Now that Softbank, and subsidiary Sprint, are no longer officially seeking T-Mobile's hand in marriage, the fourth largest wireless carrier is back to slinging gibes at its one-time suitor and launching a referral program to "save" friends and "framily" members from Sprint.
Describing itself as the "un-carrier," T-Mobile announced it will give a free year of LTE service to any T-Mobile Simple Choice customer who brings a new Sprint customer on board. The rescued individuals will also received a full year of complimentary LTE service from T-Mobile.
"Sprint's customers have suffered much," stated T-Mobile in a press release. "They've endured the Framily. They've endured America's slowest nationwide LTE network. And now again, the (ironically named) carrier has forsaken its loyal customers, offering its latest, "best deals" to everyone but its own current customers. It's hard to watch."
T-Mobile CEO John Legere indicated the new referral program was an effort to show the company truly cares about its customers.
"It continues to amaze me to see the old carriers failing to listen to their customers, or reward them for their loyalty," Legere said. "That arrogance and indifference has defined the U.S. wireless industry for too long. We're changing that."
Simple Choice customers will be rewarded for making converts of Verizon and AT&T subscribers as well, though Sprint seems to have drawn the most ire from T-Mobile's top brass. Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile, described Sprint's exclusive offer to new customers as "arrogant," asserting the existing customers should receive the same value.
"When we saw how Sprint's dissing its own customers and dropping unlimited LTE plans for families, we knew we had an opportunity to help these people out," stated Sievert. "Only a 'carrier' would be arrogant enough to make an offer limited only to new prospects, while forgetting their existing customers. The Un-carrier way is to give the best offers to your loyal customers - and that's what we're doing again today."
T-Mobile's sharp criticism of Sprint didn't go unanswered by the Softbank subsidiary. In announcing its $60 "everyday price" and comparing it to a similar T-Mobile plan that costs $80, Sprint said its customers "don't have to jump through T-Mobile's hoops and recruit their friends."
Sprint's retort to T-Mobile latest referral campaign wasn't as pointed as the criticism it received. Though Sprint gave in to market pressures and retracted its bid for T-Mobile, it could still seek to acquire the company much further down the line.