T-Mobile Changes To Domestic Data Roaming Detailed, Confirmed For April 5th

Well we can now chalk this “rumor” firmly up in the “confirmed” category for April 5th as we’ve gotten our hands on some more detail for T-Mobile’s planned changes to domestic data roaming plans. Right away, T-Mobile does point out:

“Domestic data roaming will not be subject to data speed reduction. The allotment will be reset with each bill cycle. After the allotment is reached, the customer will no longer have data roaming access until they return to the T-Mobile network or connect via Wi-Fi if they have a Wi-Fi capable device.”

T-Mobile will begin notifying customers in early February via bill insert, email and SMS introducing the new domestic data roaming plans. The domestic roaming data allotments will apply to all existing and grandfathered data plans and in T-Mobile’s words “…will help T-Mobile reduce data roaming costs in order to continue providing the most competitive pricing options…While domestic data roaming allotments are new for T-Mobile, they are currently used across the wireless industry and are quite common with other carriers. It is expected that few customers use enough domestic data while roaming to be impacted by this change.”

On April 5th, customers roaming outside of T-Mobile’s data network will be notified via text message when they reach both 80% and 100% of their domestic roaming data allotment.

So who and what are exempt from these new data roaming plans?

  • Business/Government accounts
  • Small Business Accounts
  • T-Mobile employee accounts
  • Mobile broadband rate plans
  • Voice domestic roaming
  • Text and picture messaging while roaming domestically
  • International voice and data roaming

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  • Tazy254

    What if this affects the owner of the line because he travels a lot because of his job can this count for a ETF waiver? Thanks to anyone who answers.

    • Detox702

      Materially Adverse Change to the terms of your contract. I’m no legal expert, but I’m pretty sure if you can prove this you can get out ETF free. 

      • Anonymous

        No, T-Mobile’s definition of Materially Adverse means that it changes your set monthly charges. T-Mobile has no control over how much your job requires you to travel and will not waive the etf for this.

        • Tazy254

          So there is no way I can get out of my contact right now? My brother really wants the iPhone on sprint

        • Guest

          No. Your ETF if a valid charge and would not be waived.

        • Tazy254

          But what if I was with them for that very roaming reason and I explain how it Would be a problem for me

        • Tazy254

          And hopefully you can try to help me find a way to use this to get out of my contact?Thanks anyways

    • Guest

       Don’t let these ETF deniers scare you. If you are persistent, they will waive ETF for this.

      If you are in California, file a complaint with the CPUC (or the Public Utilities Commission in your state) describing the circumstances.

      It won’t happen overnight, but they actually will respect if you get the government involved.

    • :)

       Your employer can provide you with a phone for work purposes.

  • Jcj1

    How much data do you use when roaming? Is your phone just sitting there, sending SMS or calling, if so your not affected. It is only affecting people who use alot of data when outside t-mobile coverage. 

  • eYe

    Well, this definitely affects me.  I have to go to Minot, ND every other week.  T-mobile has no service there whatsoever, I’m roaming off AT&T and US Comm (whatever that is).  I’m not doing anything special or data intensive (and how can I on edge?)… facebook/twitter sync, email, few trips with navigation.  I have wifi in the hotel but I still end up using about 200mb every visit.  My wife travels few times a month as well, not sure what her usage is but having no data is absolutely unacceptable for her.  I guess this is is… Big Red is calling us.  Too bad, it’s been fun 14 years with T-Mobile.

  • eYe

    Did you try zooming in?  There dead spots everywhere… I can roam in at least 4 spots within 2 miles from my house yet I get excellent 4G coverage in apartment.

  • e4e5nf3nc6

    I just had an 18 minute long recorded conversation with a T-Mobile representative guaranteeing me there would be no changes to data roaming on April 5th. While I understand that this article is correct and she is in fact misinformed, I may end up being exempt from this now because of that. I recently moved to an area that has no T-Mobile coverage, so I am greatly affected by this new policy. I’ll probably just get out of my contract armed with more ammunition in order to not have to pay any severance fees. By the way people, don’t let them try to charge you a cancellation fee if you decide to go that route because of this…these ARE NOT the terms you agreed to when starting your service agreement!

    • Tmo Ninja

      Read those Terms and Conditions again.. T-Mobile can’t change the amount they charge you, but they can change how to define it.. If they choose to charge ETF, they can. And recording a call without notifying both parties is entrapment sir… Not admissible in court.

      • e4e5nf3nc6

        Read your laws again. Only a single party needs to be aware the call is being recorded, including yourself. Also the call is already being recorded by T-Mobile, AND I notified the woman I spoke with. So, I’m a little confused about what you’re basing any of those things on. Secondly, if you want to badly enough you can get out of a contract without an ETF based on changes to the way your plan works. I’ve done it before, both parents have done it, friends have done it, and ALL involved can do it again. I agreed to X, it doesn’t matter what their terms and conditions say. I did not agree to changes to X that which I have no control over.

        • Tmo Ninja

          Keep telling yourself that.. I am merely trying to tell you that you’re not going to be getting out of the contract unless you physically LIVE in a non-tmobile coverage area.. If you travel through it or visit it, then you will be paying an ETF.

        • e4e5nf3nc6

          And I’ve stated in the OP that I’ve moved to a no coverage area. So, again, I’m confused about the necessity of your comments …

        • :)

           You chose to move to a non T-Mobile area, they no longer allow you out of the contract for that. #Check on changes before you make changes.

        • trife

          Reading: fundamental.

        • Knowledge

          You may want to read the terms or service again. it specifically mentions impacts to your allotment of minutes or data.” (B) WE MATERIALLY DECREASE THE SERVICE ALLOTMENTS WE AGREED TO PROVIDE TO YOU FOR YOUR MONTHLY RECURRING CHARGE;” since you are going from being able to roam to your plan limit, or 50% of your data limit in 3 months in a12 month period, they are making a change to your allotment by reducing your roaming ability to under 5% of your allotment. Pretty clear case or a material change in your allotment.

        • Tmo Ninja

          Read the terms of service again and it also says you agree to arbitration and have no right to take the company to court so the OP cannot use that recorded conversation.. Also, according to federal laws it is up to the state in which the person you are recording is in whether you need to notify them or not.. So I will just say one more time that what you did is entrapment. T-Mobile Notifies you that they are recording your call for quality and training purposes for that exact reason.

        • Tazy254

          So what you’re saying is that I can cancel without paying ETF for this ? How do I do it ? Who do I call ? When do I call ? And what do I say ? Thank you very much for anything you answer back or to anyone who answers

        • :)

           You’re paying an ETF. Get over it.

    • Guest

      If you dont live in a T-mobile coverage area and you are roaming 24/7… you will become an EON customer and they will flag your acct to be canceled without an ETF anyways… (Excessive Off Network or Excessive Roamer)… However it takes a few months for this process to occur.

    • Intheknow

      Recording a conversation will not allow you out of the contract…even if you were given misinformation.

  • Rob M

    This will be really bad for the thousands of people like me who go skiing in Southern Vermont from very populated places like Massachusetts and NYC where there are bound to be a ton of T-mobile customers. When I go to Stratton on weekends mine and my girlfriend’s phones are stuck on AT@T the whole time. Looks like I will be looking for a new carrier unless they deploy some towers in Vermont by next ski season:(

    • :)

       You’re going skiing. This doesn’t effect voice or text. It is data and I”m sure there is wi-fi available like 90% of hotels. Stop whining!

  • Intheknow

    I would be willing to bet that 95% of you complaining about this change won’t even be affected.  Get over it.

    • Really get over it…

      Even if you are not effected by it initially it is likely you will experience the wall sometime. For me it will be each time I vist my cabin. While I won’t be effected daily once or twice a month I will no longer be able to use the service offered to me at the time I signed my contract. Which is the point of a contract I swear I will pay them on time for the period of the contract for the services specified. Now T-Mobile is changing the terms part way through. Sounds like a little bait and switch type ploy. I will claim to give you the world until you sign, then I will change the terms, and give you 14 days to notify them you do not agree with the changes. All the while knowing people like you will say oh who cares it won’t really effect me. Don’t get me wrong I likely won’t change my carrier, but I won’t get a T-Mobile tablet like I was considering, it will need to be a Verizon one so I won’t be roaming.

    • guest

      I live in wyoming as a student and I want to kill my self running out of data the first 2 dats of my billing period..

  • Bsolucky

    A few thoughts…

    1. This is obviously in preparation for the UMTS roaming agreement with
    AT&T. Up until now all you could really do with AT&T is EDGE
    roam – there ain’t much you could cost TMO there. With 3G though, the
    sky’s the limit so they’re trying to protect themselves. My guess is
    that the new roaming agreement probably goes into effect sometime around
    April.

    2. While it is reasonable for TMO to put this sort of cap into effect,
    the size of the cap itself is simply ridiculous. On a 5GB plan the cap is only 2%.
    That’s just nuts. A reasonable cap would be in the 5%-10% range.

  • Cissa

    David, were you able to find out about the ETF waiver for this?

  • Anonymous

    Just got my paperless bill online for last month and there’s no word regarding this change. Anyone receive anything official from T-Mo?

  • Rohit Prabhakar

    Please read about this on Tmobile forum 
    http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-3299

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Didn’t we post about this? In fact, isn’t this post about this?

  • Bawlnchayn

    Help me make this change go viral!  Send the info to every news station, FB page, Twitter account, G+… We called last night and they refused to let us out of our “Unlimited” plan without paying for ETF’s because we haven’t used data roaming yet — we just got the data plan a few months ago!!  AND WE GOT IT SO THAT WE COULD GO UNLIMITED ROAMING.  They’re clearly against their Terms and Conditions, Section 6B.  
    You have 14 days to terminate with them (try to argue the ETF’s) from the time you received their insert/email/text, otherwise you “agree” with the change.  
    I didn’t and don’t agree and we made that very clear yesterday to several managers – but they did not care because we hadn’t used data roaming YET.  I even asked if I’d be eligible if I went to the closest roaming tower tomorrow and used 50MB (we have the 2GB plan) if we’d THEN be eligible as we can prove that we WILL use it… they said no, they’ve already decided who will be eligible for terminating without ETF’s.  
    So, those of us that are close to roaming areas, are stuck with limits on an unlimited plan.

    It’s wrong!!!

  • Bawlnchayn

    I have put in a BBB complaint, ConsumerAffairs complaint, posted on every FB page I could think of, even notified the Occupy movement (Hey, BofA really listened to them and all BofA did was try to implement a $5 charge on some stuff!).  We’ve had TMobile for years and I’m so sick of their nasty ways.  Had we not fallen for their “unlimited talk, data, text” plan a few months ago we would’ve been out of our contract last month.  

  • Bawlnchayn

    I tried both, to no avail.  They’re telling people that unless you’ve used more than the 50MB/mo (for the 2GB plan) of data roaming in the last year then you’re not eligible to terminate w/out ETF’s.  They’re CLEARLY breaching their own T and C’s!  I don’t see how some don’t see this.

    They tried to tell me that I will not be affected because I haven’t used data roaming yet – I just got the data plan a few months ago!  I wanted to know how they could possibly tell the future (especially seeing as spring/summer is coming up and we’ll be out and about more), how can they possibly tell me that I will not be affected in the next 1.75 years!!?  They said because I’ve never used the roaming data… UGH!

  • Jay

    Just an update… The lady on the phone at t-mobile said I didn’t qualify for no termination fees after doing a review which I didn’t believe as I’m a truck driver and travel the entire Midwest so I did file a BBB complaint which did work. Some Exec from T-mobile contacted me and said I would be affected and he removed the contract from my account so I ported my number to Verizon on friday and printed the BBB complaint so should a termination fee arrive in the future I can send in their Execs response stating contract has been removed from my account as back up. Going from Unlimited/2 GB high speed to only 50 while roaming definitely wouldn’t work for me so glad things worked out. Good luck to the rest of you that roam in getting out as well.      

  • BP

    I’m one of those tmo customers who recently had my data cut off at 10mb. Long story short, tmo let me out of my contract only after a bbb complaint. Hated making the switch, and with Vz not being a good fit, I am now a Att customer. I’m going to miss magneta………so long

  • Saif Abdur-Rahman

    I’m actually suing T-mobile in small claims for this.  Court date May 24th.  I am NOT an idiot. I can read and know my rights.

    • Angievel

       And I’m taking them to small claims court later this month once local law requirements of allowing them 30 days to resolve the issue. Of course, I’ve been fighting it since I saw the notice but local law insists that once I’m ready to take them to court I have to send one last certified notice giving them 30 more days. Will happily oblige. Their executive office has already called me.