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T-Mobile Agrees to Pay $48 Million as Settlement to the FCC

Earlier today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that they have entered into an agreement with T-Mobile for failing to disclose to its customers of the wireless data restrictions they offered on its unlimited data plan. According to the FCC's findings, the carrier would slow down the data speed of its customers and would throttle traffic once a certain usage threshold was reached. But instead of notifying their customers to know about it, the carrier failed to do so.

The FCC points out that T-Mobile led their customers into thinking they were getting faster and better service with the unlimited data plan they bought. The agency has since been investigating how the carrier explained its policy of deprioritizing heavy unlimited data users since March 2015. This was after they obtained numerous complaints from customers under T-Mobile and MetroPCS who were unhappy about the deprioritization policy being used by the carrier. As such, they felt like T-Mobile was not providing them the unlimited data service they had promised on their advertisements.

Its investigations led the FCC to discover that the carrier failed to disclose to its heavy data users what would happen to them once depriorization would take effect. While the carrier changed its strategy, it wasn't until after June 2015; to which the FCC had already investigated them. Based on its findings, T-Mobile failed to let their users know the threshold when customers would start being deprioritized. The carrier also failed to explain how this would affect the service used by the customers or even clarify the slowed data speeds a deprioritized user would encounter.

Because of these, T-Mobile has agreed to update its deprioritization disclosures and would clearly let their users know about the restrictions they implement on unlimited data plans. They also promised to stop labeling their plans as "unlimited," especially if these plans were subject to deprioritization. The carrier also agreed to give notifications to individual customers if they are already nearing the deprioritization threshold.


The settlement, worth $48 million, led T-Mobile to agree to paying a penalty of $7.5 million in cash and $35.5 million in "consumer benefits." This comes in the form of 4GB additional data to unlimited customers on T-Mo and MetroPCS, as well as $20 accessory discounts. The carrier also promised to give at least $5 million in services and equipment to students in low-income school districts; which would help at least 80,000 students throughout the four-year period it will be implemented. 

T-Mobile CEO John Legere has expressed positivity on today's announcement on Twitter, expressing that this was "Good settlement with FCC today. @TMobile believes more info is best for customers". A second tweet says "Glad we could help schools with this solution as well."




Source: TMONews

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19 comments:

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  1. Does this mean that T-Mobile's and MetroPCS' current unlimited plans can no longer be called "unlimited"? What would they be called? The 26GB plan?

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    1. They will probably still call it unlimited with asterisks and fine print to legally allow their deprioritization to continue.

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  2. Consumers get cheated by T-Mobile again. Accessories are so expensive at TMO that a $20 discount just brings the price down to full retail.

    How does 4gb of additional data benefit an unlimited data customer? They already have unlimited data.

    Shame on the FCC for betraying consumers.

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    1. The unlimited data is for mobile internet lines. And it's a one time 4GB bump.

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  3. All companies look for ways to "creatively" market their products. Since when is a corporation truly altruistic about anything? Every telecom out there has been smacked by the FCC at one time or another for something.

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  4. Legere spinning this as some altruistic decision T-Mobile came to and not something they were slapped with...unreal.

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    1. Make lemonade out of lemons. Smart management spin :) .

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    2. And regardless of how you want to spin it, Big John and TMO are still the only company that at least pretends to give the customer anything. Larry,Mo, and Curly are much worse.

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    3. Huh? All of the companies advertize to convince customers. They pretend no more or less than T-Mobile.

      But when you just look at the maps, and see how Verizon is twice as good as Sprint and still has a much better network than T-Mobile, you can see that Verizon doesn't have to pretend. It just "does".

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  5. "But instead of notifying their customers know about it, " needs an edit?

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  6. ringplus opened but not with any exciting plans, only one free plan.. all other mad paid plans.

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    1. What on earth does that have to do with the FCC fining T-Mobile?

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    2. i just put it here because, if you want to make another post which may benefit someone who is waiting for these plans

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    3. Thanks, I'm working on a post about the new plans. In the meantime people are already discussing them here: RingPlus Stops Activating New Lines | Prepaid Phone News.

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  7. Wonder if that amount is taking from john salary

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    1. Nah! He probably gets a bonus for positive spin. Lower level minions will have to make up for the loss.

      His 2015b salary:
      http://www1.salary.com/John-J-Legere-Salary-Bonus-Stock-Options-for-T-MOBILE-US-INC.html

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  8. Seems the new TMO ONE plans are their revenge for having to make this settlement. How does one get the 4 GB?

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    1. Very few people qualify for the 4 GB. You have to be on a T-Mobile or MetroPCS unlimited high speed data plan and also have a T-Mobile mobile broadband plan or a MetroPCS tablet plan. The 4GB gets added to the mobile broadband plan or the tablet plan.
      Details here:
      Customer Offers & Benefits | Deals on Accessories & Mobile Data | T-Mobile
      and here:
      : Exclusive Offers for Unlimited Customers - MetroPCS

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  9. "It’s not unlimited data - it’s curated data"

    http://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/it-s-not-unlimited-data-it-s-curated-data

    by Mike Dano Oct 20, 2016 1:07pm
    Wireless networks often cannot provide continuous high-speed data connections to all the customers in a cell site at the same time.

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