), that she would credit me $20 and would remove this feature.

I was shocked, she actually gave me what I wanted, plus a even extra $2.

Many times it seems that huge corporations with millions of customers take for granted their customers. They think that people need them, that we are indebted to use their service, when simply this is not the case. T-Mobile makes almost $3k from me every two years, because my wife and I have a family plan with them.

I'll probably switch to their unlimited call, text, web for the $100 a month for two phones. I'd like to switch to AT&T and get the iPhone 4G S, but cannot see myself having to spend $195 a month for two phones.

When I lived in Shanghai, I used ChinaMobile. There one would just buy refill stickers (like refill cards, only much smaller with a scratch off strip) to add money to your account. $15 would last a person 2 months.

With internet speeds being as fast as they are, text messages costing phone companies nothing, (around 1 cent per 100,000 sms) and so many phone towers, the cost of phone plans should be very low, but they actually cost more now, then they did in the past. However, you do get more minutes or unlimited minutes.

A text message is about 0.13671875 Kbytes or 1/4000th of a 4MB mp3 song. Back in 2008, phone companies were charging people anywhere from 5 cents to 30 cents to send/receive SMS/MMS texts. If you texted someone a 4MB MP3 song, that could cost you $5,991.88 back then. Just alone, the texting service is a $100+ billion dollar a year industry.

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