T-Mobile Is Bringing Its Rollover Data Stash to Prepaid Customers

Three months after allowing T-Mobile contract customers to roll their unused data over, the company is now expanding its data stash offer to prepaid customers.

T-Mobile, data stash, data rollover

T-Mobile's monthly rollover ''data stash" offer, which allows contract customers to roll their unused data over for future use for up to a year, is now being expanded to T-Mobile's prepaid customers.

That means that prepaid T-Mobile customers who don't use up all of their data allotment each month will be able to save it up for up to a year to use it in months where their data needs are greater.

T-Mobile unveiled the expansion of what it calls its "data stash" program in a March 16 blog post from Andrew Sherrard, the company's chief marketing officer. The data stash program for prepaid customers will begin to be rolled out to T-Mobile Simple Choice prepaid customers on March 22, wrote Sherrard.

In addition, prepaid customers will also be given a free one-time 10GB data allotment to start out their stash, just like contract customers received when the company rolled out the stash program in January, he wrote.

About 27 percent of T-Mobile's existing customers who have a data stash have already begun to use it, according to the company.

"Every single one of our prepaid voice customers with a qualifying Simple Choice plan will start out with a Starter Stash with up to 10GB of 4G LTE data," wrote Sherrard. "And when that's all used up, they'll start rolling forward their unused data for use up to a full year. Automatically and at no extra charge."

The data stash feature was first unveiled Dec. 16 by the T-Mobile company as part of its Webcast event for its latest "Un-carrier 8.0" product unveilings. T-Mobile likes to call itself the "Un-carrier" because it says it does the things that traditional carriers won't try.

New and existing customers, including individuals, families and businesses, were made eligible to roll over and stash their leftover monthly 4G LTE data allocations under postpaid Simple Choice Plans, provided they had a minimum 3GB data plan for their smartphones or a 1GB minimum plan for their tablets, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

"Data Stash is good for customers … and it's good for the wireless industry, an industry that ranks right down there with cable and insurance companies in customer satisfaction ratings," wrote Sherrard. "And it's precisely things like confiscating your customers' data—data they've bought and paid for—that drives so much frustration with the carriers."

Following T-Mobile's data stash program in January, competitor AT&T announced its own data rollover program, but customers can only roll over their unused data from one month to the next.

Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest mobile carrier, has so far resisted introducing a data rollover feature and previously said that the company will not do so to prevent customers from leaving, according to a previous eWEEK report.

The big four mobile carriers—Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile—are always jockeying in the marketplace to lure new customers by providing more data and lower monthly service rates.

In February, Sprint added a $90-per-month, 12GB Sprint Family Share Pack data plan for mobile customers to combat similar offers from its rivals. That plan also offered 12 months without monthly device access fees for new customers, saving $15 per device per month, for even greater savings. The 12GB shared data package also includes unlimited talk and text for up to 10 lines. After the year is up, customers on the plan will then have to pay monthly access fees for each of their devices.

Earlier in February, Verizon announced a special deal to give a free 1GB monthly data boost to customers who have 1GB to 3GB More Everything mobile plans, or to provide a $10-per-month price drop if they keep their current data package. The special deals are not automatic, however. Instead, existing and new customers have to ask for the free data boosts or for the price discounts by calling Verizon or visiting the company's Website.

In December, Sprint launched a special half-price promotion to try to lure existing Verizon Wireless and AT&T customers to its own services. Under that deal, Sprint's "Cut Your Bill in Half Event" cut existing Verizon or AT&T wireless bills in half for customers who move their service over to Sprint's network. The deal also matched a customer's data plan caps at half of their existing rates for new customers who make the service transfer.

The offer includes unlimited talk and text to anywhere in the United States while on the Sprint network, regardless of a customer's current plan. Participating customers will have to get new devices through Sprint, but will also get up to $350 in rebates per line to cover early termination fees with their existing carriers. The Sprint half-price offer has not been extended to T-Mobile customers, which is intriguing because Sprint tried and failed to acquire T-Mobile earlier in 2014.