T-mobile has confirmed that starting in June, there will be a increase in text messaging rates for users who do not subscribe to a text messaging plan. As Consumerist readers well know, this means that if you don’t have a text messaging plan the rate hike constitutes a materially adverse change and you have the legal right to terminate your contract with no ETF per T-Mobile’s Terms and Conditions.
T-Mobile has not officially announced the change, but a Consumerist insider called and confirmed the changes with a T-Mobile CSR. Here is his report:
• Confirmed text message rate changes in June. Texts are going up 5 cents (to $.15) and MMS is coming down $.10 (also to $.15).
• [The CSR] seemed to imply that because of the decrease in MMS cost, they were NOT considering this a violation of Terms of Service (but he also seemed baffled that I’d heard about the rate change to begin with).
• This only effects regular rate plan users. If you have purchased bundles of text messages (ex: 400 text messages for $4.99/month), the rate will not increase. Also, he said that if you currently have such a bundle and they decide to raise the total cost of the bundle ( e.g., 400 text messages for $5.99/month), you’ll be grandfathered in and your bundle price will not go up.
• This information is NOT on the site yet, but will probably go up in the http://www.t-mobile.com/Company/PressReleases.aspx?tp=Abt_Tab_PressReleases“>”news” section.
• Letters are going out about this now to all subscribers, either with your bill, or if you don’t get a bill, by regular mail.
Since T-Mobile is lowering the price on their MMS messaging, this situation is a little different from previous txt messaging increases. However, we don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to terminate your contract. Let’s look at T-Mobile Terms & Conditions:
Changes to the Agreement or Charges. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY LAW, IF WE: (A) INCREASE THE CHARGES INCLUDED IN YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING ACCESS RATE PLAN, OR (B) MODIFY A MATERIAL TERM OF OUR AGREEMENT WITH YOU AND THE MODIFICATION WOULD BE MATERIALLY ADVERSE TO YOU, WE WILL NOTIFY YOU OF THE INCREASE OR MODIFICATION AND YOU CAN CANCEL THAT SERVICE WITHOUT PAYING A CANCELLATION FEE (WHICH IS YOUR ONLY REMEDY) BY FOLLOWING THE CANCELLATION INSTRUCTIONS IN THE NOTICE. IF YOU DO NOT CANCEL YOUR SERVICE BY FOLLOWING THOSE INSTRUCTIONS, OR YOU OTHERWISE ACCEPT THE CHANGE, THEN YOU AGREE TO THE INCREASE OR MODIFICATION, EVEN IF YOU PAID FOR SERVICE IN ADVANCE. IF THE NOTICE DOES NOT SAY HOW LONG YOU HAVE TO CANCEL, THEN IT IS WITHIN 14 DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE NOTICE, UNLESS A LONGER PERIOD IS REQUIRED BY LAW. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY LAW, CHARGES FOR PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OPTIONAL SERVICES, OR ANY OTHER CHARGES THAT ARE NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING ACCESS RATE PLAN (SUCH AS DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE, ROAMING, DOWNLOADS, AND THIRD-PARTY CONTENT) ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE, AND IF YOU CONTINUE TO USE THOSE SERVICES, OR YOU OTHERWISE AGREE TO THE CHANGES, THEN YOU AGREE TO THE NEW CHARGES. VISIT OUR WEB SITE, RETAIL LOCATIONS, OR CALL CUSTOMER CARE FOR CURRENT CHARGES.
If you’re really ready to cancel your T-Mobile service, put on your mean face and give them a call at 1-800-937-8997. Be ready for a fight! They’re not going to let you go easily. They’re going to give you a bunch of excuses. When canceling read the Terms and Conditions section pasted above to the CSR.
Let us know how it goes at tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. For information about other people who canceled their service based on txt message increases, check out:
Break Your Verizon Contract Without Fee, Thanks to TXT Msg Raise
Everything You Wanted To Know About Canceling Verizon But Were Afraid To Ask
Script For Escaping Verizon Contracts Without Fee, Based On Text Message Rate Raises
After Battle, Marie Escapes Verizon Contract
Consumerist In NYT For Cellphone Plan Escape Tricks
We’ll update you with more info as we get it. —MEGHANN MARCO