T-Mobile has begun notifying existing customers with a grandfathered plan that they can no longer keep it and must move to a new one.
The Seattle wireless carrier had allowed some customers to keep their service plans even after it stopped offering them. T-Mobile said it is now retiring those plans permanently.
The move came to light recently when one T-Mobile customer posted a letter the company sent to the customer about the upcoming change.
"With this plan you may pay more for your service, but you'll continue to enjoy access to the latest smartphones, and T-Mobile's advanced nationwide 4G network with LTE, rolling out in 2013," the letter says.
Earlier this year, T-Mobile introduced a new plan called Simple Choice and stopped offering new customers all its other options. Under the new plan, customers get unlimited talk and text and 500-megabytes of high-speed Internet for $50. Users can pay more to add lines, more data and a few other options, such as the ability to upgrade devices frequently.
The plan comes with no contract, and is part of a new strategy by T-Mobile to shake up practices in the carrier industry. But at the time of the plan's announcement, T-Mobile said existing customers would be allowed to keep their plans.
That is no longer the case.
"Maintaining thousands of rate plans is the norm in the industry, but it creates unnecessary complexity," T-Mobile told The Times in a statement. "Simple is better. As we make these changes, we are proactively reaching out to customers to give them the opportunity to choose a plan that best meets their needs. Only a small number of customers will experience a noticeable change."
But in some cases, the change will force customers to pay more than before. In the case of the user who posted a picture of the T-Mobile letter, the customer's monthly rate will increase from $39.95 for 600 minutes and free weekends to $45 per month for unlimited talk, text and high-speed data, according to the user.
At that price, it seems T-Mobile is giving the customer a discounted rate, since it normally charges $70 for unlimited talk, text and high-speed data.
T-Mobile did not say how many customers it has already contacted, but if you have a grandfathered plan, don't be surprised if you get a letter from the carrier saying you'll soon have to change plans.
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