After AT&T announced January 3 that it is offering up to $450 to consumers switching from T-Mobile, the latter struck back, Wednesday, announcing at CES 2014 a switching offer that is $200 more than what AT&T had offered.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere might have been thrown out of a party hosted by AT&T at the ongoing tech expo in Las Vegas, but he surely knows how to catch some attention. When he took the stage Wednesday, he announced the latest strategy of T-Mobile - the company will pay switchers as much as $650 per line when they trade-in their devices from AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. The amount is said to cover for $350 of early termination fees (ETF) and $300 of credit for the surrendered handset. The company limits the deal to five lines per family.
T-Mobile explained how the deal will work, which will start Jan. 9, in a statement:
"...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."
The latest move of the company takes the "Un-carrier" approach of T-mobile to another level. The company took note of a research done by Nielsen that ETF hold back customers from switching and another survey that concluded that people will switch if T-Mobile pays for the ETFs. The carrier recently bought wireless spectrum from Verizon for $3.3 billion to boost its network coverage.
"Anybody who wants to switch now can. If AT&T customers come over to this plan and it doesn't work, they'll pay you to come back - it's beautiful," Legere said. "AT&T has given us almost like a no-fault guarantee. Come over, try the network, and these pricks will pay you back if it doesn't work."