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T-Mobile's One 'All In' plan is killing hidden fees and giving cash back

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor
T-Mobile CEO John Legere Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

T-Mobile (TMUS) wants to make it a little easier to understand your bill with its new “All In” T-Mobile One. Part of the company’s Un-carrier Next event at CES 2017, “All In” does away with the carrier’s Simple Choice mobile plans and will only sell its unlimited T-Mobile One offering.

The move, T-Mobile says, is meant to ensure consumers don’t have to pay for their “bits and bytes.” Instead, the thought goes, the carrier will let consumers use as much data as they like for a single price: $70 per month for a single line, $160 for four lines.

Why make such a move? T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert tells Yahoo Finance it allows for a more streamlined, less confusing customer experience, which also helps out T-Mobile itself.

“About a third of calls that we take into customer care are about the bill,” Sievert said. “Well what if it was so simple that it couldn’t change, not even one penny without your consent? That’s what T-Mobile One with All In taxes and fees does.

“A simpler offering line-up is simpler for customers. It’s also simpler and more efficient for us, which allows us to stay out in front of our competitors in providing great value for our customers,” he added.

As for losing out on potential revenue by eating the taxes and fees, Sievert says that T-Mobile is banking on attracting more customers with simplified bills to offset such losses.

Mobile president and chief executive officer John Legere, left, and chief operating officer Mike Sievert. Ron Wurzer/AP Images for T-Mobile

Existing Simple Choice customers will still be able to keep using their plans, but if you’re joining T-Mobile beginning Jan. 6 or later, you’ll automatically be switched over to T-Mobile One on Jan. 22.

In addition to cutting down on plans, T-Mobile says it’s also eliminating taxes and fees from the price of its offerings. That means, instead of signing up for a $70 plan and paying an extra $10 in fees — which T-Mobile says accounts for $17 billion a year for Americans — you’ll pay just $70.

What’s more, the company isn’t raising the price of its T-Mobile One plan to cover those taxes and fees. Instead it’s keeping the price at $70 just as it is today.

A T-Mobile store in New York. AP Photo/Richard Drew

Still, T-Mobile is killing off its $50 Simple Choice Plan and replacing it with the $70 unlimited “All In” offering, which means new customers will have to pay more for single line coverage under the carrier’s new deal. That’s a bummer, especially if you don’t need an unlimited plan.

Sievert, however, says that nearly 85% of its daily sales go toward its unlimited plan, so consumers are clearly interested in it. What’s more, T-Mobile says the majority of single line customers use pre-paid plans rather than post-paid.

But what if you’re a family of four that only wants a little bit of data each month? Currently, T-Mobile’s Simple choice lets you purchase four lines with 2GB of data each for just $100 per month. With T-Mobile One All In, though, that jumps to $160 per month.

Again, T-Mobile isn’t forcing existing customers to switch to the new plans, but it is eliminating an inexpensive plan for something a bit pricier.

To help offset some of the increased cost of T-Mobile “One All” In compared to Simple Choice, the carrier is offering what it calls KickBack. The feature ensures that customers who use less than 2GB of data each month will receive $10 back in the form of a bill credit for each line they have.

If you go over that, though, you’re out of luck.

Despite that, “All In” sounds like a promising offer. The idea that it will eliminate hidden taxes and fees and clean up customers’ bills is incredibly helpful, and the KickBack feature should prove beneficial to low-use consumers.

The question now is: How will T-Mobile’s competitors respond?

More of Yahoo Finance’s CES coverage:

Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.