T-Mobile charges for voice calls on unlimited plan

On my recent T-Mobile bill I was charged for “out of plan voice calls.” It was not a substantial amount, just one cent per minute for the two hour long calls. They were calls into a client’s conference calls. T-Mobile responded when I asked about these charges, made on a plan that offers unlimited voice calling in North America:

“I completely understand where you are coming from, I know I like to know exactly what to expect when it comes to being billed. In this case you are correct that voice call are free, but that whys these call are labeled out of plan, so in our terms and condition we can let you know what to expect. I do also want to point out that we are not charging you for this call, this is the cost that the service you used charged you, and the bill is submitted through us. This is like a hotline or religious 800 number that has a fee attached to calling! Does that help clarify?”

Well, no. An unlimited voice plan means the ability to call any number in North America with a conventional area code without wondering if you are going to be charged. But it seems every plan has an exception, and I just stumbled upon one. By doing this T-Mobile has undermined their credibility about everything they say.  That positioning is about simplicity and criticizing their competitors for hidden fees and surprises. One might argue that it’s just pennies, but this is a principle worth fighting for. First a few cents for one exception and then many dollars for something else.It reminds me of United’s argument that just because you paid for a ticket and found your seat on a plane, it doesn’t mean the right to fly to your destination. Read the exceptions to our policy!Like United, T-Mobile should put themselves in the position of the customer and meet or exceed their expectations, and not try to explain it away.

by Phil Baker