T-Mobile will ‘migrate’ customers to higher cost plans

Starting November 1, T-Mobile plans to force customers in a number of its wireless plans to upgrade to higher-tier plans, which just happen to cost more.

Affected customers will be notified by text and email, beginning on October 17, according to a memo posted on a reddit forum.

Affected plans include Simple Choice, Magenta, Magenta 55+ and One Plan.

The memo says, “We are performing a rate plan migration of a small portion of consumer and business accounts to newer rate plans, starting with the November bill cycle. Customers will receive an SMS and email with their new plan details and explaining they have the ability to opt out by calling Care.”

According to The Mobile Report, which first noticed the reddit thread, the price increases will vary depending on the plan a subscriber is migrated to. But most price increases will be $5 or $10 per line, per month.

Commenters on reddit were pretty disgusted.

One person said it’s “just a tactic to get those who aren’t paying attention onto a higher plan and pay for it.”

Another person claimed to have seen the script that T-Mobile customer care agents will use when subscribers call Care to opt out. If a subscriber says they have seen TV commercials about T-Mobile's price lock guarantee, the customer service rep will be prompted to say, "We are not raising the price of any of our plans; we are moving you to a newer plan with more benefits at a different cost.”

Ever since T-Mobile announced its new Go5G plans earlier this year, some analysts have predicted that it would just be a tactic to raise prices.

556 Ventures analyst Bill Ho previously told Fierce that T-Mobile wants to move people off its older plans to new plans in order to increase average revenue per user (ARPU). Every upgrade typically helps the ARPU or the ARPA story, especially when people are on plans that are three or four years old, he said in August.

Around that same time, Light Shed analysts Walter Piecyk and Joe Galone wrote that T-Mobile was following a “classic 2-step move implemented by countless legacy carriers to increase ARPU.” 

Step 1: introduce higher priced rate plans with “more stuff.”
Step 2: Eliminate the lower priced versions of that plan. 

They also wrote, “It might be harder for T-Mobile to increase price given its market positioning as the price leader and its #Uncarrier consumer friendly brand.” But they said the price increases are “logical” and “inevitable.”