It’s that time again: T-Mobile is making a crappy change to a feature everyone likes. If you use autopay with your T-Mobile account in order to get that sweet $5/mo discount per line, you may need to make some changes to continue receiving it.
According to three separate sources, and now confirmed via internal document, T-Mobile is planning to restrict their autopay discount to customers paying via debit card or bank account.
This means that customers with a credit card set as their autopay method will no longer receive the autopay discount. In addition, customers with mobile wallets as the payment method, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay, will also, apparently, not be eligible for the autopay discount.
T-Mobile has kept the news close to the chest, as the news initially spread via word of mouth among employees who learned of the news via company meetings and from higher up employees. The Mobile Report has now obtained a new internal document confirming the news, shown below.
The change is currently scheduled to take place on May 16th. Notifications are apparently planned to be sent near the end of February.
This is clearly a big change. Most customers prefer using a credit card on their autopay for the security it provides. Given how many data breaches T-Mobile seems to have, it’s no wonder customers would prefer not giving the company their bank details.
Not only that, but many customers receive extra perks from their credit card provider when they use it to pay their mobile bill. Some offer free device insurance, bonus discounts, and more.
There is a bit of a workaround, however, if you really want to pay with a credit card and keep the autopay discount.
It’s a bit tedious, but sources say that customers can add a bank account or debit card as their autopay method, then simply make a payment a week or so before the autopay is scheduled to hit. That manual payment can be done using a credit card.
This will apparently retain the autopay discount, because the only thing the system will care about is what method is set for the autopay, not if you actually use it.
Of course, this workaround doesn’t eliminate the security concerns regarding trusting T-Mobile with your payment details.
T-Mobile is clearly attempting to reduce the fees they pay for card transactions every month. To save money, they’re forcing customers who want autopay discount to use a bank account or debit card instead, which incurs less (or perhaps even no) fees.
It’s no surprise this is happening after the 3 year merger promise of not changing plans has passed. It’s unclear if this would be a violation of that promise anyway, but now that the 3 years has passed they don’t have to worry about it.
It might finally be the end of the “Uncarrier” attitude John Legere made famous when the branding debuted all the way back in 2013. The decisions T-Mobile has been making lately are extremely carrier-like. Only time will tell.
The changes to autopay are set to take place on May 16th. You’ll want to be sure you’ve changed your autopay method by then if you want to keep the discount.