Frugal Tip: How to save $1.50/month by switching to Paperless Billing on T-Mobile

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I just got my T-Mobile bill and was surprised to see an insert noting “Important Changes to your T-Mobile® bill.” Upon closer inspection, this note says that “Starting in September [2009], T-Mobile will begin charging $1.50 per month” if you receive a paper bill. “This fee will show on your bill as a “Paper Bill Charge”.

They supply a link to answer your questions about Paper Bill charges. I won’t list the link here because at the time of this writing it doesn’t tell you HOW to opt out of Paper Bills. Lame.

imageSo, if you want to save $1.50/month on your T-Mobile bill (that’s a little less than $20/year), here’s how you do it:

  1. Head over to https://my.t-mobile.com/profile/profileLanding.aspx,
  2. Log in to your T-Mobile account (or create one if yoimageu don’t already have one set up),
  3. Go to Manage and Your Profile,
  4. Check your Billing statement format, if it’s “paper bill” then click on the Edit link,
  5. Here’s where you’d think you could click a checkbox to enable paperless billing (or disable paper billing, or something like that), but no, T-Mobile (apparently) imagedoesn’t want to make it that easy for you (maybe they want to bilk their customers out of another $1.50/month), instead, under the “How Green is your account?” header, click the Green Account status link,
  6. imageYour Paperless Billing Status should say “not registered”, click the Sign up button,
  7. If you are not logged on using the “Primary Account Holder” account you’ll get a message telling you that only they can make the change, so make sure you’re logged in with the right privileges,
  8. image If you do have the right privileges check the Paperless Billing radio button,
  9. Supply the email address (twice) where you want the e-bill to be sent
  1. They DO NOT accept standard + addressing, so you’ll have to supply your raw email address. Lame.,
  • Read and check the Terms & Conditions (if you agree to them),
  • Then click Save Changes.
  • And now for the bad news

    The Terms and Conditions are a bit “interesting” to say the least…

    2. Payment.. I will pay my Bill (including any late fees) timely, whether or not I receive a Bill notice or am able to access my paperless Bill.

    That’s right, even if T-Mobile’s site and servers are down and you can’t find out how much you owe, you still have to pay your Bill (including any late fees that you probably don’t even know about) in a timely manner. Lame.

    Of course they’ll try to email you a copy of your paperless bill… ah, but there is another gotcha!

    3. Not receiving a Bill notice.. T-Mobile will attempt to send me a Bill notice to my current e-mail address in T-Mobile’s records. It is my sole responsibility to contact T-Mobile directly if I do not receive my Bill notice. I agree to hold T-Mobile harmless for any delay or failure to deliver notice.

    So, if T-Mobile doesn’t send you that email it’s your responsibility to contact them “directly”. Oh, and you hold them “harmless” for any delay or failure to deliver your bill. Lame.

    When will it start? Apparently it might take “several months” after you ask T-Mobile to stop paper billing before they start. No word on whether or not they’ll charge you for the “several months” that it takes them to switch you over though.

    6. Commencement.. If I choose this Paperless Billing service, I understand that it may take several months before I stop receiving a paper Bill and start receiving notices for my paperless Bill.

    What’s worse, T-Mobile reserves the right to continue billing you for a paper bill. Of course the way they word this is that they “may accept or deny [your] request for Paperless Billing” at their sole discretion. “Sorry, we want to keep raking in $1.50/month to $3.49/month, so we’ll keep sending you a paper bill, it’s our ‘sole discretion’.”

    T-Mobile may accept or deny my request for Paperless Billing in its sole discretion. While my paperless Bill service is being activated, it is my responsibility to keep my accounts current.

    Of course, you can switch back to paper billing, and T-Mobile will be happy to charge you $1.50/month to $3.49/month for the privilege… oh, and they get to charge you an “administrative fee” for the privilege of switching back, too.

    7. CANCELLATION.. I MAY CANCEL PAPERLESS BILLING AT ANY TIME AND REVERT TO RECEIVING A PAPER BILL BY GOING TO THE BILLING TAB OF THE PROFILE SECTION IN MY T-MOBILE OR BY CONTACTING CUSTOMER CARE. T-MOBILE MAY CHARGE ME AN ADMINISTRATIVE FEE FOR CANCELING PAPERLESS BILLING AND REVERTING TO PAPER BILLING.

    Oh, and you can’t do this if you have applied to work for the City of Bozeman, Montana (or any other place that makes you give up your usernames & passwords).

    8. Password.. Access to My T-Mobile is password protected, I understand that it is my responsibility to maintain and safeguard all user names and passwords for Paperless Billing. I will not give or make available my password or other means to access my account to any unauthorized individuals. If I permit another person to access my paperles
    s
    Bill or my password I am responsible for any transactions they authorize.

    Also, you can’t use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera to view your Paperless Bill.

    12. System compatibility and blocking.. The ability to receive Bill notices is system and Internet Service Provider dependent. To accurately view your paperless Bill, your system must be running either Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, Netscape Navigator 6.1 or higher, or AOL 5.0 or higher.

    And you should add T-Mobile to your email client’s address book (whitelist), allowing them to send you all the spam they want and bypass your spam filters.

    Some ISPs may block e-mail from senders who are not on a "contacts" list, so I may not receive my notification unless I specifically add T-Mobile to my contacts or "people I know".

    And to add insult to injury, the information that you get on your Paperless bill doesn’t even have to be “accurate, complete, useful, FUNCTIONAL, or bug-or error-free”!

    image And to that end, hopefully you’ll get through with the process, rather than getting an error message EVERY SINGLE TIME (like I did) when I tried to make the switch. Oh well, T-Mobile does not warrant that it will be useful, complete, or functional.

    T-MOBILE DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE INFORMATION, PROCESSES, OR SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, ACCURATE, COMPLETE, USEFUL, FUNCTIONAL, BUG- OR ERROR-FREE.

    Lame. Lame. Lame.

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