"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."
Starting in May for bills arriving in June, T-Mobile will abolish overage charges regardless of the consumer plan you're on.
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."
Legere has started an online petition at Change.org/AbolishOverages calling on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to end overages.
This is the third major announcement from T-Mobile in the last week. Previously it announced, a Simple Starter value plan that offers unlimited talk and text and up to 500MB 4G LTE data and tethering for $40 a month; as well as, LTE tablets for the price of Wi-Fi only tablets and free 4G LTE data until the end of 2014.