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-   -   Washington AG orders clarification of T-Mobile 'uncarrier' plans, fees (http://forums.macnn.com/113/tech-news/500094/washington-ag-orders-clarification-t-mobile/)

 
NewsPoster Apr 25, 2013 03:35 PM
Washington AG orders clarification of T-Mobile 'uncarrier' plans, fees
T-Mobile's newly-launched <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/284297==http://www.electronista.com/articles/13/03/25/uncarrier.plans.start.from.50.unlimited.4g.data.fr om.70/" rel='nofollow'>"Uncarrier"</a> plans are seeing some resistance from judicial channels. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has demanded T-Mobile correct "deceptive advertising" that promised customers no annual contracts not requiring the user to "serve a two-year sentence," despite having what the office calls hidden charges for early termination of a new device plan that amounts to the same two-year contractual obligation.<br />
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The new plans start from $50 per month for one phone, which comes complete with unlimited calls, unlimited texts, and 500MB of tethering-enabled data allowance. Extending it to 2GB of data costs an extra $10, then a further $10 for every 2GB extra, with usage that goes past the allowance being throttled down to 2G speeds. New phones are available, with a small or nonexistent initial payment, plus a monthly fee based on the unsubsidized price of the phone.<br />
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"As Attorney General, my job is to defend consumers, ensure truth in advertising, and make sure all businesses are playing by the rules," Ferguson said. "My office identified that T-Mobile was failing to disclose a critical component of their new plan to consumers, and we acted quickly to stop this practice and protect consumers across the country from harm."<br />
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After an investigation of the new T-Mobile offerings, the Attorney General's Office found that the company failed to disclose that customers who purchase a phone using the 24-month payment plan must also carry a wireless service agreement with T-Mobile for the entire 24 months -- in other words, a contract -- and pay the additional monthly fees for the phone or pay the full balance owed on phone if they cancel earlier. <br />
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Customers in Washington state between March 26 and April 25, 2013 are now allowed to return the device and cancel service as a result of the ruling, without being required to pay the remaining balance owed on their devices. Additionally, to avoid litigation, T-Mobile has agreed to clarify customers' obligations to the carrier for the sale of service or equipment; make clearer the consequences of canceling service before a device is completely paid; train customer service representatives on the agreement, and pay attorney fees to the Attorney General's office in the sum of $26,046.40.<br />
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