T-Mobile’s moves have indirectly forced the hand of its larger wireless competitors in a variety of ways over the past year, but now T-Mobile CEO John Legere is trying the direct route — launching a petition calling on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to put an end to overages, the extra charges for exceeding monthly limits on calling, texting or data.
“Imagine the smile on my face as I watch millions upon millions of Americans flipping the bird to the insanity and pain of the past and joining this consumer revolution – while I sit back and watch the competition flounder,” Legere writes in a blog post announcing the petition.
The petition, with more than 2,200 supporters as of 9:30 a.m Pacific time, accompanies T-Mobile’s own promise this morning to end overages for all of its customers. The company says overages from its three wireless rivals cost consumers $1 billion a year.
The reality is that T-Mobile had already been shifting its customer base away from this practice with the launch of its Simple Choice plans, with unlimited voice, texting and data, but Legere tells CNet News that this latest change does impact some customers on older plans, and T-Mobile will be writing off some current and future revenue as a result.
With unlimited texting and talking common on wireless plans, overages largely come into play with data limits. AT&T and Verizon send alerts when customers approach or exceed their data allotments for a given month.
T-Mobile last week launched a new monthly “Simple Starter” plan that will cost $40 per month for unlimited calls, texting and up to 500MB of data on T-Mobile’s LTE network, promising to eliminate overages on that plan, as well. Customers can purchase additional data when they hit their limit or have their speeds slowed for the remainder of the month.
The Bellevue-based company, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, added a net total of 4.4 million customers in 2013 after announcing a series of steps designed to change the way the wireless industry operates. Legere in his post this morning hinted at more customer growth when the company gives its next update on May 1.