By Joe Levi | August 1, 2011 3:48 PM
According to TMO News, T-Mobile just published a policy to their employees and franchisees regarding data plans. At first glance, some are interpreting the memo to mean that all smartphones, even those “paid in full” (unsubsidized) must pay for data plans. Luckily, that’s not the case.
What the memo seems to be saying is that a “bug” in the T-Mobile internal software might allow someone to buy an unsubsized smartphone and get out of their old, contracted data plan. Confused yet? You’re not alone.
The is a murky cloud that hangs over people wanting to go off-contract. In the United States, when you sign up for a cellular plan, you will likely sign up under a contract (two-years is a common length), rather than pre- or post-paid, or pay-as-you-go.
This contract usually allows you “purchase” a phone at a reduced cost. Essentially, you’ll pay for a part of your phone up front and spread out the remaining cost over the following 24-months.
That’s where things get more confusing. With all the changes to data plans that have happened in recent months, many are being tempted to drop their “unlimited” plans in favor of the new, cheaper (but throttled) plans.
Part of T-Mobile wants you to do this so they can “free-up” bandwidth for everybody else. Another part of T-Mobile doesn’t want you to do this because you may not have finished “paying off” your old phone yet.
Back to the leaked memo. With all that context laid out, what some people were doing was buying new phones “out-of-pocket” (at “full price”) so they could get a cooler phone, and were using that as an excuse (or opportunity) to sign up for the new, cheaper data plans. The current setup on T-Mobile’s internal software allowed Customer Service Representatives to do this, even though the probably shouldn’t have. The leaked memo simply tells CSRs not to do that any more, and that a “fix” will be put in place that will prevent them from “accidentally” doing so in the future.
Hopefully that clears it all up for you!
Source: TMo News