Widely considered the US wireless industry's value champion for as long as this writer can remember, T-Mobile has turned a page of sorts after acquiring Sprint, quickly boosting its subscriber numbers to surpass AT&T while gaining an early lead in the 5G field... but also lowering the bar in terms of both customer support and service rates.
Although the "Un-carrier" continues to make headlines from time to time with hefty discounts for new customers and killer loyalty-rewarding deals for existing users, these moves are frequently offset by unpopular changes to older plans and tax hikes you wouldn't have expected to see materialize back in the John Legere era.
The latest such alteration likely to generate some controversy among T-Mo loyalists will add 5 bucks to the $30 currently charged for "Assisted Support" and "Upgrade Support" services starting June 2.
This impacts (or rather can impact) both existing and future T-Mobile subscribers, all of whom will need to cough up $35 instead of $30 for assistance with new account activations, new lines of service, and phone upgrades.
We're obviously talking about a one-time fee here (for each of those actions), but while $5 is certainly no small fortune, the folks over at The T-Mo Report have some very worrying historical data to share on these charges.
Believe it or not, the two fees increased from $25 to $30 a little over a year ago... after already jumping from $20 to $25 earlier that same year. That amounts to a 75 percent (!!!) hike in under 18 months for two services that are likely pretty widely used, presumably generating some nice extra revenue for T-Mobile at a time when Verizonand AT&T are getting flak for more transparently increasing their prices.
Fortunately, there is a way to dodge the Assisted Support Charge and Upgrade Support Charge, as activations and upgrades carried out in the official T-Mobile app and online at MyT-Mobile.com are considered "unassisted" and are thus not subject to these fees.
In other words, Magenta is essentially pushing more customers online, probably aiming among others to lift some of the pressure off its "concierge-like, award-winning" customer care service.