Christopher Price is the Founding Editor of PhoneNews.com. Today, he leads the team building iConsole.tv - a new kind of Android™ device. He still likes to pontificate... a lot. You can visit his personal blog at ChristopherPrice.net.

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13 responses to “ETF Out: T-Mobile Preparing Harsh Data Roaming Limits”

  1. Matt

    I have T-mobile and I travel a couple times a month for work. This is disapointing because occasionally I’ll find myself roaming. Maybe I should just sign a contact with big red and get it over with.

    The roaming agreement is known. People will assume that should only help Tmobile. They probably won’t understand this move. I see bad press for Tmobile coming.

  2. dale

    “Unlike Sprint, which has a roaming rate for additional data over its roaming data cap (typically 300 MB, lower on some plans)…”

    If you’re implying that Sprint actually charges for roaming data over 300 MB per month, that’s contrary to my experience with them. I’ve never been charged, although I’ve exceeded that cap on several occasions. The cap itself is so unpublicized that one has to try hard to find the fine print on sprint.com that spells out the data and voice roaming caps. Everywhere else, Sprint refers to both data and voice roaming as being “unlimited”. I’ve received a warning from Sprint about excessive roaming usage, but have never been charged for it. Maybe Sprint customers with aircards are charged for data roaming over 300 MB, but I don’t think customers with handsets are.

  3. Mike

    another magenta coffin nail….

  4. Leo

    So this means that starting march an early April we are able to call tmobile to cancel our contract with no early termination fee ?

  5. Christopher Price

    Leo,

    There’s a bit of confusion there. Sometimes carriers require you to cancel within 14 to 30 days of being notified of the change. Other times, carriers make you wait for the change to take effect.

    Our advice, if you want to opt out, is to call now. If they tell you to call back on April 5, document it and call back then. There’s no guarantee T-Mobile will honor the ETF Out, even though in our opinion it is pretty black-and-white that they have to.

    Nearly every carrier has had some ETF Out that was also black-and-white clear that they should honor… and have not honored previously. The only way to pressure the carrier to honor the ETF Out, is to ask to exercise your contract’s rights and be let out of the contract. If enough people are shot down, and complain to regulators, the carrier ultimately will have to let those customers out.

    TL;DR, just call right now and ask!

  6. Leo

    i just called they said NO that they will not terminate my contract cause they think that’s not a reason to be let out for so im just gonna wait in the mail the change as soon as i get i will be calling back an keep calling until i get my contract terminated with no ETF .

  7. leo

    Starting tomorrow ill have to ask tmobile again an if I still can’t get my issue resolve then I’m reporting it to the FCC my state public utility an BBB too thank you Christopher for the advice hope this works !

  8. Brad

    has anyone been sucessful in getting out? I got my notice in the mail with my bill and they point out sections 3-5 of the T&C’s. of course the right to leave with no ETF is section 6. I personally dont roam very much but somtimes I have to drive around the country and lets face it T-mobiles out of city data network sucks ass,I am constantly roaming. they need to fix their data map and remove the sections that show ” data roaming partners” because that is very dishonest their data network isnt nearly as big as they try to paint it. thats got to be boarderline bait and switch.

  9. Leo

    @brad
    I have not been successful they didn’t let me out of contract I file a complain they called saying no they would not give me right of getting off my contract without no termination fee u could try but tmobile costumer service are useless

  10. Brad

    Well I gave it a shot. First I talked to T-mobiles roaming department they had never heard of the changes.. infact I was the one who told them about them so that was a dead end. Then I talked to regular customer service and she said oh yeah shouldn’t be a problem let me send you to the loyalty problem to get this done tonight. Transfers me and the loyalty department it was closed.

    At this point I’m pretty pissed at the lack of competency of T-Mobiles employees (I know it’s not their fault it is their training). So I decided to write a letter to the BBB because I’m trying to tell T-Mobile “no, I do not agree with your change in service under section 5 subsection B let me out”.

    So I received a call from the T-mobile executive office a Stephaney ext. 3418053 claiming she wanted to discuss my complaint. Which was a complete lie I called her back and she just said we have decided not to allow you out of your contract and were not going to “argue” with you. We are letting the BBB know we have contacted you.

    I said oh well here’s the thing you sent me a piece of paper saying that my service allotment is getting decreased due to a change in your roaming policy, I do not agree to this change in service. She said we decided since it doesn’t directly affect you, you have no grounds for complaint. Excuse me? Do you think I just sit in one spot and never leave a city? If I ever go on a road trip to anywhere I will be roaming the whole way your data coverage is horrible. She said we have decided goodbye click.

    Wow I can’t believe I give a company thousands of dollars a year that can’t even read or follow its own terms of use. I wrote an email to the BBB letting them know T-Mobile was unwilling to resolve or even talk about my complaint. I was not even asking for a complete weave of ETF. I was asking for a reduced ETF. This whole experience has left me feeling cheated and mistreated.

  11. Adam Sherwood

    The same thing happened to me Brad. Essentially I called and was very polite and have been all along this path, but they have been unhelpful and once the legal department called, extremely rude.

    I called Customer Service, they said they couldn’t help. I said, “No problem, just please let me talk with your supervisor because I need to talk with somebody who can help.” They did not help. I spoke with their supervisor’s supervisor; they did not help. Each step has told me, we examined your past use, and have determined it won’t affect you. Interesting, so I guess they were able to magically determine based on my past usage that this coming year I won’t be traveling to rural Nebraska nearly every week. Or they just can’t read their own ToS that clearly states a change to the service they agreed to provide, not a change to the service they expect me to use.

    I asked, “If only used 1 minute per month up to now, would you be able to change our agreement to where I only have 2 minutes allotted per month.”
    “Of course not, that’s different.” Right!

    Anyway, after the brick walls with people I can chat with, I had to write the legal department. I did, and I requested reply in writing. Well, to my “surprise”, they chose to call. Jason Moten of Executive Customer Relation Office of CEO, called and said that since it hadn’t affected me in the past, I wouldn’t be allowed out of contract without ETF. I actually didn’t hear him that well and asked if they would please reply in writing as I requested. He said that this would be our final communication with him. I asked if he could at least repeat what he said, so that I could write it down. He said that this was the end of our conversation.

    I have filed complaints with the BBB and the Missouri Attorney General, but have not heard back from either. I contacted the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but they were not extremely helpful; understandably since they deal with different issues.

    Well, lasts night the guy who works right next to me went through a similar deal. They told him he was not eligible for the waiver. He had sent a copy of the letter I sent also to legal. Well, after a long discussion with Customer Account Specialists they gave him the waiver.

    I called back today informing them of this and again seeking to be let out. They said that legal had made their decision and that was final.

    All I have left to do is file a lawsuit regarding contract law, and I intend to. It seems so black and white to me that I assume this is just a calculation. They must assume they’ll lose less money fighting the few who will fight than they will waiving these fees. I guess I understand that, but it is entirely unethical. As a long time satisfied customer that brought several new customers I am very disappointed.

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