T-Mobile CEO Tries to Shush Binge On Critics

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UPDATE, Jan. 11, 2016: Legere has apologized for offending EFF and its supporters. “Just because we don’t completely agree on all aspects of Binge On doesn’t mean I don’t see how they fight for consumers,” he said in a blog post on Monday. “We both agree that it is important to protect consumers’ rights and to give consumers value. We have that in common, so more power to them. As I mentioned last week, we look forward to sitting down and talking with the EFF and that is a step we will definitely take. Unfortunately, my color commentary from last week is now drowning out the real value of Binge On – so hopefully this letter will help make that clear again.”

T-Mobile may have added more than 8 million new subscribers in 2015, but the company didn’t get off to the best start to the New Year.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere faced a backlash to his Twitter outburst this week where he asked the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) who the f*** they are and who pays the organization (a San Francisco-based non-profit known for its work defending user privacy online) in response to a question about its Binge On Service.

Binge On is a new service from T-Mobile which users on qualifying plans can use to stream unlimited video from certain services, such as Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu, and more, without using data. However, the video content under this service is limited to 480p or better. Customers may shut off the service to return to HD quality, but it counts against data caps.

On Thursday EFF posted a blog about T-Mobile’s Binge On Service. It said the service “could have been great…[u]nfortunately, T-Mobile botched the roll out. Without asking, they made it the default for all their customers. In other words, they decided to throttle all video – not just zero-rated video.” The post included sample questions for people to ask during Legere’s Twitter Q&A on Thursday with the hashtag #AskJohn.

Legere wrote a lengthy response to critics on the T-Mobile blog, suggesting that critics like EFF are “confusing consumers and questioning the choices” the company fought “so hard” to give its customers.

Also this week Deutsche Telekom, parent company of T-Mobile US, has made headlines around poor treatment of T-Mobile US employees. Investors have expressed concern to the company over the alleged poor treatment.

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