T-Mobile today announced it is doing away with all talk, text and data overage charges for its customers and it’s challenging AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to follow suit.
The carrier claims that more than 20 million people in the U.S. were stuck with overage charges in 2013 and that the three biggest U.S. carriers raked in more than $1 billion combined off the practice.
“Charging overage fees is a greedy, predatory practice that needs to go,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. “Starting in May for bills arriving in June – regardless of whether you’re on Simple Choice, Simple Starter or an older plan, we’re abolishing overages for good. Period.”
In addition to its new promise to customers, T-Mobile has also launched a petition  directed at getting AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to cease all overage charges.
T-Mobile said in a press release that a $45 entry-level plan at AT&T could run as much as $125 if the customer uses 1.5 GB per month. On AT&T’s website, all plans with 1 GB of data and up experience $15/GB charges if the data cap is exceeded.
At Verizon, a single line plan with unlimited talk and text plus 1 GB for $60 will charge a $15 overage for an additional 500MB while the $75/2 GB plan charges a $15 overage for an addition 1 GB.
Sprint does not specify overage charge cost totals for customers exceeding data caps but does indicate it will notify users when they reach certain percentages of their data allowances so they can “prevent overage.”
Those in the cable industry who favor the consumption model for billing have always pointed to the success of that model in the wireless space. T-Mobile is complicating the issue with the announcement it is doing away with all talk, text and data overage charges for its customers, and its challenge to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to follow suit.