No Charge For Paper Billing Now?

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Well, today is just full of flip flopping companies.  First, with Nokia deciding that Carriers can customize Maemo on the N900 (and future handsets) and now T-Mobile has a surprise for all of us.  A while back we told you that T-Mobile was going to start charging for paper billing, all in an effort to conserve paper and save the planet (a gallant effort nonetheless).  Then Kyle (a moderator over at the T-Mobile forums) announced this:

“T-Mobile is committed to encouraging customers to make the move to paperless billing. It’s a great alternative to paper and better for the environment.

Since the announcement we’ve heard everything from kudos to concerns about the move to paperless especially from our customers who today are receiving paper bills at no charge.

So, we’ve decided to not charge our customers a paper bill fee for now. Instead, we’ll be taking more time to determine the fairest way possible to encourage people to go paperless.

Customers can still visit my.t-mobile.com to sign up for paperless billing.”

In short, no charge on the paper bill, but they leave themselves open to reconsider it.  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

T-Mobile Forums via Phonedog

  • Abel

    I bet Al Gore signed up for paperless billing….. Sorry T-Mobile, I like my paper bills and I’m not a tree hugger. I use paper bills to keep up with my bill payments, Emails can be deleted accidently very easily thus causing me to be late on payment.

  • Steve

    “……from kudos to concerns about the move to paperless”. Something tells me they heard a lot more concerns! I don’t care what anyone says. This move was never about the environment. It was about saving the company money. (I will give credit where credit is due though they at least listened to their customers)

    However, Tmobile really needs to rethink some of their recent decisions and figure out what they are all about. Tmobile’s niche was supposed to be an alternative to the high prices and fees of ATT and Verizon. Over the past several months they have:

    1.) increased sms rates

    2.) Instituted an $18 upgrade fee

    3.) Required data plans on new smart phone activations.

    4.) Increased voice overage rates (denying many of early ETF)

    5.) Attempted to charge people for the privilege of billing them!

    All of these decisions are contrary to their original business philosophy. (Or at least how they promoted themselves.) What is going on with these guys? They aren’t losing money or subscribers according to their quarterly earning reports! sheesh. Who do they think they are? Verizon Wireless?

    If that’s what they are turning into they I mind as well leave now. At least VZ has better network coverage and quality at least according to JD Power and Consumer Reports.

  • MadProfessor

    Correction there steve, changing the overage rates ENABLED many to leave without paying ETFs. Unless that’s what you mean, it’s just worded oddly. I’d love to be denied fees all the time.

  • SHAK

    Steve Does T-mobile not give you good coverage? Because if your leaving just because Jd powers and associates barely rated Verizon over T-mobile then that would be ridiculous. If your service is fine what are you complaining about. With Verizon you would be paying many hundreds more a year.

  • TRobshi

    So this will probably be back in 4 months like the upgrade fee when the execs can’t think of a better way to rip people off…..

  • blacknoi

    So has anyone called Customer Service to confirm? And if so, do they even know about this?

  • TRobshi

    Yea it was posted to Streamline this afternoon, so all the care reps should know by now.

  • Yey

    what they should do is give a small discount for getting it paperless than those people who do get them.

  • Danny

    I am definitely switching back to paper billing now. I’m doing it right now. It’s not that I hate trees, its that I need a paper hard copy of my bills.

  • Anthony

    This was obviously a major problem for many customers and I bet T-Mobile reps recevieved a ton of calls over the dispute of being charged for a paper bill.

  • Steve

    @madprofessor there were stipulations that were arbitrarily decided on by tmobile such as when the contract was signed, IF you had overages during the past 3 months etc. which prevented everyone whom may be effected to leave penalty free. I didn’t qualify for an etf waiver BUT confirmed with the rep I spoke with that IF I went over my allotment this month that I would be responsible for the higher rate. That did not sit well with me!

    @Shak yes for the most part Tmobile does give me good coverage (Not where I work but I’m not too worried about that Verizon does work well by the way) My point in bringing up VZ into this is that you have 2 well followed agencies both rating VZ as superior to every other carrier nationally, not just Tmobile.They do provide me with good value which is what drew me to them to begin with. If that value is diminished then there is no reason why I would stay with them. If I’m going to pay VZ rates and fees…..they I’ll write my check to VZ. Makes no difference to me.

  • Torben

    maybe they can open their system up to billpay that most banks use for their online bill payment system.

    relying on email reminders to pay bills is just not good enough.

  • J

    Of course it is about saving money. People always seem to be so surprised when a company tries to make more money. That’s what they all do. If t-mobile is going to expand and add new services the money is going to come from somewhere. It is better to let them cut some costs rather than more rate hikes. Yeah they are going to have to do some of the things the larger carriers do because that’s what you have to do to become that large.

  • Derek Deulus

    I’m happy that they have decided not to charge people for paper bills. I think it was a “dick” move to start. You can’t “force” your customers to go green. Not everyone has that same thought process. And I know that really for t-mobile it was about saving money, but when I first got the notice from t-mobile I was soo angry. It wasn’t the dollar-somthing charge, (lets face it, its penny’s compared to the entire bill), that made me angry, it was the whole principle behind the idea. I almost considered switching carriers and writing t-mobile customer relations about how I felt on the whole thing. I did call customer service, but they didn’t do anything…shocker for me because they are usually so accommodating. Forcing your customers to go to e-billing is an f*ing joke. As steve mentioned above, t-mobile is all about, at least advertisement wise, being the cheaper alternative to the big corporate ATT/Verizon money greedy companies.

  • Jay

    I completely agree Steve. What originally attracted me to T-Mobile was that it was a MUCH better value than Verizon and AT&T. Over the past couple months they have been increasing their rate plans and hiking up certain fees. While they are still a better value than Verizon, the margin has grown paper thin. A comparable Verizon plan would only cost me $5 more per month. With my old plan the difference was $15 per month. T-Mobile does give me good coverage overall, but Verizon has better coverage. We’ll see how the next year goes, if T-Mobile continues to increase their rate plans and fees then there is no reason to choose T-Mobile over Verizon.

    Sorry guys, I’m not a Verizon fan or anything. Actually I really liked T-Mobile back in 2007 when I first signed up. It’s just with all these new rate increases and new fees T-Mobile is looking less attractive to me.

  • Steve

    Let me clarify something. I am NOT against paperless billing. In fact I was using it before this entire fiasco and will continue to do so.

    But I firmly believe people should be given a choice and not strong-armed into doing something by not allowing people to leave ETF free. That really, really got me mad! If Tmobile wants to charge a $10 fee for paper billing or anything else for that matter I could care less BUT first don’t hide behind the “green movement”. That’s plain dishonest and second allow people who can’t afford or won’t pay the fee to leave penalty free. At least it is their individual choice and their right! Tmobile was making material changes to contract terms and conditions and then telling their customers to suck it up even if you don’t like tough…because we simply won’t let you out of your contract! That is crap!

    Again, all of the decisions listed in my earlier post make me question what Tmobile is trying to do. To me they are all about value and great customer service. If that changes I should be allowed to take my business elsewhere.

  • Kershon

    I joined T-Mobile in February of this year. I have had at one time or another every carrier in my area except AT&T. Their customer service is great, the coverage is good, and their rates were the best around here. But to charge someone to get a paper bill is outrageous. The green excuse is bs. I agree that the cost of T-Mo plans are going up but if I cancel my service and pay the ETF would not be worth it. I have 3 lines, including hotspot at home. I would never have Verizon again because their rates are too high plus their phones are loaded with bloatware. Sprint is a cdma carrier and I like the ability to swap sim cards in my phones, plus I can talk and use data at the same time. And ATT is too wrapped up in their ijunk. So I guess I will stay with T-Mo and maybe they will see the error of their ways.

  • TmoFoSHo

    Way to go tmoby you made a bunch people swicth with the fear of being charged then reverse your policy ,which most customers wont even know about so they still go green and you save on paper cost…LOL

    @Jay and others….And as far as per sms rates going up doesnt everyone have unlimited anyway???? and as for family text rate going up ..if youve been with tmo what the hell does it matter your granfathered in at the 19.95 rate so whats the beef and new customers still save over the others out there and as far as the data phone crap with required features your required a 14.99 ULtext 24.99data only or package for 34.99 who the hell wants a pda without at least one of these anyway as for rate plans the 1800 min ftplan and 49.99 loyalty are killer and now with tmo offering the loyalty plan to flex pay as well and were seeing some way in the future to finally switch from flex to post

    @Danny,Able,Torben..you couldnt just print from the email or go to tmo.com, if you needed a hardcopy. and sure emails can be deleted that why you use 555-555-5555@tmomail.net for you emails on tmobile.com and get it as a text alert instead

  • kanehi

    TMo has the most affordable plan. Even with the $1.50 surcharge it’s still a bargain. Sometimes I get 7 pieces of paper just for billing. Imagine sending out those pages in the thousands! And people just throw them away afterwards. Paper goods aren’t cheap and ink also costs a bundle. And don’t forget the postal charge just to mail them even though it’s in bulk. I do believe some people aren’t internet savvy and never even have access to the internet to go paperless. But in the long run it will save TMo money and save the environment at the same time. And hopefully those savings are passed on in a form of even more cheaper services!

  • Ray

    Careful folks…. they’re only changing the rules on ONE TYPE of paper bill – the “summary” bill will remain free, but a “detailed” bill is still being charged $1.99 per month.