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T-Mobile Adds Family Allowance Feature For $2

T-Mobile is introducing a new feature today that lets parents limit what their children can do on their cellphones. I think AT&T has something similar but it costs more if I remember correctly. T-Mobile is offering this for a very reasonable $2/month for the whole family. The $2/month seems to be a limited time offer so if your interested I would try it now.

From the press release:

With Family Allowances, parents can give their teens an upfront monthly wireless allowance that works on all the phones T-Mobile offers — virtually eliminating the worry of surprise overages. The feature lets parents set and change limits for minutes, messages and downloads (e.g., games, ring tones and wallpaper) using a simple online tool. Once the allowance is reached, the feature shuts off service for that specific element and parents receive a notification. Parents can stay in contact with their family members by setting up “Always AllowedSM” numbers that will continue to connect, even after allowances have been spent. Any unlimited calling features that are included in a family’s plan, such as myFaves® and T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile, can also still be used, which preserves the value of the calling plan. Additional controls are available so parents can choose to set allowances on unlimited calling features, if desired.

With Family Allowances, parents can choose to establish additional limits on the time of day a phone may be used, set allowances to zero to prohibit the use of minutes, messages or downloads (other than to “Always Allowed” numbers), and establish numbers that are blocked from calling or sending messages to any phone on their family plan.

Full press release after the jump

T-Mobile Offers Parents Peace of Mind With “Family Allowances”

New feature provides an easy way for parents to manage wireless usage and keep families connected

BELLEVUE, Wash. – July 31, 2008 – Continuing its efforts to give families the freedom to stay connected on their terms, T-Mobile USA, Inc., announces the upcoming availability of Family AllowancesSM. This new feature, to be launched in August, allows parents to easily manage when and how their family members use their T-Mobile® phones and service.

With Family Allowances, parents can give their teens an upfront monthly wireless allowance that works on all the phones T-Mobile offers — virtually eliminating the worry of surprise overages. The feature lets parents set and change limits for minutes, messages and downloads (e.g., games, ring tones and wallpaper) using a simple online tool. Once the allowance is reached, the feature shuts off service for that specific element and parents receive a notification. Parents can stay in contact with their family members by setting up “Always AllowedSM” numbers that will continue to connect, even after allowances have been spent. Any unlimited calling features that are included in a family’s plan, such as myFaves® and T-Mobile-to-T-Mobile, can also still be used, which preserves the value of the calling plan. Additional controls are available so parents can choose to set allowances on unlimited calling features, if desired.

With Family Allowances, parents can choose to establish additional limits on the time of day a phone may be used, set allowances to zero to prohibit the use of minutes, messages or downloads (other than to “Always Allowed” numbers), and establish numbers that are blocked from calling or sending messages to any phone on their family plan.

“Parents across the country want their teens to have a mobile phone to stay in contact, but also want that phone to be used responsibly,” said Lisa Brown, director, marketing at T-Mobile USA. “With Family Allowances, parents get peace of mind knowing they can reach their sons and daughters, without having to worry about surprise bills. They can also reward their teens for responsible phone use by increasing their allowance.”

Family Allowances delivers significant benefits for all family members, with virtually no surprise bills, and the ability for parents to teach responsible phone use with a service that works with all the phones T-Mobile offers. In addition to Family Allowances, T-Mobile continues to offer Web Guard, a free-of-charge feature that restricts access to certain adult-themed (18 and over) Web sites. These services, combined with a range of flexible, affordable plans and compelling new devices, make T-Mobile a leader in understanding and delivering on the communication needs of families.

Pricing and Availability:
Family Allowances will be available in the coming weeks at select T-Mobile retail stores and online at www.t-mobile.com. For an introductory rate of $2 per month, parents can manage all lines within their T-Mobile family plan.

The Family Allowances feature is available to customers with qualifying post-paid multi-time plans. Introductory rate is a limited-time offer. Taxes additional. Details, including restrictions and service limitations, will be available soon at T-Mobile.com and retail stores.

5 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. AT&T’s version is $4.99 for the wireless portion, but they offer it across everything…..home phone..internet…TV..wireless…you can pretty much control EVERYTHING if ya really wanted too.

  2. While I’m sure this offers more features, I was amused that with BlackBerry Unite! (which is Free) I was able to disable mine or any linked phone’s ability to send SMS or MMS. I did disable my wife’s MMS ability. Please no one tell her…

  3. lol, thats messed up Nik. Also T-mobile introduced no contract , you have to pay full price for the phone and you dont have the hotspot at home calling feature.

  4. Could you make that screenshot a little smaller?…(yes I clicked it, that is not much bigger)…I really despise small screenshots on the web…if it’s too small to see/read, there’s no point of having it…

    BTW…all cell companies need to be required to give this type of control by default…not a “pay more for it” thing…$2 isn’t much, but it should be a basic ability to limit / avoid overages…

    Also Spam protection with math is annoying…what if I can’t add?…computers can add, so it don’t stop them…give me a captcha…

  5. Sorry I had to specifically ask T-mobile for a screenshot and that was the size they gave me. Better something than nothing.

    Captcha is much more complicated than adding two single digit numbers. The simple addition stops 97% of the spam so I don’t see the need for bothering people with captcha.

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