Should T-Mobile charge overages on their 200MB plan?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| August 12, 2011

So T-Mobile has been up to quite a few changes over the last several months, riding the customer satisfaction rollercoaster much in the same way that AT&T and Verizon have. While the Magenta network may be switching things around, their changes don't seem to be as overpowering as some other alterations from other carriers, which may soften the blow for the network's most recent scheduled changes. Or it may not, seeing as people hate extra charges, even if the charges aren't as ubiquitous as some would believe.

The latest and greatest plan change for T-Mobile USA focuses on the users utilizing that 200MB per month data plan. 200MB may not be a lot of data, and I'm sure that the majority of you out there could probably use that much in a week's time; but some folks out there really only need a limited amount every month. But no matter how hard you try, overages are always a possibility, and now T-Mobile is looking to capitalize on that possibility. That's right, overage charges are coming to the 200MB plan, taking off on the 14th of this month.

What that means, is that while you are given 200MB to use as you wish over the course of a month, the moment you go over that specific amount the carrier will start charging you extra fees. As it stands right now, T-Mobile will only be charging ten cents per megabyte, which isn't bad. What makes it better, though, is the fact that customers will only be charged up to either $40 or $45, depending on your plan. So it is good news that people won't be able to rack up a ridiculously large bill.

While this may seem like a negative move on T-Mobile's par, I really don't think it is. After all, there really isn't anything stopping the carrier from charging ridiculous rates for going over your agreed allotment, but they went the better route. Additionally, it isn't like T-Mobile had to keep the 200MB plan at all. The carrier could have easily dropped the minimal plan altogether and told subscribers to bump up their plan, and monthly price. Any or all of that could have happened, but instead we're just talking about reasonably priced overage charges.

But I know that not everyone is going to see this as a positive, and I understand that. But like I just said, things could be much worse. T-Mobile seems to be trying their best to stay positive in the customer's eye, whether that means by still offering unlimited tiered data plans, even if there is fine print to go along with it. They are trying and that has to count for something. Then again, on the other hand, this could all be a move to test the waters before Magenta permanently pulls the carpet out from under the 200MB plan and removes it from plan options. It wouldn't be impossible for this to happen, even if it does seem to be unlikely at this point.

How does T-Mobile stand in comparison to the other major wireless networks? Are they doing everything they can to stay relevant, or are they simply biding their time before they become more like the others? Let me know in the comments what you think.