Legere attacks USA TODAY for reporting on allegations against T-Mobile

Labor unions have had their problems with T-Mobile. The National Labor Relations Board ruled against T-Mobile earlier this year, deeming it crossed federal labor laws by not allowing its employees to join or form a union. Big Magenta is about into another fight, this one against consumer advocates on its basic premise of being the “Un-carrier.”

USA TODAY reports that a labor and consumer organization called Change to Win is alleging to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that T-Mobile is deceptively advertising that its users can switch off to other carriers at anytime.

The New York Attorney General is also investigating related claims.

91 percent of T-Mobile customers are tethered to device loans being paid off in installments over a two year period. Early termination of that equipment installment plan (EIP) requires a lump sum payment of the balance on the device.

For some, that balance could total more than a traditional early termination fee (ETF). The Change to Win complaint also claims that some contract breakers could get placed in debt collection “with little or no notice.” The group wants T-Mobile to stop claiming it pays off customers’ ETFs and/or EIPs.

Advocacy group Color of Change says blacks and Latinos are disproportionately affected by the advertising policy.

Initial requests to T-Mobile for comment were received, but not returned. After the story’s publication, T-Mobile CEO John Legere vehemently denied the allegations and has accused USA TODAY of bias, even checkbook journalism.

Legere also dropped a screenshot of the USA TODAY article with a Sprint ad spot — which is a very disingenuous claim of partiality, especially given how Google AdChoices works by parsing through your browsing history to serve relevant ads.

T-Mobile has rightly earned positive coverage from most of the tech media. But if this is how it addresses reportage of allegations, perhaps we should be skeptical.

Source: Change to Win (CPFB Complaint, White Paper on T-Mobile), USA TODAY
Via: Phandroid, CNET

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.