T-Mobile’s prepaid brand, Metro by T-Mobile, is increasing the fee it charges customers that pay their bills via telephone or in-person at retail stores from $4 to $5 beginning September 1.
A T-Mobile spokesman confirmed the fee hike that was first reported by The Desk. The spokesman told FierceWireless that Metro by T-Mobile customers do have other payment options that are free including using autopay, which saves $5 per month per line, or by using the MyMetro application on iOS or Android devices. In addition, he said that customers that pay their bills via the Metro by T-Mobile website won’t be charged a bill payment fee.
Charging customers who pay their bills via the phone or in-person a fee is not a new practice for Metro by T-Mobile. The company says that fees are necessary to offset the costs associated with taking payments this way.
Nevertheless, the increase in fees comes after company executives touted T-Mobile’s commitment to not hiking its rate plan prices to compensate for rising inflation as rivals AT&T and Verizon did earlier this year. Instead, executives have said that their strategy is to increase average revenue per user (ARPU) and service revenue by encouraging customers to move to higher tier rate plans.
In fact, during the company’s 2Q 2022 earnings call with investors T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said that adoption of the company’s Magenta MAX unlimited data plan that costs $85/mo. is so strong that T-Mobile believes the company’s postpaid average revenue per account (ARPA) will increase about 3% this year.