No such thing as Post-Pay Account on Tmobile?

jcrist1027

    I just switched 3 lines from AT&T and about 3 days after switching I see a bill in my account with a $162 amount due.  Come to find out Tmobile is charging me *in advance* for one month worth of service.  The date range for the bill was Nov 29 - Dec 1!  So essentially they are taking a deposit.  So when you cancel you service the apply the "deposit" to the outstanding balance and refund you the difference.  This means all post-pay customers are effectively pre-paid!  AT&T didn't do this.  Not sure about other carriers.

     

    Just wanted to make sure this is standard practice with all post-pay accounts?  Because otherwise I am going to dispute the bill and say they are charging me for services that have not been rendered!

      All replies

      • tidbits

        Re: No such thing as Post-Pay Account on Tmobile?

        AT&T most definitely does this... Verizon too... Sprint also. All first bills are a month in advance. The is the overages are what is post paid.

        1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • jcrist1027

            My question wasn't regarding other carriers, my point was a post-pay account is therefore not that different that a pre-paid account.  Yes they are not the same, BUT both you are paying the carrier for service BEFORE (PRE) the are rendered.

             

            Post-pay by the very definition of "Post" meaning AFTER.

             

            And I can tell you that all my monthly payment to AT&T were for bills received covering usage PRIOR to the bill being issued. It says right on the bill the date range for the charges and they are not in the future, and they are not overages!

             

            I chatted with a T-mobile rep about this and I asked, so this is basically a security deposit because if I paid this first pre-pay bill, then the same day I canceled service, then you'd refund it right?  RIGHT.  So on my last month of service this credit would be applied, right? RIGHT.

             

            I have a bill due from AT&T right now which is my final bill.  It covers services rendered up to the point I switched.  If I had pre-paid the first month, then I wouldn't have to pay that bill because I'd have an account credit. 

          • tmo_marissa

            Welcome jcrist1027.  Let me start by apologizing for the surprise of that first bill.  It sounds like we definitely could have done a better job of onboarding you so that you knew what to expect!  I do want to set your mind at ease and assure you that what you're seeing is typical for a first bill on a new postpaid account - with one caveat.  The bulk of the service charges you're seeing, which should be itemized on page three or four of a print statement (you can access a .pdf on MyT-Mobile) should actually be for a full month, not just a few days.  Can you double check a print statement and confirm that?  If that's not the case, then there is an error indeed. 

            We switched to this "Bill Current" billing model a few years ago, about the same time that we eliminated contracts.  We used to bill postpaid accounts entirely in arrears, and while I can't speak for The Other Guys, it would make sense if they did the same on their tenured accounts.  There's a really nice and simple explanation for Bill Current billing here, but personally I find it easiest to think of like this: on day one you get a bill for one month, or about four weeks of service.  The balance is due after week three.  It's like paying slightly ahead of real time - not quite the same as prepaid, where you'd pay for the whole four weeks before your service is actually turned on.  Usage charges (calls to 411, international or roaming charges, or Play store purchases billed to your account) are still billed in arrears because they can't be anticipated ahead of time - so you'll see those charges added to your next statement in the manner more traditionally associated with the term "postpaid".

            Please take a look at that statement and let me know what you see a few pages in!  I want to help make sense of this - we're happy to have your family's business.

             

            - Marissa

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • jcrist1027

                "It's like paying slightly ahead of real time - not quite the same as prepaid, where you'd pay for the whole four weeks before your service is actually turned on."

                 

                That statement is laughable.  Why?  Because my first bill doesn't include the $30 rebate for my 3 lines for the port over so this first bill is actually $30 higher than my actual bill will be.

                 

                Just because other carriers are doing it doesn't make it a fair practice.

                 

                This is a communication service. Comcast didn't bill me in advance for the first month of my cable TV and Internet.

                 

                My electric company doesn't bill me in advance for the first month of my electric service.

                 

                And this practice is irrelevant to whether you're under a contract or not.

                 

                It obvious what the practice is all about.  It's all about financial insurance of people disconnecting service and not paying their final bill. I get it. 

                 

                But it's just interesting how one service provider industry does this and many others don't. 

                  • wtssuperpower

                    But it's just interesting how one service provider industry does this and many others don't.

                     

                     

                    Your electric company *has* to bill you after you use the service.  They wouldn't know what to bill, otherwise.

                    Same with your water bill, or your mechanic's bill.

                    I bet you pay your house payment at the start of the month.  And your car payment. (just as examples of fixed amounts billed in advance).  As has already been stated, this is not a new practice by any means, and is in fact industry standard in wireless service.

                     

                    All best

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • magenta2411967

                  "Come to find out Tmobile is charging me *in advance* for one month worth of service.  The date range for the bill was Nov 29 - Dec 1"

                   

                  I have the same issue. Signed up on the 7th and within a week I had a bill due for $70 on the 28th. The "pay current" policy is fine except the bill cycle was from Aug 7 to Aug 7. They tried to tell me that that's how they bill but if I were to cancel the very next day they would also bill me for the next month as well because Aug 8th would be in a new billing cycle. So I would pay $140 for 2 days of service. Obviously I would call and complain and it would get reversed but their system would bill me and I would have to go through the headache of calling them to correct it. If they do this to everyone that's one extra payment from everyone when ever they decide to cancel their service. Because most people are not going to remember that they paid up front for the service, especially when there billing dates don't match what you paid for. You must make sure the billing cycle matches what you are paying for, which is one full month of service not one day.

                   

                  If 500,000 people fell for this with an extra payment of $70 . Wow, $35 million. Sounds like a class action lawsuit waiting to happen. There is no way that this is an accident. It is on purpose and they are putting it on their customers to recognize the problem and call to correct it.

                   

                  This was unacceptable to me and I called and they agreed to change the billing cycle to Aug 7 to Sept 6. They are sending me a paper bill to show the changes and they will follow up with me to make sure the next months bill goes from Sept 7 to Oct 6. We will see what happens.

                    • tidbits

                      When you cancel service you don't owe a thing on your final month simply because it is pay current.  Also what is postpaid is overages, or services that are billed.  For example calling internationally you don't pay that until the end of the bill.

                        • magenta2411967

                          I just canceled my account on a family plan with my bro and tmobile told me I will still get billed through the next month even if I canceled before the new billing cycle began. I looked at the bill and it is billing $160 this month even though there is only 2 lines for this current billing cycle. So if it is pay current, my brother should be only get billed for the 2 lines remaining. Correct? (Both my wife and I's phone lines were ported out and canceled before the current billing cycle started)