All Articles Tagged "t-mobile"
Got bad credit? No problem, at least at T-Mobile.
The company has just introduced Smartphone Equality, under which even consumers without good credit can get best deals.
Over the weekend, the wireless carrier debuted the “Smartphone Equality” program.
According to T-Mobile, an estimated half of Americans were automatically excluded from its offers because of bad credit scores.
“It was a classic case of bait and switch,” said Dave Carey, executive vice president of corporate services. “Not intentional necessarily, but that was the effect of it.”
“With Smartphone Equality, customers qualify by paying for their wireless service on time for 12 consecutive months. After that, they can get the company’s best device pricing and financing — including $0 down on smartphones with no interest and no credit check,” reports The Los Angeles Times.
Also, current customers will get immediate credit for their relationship with T-Mobile.
The new program could be a money maker for T-Mobile, more customers will now be able to buy more expensive devices, and it will strengthen its relationships with customers since they will now be rewarded for good payment history.
“This isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good business,” Chief Executive John Legere said in a video blog post announcing the move.
T-Mobile will have to dig into its deep pockets to settle state and federal investigations into the telecommunications giant’s alleged practice of mobile cramming. T-Mobile must pay at least $90 million.
According to the FCC, T-Mobile practiced “mobile cramming,” or placing unauthorized third-party charges on customers’ cellphone bills.
T-Mobile has to refund at least $67.5 million to customers affected by “mobile cramming” charges, as well as a $4.5 million penalty to the FCC and $18 million to the state attorneys general. California will receive $834,782, the most of any state, state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris said.
“The FCC has recently cracked down on the practice, which mostly involves premium text message services, taking up seven separate enforcement actions against carriers this year,” reports The Los Angeles Times. The FCC sued T-Mobile in July.
Under the settlement, T-Mobile will also be required to set up a free service that allows its existing customers to block all third-party charges on their phone bills. And, T-Mobile also agreed to stop doing business with premium text message services, which typically cost $9.99 a month to deliver horoscopes, sports scores, and other information, often which consumers never requested or approved.
The charges have been confusing for customers, as some fees may be listed on bills as “service fee,” “voicemail,” or “calling plan.”
“Regulators say the carrier collected as much as 35 percent of the unauthorized charges paid by customers, and even charged third-party services $10 penalty fees for every refund request they received,” reports the Times.
This deal is the second-largest settlement by a wireless carrier because of allegations of mobile cramming. In October, AT&T made a $105 million settlement that included $80 million in consumer refunds. It settled to federal and state investigations that it illegally billed customers for unauthorized ringtone and other services.
— T-Mobile (@TMobile) June 27, 2014
If you were sucked into T-Mobile’s “Early Termination Fee” hype, you might have been relieved to escape AT&T or Sprint pain-free — but you might have walked right into a new problem: Cryptic fees on your T-Mobile bill. But don’t worry, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has caught on to T-Mobile’s shenanigans and slapped the carrier with a lawsuit, USA Today reports.
The FTC is accusing T-Mobile of bilking hundreds of millions of dollars from unsuspecting customers. The mobile carrier reportedly hid these bogus fees and labeled ’em as “Usage Charges” or “Premium Services,” according to The Huffington Post. Such fees, which cost $9.99 a month, should only show up on your bill if you willingly signed up for content such as horoscopes, celebrity gossip, and trivia. And well — no one really subscribed to these services.
“T-Mobile typically gets 30% to 40% of the third-party fees and forwards the rest to the merchant.” This practice, according to USA Today, is called “cramming.”
“It’s wrong for a company like T-Mobile to profit from scams against its customers when there were clear warning signs the charges it was imposing were fraudulent,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez wrote in a statement.
John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, had a few choice words for the FTC case: “We have seen the complaint filed today by the FTC and find it to be unfounded and without merit,” he said in a statement. Legere claims that T-Mobile stopped charging customers the unauthorized fees last year and offered refunds for anyone who complained about it.
“We are disappointed that the FTC has instead chosen to file this sensationalized legal action,” Legere added.
The FTC’s ultimate goal is to get the court to order T-Mobile to refund its customers for the “deceptive and unfair” fees it has tacked onto monthly billing. “Consumers should not be charged for services that they did not order,” said Travis LeBlanc, acting chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “”We will […] ensure a thorough, swift and just resolution of the numerous complaints against T-Mobile.”
The lawsuit filled against T-Mobile is ironic; Legere, calling T-Mobile the “Un-Carrier,” criticized his competitors for charging its consumers exorbitant fees and charges just last month.
“These high and might duopolists[…] are raping you for every penny you have,” he said, referring to AT&T and Verizon. “The f***ers hate you.”
T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon are all launching VoLTE, making it the new buzzword in the world of wireless networks.
“VoLTE stands for Voice-over-LTE, and essentially, it is a technology that makes it possible for voice calls to be carried over LTE networks,” reports The Los Angeles Times. Currently, LTE networks can only carry data meaning that voice calls must be carried by older 3G networks.
But VoLTE will change all of this. With VoLTE, voice and data can go through the same network. This means clear, higher-quality voice calls, or HD Voice. If the calls are between VoLTE devices then they will be even clearer audio with less background noise and will have fewer dropped packets, which is when a call cuts out for a second.
Right now, T-Mobile lets some users to make HD Voice calls to others in the same network, but VoLTE will make this possible for even more users. And VoLTE will even let users to make HD Voice calls to others on different networks.
T-Mobile became the major U.S. carriers to use VoLTE and if you own the LG G Flex, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Light you can use T-Mobile’s VoLTE network by downloading a software update.
AT&T was the next to launch VoLTE in select areas of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Currently, AT&T’s VoLTE is only usable with the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, but more devices will follow, the carrier said.
Verizon will roll out VoLTE later this year.
There is no extra cost for users but customers will have to pay extra only if they are using a device that is not VoLTE compatible.
This is a new one. Usually consumers or consumer groups launch petition against major corporations. But T-Mobile is circulating one on Change.org in order to force other U.S. wireless carriers to stop their use of overage fees, reports The Los Angeles Times.
According to the carrier, 20 million Americans were charged overage fees by carriers in 2013 and it estimates that customers pay AT&T, Verizon and Sprint more than $1 billion in overages annually.
“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,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. “Overage fees are flat out wrong.”
Unlike the other carriers, T-Mobile doesn’t charge overage fees for its Simple Choice and its new Simple Starter plan, and it announced it would cease charging overage fees to users of its older plans.
But customers on its Simple Starter plan now have the option to pay for “additional data sessions” if they want to use more than their 500 megabytes of monthly data. That fee is like an overage fee. The only difference is customers are alerted and must first okay the charge before they can continue using data.
T-Mobile’s petition has been signed by more than 2,200 supporters.
While we don’t think this will for the other carriers to change their policies, T-Mobile might gain some new users for being a “consumer advocate.”
In 2013, after T-Mobile previously announced steps to reform the industry, it added a net total of 4.4 million customers in 2013, reports Geek Wire. More people might joint up after this latest move.
This Android phone is finally coming to the States.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, U.S. Cellular, Cricket, and C Spire have announced that they will have the Samsung Galaxy S 4 this month. AT&T is already taking pre-orders, according to Mashable, with a ship date scheduled for April 30.
Sprint and T-Mobile will be offering the phone for $150 and will have the phone a little bit earlier, the 27th and the 24th, respectively. Best Buy, Costco, Radio Shack, and other retailers will have the phone soon as well.
Mashable calls it “one of the most powerful smartphones around.” I’m actually in the market for a new phone (replacing a BlackBerry), so this is something to consider. Any advice or suggestions out there?
Are you one of the millions who just can’t wait for the iPhone 5? Because so many are anxious to get their hands on the new smartphone, T-Mobile customers have started taking pre-sale orders of the iPhone 5.
T-Mobile began accepting pre-orders for the super-popular Apple smartphone on Friday. This is a big change for the carrier. “Over the last few years, the iPhone has been available on all other major U.S. networks except T-Mobile,” reports The LA Times.
People who pre-order their T-Mobile iPhone 5 can expect to have them in hand on April 12, the same day it goes on sale in stores.
Orders are being placed through T-Mobile’s website and the phones start at $99.99 plus 24 payments of $20, for a total of $579.99, for a 16-gigabyte version of the Apple smartphone. Customers can also pay $199.99 plus the payments, or $679.99 total, for a 32-gigabyte model or $299.99 plus the payments, for a $779.99 total, for a 64-gigabyte model, writes the newspaper.
Sprint has announced the pre-ordering of the HTC One online. The HTC One will hit stores for Sprint and AT&T on April 19. It is currently available for pre-order from Sprint for $200 with a two-year contract for a 32-gigabyte model. Meanwhile, AT&T also began pre-orders for the device Thursday. AT&T is selling a 32-gigabyte version for $200 with a two-year contract and a 64-gigabyte version for $300 with a two-year contract.
Not to be left out of the HTC One loop, T-Mobile is also set to carry the new phone, but has yet to announce when it will begin selling it. It will, however, sell the device for $99.99 with 24 payments of $20, for a total of $579.99.
The mobile market has gotten tough, what with companies canceling contracts and deeply discounting their product. It has been hard for T-Mobile to compete. Now the company has quietly decided to stop offering contract plans and with it, it has ended phone subsidies. The result is a program where customers pay an upfront cost for their phone and continue to pay it off in monthly increments. Starting April 12, the company will offer the iPhone at $100 upfront and $20 per month for the next two years. Other devices, like the Samsung Galaxy phones, will be available at lower prices.
This move might help give the struggling company get a leg up, as it will become the first major U.S. carrier to drop smartphone subsidies. According to the L.A. Times, users will now be able to purchase phones at their full price, pay in installments or bring their own device and simply pay for the plan. Prior to this, with a contract plan, customers typically agree to sign up for two years of service in return for getting a phone at a lower cost than it would without the subsidy.
On the T-Mobile website, the company announced it will charge $50 a month for one line, $30 for a second line and $10 for additional lines after that. This includes unlimited talk, text and data with up to 500 megabytes of high-speed data. The newspaper reports that users can also pay $10 more a month for an additional two gigabytes of high-speed data. T-Mobile customers can increase this to 12 GB in increments of $10 for each additional two GB per line. Or pay $20 a month for unlimited high-speed data.
According to The New York Times, even with the contract-free program, many customers may feel that they’re stuck with a commitment because of the monthly phone-pay plan. Moreover, T-Mobile’s system is only now getting the updates it needs to compete on speed. The company’s CEO, who the Times describes as “eccentric,” John Legere spoke at a press conference yesterday where he talked up the value of being a T-Mobile customer (apparently, his remarks were laced with cuss words) But experts quoted in the story say that customers have a negative opinion of the company because of its slow speed and the fact that it took so long for the company to see the Apple devices.
Now the question is whether customers will go to T-Mobile and push it out of the fourth place position behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint. Any T-Mobile customers out there who care to weigh in?
Current Occupation: Vice President / General Manager of Field Sales & Operations – Michigan/Indiana Region, T-Mobile USA
Favorite website: Pulse, C-Net, Wall Street Journal
Favorite read: #1: Good to Great; #2: What Customers Really Want
Recent read: The Help
2012′s ultimate goal: Get oldest Son off to college in the fall & celebrate 19happy years of marriage!
Quote Governing Your Mission or a Quote that Inspires You: Essential Piece: Isn’t it a wonderful thing that we’re all different? Each of us has strengths and skills to share. And when we link our individual strengths together, we’re invincible. Can’t imagine us without you.
Twitter handle: @tmobile
Brigette Jackson, an executive at T-Mobile, is the subject of this next installment of Behind The Click. More specifically, she’s the Vice President and General Manager for the Michigan and Indiana Region of T-Mobile. I had an opportunity to connect with this fellow digital power player to learn more about her position. What follows will both inspire and encourage you, no matter what industry you currently work. Fasten your seatbelts!
LdC: So it seems that a lot of your foundation is due in large part to your education. What was it like attending Michigan State?
BJ: My college career was an enjoyable experience. I grew up, learned a lot and met many people with diverse backgrounds. A lot of the people I met are still my friends today.
LdC: Are you an active alum?
BJ: Yes, I stay informed and attend homecoming. I also participate in activities through the MSU chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, which I was a member of at MSU.
LdC: Did you express an early interest in the convergence of tech and customer growth or did you “fall into” it?
BJ: I graduated with a Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in Management. I have always been in sales jobs throughout my career. Working in sales management, I was introduced to technology and saw the rapid growth and innovation first hand. That’s what led me to my current position at T-Mobile.
LdC: What is a typical day like for you?
BJ: I conduct sales meetings with my team, attend strategy meetings where we plan business strategies and tactics to retain customers and grow the business, review sales reports, visit stores and our business sales clients and meet customers.
LdC: What is the biggest challenge of your day?
BJ: Continuing to grow sales and market share within the Region.
LdC: What advice can you give to women looking to get into telecommunications at an executive level?
B: Be ready for this fast-paced, innovative business. You need to make sure you are knowledgeable about all of the ever-changing technologies, stay ahead of the competitors and be able to make quick decisions.
LdC: What advice can you give to women with projects who are looking to create strategic alliances with T-Mobile?
BJ: Pull customer demographics, make sure the demographics mirror the area of the product you are targeting and do a business case to ensure the return on investment is healthy. Take as many business partners that relate to or support the project as you can throughout the process.
LdC: How do you balance work and family life?
BJ: Careful long & short-term planning to make sure I don’t miss any important engagements. I absolutely live by my Outlook Calendar to stay organized and I plan far ahead.
LdC: What’s your biggest dream for your position/department at T-Mobile this year?
BJ: At the end of the year, I would like to have a profitable business that has achieved all targets and have grown our customer base and increased our market share.
Thanks for reading! Keep up with tech events and more at my site www.ldcoleman.com while we prepare the next profile. Get the latest in digital news and more by following me on Twitter @mediaempress
# # #
It’ hasn’t even been a month since Fantasia gave birth to her son Dallas Xavier Dec. 13 and already there are issues. According to the St. Louis American, Fantasia doesn’t want to be separated from her newborn baby but she needs to work to support him and her 10-year-old daughter.
“Fantasia has a lot of people to support. She’s still financing an expensive lifestyle and touring constantly to pay for it,” according to an anonymous source. “She needs to work – but her baby needs her too!”
If you read between the lines, it sounds as though her boyfriend/baby daddy/cheating husband Antwaun Cook isn’t helping to support their child. He’s reportedly still married to his wife, Paula, and according to sources is not living with Fanny. You’d think those facts would be enough for Fantasia to get the hint but she’s supposedly still “hoping for the best.”
“What Fantasia really hopes is that he will step up now, marry her and help with the care of their family,” the source said. “She’s tired of carrying the whole load by herself.”
Good luck with that Fantasia, but I think it may be time to let the fantasy go. Wendy Williams mercilessly went in on Fantasia yesterday (as she does most people) and even rung up T-mobile where Antwaun supposedly works to see how much he brings home ($60K). But no matter how much he is or isn’t making he still needs to take responsibility for the child he created.
What do you think about Fantasia’s situation? Is she crazy to think Antwaun would step up and marry her now? Should she even want the cheater as her husband?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- It’s Bad Boy For Life? Artists Whose Talents Are/Were Wasted Under Bad Boy Records
- Should I Confess My Affair?
- Can D’Angelo Make A Comeback Without Bringing Swexy Back?
- Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Freshmen Woes & Possessive Types
- S*** Black Girls Say vs. S*** White Girls Say to Black Girls
- Six Fashion Trends Sistas Need to Change. Now.