For one thing, it seems that T-Mo has already fired some prepaid business employees, a move that many expect to be followed by a number of additional rounds of related layoffs in the next months. Of course, the biggest fear remains that the upcoming market consolidation will lead to various price hikes for consumers, but although the timing feels at least a little bit suspicious, the "Un-carrier" insists an April 18 change to its Protection 360 plans has nothing to do with a merger likely to be finalized that same month.
While not everyone appears to be buying Magenta's explanation, this does make sense, as the "average price of a new smartphone device" has indeed "risen consistently" in the last few years, with "many new flagship devices now costing over $1000", which was pretty much forbidden land not long ago. As such, T-Mobile claims the pricing structure for Protection 360 plans needs "adjusting" so the wireless network can "keep providing great benefits" allowing customers to protect their "valuable devices."
The most valuable devices will require a monthly rate of $18 on the Protection 360 Tier 5 & BYOD plan starting with your first billing statement on or after April 18, up from $15 a month right now. The Tier 4 and Tier 3 rates are to be bumped up from $14 and $12 respectively to $16 and $13, while Tier 1 and Tier 2 prices will remain the same, at 7 and 9 bucks respectively.
Those are hardly what we'd call drastic changes, but of course, the expenses of a T-Mobile customer protected with a Tier 4 or Tier 5 plan can add up. On the bright side, the Protection 360 program does include a lot of great stuff, from loss, theft, and accidental damage coverage to $29 screen replacement services, McAfee security, tech support with Tech PHD, JUMP! upgrades, and yes, even AppleCare for "eligible" iDevices.