by Brent Dirks
January 8, 2014
The war between AT&T and T-Mobile for wireless customers is getting really interesting. At T-Mobile’s Un-Carrier 4.0 event at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, the company unveiled a new offer to reimburse customers for all early termination fees when switching from any of the other big three carriers in the United States – AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon.
“We’re giving families a ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card,’ said John Legere, president and chief executive officer of T-Mobile. “Carriers have counted on staggered contract end dates and hefty early termination fees to keep people bound to them forever. But now families can switch to T-Mobile without paying a single red cent to leave them behind.”The fun will start on Thursday, Jan. 9. Here’s how everything works, according to the company:
Starting tomorrow, customers from the three major national carriers who hand in their eligible devices at any participating T-Mobile location and switch to a postpaid Simple Choice Plan can receive an instant credit, based on the value of their phone, of up to $300. They then purchase any eligible device, including T-Mobile’s most popular smartphones, now priced at $0 down (plus 24 monthly device payments, for well-qualified customers). After customers get the final bill from their old carrier (showing their early termination fees), they either mail it to T-Mobile or upload it to www.switch2tmobile.com. T-Mobile then sends an additional payment equal to those fees, up to $350 per line. Trade-in of their old phone, purchase of a new T-Mobile phone and porting of their phone number to T-Mobile are required to qualify. This offer to pay early termination fees provides families with a quick way to escape carrier contracts that have deterred them from pursuing a better and more affordable wireless experience with T-Mobile.T-Mobile will pay the ETF fees of up to five lines, which is definitely generous. Just last week, AT&T got a leg up on T-Mobile’s announcement by offering customers of the fourth-place carrier up to $450 per line to switch to its network when trading in an eligible smartphone. Interestingly, late last year, news broke that third-place Sprint is looking to purchase T-Mobile. But even if that news is correct, it looks like T-Mobile is going out swinging. If you’re looking to switch to T-Mobile and buy a new iPhone, this plan is pretty tempting. Will you be taking up T-Mobile on its offer?