T-Mobile Hikes SMS Price, Calls Old Price ‘Discounted’

Sam C. writes in with this heads-up for T-Mobile subscribers, especially those that use a lot of SMS:

Here’s a bit of marketing-speak for you.

I’ve got T-Mobile, about half-way through a one-year contract. (and regretting it). Rate increases really annoy me, since all I can do is complain about it. So, I’m complaining to you.

T-mobile is upping their rate from $0.05 to $0.10 per text message. 10 cents is pretty standard, but that wasn’t the agreement when I joined.

Here’s the page with the original price.

Here’s the page with the new price.

Here’s the kicker. On the page with the new price, there’s a footnote that reads “Discounted domestic messaging rate (for US telephone numbers) of $0.05 each in effect through February 28, 2006.”

It reminds me of 1984 when Winston notes that people had demonstrated to thank Big Brother because their chocolate ration had been increased to 20 grams. (when it had actually be reduced to 20 from 30) The disinformation is disturbing.

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  1. beelerspace says:

    Contracts are one of the worst things about owning a cellphone, mostly because everything is in the company’s hand.

    If they have poor customer service or reception, I can’t leave. But they can increase the rates of nearly anything without ending the contract.

    I’m where you are Sam, about half-way through a T-Mobile contract and regretting it. I know everyone complains about reception no matter what the company, but the customer service has not impressed me either.

    When I signed up, it was quite clear that AOL instant messaging was free with the $5 (now $6) basic net fee. So I used AIM like a mofo. When my bill was $150 above what it should have been, the rep informed me that AIM was only free through the T-Zones web interface, not through the built-in interface on my A630. I raced to the page and, sure enough, in the smallest font possible, at the lowest part of the page possible, was the qualification.

    AIM through a web interface? That blows.

    They refunded me half, but I felt jipped. I decided then – the first month into the contract – that I would cancel T-Mobile the minute I could.

    They’ve since made the page a little clearer. Sainthood for T-mobile!

  2. non-meat-stick says:

    This sounds sleazy, and nobody knows sleaze like T-mobile…

  3. Smoking Pope says:

    Double-plus ungood.

    Someone told me, but I’ve been too lazy to verify, that if you have technical problems (lots of dropped calls or the like), that you should complain to the FCC and get a case number. Once you get the case number, the carrier has x days to fix the problem or let you out of your contract. Anyone know if this is true?

  4. beelerspace says:

    Fatwallet has a post claiming that you this changes the contract, and you can now opt out and cancel your service with T-Mobile. They link to a similar conversation on the infamous HowardForums.

    I’m waiting on a rebate, but as soon as I get it, I’ll be making a call.

  5. SamC says:

    Yay, I made the front page! I’m going to be making that phone call to T-mobile soon. Figuring out what my rights are. And debating whether or not T-mobile will be willing to dicker.

    To think, I jumped ship from Verizon because T-mobile’s extras were cheaper. So much for them apples!

  6. mikelite says:

    maybe i’m the only one, but I love TMo. haven’t had a problem since I signed up 3 years ago. No coverage problems, certainly no customer service problems. When we switched plans, they kept my $3 unlimited SMS plan. Verizon cripples the bluetooth on their phones and Cingular locks you into a two year contract and won’t even fully subsidize the cost of the phone. No thanks, I’ll stick with my Catherine Zeta Jones.