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T-Mobile UK Backs Off Usage Cap Slashing… for Existing Customers Only

Phillip Dampier January 14, 2011 Consumer News, Editorial & Site News, Internet Overcharging, T-Mobile, Wireless Broadband No Comments

After an outpouring of complaints from UK mobile data customers, T-Mobile’s UK division has announced it is backing off implementing ‘new and improved’ usage caps of 500MB per month, down from the 1-3GB customers used to enjoy.  But the change of heart will only apply to existing customers.  New customers will find themselves second class citizens of the T-Mobile family — stuck with a 500MB allowance other customers won’t have to cope with.

The company claims it changed its mind after hearing from customers, but we suspect the real reason for the sudden change was word the British regulator OFCOM was considering an investigation, suggesting T-Mobile could have violated its own contract with customers by not providing 30 days of advance notice.

There were also reports angered customers seeking an early end to their contract were meeting resistance from T-Mobile’s customer relations department.  Customers who quit early face steep early cancellation penalties, despite the fact they should be waived if a mobile provider materially changes the service consumers thought they were getting when they signed up.

Another object lesson learned: Internet Overcharging schemes often start with “generous” allowances that some providers will lower if it means reducing demand on their networks, without ever bothering to lower prices for customers.

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