T-Mobile Unveils Data 'Stash' Rollover Program
The new T-Mobile data stash offer "eliminates a nonsensical charge" from carriers, said Legere. "The only thing stopping Verizon and AT&T from ending it, besides that $1.5 billion [in penalties that they collect] is their greed." Legere said he detests the system that T-Mobile competitors set up and that this is why the stash program is being unveiled. "In what other industry do you have to decide what you need ahead of time and then you are penalized either way?" The monthly rolled-over data will remain in a customer's account for 12 months, under the terms of the offer. There are no limits for how much leftover data that customers can accrue in their accounts. The data stash idea came from listening to customers on social media sites such as Twitter, where some 40,000 recent Tweets were about customer wishes to be able to roll over their unused data each month, said Legere.A 1GB data plan, which includes unlimited talk and text, is $50 a month but is not eligible for the data stash offer. The 3GB plan, which costs $60 a month, and the 5GB plan, which costs $70 per month, are eligible for the stash feature and also include unlimited text and talk. Those plans all allow customers to go over their data caps at reduced 2G speeds, without any overage charges. So what's this all mean for consumers and business users? Despite T-Mobile's big launch of its data stash offer, the rollover data feature may not be a huge differentiator for the company in the marketplace since it hasn't charged data overage fees since April, Lynnette Luna, a consumer markets analyst with Current Analysis, told eWEEK in a Dec. 16 interview. "It pretty much continues to drive home their message that 'AT&T and Verizon are punitive with their data and we're not,'" said Luna. "They think it's putting themselves up another competitive notch, but I don't really see that."
About 20 percent of T-Mobile's customers already pay $80 per month for unlimited high-speed data plans and unlimited talk and text, so their accounts will not be affected by the new stash deal.