T-Mobile signs court-ordered agreement after ‘deceptive’ no-contract plan advertising

by: Mike StengerApril 25, 2013


T-Mobile announced their new, no-contract Simple Choice Plans last month. While there are technically no contracts, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson discovered the carrier was failing to disclose important information. Because of this, T-Mobile has now entered into a court-ordered agreement.

From the official press release:

[quote qtext=”Today, the Attorney General’s Office filed a court order signed by T-Mobile and effective nationwide that will ensure the company clearly communicates the limitations of its new “no-contract” wireless service plans and allows customers duped by the deceptive ads to exit their contracts with no penalty.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

Under the new no-contract plans, a phone can cost up to $20 per month over 24 months. This is on top of the cost of a data plan, and how T-Mobile makes their money back after selling phones for just $99 or $199.

However, if you decide to cancel your service, you are required to pay for the phone in-full. According to the Attorney General’s Office, this is simply a different kind of two-year agreement, and should have been disclosed in a more direct manner. If you bought a new phone or service from T-Mobile between March 26, and April 25, you can receive a full refund by calling the carrier at 1-877-746-0909.

To make matters worse, T-Mobile is required to contact all customers who purchased between those dates, and “advise them of their right to cancel and obtain a refund”.

  • The United States of America: Where agreeing to pay for the product you purchased is akin to signing a contract….

    • Afaragh

      You *do* know that this is precisely the case any and every time you purchase something, right?

      • My comment was dripping with sarcasm, I thought most people would get that.

  • Yea ok this is just ridiculous!!! Here’s your phone for the down payment and don’t worry if you cancel service you don’t have to finish paying us for the phone WTF? GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER PEOPLE!!!! Did you just expect to leave your phone balance unpaid??? Yea of course you did cause your ignorant!

    • Roberto Mezquia Jr

      Well i didnt’ get into this new contract stuff with them… My basic understanding was that you are on contract to pay off the phone, but i wasn’t aware that you had to pay it all up front when you leave… I assumed T-Mobile will still bill you each month for the device alone… That was my understanding, and i’m sure someone else thought the same thing too! I didn’t think they would give you a phone for $50 and then you can leave and not worry about paying for the phone… That would be just silly..

      • If that was your understanding then I think you need help sir..

        • Jeff Weatherup

          You know, contrary to popular belief, it’s entirely possibly to disagree with someone without being condescending. It might just brighten someone’s day, not to mention yours, by simply being kind.

          • Your right i’m sorry… I don’t feel better do you?

          • Jeff Weatherup

            As a matter of fact, I do. :) I’m being very honest when I say there’s nothing quite like being kind to someone. We all believe different things, but being bitter about it won’t change anything for the better.

    • Fred C.

      Before calling others ignorant, you may want to look in the mirror!

      Many people who went to this deal, as well as many who are looking at it, we’re told that even if they leave T-Mobile, they could just keep making the monthly payments on their device. Basically, it was being sold as two separate things – the service & the device. What Washington state has realized is that T-Mobile was still making them one single deal.

      And just a suggestion based on your comment, take an anger management class.

    • frequency8

      Reading comprehension class might be better.

  • Oli72

    No contract still rocks. The smart ones get it first. Sounds like contract consumers need to talk there carriers.

  • RaptorOO7

    Just another SAG who has no purpose and no one knew his name so now he has to try and make a big splash. Yes people ARE stupid and DON’T read the paperwork and DON’T know what they are signing.

    Glad T-Mobile is clarifying for those too stupid to know what they are signing. I also do not require anger management classes because I teach them already . . . well I don’t but I did see the movie Anger Management and that was enough for me.

    • Mike Reid


      There are too many people who seriously think a high end phone should only cost $200. North America mostly, the land of 2-3 year contracts being standard.

  • monkeypox69

    What? Is someone supposed to be able to just walk away and get a phone that they haven’t paid for? How asinine.

    • frequency8

      No, they want to pay for it. They probably were not happy with the network and just wanted to cancel the service. Then pay off the phone over the 24 months.

  • hrishi

    This doesn’t happen in my country… You want the phone you u buy the phone… it makes you appriciate the phone better
    This is hypocrisy that made america loose so much
    Btw this reminds me of a song that was made specially for usa

    We’ve created us a credit card mess
    We spend the money that we don’t possess
    Our religion is to go and blow it allSo it’s shoppin’ every Sunday at the mall

  • Fii

    How was that ever not clear? It seems like a big fat DUH to me.

  • michael bayazeed

    U pay off the phone then u can cancel the service… Who would think that u can just pay payments on a phone that’s not activated with the service provider that’s giving u the opportunity to have a high end$$ phone in your pocket because not everyone can dish out 700+$ all at once on just a cell phone. If they just let u make payments on the phone and not have the phone service activated with tmobile then people would just make payments on a tmobile phone then turn around and get it unlocked for at&t…. And we all need anger management!

  • This type of clearification is for those people that also require “Caution contents may be hot” warning labels on coffee cups as well.

    • fixxmyhead

      lol. sometimes im embarrassed to be an american

  • Chahk Noir

    Yes, go after the carrier for stupid shit like this, but give them a free pass on redefining the word “unlimited”. Great job, lawmakers. Way to protect the consumer.