T-Mobile Adds a Fee That Feels Like an AT&T or Verizon Move

Mobile carrier companies are always eager to increase revenue through fees customers pay and to outflank their competition with deals.

Former T-Mobile  (TMUS) – Get Free Report CEO John Legere in 2013 introduced the mobile carrier company’s “uncarrier” program. This move primarily freed customers from being locked into two-year contracts with their cell phone companies.

It was perceived as a groundbreaking deal at the time that delighted customers who felt trapped in their contracts. But the equipment installation plans (EIPs) that replaced the contracts had the practical effect of committing customers to any carrier they signed up for anyway by forcing them to pay off the balance of their phones if they wanted to leave a plan.

Still, though, the EIPs are easier to get out of than the older contracts, provided a customer is financially able to purchase the full cost that remains on their phone.

Recently, Verizon  (VZ) – Get Free Report and AT&T  (T) – Get Free Report have apparently standardized around three-year EIPs, allowing for smaller monthly payments for phones. T-Mobile is largely sticking with two-year payment plans.

T-Mobile Makes a Big Change on Activation Fees

One cost traditionally easy for customers to avoid was T-Mobile’s activation fee. The company called it an Assisted Support Charge that started out at $20 and over time became $35.

The fee, however, was not charged when customers placed orders online. But that has now changed and will be a very noticeable extra fee for customers who are accustomed to avoiding it using the Web for e-commerce.

The fee will reportedly continue to be $35 and will apply to most transactions.

“The fee is charged per-line that is added or upgraded via any method. Whether you’re upgrading your phone to a new device, adding a Bring-Your-Own-Device line, or even ordering a Home Internet line, you’ll pay the new $35 fee,” writes The T-Mo Report

Other Deals T-Mobile is Offering to Entice Users

As usual, though, T-Mobile continues to offer deals to gain customers.

For example, customers on Magenta Max can get a free one-year subscription to Apple Plus, Netflix or Paramount Plus.

T-Mobile’s Coverage Beyond program offers connectivity to air travelers. Customers flying on Delta, American, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines are offered free, unlimited wi-fi that includes streaming. This is offered to customers on the Magenta MAX and Magenta plans, which cost $60 to $70 per month.

The company, as all mobile carriers are, is eager to find ways to attract customers away from its competitors. T-Mobile has introduced what it calls the Easy Switch program, allowing customers to switch up to five lines to a T-Mobile plan. It says it will only take about five minutes for customers to change their service and offers tips on how customers can break free of their contracts with other carriers.

In addition, the company is offering to pay up to $1,000 to pay off switching customers’ devices as part of its Keep & Switch offer.

The carrier is also bringing back a deal that offers households four lines for $25 each. This is a deal that has not been available to T-Mobile customers since 2020.

And, of course, a $35 per line device connection charge will be a part of the transaction.

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