See below excerpts from CNBC Guest Editorial John Legere, President & CEO, T-Mobile
“So, when I see the others trying to tax, toll and restrict access to the mobile Internet, it pisses me off! You see, I believe big businesses and their leaders have a huge responsibility, especially in a less restrictive regulatory environment, to ensure the average Joe and Jane are being treated right.”
“That simple Un-carrier formula has worked. We ended those ridiculous two-year service contracts, and the industry followed. Now, 155 million Americans are contract-free. We eradicated $1.3 billion in break-up fees across the industry, so customers can change carriers when they want without penalty. We ended punitive overages, and now up to $2.4 billion a year in overage penalties are on their way out. And those are just a few of our Un-carrier moves that have changed wireless.
Just last week, we did it again. We called out this industry’s practice of piling monthly surcharges, fees and added taxes on customers’ wireless service plans—so the amount carriers advertise is never the amount customers pay. This is a HUGE problem. Collectively, U.S. wireless customers pay $17.2 billion a year in these extra charges. It’s just wrong, and we got rid of it.
We also took aim at this industry’s practice of suddenly jacking up your price after months, and sometimes years, with almost no warning. Our competitors hiked prices on their existing customers 22 times in the last four years (that we could find). Why? Why not. They hold all the power. Last week, we formally gave customers – and only customers – the power to change the amount they pay.
But you know what happened next? The carriers poured a huge bucket of cold water right over the heads of US wireless consumers:
- The day we made our announcement, Verizon jacked up its activation and upgrade fees by a full 50%.
- Just days later, AT&T jacked up prices by $5 / month on its most loyal customers—everybody who’d signed up for an unlimited plan before 2011.
- Verizon kicked unlimited customers off its network for going over their data limit. On an unlimited data plan. I can’t even.
- And those Sprint customers who thought they were getting half off are in for a nasty surprise, as even Sprint admitted their 50% promo started expiring for some customers in early 2017.
That abuse of power damages customer trust across the entire wireless industry, which is good for absolutely no one.”