T-Mobile announced their new UNcarrier approach back in late-March and since that point they have begun offering the new Simple Choice plans. These plans are being touted as not having a two-year agreement and while that seems to be an accurate description, there is a catch. These plans offer devices with an initial downpayment followed by an additional 24 monthly payments.
Basically, while not technically on-contract, those 24 payments essentially lock the user in for the same two-years. There is the option to pay full retail up front, however the Attorney General has recently taken issue with what they are describing as “T-Mobile’s deceptive no-contract advertising.” The Attorney General has said their job is to defend customers and ensure truth in advertising and as such, they have filed a court order with T-Mobile.
It was said that T-Mobile has been cooperating and as a result, they will be required to adequately disclose that customers who leave before those 24 payments are taken care of, would be required to pay the balance in full upon cancellation. Other points as cited in this court filing include how T-Mobile cannot misrepresent customers’ true obligations as well as how they need to train customer service representatives to comply with the settlement within 21 days of signing.
Basically, it looks like those venturing into a T-Mobile location a few weeks from now will be getting quite a bit more information at the time of purchase. Additional points in this court order touch on how T-Mobile will need to instruct representatives to fully disclose obligations under the terms of its contracts, develop a “Frequently Asked Questions” on the topic and clearly state in all advertisements the true cost of telephone equipment.[via 9to5 Mac]