If the latest rumors as reported by Phone Arena are true, T-Mobile’s next Uncarrier move could include the cancellation of all taxes and fees for postpaid customers. Uncarrier 5.0 is set to be announced in a Seattle press conference on June 18, and Phone Arena seems pretty confident in its tipster.
In the US, various taxes and fees based on your city, county, and state are added to postpaid cell phone bills, oftentimes adding between 10-30% to your total bill. These have legitimate uses in many cases, such as maintaining local 911 service, but some of these fees are bogus charges that carriers impose on their customers to recoup some of their costs of doing business. The $1.61 regulatory fee that T-Mobile adds to every active line is a great example of this.
For me personally, these various taxes and fees have been one of my biggest pain points, especially when switching to a different mobile carrier. It was never really possible for me to know precisely how much my first bill would be, and how much subsequent bills would be, because no one could ever tell me exactly how much all of these taxes and fees would come to each month. For this reason – and because I just don’t like paying more than the advertised price – the elimination of these taxes and fees has long been on my wishlist for T-Mobile’s Uncarrier movement.
And this would make a lot of sense for other reasons, too. Remember, T-Mobile’s focus is on eliminating customer pain points that have to do with pricing and unfair practices that are common in the mobile industry. While many people are hoping that Uncarrier 5.0 will be the announcement of LTE across T-Mobile’s entire footprint, or the widespread availability of VoLTE, these items – while important – just don’t seem to be in line with what Uncarrier is really all about. It’s not about technology or network enhancements; it’s about changing the mobile industry itself.
That’s why previous announcements have had to do with simplified plan pricing, including free international data roaming and free international texting, and basically eliminating ETFs from the other big three carriers by offering to pay them when you switch to T-Mobile. And one of the last remaining pricing headaches that customers have to deal with is taxes and fees.
And that’s also why I don’t think this will have to do with a merger with Sprint, either, like some people are speculating.
Think about it: MetroPCS does this already, and T-Mobile is slowly but surely merging both the T-Mobile brand and MetroPCS brand into a single entity, at least in terms of pricing and practice. Additionally, T-Mobile prepaid already does this by only charging sales tax, and no other fees, so customers know exactly how much they’ll pay each month.
Furthermore, T-Mobile recently announced it would do away with discounts for new customers based on where they work. In retrospect, it now seems very likely that T-Mobile made this move to offset the cost it will now incur by basically paying customers’ taxes for them. The more I think about it, the more sense this makes.
Of course, nothing is official until it’s announced on Wednesday. But what do you think? Is this what you’d like to see happen at Uncarrier 5.0, or are you hoping for something else?[Phone Arena]