Earlier today, the FCC reached a $48 million settlement with T-Mobile over its abuse of the word "unlimited." The FCC found that T-Mobile was throttling data users on unlimited plans without properly warning or communicating with them.
As a result, T-Mobile is having to give away $35 million of "consumer benefit," which really means free data and discounted accessories for all.
There's two major benefits for T-Mobile customers: discounted accessories and free mobile data. Eligible T-Mobile customers, which should mean anyone who was previously on an unlimited data plan, will receive promo codes for accessories sometime in December. The code is worth 20 percent off any one accessory in store, up to a maximum saving of $20. It's not a huge benefit, but if you've been thinking about picking up a Mophie case for your iPhone, now could be a good time.
The other benefit, which can be claimed by MetroPCS or T-Mobile customers, is 4GB of free data. It applies to anyone with a Mobile Internet line, and will be added to your account for the month of December. T-Mobile promises to send you a notification if the deal applies to you.
The total value of all the discounts and freebies T-Mobile is offering is up to $35 million, but the company won't get off the hook if consumers don't claim the maximum amount of promotions, which is likely. The FCC mandated that any money left over from the discounts will go towards addressing the so-called "homework gap" in low-income school districts.
Under the terms of the FCC settlement, T-Mobile will spend $5 million (plus any leftovers from the $35 million of customer benefits) on a program to benefit pupils. " T-Mobile will provide free devices, such as tablets, to eligible public schools that students may take home and use for school work. They will also provide mobile broadband to the devices at a reduced cost to the schools, and at no cost to the students or their families." The plan is expected to start this time next year.
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