November 13, 2015 |
Do you like to consume mass quantities of video on your smartphone or "phablet" (oversized phone)? Starting Sunday, the sky's the limit if you sign up for T-Mobile's qualifying Simple Choice plan with data and activate its new Binge-On feature. Out of the gate, it will offer unbridled access, not counting against your data cap, to two dozen leading streaming video providers, including Netflix, Hulu, Vevo, Vudu, HBO Now, HBO Go, Showtime, Starz, Univision Deportes and a big bunch of sports providers, such as ESPN, Major League Baseball, Fox Sports' Fox Sports Go, and NBC Sports.
December 21, 2014 |
Wireless carrier T-Mobile has agreed to pay $90 million to settle charges that it profited by allowing third-party billers to bilk its customers by "cramming" unwanted charges onto their phone bills, the Federal Communications Commission said Friday. Several recent moves by government regulators have tried to curtail similar practices by mobile phone carriers. On Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued Sprint, the third-leading carrier, accusing it of profiting from "tens of millions of dollars" in unauthorized third-party charges on its bills, and ignoring red flags that should have made the trickery clear.
December 19, 2014 |
Bacall needed Bogart. Holmes needed Watson. Cheech needed Chong. Does the wireless industry need its gotchas? Thanks to T-Mobile and its bold and blunt CEO, John Legere, we may soon find out. Legere announced T-Mobile's eighth "un-carrier" policy change this week - aiming again at a particular pain wireless carriers inflict on customers. This time, his target was use-it-or-lose-it data plans, which T-Mobile says cost wireless customers billions of dollars a year - not just in actual overages but in fear of them, which spurs people to spend needlessly on large data packages.
November 21, 2014 |
Can T-Mobile truly compete on service quality with America's two dominant wireless networks - not just by trash-talking AT&T and Verizon's frustrating willingness to inflict financial pain on customers, but by providing comparable or even better service? I raised that question last week when I reported surprising findings from RootMetrics, which publicizes network tests that carriers might rather deep-six. Twice this year, T-Mobile has tied Verizon for best overall quality in the Philadelphia area, where it also scores high for network speed, texts, and data handling.
November 13, 2014 |
For the last year, T-Mobile has earned a reputation as the scrappy upstart of the wireless industry. CEO John Legere has taken on the big boys in deeds and words - some of them unprintable, burnishing his Mad John persona - while targeting very real customer "pain points": overage charges, exorbitant overseas data costs, early-termination fees, and the like. Now the "Un-carrier" has another unexpected move up its sleeve: competing with the big boys on network quality - and outpacing them, in some key cities, on speed.
July 3, 2014 |
The charges were for services such as flirting tips, horoscopes, and antivirus scans. They typically cost T-Mobile subscribers $9.99 a month, including prepaid customers who never received bills showing them. And the Federal Trade Commission says they were often bogus, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains to the nation's No. 4 carrier. On Tuesday, the FTC filed suit against T-Mobile USA, seeking refunds for consumers it says were hit with unauthorized third-party charges on bills from 2009 until November - a practice known as "cramming.
June 20, 2014 |
T-Mobile has trumpeted itself since last year as "the uncarrier" - fourth place in customers, but first among anyone who hates the big guys' "gotcha" practices, such as long-term contracts or tricky data-roaming charges that can cost people thousands of dollars when they venture overseas. Now, T-Mobile is challenging Verizon and AT&T on two more counts. It is eliminating data charges for music streamed via services such as Pandora, Spotify, and Rhapsody. And, starting Monday, in league with Apple, it will offer anyone who wants to test its network a seven-day free trial on a loaner iPhone 5S. All you need is a credit card.
June 7, 2014 |
NEW YORK - Time Warner Cable Inc. shareholders met on a soggy Thursday morning here, a couple blocks off Columbus Circle, to hear chief executive Robert D. Marcus say he considers that the company's dismal 2013 performance is "old news," and that its proposed $45.2 billion acquisition by Comcast Corp. in an all-stock transaction is a "dream combination. " The sedate affair contained none of the drama that marked the Comcast shareholders' May gathering in Philadelphia, which was disrupted by about 50 protesters opposing the merger of the nation's two largest cable companies because of anti-competitive concerns and media concentration.
February 3, 2014 |
Could T-Mobile, the nation's fourth-largest wireless carrier, prove to be the most effective consumer advocate ever for America's cellphone users? That may have seemed like hype a year ago, when T-Mobile's colorful CEO, John Legere, first promised to ease customers' "pain points. " But true to his word, T-Mobile went on to target a set of chronic and costly irritants faced by wireless users - irritants its rivals had let fester, probably because customer pain equaled carrier gain.
October 28, 2013 |
If you didn't see any reason for high-fives two years ago when the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission blocked AT&T's $39 billion plan to acquire T-Mobile USA, chances are you had plenty of company. The agencies warned that the merger would weaken competition and hurt consumers - arguments that can seem abstract to people outside the antitrust realm. Sure, T-Mobile was a price leader among the four national carriers that survive earlier consolidation. But, as merger partners always do, the companies claimed their marriage would help consumers, too. Who's to say who's right?