Data Stash Comes to Prepaid

March 15, 2015

Just three months ago, we shook up the industry again with Un-carrier 8.0 – Data Stash™ − another first-of-its-kind Un-carrier move. With Data Stash, your unused 4G LTE data rolls forward so you can use it up to a full year later. Our customers are already loving Data Stash. In fact, 27% of T-Mobile customers with a Data Stash have already dipped into their stash, just a few months in!

This month, we’re taking Data Stash even further. I’m happy to announce that, starting Sunday March 22nd, Data Stash will start rolling out to Simple Choice prepaid customers. Every single one of our prepaid voice customers with a qualifying Simple Choice plan will start out with a Starter Stash with up to 10 GB of 4G LTE data. 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.

It’s great that we can now deliver Data Stash to both our postpaid and prepaid customers. But, that’s not really why I wanted to write this blog. What I really want to say is that – while we’re busy growing Data Stash – the old guard carriers are busy running away from it. And that’s just baffling to me. Here’s why:

  1. Customers want it.  That much is crystal clear.  Last year, wireless customers asked to keep their unused data more than 40,000 times − and that was just on Twitter alone.
  2. It’s the right thing to do. It is flat out wrong to repossess something your customers have already bought and paid for. That’s like the gas station emptying unused gas from your car each month. You buy something, you should have a chance to use it.  Period.
  3. It’s not rocket science. We already drafted the blueprints for the industry to fix the problem the right way. They just have to follow instructions.

So, why would the carriers ignore their customers AND fairness? I mean … other than just bad habits?

“But, Andrew,” you say, “AT&T responded with Data Rollover.” I’m looking for a serious response. AT&T’s Data Rollover means they wait an extra 30 days to repossess your data. That is not a serious response − no matter how many billions they spend on TV ads about it.

And Verizon? Verizon actually said they won’t do what customers want because − to quote their CFO − “We are a leader, not a follower.” So they’re basically going to ignore their customers, fairness and common sense out of corporate pride? I think Verizon has, remarkably, reached a new level of arrogance.

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. 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.

This almost makes me miss the days when we’d launch an industry-rattling Un-carrier move − like Contract Freedom or JUMP! − and the carriers at least pretended to follow us. Frankly, I’d love to see the carriers do something serious here, because we are on a mission to change the wireless industry for the better for every American. Maybe the carriers will wake up when we unleash our latest Un-carrier move on them later this week. But to be honest, I won’t be holding my breath.