SMS rates going up!


Well T-mobile gave us an ETF adjustment this week and now they grace us with an sms increase. Thats right all you casual texters, starting August 29th T-mobile joins the ranks of #1, 2 and 3 and raises their pay per use rate to $.20! As expected this plays out for both postpaid and flexpay customers. Keep in mind this pay per use rate increase affects mms messaging as well, all messaging in fact. Expect to see inserts in your billing starting later this month alerting you to the change. No word on yet on whether or not this is a contract kill though I am sure those who are verbally crafty will figure out the way to get er done.

I can’t say with 100% positivity but I do believe prepaid customers are not subject to this increase. They only mean to charge more to the customers who really matter, us post paid folks. I suppose a price increase is exactly what we need to pay for the recently deployed, soon to be deployed, will be deployed before the next century 3G network.

Will any of our benevolent readers try and escape the chains of T-mobile bondage with this price increase? Sound off in the comments if you are able to successfully null and void your contract.

  • Michael

    Well, I’m glad that I got the unlimited messaging deal…get it while it’s hot if you go over your messages. $9.99 for a line, $14.99 for a family plan.

  • mi8chael

    Its officail there is no longer a reason to stay with tmo.

  • micnael

    They are makeing it difficult to want to stay with them

  • micnael

    You are making difficult to want to stay with you tmo.

  • Bashok

    yea…i’ll just stick with T-Mobile prepaid and escape all of that.

  • FlyingCowOfDoom

    Oh man I hope I can get out of my contract now. I’m so mad I can’t use the 3G network I have been looking for a way out. Does anyone know what the best way to cancel and avoid the ETF? Send a letter? Call them?


  • Jon

    Yeah… T-mo is starting to become less and less competitive…

    “Oh the other guys raised rates… hmmmmmm, that means we can raise rates to on a service that doesn’t cost us more money!”

    You disappoint me T-mobile. If you can’t have the best handsets or the fastest data, at least compete more on prices.

  • Paul

    $9.99 ulimited messaging for family plan of 5 phones here, $2 per phone :) Tmobile must hate me!

  • gapboi954

    if you have a messenging plan I dunno what the big deal is.

  • mike

    i pay $5 for 200 messages, is this going to increase to $10?

  • Hoosier Daddy

    So the SMS rate is the SAME as the competition now? As far as I’m concerned, I’m staying with T-Mobile…they don’t charge for roaming on my family plan like the others do.

  • jay

    we have the unlimited txt option. Should I get rid of it now to be able to cancel my family plan and move to another carrier on Aug 29th?


  • Hoosier Daddy

    It appears that my previous comment was off-base. After some research, I see the others don’t charge for roaming anymore. They did when I was first looking for a family plan though.

  • Jack

    Tmobile is banking on what you said gapboi, but that is exactly what’s wrong with them. I am switching to iPhone as soon as I can get the baby canceled after 7-11

  • Chic

    I called but they claim i can’t cancel with out the ETF.

  • Chappy

    We’ve been with T-MO since they were AirTouch. With the family plan, we evidently grandfathered in on unlimited texting for 9.99/mo. Love the no-roaming and, for the most part, signal quality, but the quality of their phones and their limitations compared to others is definitely a downside. We’ll stick with them until something better comes along.

  • Jak Crow

    I have a nice, grandfathered blackberry plan that gives me unlimited SMS, even though I have a windows mobile phone. Poor me :)

  • bt

    But who would you even think of switching to? I had ATT prior to the Cingular days, switched to Sprint for 2 dreadful years of horrific service in West LA, then currently to T-Mob with the Blackberry Pearl (and now Curve). The reception is amazing and the service is stellar IMO. Every time I call, I get pushed over to “Blackberry” support, comprised of a bunch of reps who actually speak English natively, actually understand what I’m talking about, and most importantly, have the authority to do things with my account that would take 10 levels of manager approval with any other service.

    Plus, I find their rates actually quite reasonable. I’m on the Family 700 MyFaves plan, and have never gone over my minutes even with 3 lines on it. The MyFaves is an amazingly flexible plan!

    On top of that, the Blackberry service is very reliable and also very reasonable. I travel frequently out of the country and T-Mobile allows me to add their Int’l BB plan the day I leave, and turns it off when I get back. They even pro-rate the time I used it, so unltd’ Int’l email service is not even $1/day.

    Of course, I don’t have a txting plan, so I suppose I am able to get out of my contract, but I would never go to ATT. I even tried 2 different iPhones in an attempt to leave my Curve, but the Blackberry won out both times in the email department.

    And Verizon? No way, their CS is horrible and I just don’t make enough to pay their rates!

  • Dave

    It does not apply to prepaid. :)

  • Jimbo831

    Why would this make everyone want to leave T-Mobile? If you actually use text messaging regularly you should have a bundle, and compare the prices of T-Mobile’s bundle to the other companies. The basic 4.99 package is 400 with T-Mobile, and 200 with everyone else. The price of the bundles are not changing at all.

  • Dan

    I would never change!! I work for At&t and i would be paying more on the employee plan there then I pay with T-mobile. A Blackberry for $20 a month w/ T-mo which would be $30 with At&t. I have a family plan with unlimited text for $9.99 with t-mo; would be $30 with At&t. I only pay $7.99 for each additional line with t-mo; would be $9.99 with At&t. Plus the At&t customer service SUCKS, they never know what they are doing.

  • clover48

    Ummmm… If I have unlimited text, sms, mms and all that other messaging stuff can I still cancel with t-mobile because of the change on August 29th??? Please and thank you!!!:)

  • DarkJedi

    Clover, this will really only affect those who are on a pay per use “package” so no unfortunately since you have unlimited access you are not affected. Therefore getting out of the contract would be next to impossible.

  • CCR II

    I work at T-Mobile as a Customer Loyalty Representative, the person they transfer you to cancel your account. No we will not be waiving ETFs for the messaging rate increase, since our bundle pricing isn’t going up if you are afraid the increase get on the 4.99 400 text bundle. And if you had a SMS bundle plan at the time of the change, you will not get your ETF fee waived either. So please don’t take it off, forget to put it back on, then call us bitching saying you didn’t know it was taken off and you want all charges credited. Not happening.

  • DarkJedi

    @ccr II, your mailer which is included with the most recent billing statement which customers will start receiving today clearly indicates otherwise. It is clear as day indicates that this change has altered the rights of the consumer and indicates that in some cases you may be eligible to leave without a cancellation fee. You should look at the information a little more closely, as well as section 3 of the contract your company sets forth which again indicates any change which is considered materially adverse ie a price increase allows the customer an opportunity to cancel the contract without penalty. Check the flier included with the your next bill, its pretty cut and dry.

  • FlyingCowOfDoom

    @CCR II: I don’t want to pay $4.99 a month for a messaging plan as I only send/receive about 20 SMS’s per month ($3 @ $0.15 per). This change will increase the cost of my usage by $1 per month, which is a materially adverse change. According to the service agreement, any materially adverse changes allow for canceling the agreement without a fee. Maybe you should read your own terms of service…

    I assure you, I will get out of my contract without paying a fee.


  • RS

    So, has anyone successfully gotten their ETF waived with this increase? I’m ready to move on.

  • H. Fawaz

    Just because T-Mobile says they won’t waive the fee doesn’t mean that they are judge and jury. Any increase in SMS fees whether or not you use SMS, have an limited/unlimited SMS plan or not, you are entitled to cancel your contract without a fee. T-Mobile will say no waiver every time, but contract law says you you don’t have to agree to a price increase instituted by the same company who wrote the service agreement. Bottom line, CSR’s are trained to to steadfastly deny any ETF waiver. But management and legal all know that when push comes to shove, they don’t have a leg to stand on. They are counting on you to accept what they say is the gospel, and walk away without getting what you want. Don’t fall for it, and don’t take know for an answer. Small claims court is alot cheaper than the $200 ETF.

  • Psylink

    $200 ETF PER LINE dont forget.

    i have no ability to use call forwarding with tmo, called them and spent hours on the phone over this with “we will have to open a trouble ticket” had to test the sim in another phone to see if the call forward problem carried over to the other phone (get “failure to save to network” when i do call forwarding)
    after everything, i call back to setup the ticket and i’m told the process is 45minutes and if we get disconnected we have to start over from scratch. during the call i got hung up on.
    call back, complain and have to get my number for voicemail fixed because some of my calls just had busy signals instead of forwarding to voicemail.. girl tested and 1 out of 4 calls actually rang into my phone, others either went to vmail or busy signal. i was given 100 anytime minutes for the fact that with 9 days left in my month and 300 minutes remaining… so a big “screw you” from a supervisor.

    end result, i was supposed to get called back the next day, never got a call back.

    i have had nothing but problems with tmobile, even with full bar of service of calls not going through or dropping randomly. getting 1-20 text messages in the same day telling me to pay my bill or have my service suspended when i had paid it the night before AND its on autopay.

    company sucks and honestly, i would rather pay more and have service with another company than not get what i pay for and bent over without lube repeatedly on a monthly basis for lack of service paid

  • barbiie

    rs what are you talking about, if you signed the contract saying you’ll pay the 200$ if you cancel early then how are you not subject to pay???

  • barbiie

    h. fawaz or whatever. your flexpay aren’t you?

  • FlyingCowOfDoom

    @barbiie: Section 3 of the contract states that if T-Mobile changes the terms of the contract in a way that affects the customer negatively you can cancel without paying the $200 fee. Increasing the SMS rate is a negative change, so legally you should not have to pay the fee.


  • Friend of T

    @FCOD actually its section 5 and states it technically does not include overage, features, optional services of which SMS is an OPTIONAL SERVICE


  • RS


    I signed a contract that has $0.15 a minute for texts. If they raise it, they are in breach of contract, allowing me to terminate it without paying the $200 ETF fee.

  • BJ

    You can get out of your contract. Check out forums like Slickdeals to get more information on this. Changes to text messaging plans have helped tons of customers get out of contracts from all the major carriers.

    As to why you should get out … easy. You get out so that you can get a new phone at the new subscriber rate. You are out of contract and should get the best pricing available. Sell your old phone on eBay and enjoy the extra cash (or sell your new phone and stick with the one you have if you are happy). I’ve done this a few times and have made a few hundred bucks. It’s not much but every little bit helps. You could also switch to a different carrier (like Sprint) and join their SERO program (500 minutes, unlimited data on Rev A network, unlimited text = $30).

    Anyway, T-Mobile is great if you don’t need data. I would only advocate breaking your contract in order to get a better device.

  • FlyingCowOfDoom

    FYI: I just got out of my contract 14 months early. I simply called and said I wanted to get out of my contract early because of the SMS rate increase, and they didn’t put up a fight at all. They did tell me that they aren’t waiving ETFs for customers that have an SMS bundle, so those of you with the plan may be out of luck.


  • Bob

    FlyingCowofDoom…how did you get out of your plan already? I thought the increase didn’t happend until August 29th? I called to get out today and they said it would be $200 per phone since my contract isn’t up until November 13th.

  • Jerrid

    I just got off the phone with a T-Mobile CSR.
    She pointed out to me under the December 2004 Terms & Conditions, Section 3, Part B that with an unlimited messaging bundle, there would be NO materially adverse change of contract, meaning overage charges, affecting me; therefore, I could not cancel ETF-free. However, if I had KEPT my 400 message bundle, and eaten the cost of overage for the past 3 months, I would have been eligible for this waiver.

    I have to admit, because she pointed it out to me in the terms and conditions, that I would not be affected by this. It pisses me off to no end, but she had a solid point.

    Although, after explaining my situation, she suggested that I fraudulently call in and “forge” a Change of Responsibility because there would be no proof that the Primary Account Holder did NOT call in to make the changes to the account since I would be able to very the SSN.
    This woman was obviously not blind to my situation, but simply upholding policy…

  • sjensen

    Jerrid, What does any of this mean??
    Although, after explaining my situation, she suggested that I fraudulently call in and “forge” a Change of Responsibility because there would be no proof that the Primary Account Holder did NOT call in to make the changes to the account since I would be able to very the SSN.
    This woman was obviously not blind to my situation, but simply upholding policy…

    I have the Msg Bundle 400 AC $4.99. Am I eligable to cancel with no ETF?
    My reception is horrible, in and around my home. I have called and complained around 6 times that I only have 1 or No bars, and that I consistently have dropped/failed calls even driving down the street where I live. They told me to fax a letter requesting to cancel and dispute the ETF and also fax a utility bill to them, so I did, and they are still not going to waive the ETF. I’ am really pissed off with T-mobile. We should all get togethor and file a suit against them for the breaching their contract, and for not providing sufficient reception coverage.