Data restriction needs to be added to "Family Allowances" package

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Data restriction needs to be added to "Family Allowances" package! Although data slows to 2G when used up, that is not enough in today's society where kids use 90% data & 10% talk/text. We would love to be able to "cyber-ground" our teenager by limiting data during certain times of the day or taking away/shutting off her data when necessary. But we still want her to to be able to call & text on her phone to reach us if necessary. I talked to a person in T-Mobile's tech division today who also had a teenager and is facing the same problem where her teenager used 30GB in a month!! She said she was surprised T-Mobile hasn't done this yet. But there is no way to shut off or limit data on a phone line - other than physically taking away the phone. Granted it doesn't cost parents anything if teens use up data or go over, but what kind of lesson is that teaching kids? We need better parental controls accessible to us as parents. Data is the problem with kids now a days & we need assistance being able to control it as parents.  AT&T, Sprint & Verizon all include parental controls (including Data control) for FREE! Granted to me it was worth $5 for the Family Allowance but it's only for call, text,& purchases. So it does us no good since our teenager barley talks or texts on her phone. It's all data usage with her. All we can do it put the 'id, teenager, young adult restrictions on our lines for "Surfing".


Best answer by tmo_lauren 6 June 2017, 16:59

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I'm another victim (I've read many) of customer care promising features that don't exist.  I had one kid with a 2GB limit - which I loved.  I added another kid this month and found the only plan option to be unlimited everything.  I don't want to give unlimited data access for an immature, first-time phone user.  I was told something like, don't worry, you can put limits on their data usage and everything else, like calls & texts on our website.  I thought that sounded great, so not only put the new line on unlimited, but the first kid's line as well.  Not only does the "Family Allowances" feature come with a cost (not mentioned by customer care), but it doesn't do the one thing I wanted it for....allow me to limit data usage.  Apparently, I can't switch back to the 2GB limit plan, and there are no features for me to control.  Looks like I'll be shopping for a new carrier.

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This is feedback we see pretty often and are always happy to pass along. I'll be sure to pass along the post and comments in here, as well as any additional ones. 😊 From the responses we have received, there is some limitation as to the way our network reads data but they are looking at options. That said, the more of a need for it they see, hopefully that can expedite whatever research is being done so we appreciate the comments. 😊

Thanks for taking the time to share and we will get it passed on as we couldn't agree more!


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If I'm being honest, I already can't stand being throttled. The speeds are so low it's almost unusable, which for me would be punishment enough.

I totally see the appeal of this and I agree that it should be an option!


It is unfortunate that T-mobile technical support essentially ignore numerous customer requests to implement data restriction feature.  Dragon1562 offered to give kids flip phones instead. Unfortunately, that will require physical interactions (phone removal) and a big scandal associated with it. I tried that and do not wish to go thru this again every time the kid is grounded. Software data blocking that all users of Family allowance feature so desperately asking for, is less intrusive in nature. When grounded, my kid just use skype, whatsup and other apps to spend the night chatting. Very frustrating. 

I contacted Verizon online and ported my numbers on Saturday.  The sim cards have been sent via fedex and are scheduled to arrive Wednesday night.  The monthly bill will increase about 30 dollars.  I will provide an update about the Verizon FamilyBase parental controls if I am still able to post to this board.

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Oh, lord. I appreciate the heads up!

Userlevel 3

Hey there.

I'm just chiming in to let you all know I definitely still hear you, and while I am not apart of the team that makes these sort of decisions, I have been passing along the feedback in hopes of seeing positive changes!


Please add this feature.  Your customers want it and your competitors have it!

You should be able to toggle kids data off an on. I was able to do this

with ATT.

We desperately need this feature, it has become a huge problem in our family affecting school and sleep. I can set a schedule on my Wi-Fi router to disconnect their devices but They sneak into their phones. We've been with tmobile for nearly 2 decades but we're going to have to leave if this feature doesn't become available when other carriers have it.

Userlevel 3

Hi @htghtg​ Just a heads up.

I posted a reply to @shannonspetsitting  @ 5:32 suggesting that the post be made as a thread of its own in Plans& Services.

@tmo_laurenalready liked the reply, but it is being delayed for moderation. I just didn't want you to think I walked on your reply.


I am really surprised that Family Allowances requires you to pay 5$ a month and you cannot disable data to a particular line.

A quick check online shows me AT&T does (GSM like Tmobile)

Sprint does

Verizon does

If this is feedback that is seen pretty often, what is holding Tmobile up from adding the feature. TMobile is spending 8 Billion dollars to upgrade their network (which seems awesome)

but they cannot add what seems to be a basic feature to a service that claims to allow you set family allowances.

And with no real feedback or updates they are really dropping the ball when it comes to families abilities to give phones to their kids and try to manage what they do.

Userlevel 1

@c0011j​ the only other way is to go to the setting of the device and turn off data. I can't  think of another way, and the child can just go back and removed it. I have not crossed an app that is prefect. Most of them can be disable/uninstalled with little effort or don't really do what you want.

Not only does the "Family Allowances" feature come with a cost (not mentioned by customer care), but it doesn't do the one thing I wanted it for....allow me to limit data usage.  Apparently, I can't switch back to the 2GB limit plan, for a particular reason.  This is something we as the consumer should be able to choose if we want to limit it or not.  We are paying for the option to choose , so let us choose.  I have been with Tmobile for 18 years for a reason, don't let me start second guessing them now.

Also, @tmobile-admin​, we (the users) need to be able to set our own schedules for blocking services. Guess why? Because if you're a parent, then you're not looking to block your child's access Monday - Friday nights. You're looking to block services Sunday - Thursday, because those are SCHOOL NIGHTS!

Please @tmobile-admin help us by requesting that your network engineers add firewall filters to block data traffic on phone numbers specified in the Family Allowances plans, on a schedule that's determined by those customers (parents) granted the necessary permissions? I've worked in network engineering for many years, and seriously, it's not that hard.

I would like to chime in with all the others who are commenting about how we cannot limit or disable DATA in Parental Control. This needs to be done. Your competitors can.

I agree completely with this post.  What's the point of T-Mobile gimmick giving Family Allowances for FREE if data restrictions don't come with it?  Family Allowances is quite an old plan (introduced 9 years ago).  In the modern world of unlimited data, without data restrictions a parental controls service is worth nothing.  Not many people would want to pay $4.99/mo for such, that's probably why the plan was given away.  Unfortunately, without data restrictions the plan feels cheap and toothless - T-Mobile needs to fix it, soon.

TMobile needs data shut-off as an option on parental controls. Let parents turn off data access during 2am-5am if they want! But let the child keep the phone so they can receive calls/texts. C’mon with us! Please! Parenting this tech generation is challenging enough, just provide tools those who want to can take advantage of. If another parent has a different method, fine, use it. But I need data shut-off (by time frames) as an option. Sprint has it and up until now, I thought I was 100% satisfied with my choice to move to TM. Just realized I‘m no longer 100%...

This has already been said but I think it needs repeating. Kids do not use the phone. They use data. This is pointless without data restriction.


After I realized that family allowance doesn't cover data I was kind of puzzled about the actual scenario. It's 2017, and my kids laugh at voice/text being blocked at night, since they primarily use social apps and therefore data to be online when they should not.

Looking forward to see this feature being implemented. This would be HUGE!

Just wanted to add my +1 on this feature request. With 2 teenagers on my account that can simply turn off Wi-Fi to circumvent Parental Controls on my router at night, the ability to restrict data from the carrier’s end is crucial. To be frank, I’m shocked that this is not available at T-Mobile while other carriers have had it for quite some time. Family Allowances is practically useless for any smartphones until this is added.

Userlevel 3

Hey @leo001​, I certainly don't want to leave the impression we here on the Support forums are ignoring customer requests. I've been passing requests along over the past year in hopes for a change. So unfortunately while we're not in a position to make changes ourselves, we do certainly take the time to share these threads and pass along feedback and pain points. There's no word on any plans to make the requested changes, but I'll continue to pass the feedback along.


This is so pointless... I've got my teenager blocked for the night but yet she's using snapchat and can't even tell her texts are blocked so it doesn't matter. My phone bill is as much as a car payment and I'm about to pay even more to cancel my contract because this is the worst service ever. I'm so irritated. Usually companies will go over and beyond to make their customers happy. At least with AT&T and Verizon, the features are well worth it.

Here is the update, I switched to Verizon.  Since I owned all the phones there was no early termination fee.  My new monthly bill for four lines (with a military discount) is $177.00 per month including taxes, fees and Family Based controls.  The activation fee was 30 per phone - ouch.  But Verizon currently has a $150.00 promotion for switchers that will end 4 Apr 2018.

The Family Base Verizon FamilyBase How to Use Guide | Verizon Wireless   is why I switched. I can set the amount of data each phone is allowed to use every month. I will be notified when the limit is reached and I have the option to either block or allow continued data.   I can also create custom time restrictions.  The cost was 4.99 per month to add Family Base to my plan (covers all phones on the plan).  The Verizon Family Base plan is excellent and worth the additional monthly cost.

T-Mobile, I did like your price and wireless coverage.  I did NOT like the unlimited access of data that was available to my children.  Unlimited data access to a teen is like unlimited access/usage to the wallet, front door, and car keys.  This is not about good or bad kids or parents not trusting their children.  I am going out on a limb and will say that every parent knows that a child will test the limits and to see what they can get away with. 

Exactly.  Physically taking the devices away from older teenagers is a very unpleasant, possibly dangerous, physical confrontation.  It is hard to believe that T-Mobile doesn't have a tool for parents/bill-payers to restrict the data usage on the family/multiple-persons plans, especially when the other carriers offer it for free.  If I didn't still owe so much money on my family's phone equipment (devices), I would switch carriers right now. As things stand now, the most authority I can leverage with my older kids is to take them OFF my service plan, and still have to pay-off their equipment, whether they have service or not.