T-Mobile’s #AbolishOverages petition passes 250,000 signatures, Legere will send a message to other carriers


Last year, John Legere launched a petition in an effort to get AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon to end overages just like it had done. Legere promised to “send a message that they won’t be able to ignore” if the petition reached 250,000 signatures, and now it’s done just that.

Legere’s Change.org petition is sitting at 259,066 signatures as of this writing, which the T-Mobile CEO says makes it the No. 1 technology petition on the website. Now that the petition has amassed one quarter of a million names, Legere is following through on his promise and wants our help deciding what type of message to send to the other three major US carriers:

  • Skyline Takeover: Display a huge copy of the Change.org petition and its signatures on a building in AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint’s home market.
  • Skywriting: Skywrite a message over the headquarters of the other carriers.
  • Overage Counter: A live counter that’ll show a running tally of the amount of money that customers of the other carriers have spent in overages. The counter will be placed in the middle of a carrier’s home market.


To vote for the message that you’d like T-Mobile to send, you need to hop on to Twitter and post a Tweet with the hashtag #tmobileskyline, #tmobileskywriting, or #tmobileoveragecounter. You’ll be able to vote during the coming week, and once the time is up, T-Mo will tally up the votes and put into action the winning message.

We’ve seen the other three US carriers follow in T-Mobile’s footsteps with many of its Un-carrier moves, but abolishing overages doesn’t appear to be one change that they’re interested in taking. And while we’ll have to wait and see if some skywriting or a live overage counter will finally get them to let their customers live an overage-free life like the Magenta Army, these messages will at least highlight the fact that the other three major US carriers are still milking their subscribers for overage charges.

Which message do you want to see T-Mobile send to its competition?

Source: T-Mobile

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  • Overages is pure profit. I mean honestly, do you really think 1GB of data is $1 let alone $10-30 that other carriers charge. Pushing 1GB of extra data cost the carriers something like 2 cents. They’ll follow Tmo in other things but not data simply because Americans are so used at overpaying, we actually think what they’re giving us is reasonable.

    • yankeesusa

      Agreed. I’m hoping T-Mobile keeps growing and someone invests in them soon.

    • David

      This! agree. With T-mobile being still relatively small and the duo have better network because historically they were given all the premium low band frequency for free, duo have no motivation to charge less.
      We need T-Mobile to be stronger and have low band frequency so it can build just as good network to beat verizon and AT&T.

      • Phone Guy

        But part of me does not want them to build out the same huge network. Now we have great roaming agreements anyway. Imagine covering the population of N. and S. Dakota, and Wyoming with coverage. Imagine the cost of the rollout and support it, staffing the maintenance of the towers in states that have 3 residents and 323 horses. All kidding aside, to maintain and keep updating networks in sparsely populated states costs tons of money and brings per consumer/customer cost up. I would like coverage to get better but don’t need to see the footprint of ATT or VZ in remote areas. Look at AK for an example. Nobody has coverage there except a few sparse areas. Wouldn’t be smart, and would drive per unit cost up.

        And if I decide to become a trucker or move to WY on a regular basis, then I will pick VZ for their higher priced more ubiquitous coverage.

  • Goat

    I like the skyline as it’s more permanent.

    • Sean

      Nonsense. It’ll be gone in 10 minutes.

      • gmo8492

        I think you have it mixed up, “skyline” is a huge banner ad that will be posted on a building like the ones in big cities like NYC. “Skywriting” is the one that they will just write a message in the air.

  • Deadeye37

    Whatever is decided, I hope that its not the skywriting idea. Looks cool (especially if you’re watching it happen), but it lasts all of 10 minutes before its gone. Personally, I like the idea of taking over a building’s wall with a huge banner. That is very hard to miss! However, a running counter of the overages on a billboard posted on a main road that is up for several months would be really good too.

    • I completely agree. I’m not sure between the building take over with the huge banner or the billboard with the overages count.

    • Phone Guy

      The $300 Skywriting event will make it on every news channel across the country and be viewed by millions of people. So its not such a bad idea. They will call the media out to film it. It will be on every tech blog too. All three events will cost pennies of their advertising budget. The real news is all the geeks that are talking about it and spreading the news.

  • running counter of the overage charges

    • Phone Guy

      How about the sound of dimes hitting the floor as you use your data …constantly clacking against a wood cement floor sound while you are going over. :)

  • jpswain

    I left AT&T 10 years ago over overages and paid the early termination fees that they extort. Everything about AT&T is synonymous with consumer fraud. It’s too bad that those duplicitous scoundrels do not sue me for making these statements, but they won’t, because they know that what i say is true.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Yet there is one (no, not some) who claimed AT&T was the most ethical carrier of them all. *shrug*

      Don’t worry, he’s been banned, but for other reasons.

  • VG

    The overage counter would be awesome. Analogous to the Federal Debt Counter in NYC that got a lot of press coverage over the years.

  • Ryanide

    Just like everything else in America, Greedy Corporations run amok, will never stop without something drastic. They just bleed us till we’re dry.

    I believe the building wall might be better, but, seeing a running total on a billboard might make several people scratch their heads and switch to T-Mobile in a wake-up call. Because without them switching, the other 3 may just look at those amounts running, and smile at how they’re making killer profits.

    • Ryanide

      Oh, and it’s also pretty sad that the big 2 carriers Pre-Paid offerings are cheaper than their Post-Paid plans, which is due to the robust choices of many Pre-Paid carriers.

      There are no overages in the big 2 carriers Pre-Paid plans. In fact, AT&T gives you unlimited data on Pre-Paid. You chose between 1.5GB or 4GB of LTE, then you either optionally pay for more or you drop to 2G speeds, much like T-Mobile’s plans. Verizon is much worse, you pay for your plan, then get your data cut off completely if you don’t pay for extra. Guess AT&T has the idea better between the big 2 carriers here.

      If only all carriers could offer data at a more reasonable price, and make it unlimited, just throttled after your allotment, both Pre-Paid & Post-Paid.

    • It takes two to be greedy. Your complaint about overages is as greedy as them. Were you so generous, you’d be overpaying for everything you buy till you were dry and not minding it.

    • carol argo

      I know corporate want money ,but don’t they get the point that they re limiting their option.can you imagine if I could play wow in an augmented reality fashion .i remember when wow or everquest went online.it waa a nightmare for everybody .same thing is happening all over again but now at the cell tower level. Bottom line is if cell provider dont make serious effort ,someone else will .but you cannot stop progress on That front. People want augmented reality entertainement. Imagine you go to your favorite local spot and boom event is happenening . It sound ludicrous? It’s not . Augmented reality entertainement Is just around the corner. You think google is making path via fiber, onhub, and FI for the lol of it? Nope they do it because it will be needed for augmented reality entertainement. Online gaming as passed tv a long time ago in term of revenue. Yep ,some people are selling A BIG NOTHING. Nobody could have known people would love it.but the fact is :we are all waiting to be wowed by augmented reality entertainement

    • Phone Guy

      Plus the billboards and skywriting are not where the attention is coming from. Its from all his tweets saying he is going to do this. SkyWriting may cost a few hundred dollars at each locations. The billboards, what, a few thousand. Its a fraction of a penny in their advertising budget. But all the hoopla that John has gotten from saying he is going to do this (and spending less than probably 20K in advertising money) has got T-Mobile a ton of attention. Plus once the media is alerted, it will be on every nightly news channel. Three billboards will be on everyone’s tv and newspaper overnight. Clever campaign.

  • Paul

    AAHAHAHahahahahaaaa, that’s awesome!

  • carol argo

    Hey cell provider:adopt a simple way like google fi. This way everybody win and we (user) can go next gen (augmented reality real Time live)

    • Phone Guy

      Google Fi is not good for most. See, that’s the beauty of Choice. T-Mobile, with a smaller network, but free wi-fi calling from around the world, free texting, data and 20 cent calls in 120 countries. Verizon, for awesome US coverage but you get raped everywhere else in the world. If I used Google FI, my bill would double. Its perfect for the person that used one or two gigs only but more than that and it starts to be a rip off.

  • Android_God

    Sounds like his bag-O-tricks is running out.

    • Paul Garrison

      What tricks? No matter what carrier you with, he has lowered your bill. I say keep it up.

      • Android_God

        The bag it runith low, PAL!

        • YOURLAME

          your bag maybe.

        • Steven

          Apparently your’s is. Originality must be hard….

    • Anthony S Jennings

      One mans “he’s running out of tricks” is another mans “he’s keeping a promise he made last year that no one remembers.” Good on John Legere!

    • Phone Guy

      His bag o tricks only benefit you and every consumer. Nice thinking Android_Idiot.

    • gmo8492

      Stop pushing a shopping cart and take off that tin foil hat already.

  • pramarama

    Stupid question here. I know, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people. Why does he want other carriers to abolish overages? Doesn’t he want that advantage over them? I’m sure he knows they won’t abolish overages, and then he can beat them over the head with that even more.

    • Fabian Cortez

      The industry needs to change.

      Look where we are with 2-year service contracts. Getting the other carriers to get rid of service contracts doesn’t help T-Mobile win customers.

      Maybe this is more proof that he’s actually here to make changes and not to fatten T-Mobile up for sale like many others have incorrectly surmised.

      • RLB63

        Are you serious?

        The one benefiting from no contacts the most is T-Mobile. Why do you think Sprint is coping it? It’s not because it is great for us!

        They now get is to pay way more for the phones ANY they lock is in better than with the old contacts. The cost to paying off you’re phone is actually higher than buying out your contact in the old days if you want to leave. So he has customers buying the koolaide…..

        • Fabian Cortez

          Are you serious?

          The one benefiting from no contacts the most is T-Mobile. Why do you think Sprint is coping it? It’s not because it is great for us!

          They now get is to pay way more for the phones ANY they lock is in better than with the old contacts. The cost to paying off you’re phone is actually higher than buying out your contact in the old days if you want to leave. So he has customers buying the koolaide…..

          When your mother purchases a phone with a 2-year service contract, what happens on the 25th month? The 26th month? The 27th month? Etc.

          Now what happens on those same months with a phone purchased via EIP?

          Not to mentioned the extra ~$20 or more they charge per month for service on 2-year contracts.

          I’ll leave the math in your hands kind sir.

  • JBLmobileG1

    Eventually the carriers will propbably offer very similar plans. The ones who succeed will have the most coverage for the customers and whi has the best all around signal, data speed, and customer service etc. If Tmobile was smart they would try to bring in some impressive and exclusive phones that people would want…. from your everyday joe to your high end tech nerd. This will probably be thw future. Look at it like video game systems… now a days it really all boils down to the exclusives and who has what. If Tmobile could pull in some more deals like they did back in the day with the First Android phone, the G1, they could take it all to the top!

    • justanormalguy13

      More exclusives!!!

      Said no one ever.

      Do the overage counter, it’ll stay there for a while hopefully. Sky writing won’t.

    • gmo8492

      They did launch T-Mobile underground which was meant for that purpose, but they really haven’t done much with it.

  • steven berson

    Lets not spend money like that. Use the money to add even more value for new and existing customers =)

  • Mike Palomba

    Honestly if Verizon and ATT were to get rid of overages and drop there prices just a little bit more then I’m sure a whole lot of people, including me, would switch. T-Mobile is great but you can’t beet Verizon’s coverage.

    • Steven

      Exactly why this is one big game of “chicken” that Legere knows will never happen. Yet it drives eyes to T-Mobile through aggressive “stance driven” marketing.

  • Mike Palomba

    I like the billboard idea but they would have to put them up in several cities for anyone to really notice it

    • Phone Guy

      One billboard will garnish nationwide TV coverage so most people in the US (not just those reading these blogs) may get a chance to see them. It will do the job quite well.

  • carol argo

    Sorry ,I don’t spoon feed,google is there for that

  • kgraham182

    AT&T and Verizon should create a petition called #EstablishCoverages, lol.

    • gmo8492

      Maybe they should drop out of the spectrum auction to give T-Mobile the upper hand since that would be the primary goal of that campaign. :P

  • UralBas

    Interestingly, why did Tmobile overcharge for international calls for some people that nevet make them.

    Sorry Tmobile, don’t buy it.

    Do agree you handle it better than ATT, though don’t say you abolished something you have not. Just found a new way to do so.

  • shamatuu

    option #1 and 3 are good either one are better than number 2

  • gmo8492

    I can’t decide between the giant banner or the overage counter. I think either one would be a good choice rather than the sky message.

  • Stumptown Retro

    #3. Telling people their carrier sucks is good, but showing them how much is very very different. Since Verizon is slowly coming around now they dropped all contracts we should put the pressure on AT&T.