T-Mobile Will Include Taxes And Fees In Advertised Prices, Refund Light Data Users

Today at CES in Las Vegas, T-Mobile announced two new proposals that its competitors may or may not copy: charging customers the advertised price without adding taxes or fees to their bills, and offering customers who use very little of their “unlimited” data allowance a rebate.

Since its planned wedding to AT&T fell apart, T-Mobile has tried bold new things to gain customers, like improving its network with all of that breakup cash starting with doing away with phone contracts and early termination fees in 2012. Now the carrier has announced a new challenge to its competitors: simplified billing without taxes and fees.

The presentation included a few distractions, opening with Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che doing an aggressively unfunny version of their own “Weekend Update” segment, and a video where T-Mobile CEO John Legere posed as a Lyft driver, picking up passengers in Las Vegas and chatting with them about their mobile carriers, as all Lyft drivers do.

Another video featured a lemonade stand that also charges customers more than advertised:


Yeah, yeah, we get it, things should cost what they’re advertised. One example that Legere cited in his presentation and that the company cited in its announcement was a Verizon family plan advertised at $110, the actual bill for which ends up at $210.70 after various surcharges, taxes, and fees.

No surcharges: “When you sign up for T-Mobile ONE and AutoPay for $40 a line for a family of four, your bill at the end of the month is EXACTLY $40 per line for your wireless service,” the company promises.

Kickback: For any line that uses less than 2 GB of data in a month, T-Mobile promises a refund of at most $10. Legere presented this as taking the “data stash” idea to its logical conclusion.

Current customers can sign up to switch to these plans now, though the new programs begin in Jan. 22. Starting then, the company will only sell its T-Mobile One unlimited plans to postpaid customers, though prepaid customers still have other options.

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