T-Mobile’s No Contract Ads Are Deceptive Says Washington AG

What seemed to be a good deal is getting T-Mobile in hot water as the Washington state attorney general has ordered the company to change its deceptive no contract ads. Attorney General Bob Ferguson has entered into a court ordered agreement with the company that requires the company to change its deceptive ads.

Just recently T-Mobile introduced their no contract or uncarrier plan that does not tie down a subscriber to a lengthy two year contract to join the network. The advertising done by the company raises red flags according to Ferguson and he wants more information to be placed on the ads so potential subscribers will know what they are getting themselves into.

Apparently some people might think that they can pay the $100 downpayment for the handset, make a few monthly payments then leave the network without any financial obligations. An iPhone 5 for example costs $99 for the downpayment and $20 monthly for 24 months making the total of $579. If a subscriber wishes to leave the network then the total amount must be paid. This wasn’t clearly explained in the ads.

According to Ferguson “Consumers who cancel their wireless service face an unanticipated balloon payment for the phone equipment — in some cases higher than termination fees for other wireless carriers depending on how early they cancel.”

“As Attorney General, my job is to defend consumers, ensure truth in advertising, and make sure all businesses are playing by the rules. My office identified that T-Mobile was failing to adequately disclose a critical component of their new plan to consumers, and we acted quickly to stop this practice and protect consumers across the country from harm.”

T-Mobile on their part has agreed to change its method of marketing their plans and offered refunds to anyone who availed of their service between March 26 and April 25.

In a statement released by T-Mobile the carrier said that “As America’s Un-carrier, our goal is to increase transparency with our customers, unleashing them from restrictive long-term service contracts — this kind of simple, straight forward approach is core to the new company we are building, While we believe our advertising was truthful and appropriate, we voluntarily agreed to this arrangement with the Washington AG in this spirit.”

via ars technica

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