Phone bills in the United States have loads of taxes and fees that get added to the bottom line. Moreover, these taxes can vary by city, and fees vary by state, on top of whatever the FCC plugs into the mix as well.
It is not uncommon to see fees and taxes add as much as 15% to a bill. There is not any single major culprit either, the fees literally assault you with pennies. In California for example, there are no fewer than 10 surcharges and “other fees” in some parts of the state. Line items such as, “City Utility Users Tax” (38 cents), “Relay Service Device Fund” (2 cents), “State 911 Tax” (8 cents), and more, all add up, especially if you have more than one line, since these are assessed at a per-line level. Plus, because some are flat fees, and others are a percentage based tax, they are not uniform across the board.
These fees have legitimate uses (most of them anyway), and have been a part of the telecom billing landscape since even before the days of MaBell and McCaw Cellular. All that appears to be on the way for another change.
A tip we just received indicates that T-Mobile will upset the market once again with the announcement of UN-carrier 5.0. Team Magenta’s post-paid customers will see their rate plans priced to be inclusive of all taxes and regulatory fees. That means, the plan pricing that T-Mobile offers will be all-in. Clean and simple.
This pricing takes a page from rate structures that are typically reserved for the pre-paid market. MetroPCS branded rates are structured the same way. This will certainly be a hit with consumers and will make balancing the check-book all the easier, and it stands to save customers even more money. This may also have appeal to those that were pensive about setting up service with T-Mobile but not being granted an employer-based discount (current customers grandfathered).
As for the prices of the rates themselves, there is no indication those will change since it would be counter to the “Simple Choice” message T-Mobile has been pushing with its plans. This will be a significant development in the face of traditional telecom billing for customers.
We will bring you further details about this announcement and any other news that may be made at T-Mobile’s Un-carrier event this coming Wednesday from Seattle.
Thanks for the tip!