What’s wrong with T-Mobile’s “Mobile without Borders” announcement

MobileWithoutBordersNewsroomTile4_lowYesterday, T-Mobile made an announcement that’s actually a pretty big deal. I watched the announcement yesterday morning live on Periscope, and read the press release as soon as it was posted. T-Mobile stated that calls, texts, and high speed data would be available in Mexico and Canada for free, on the top carriers in both countries, and that it would work seamlessly. They stated quite clearly that all of your plan’s features would work in Mexico and Canada exactly the same way that they do in the US, including all of the Uncarrier benefits like Music Freedom. They stated that it was available for all current Simple Choice plans, and that it would be at no added cost.

T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere even stated:

We’ve done this the Un-carrier way − reaching across borders, partnering with leading providers offering the best LTE networks, creating a simple solution right now − then not charging a penny more for it.

Perfect! Or so I thought.

As it turns out, “current Simple Choice plans” actually mean any Simple Choice plan that is offered on July 15 or later. On July 15, T-Mobile will silently relaunch all of its current Simple Choice plans as “Simple Choice North America” plans, and current customers who do nothing to their accounts won’t get this latest Uncarrier benefit. In fact, it gets even worse: customers on the 4/$100 plan (2.5GB per line) or the 2/$100 plan (unlimited data on both lines) won’t qualify for this offer at all. They are considered “promotional” plans, even though they are still Simple Choice plans, and if they want this new Uncarrier benefit for free, they’ll have to switch to different (more expensive) plans.

T-Mobile says customers can still keep their older plans if they really want to, but then Canada and Mexico roaming will cost an extra $10/month. So much for not charging a penny more.

To top it off, Data Stash – one of T-Mobile’s most recent Uncarrier announcements – is not available at launch, even though Legere clearly stated that all of your existing Uncarrier benefits could be used in Canada and Mexico. T-Mobile says that it will fix this problem at some point, but come on! It’s a billing issue, plain and simple, and it should be ready to go at launch.

I paid attention to all the details in the announcement very carefully, and I walked away thinking that my current Simple Choice plan would qualify. This is not the case, and I’d go one step further in saying that this seems like very deceptive advertising.

While I praise T-Mobile when it does something worth praising, I am also quick to point out when it acts very “carrier” – and this is one of those times.

To be clear, I’m not upset about the extra charge in and of itself, but instead about the deceptive advertising and word choice. Mr. Legere, your “promotional” Simple Choice plans have drawn a lot of customers to T-Mobile in the last few months – do you really want to leave such a bad taste in their mouths?

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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