T-Mobile is backtracking on a controversial plan to automatically upgrade users to more expensive plans.
The magenta carrier angered users when news broke that it planned to automatically upgrade users to more expensive plans. The company confirmed the plan to CNET, saying it would impact “a small number who were on older rate plans,” although T-Mobile did not clarify how many “a small number” meant.
According to The Mobile Report, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert is now backtracking on the plan, saying it was taken out of context in an email to company employees:
Last week, some internal training documents were leaked to a website that covers mobile industry updates. The media quickly picked up the information and ran with it, as they often do with leaks. Unfortunately, docs like this — without more context — leave a lot of room for interpretation. In this case, it was largely inaccurate and caused a lot of confusion for our customers (rightfully so!).
I’m sure people are also asking many of you what’s going on. So I wanted to offer a bit more background to help answer questions you may be getting.
First, the biggest piece of missing context was that the leaked materials related to a very small test, which is something that is normal course for our business. Tests like these help us design new programs, offers and promotions, and, probably most important, ensure we are getting the experience right for our customers. In this case, we hope our customers will be thrilled with the new benefits and services they will eventually receive, but we’ll look forward to learning from them along the way. And as always, we’ll make adjustments or shifts as needed over time.
Sievert also emphasized the test has not yet begun, and impacted customers will be notified of the impending change when the test begins.
Sievert’s comments appear to contradict T-Mobile’s own spokesperson, who had confirmed the plan to CNET. Either way, the entire fiasco is a major misstep for a company that tries to set itself apart with its customer service.