Why Did My MetroPCS Bill Go Up?

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Have you noticed your monthly MetroPCS bill creeping up for no apparent reason? You’re not alone. Many MetroPCS customers have reported unexplained increases in their phone bills recently. Don’t worry – there are some logical explanations for these surprise charges. This article will explore the main reasons your MetroPCS bill may have increased and provide tips on avoiding bill shock in the future.

Insurance Rate Increases

One of the most common reasons for bill increases is rising insurance rates on phones. MetroPCS offers optional insurance plans to cover loss, theft, and damage on devices. However, the monthly premiums for these plans increased significantly in 2020.

For example, insurance rates for phones worth over $350 jumped from $6 to $12 per month. That’s a 100% rate hike! Customers with expensive iPhone or Galaxy models are the most likely to be impacted. Unfortunately, existing customers were not exempt from the increase and many were caught off guard by suddenly higher bills.

What You Can Do:

  • Check your account online or on the MyMetro app to see if you’re paying for insurance you no longer need or want. Removing it can save you $6+ per month.
  • Consider getting insurance directly from the phone manufacturer (AppleCare or Samsung Care) instead of through MetroPCS. It may be cheaper.
  • Use a good case and screen protector to reduce the risk of damage and lessen the need for insurance.

Plan Changes You Didn’t Request

Another frequent reason for unexpected charges is something being added to your account without your permission. Some customers have reported mysteriously acquiring add-ons like extra data, international calling, or roadside assistance plans.

In some instances, these were simply billing errors. But there have also been reports of MetroPCS store employees adding features or services without clearly informing the customer or getting consent.

What You Can Do:

  • Login to your account periodically to review your plan details and features. Remove anything you didn’t agree to.
  • Opt out of overage charges to avoid surprise data fees if you exceed your plan’s monthly limit.
  • Be vigilant when making account changes in store. Don’t let reps add anything without your okay.

Monthly Fee for Unpaid Balance

If you have an outstanding balance on your MetroPCS account, you may notice a monthly fee tacked on until it’s paid off. This maintenance fee is intended to cover collection costs.

For example, if you owe $10 and don’t pay it immediately, you could be charged $2 per month in addition to your regular bill. And the longer you go without paying, the higher the fees stack up.

What You Can Do:

  • If money is tight, call MetroPCS before your due date and see if they can extend your payment deadline without penalties.
  • Set up autopay or calendar reminders for bill due dates to avoid lapses in payment.
  • Review billing statements closely each month and address any balances right away.

Activation Fees for New Devices

When you upgrade or change phones with MetroPCS, you’ll typically pay a one-time activation fee around $15-20 in addition to your plan costs. If you swap devices frequently, these fees can really add up.

For example, switching phones twice in one year would tack on $30-40 extra. The activation fee covers the costs of provisioning and registering your device on the network.

What You Can Do:

  • Try to make phones last as long as possible before upgrading to limit activation fees.
  • Time device changes around the end of your billing cycle so the fee hits on the same bill as your regular monthly charges.
  • Buy used/refurbished phones and bring your own devices to avoid activation costs.

Daily International Roaming Rates

Traveling overseas can sometimes lead to bill shock if you use your phone abroad. MetroPCS charges daily international roaming fees in many countries.

Rates range from $5-15 per day depending on the destination. Data usage when roaming is extremely expensive too at $0.25/MB. These charges apply whether you make calls or just turn on your phone.

What You Can Do:

  • Turn your phone to airplane mode when traveling internationally to avoid roaming fees.
  • Consider buying a local SIM card or renting a WiFi hotspot to use while out of the country.
  • Alert MetroPCS before traveling overseas so they can add an international plan.

Taxes and Regulatory Fees

Like most carriers, MetroPCS bills include an assortment of taxes, government surcharges, and regulatory fees that fluctuate monthly. While usually not a huge portion of your overall bill, they can cause small increases month to month.

For example, the combined fees might be $5 one month and $6 the next. These fees help fund programs like 911 services andUniversal Service for rural areas.

What You Can Do:

  • Not much – these fees are mandatory based on your location and plan. But being aware they vary slightly can help explain small bill differences.
  • Check your bill details to see exactly what fees you’re being charged and why.

Account Management Fee Increases

MetroPCS recently increased the flat monthly fee customers pay for having an account – even before adding any service plans. The Account Management Fee rose by $2-3 per month for many subscribers.

While a few dollars may not seem very significant, the markup represents a 20-30% jump in this baseline fee. For a bare bones pay-as-you-go plan, it could increase total costs noticeably.

What You Can Do:

  • Unfortunately this broad fee increase applies to all customers, so there’s no way to avoid the extra charge.
  • Having a higher-end unlimited data plan makes the impact of a few dollars less noticeable.
  • Switch to the lowest cost plan that meets your needs if trying to cut costs.

Paying Off Device Installments

If you purchased a phone from MetroPCS on an installment plan, your monthly bill will be $10-30 higher than just the service costs until it’s fully paid off.

The installment charge stays fixed at the same amount each month. But it may feel like your bill just increased if you finish paying off a device and then immediately finance a new phone.

What You Can Do:

  • Review monthly statements to understand exactly what is included in your total bill amount.
  • Buy devices outright rather than spreading payments over time to avoid installment fees.
  • Pay off installment balances early to reduce the long-term costs.

Delayed Plan Change Charges

Sometimes customers report their MetroPCS bill going up months after they made account changes like switching to a higher data plan. This delayed increase is due to prorated back-billing.

For example, if you upgraded to an unlimited plan mid-cycle, your new higher monthly rate wouldn’t apply fully until the next billing period. The plan increase can take 1-2 bills to show completely.

What You Can Do:

  • Make account changes at the very start of your billing cycle to have the new costs hit all at once.
  • Review prorated charges to understand how mid-month changes impact your current bill.
  • Downgrade plans at the end of a cycle so there’s no partial month billing.

Undetected Data Overage Charges

MetroPCS plans only include a set amount of high-speed data each month. If you exceed your plan’s limit, you’ll pay $10 for each 1GB over the allotment.

It’s easy to accidentally incur overages if you’re not carefully tracking data usage. For example, streaming HD video on a 2GB plan can lead to surprise overage fees.

What You Can Do:

  • Use the MyMetro app to monitor how much data you’ve used and avoid exceeding your plan’s amount.
  • When getting close to your limit, proactively upgrade to a higher data plan for the remainder of the cycle.
  • Switch on data saving features in phone settings and apps to reduce usage.

Price Increases for Existing Plans

While rare, MetroPCS does occasionally raise the monthly rates on legacy plans for existing subscribers. They try to avoid this, but costs may go up by $5-10 per line after years on the same plan.

Promotional discounts can also expire over time leading to higher prices. But MetroPCS typically grandfathers people on old plans as long as possible.

What You Can Do:

  • Check the MetroPCS website to see if your plan is still available at your old price for new customers – if so, you may be able to switch rate plans through customer service to get the lower pricing.
  • Consider migrating to a newer plan if the cost difference isn’t too great.
  • Leverage loyalty discounts if offered when renewing your MetroPCS service.

Bundled Plans and Promos Expiring

Many customers sign up for MetroPCS service bundled with other T-Mobile products like home internet. These plans come with initial promotional pricing that rises after 1-2 years.

For example, your $50 monthly rate for bundled mobile + internet could jump to $70-80.

Changes to Family Plans

If you’re on a family or multi-line plan with MetroPCS, your total bill can rise when fees for extra lines increase. For example, Metro might raise the monthly cost per additional line from $30 to $35.

For a family of 4, that’s an extra $10 per month right there. Unlike single line plans, family plans often don’t have any promotional pricing so the monthly rate per line is subject to change.

What You Can Do:

  • Review all lines on your family plan and remove any that are no longer needed to reduce the total bill.
  • Consider switching single line users to separate prepaid accounts which are less prone to rate hikes.
  • Shop competitors when multi-line plan rates increase to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.

Unused Data Getting Removed

MetroPCS bills on a 4-week cycle rather than calendar month. As a result, there are times when your billing period may be shorter than 30 days.

If that happens, any unused data from your plan does not roll over to the next cycle. You essentially lose a few days worth of data allotment which could lead to overages if you’re not careful.

What You Can Do:

  • Note when billing cycles are less than 30 days and reduce data usage accordingly that month.
  • Temporarily change to an unlimited data plan at the end of short cycles to avoid overages.
  • Contact customer support to request a one-time courtesy credit for lost data if you incurred overages.

Changes to Video Streaming Speeds

In order to manage network congestion, MetroPCS may periodically reduce video streaming resolution. Typically this means limiting video to 480p DVD quality instead of full HD.

Customers impacted by this policy could experience faster data depletion and overage charges as more gigabytes are consumed streaming video in lower definition.

What You Can Do:

  • Manually adjust video settings to lower resolutions to reduce data usage.
  • Download videos over WiFi when possible instead of streaming over 4G/5G.
  • Use online tools to monitor video resolution and data consumption by app.

Monthly Payment Processing Fees Added

MetroPCS recently introduced a controversial $1.99 fee when certain customers pay bills with credit or debit cards. The fee partly offsets processing costs.

While small in absolute terms, it represents an ongoing 2-3% price hike for those now being charged. Most impact is on lower cost pay-as-you-go plans where $2 is a meaningful bump.

What You Can Do:

  • Switch to paying bills by cash (in store locations) or check via mail to avoid the $1.99 processing fee.
  • Enroll in auto-pay through your bank account to have payments electronically debited each month.
  • Use rewards credit cards strategically to earn cashback bonuses offsetting the fee.

Promo Credits Expiring

To win new subscribers, MetroPCS frequently offers monthly bill credits for the first 3-12 months of service. When these short-term promos expire, your bill reverts to normal pricing.

For example, you may have received a $10 per month discount for the first year which is now ending. Make sure to factor this in when budgeting so it’s not a surprise.

What You Can Do:

  • Note when promotional credits will end to avoid unexpected jumps in your monthly cost.
  • Set calendar reminders to switch plans or shop for new promos when your credit expires.
  • Call/chat customer service before the 12 months ends to ask about extending the promo rate.

Adding New Lines or Devices

As your wireless needs grow, you may add additional lines or devices to your MetroPCS account such as tablets, hotspots, or smartwatches with cellular connectivity.

Each new device that can make calls or use data will increase your monthly bill. Even connecting an iPad could tack on $20 or more monthly for the data plan.

What You Can Do:

  • Analyze usage to see if you truly require multiple devices or just use mobile hotspotting instead.
  • Use standalone tablet data plans (just $10/month) instead of full-fledged new phone lines to save.
  • Set hard limits on how many devices are allowed on your account to control costs.

Improper Loyalty Discounts

MetroPCS offers member loyalty discounts like “$5 after 5 years” to help retain longtime subscribers. However, these rewards don’t always apply automatically.

Unless you specifically request it, the discount may not be added even once you’ve hit the tenure milestones. Tech glitches can also lead to proper loyalty credits falling off.

What You Can Do:

  • Chat with customer service when you near loyalty discount thresholds to request the bonus be applied.
  • Periodically check your account details to confirm loyalty credits are being applied as expected.
  • Loyalty requires consecutive tenure, so don’t let your service lapse.


We hope this explanation of the most common reasons for MetroPCS bill increases helps you decode unexpected charges when they happen. Now that you know what typically triggers higher monthly costs, you can make changes to avoid surprises in the future.

With a mix of vigilance, proactive account management, feature adjustments, and periodic carrier shopping, you can limit the budget impact of MetroPCS billing changes over time. Paying attention to the details goes a long way.

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