T-Mobile Pays Off Early Termination Fees for Individuals and Families

by Istvan Fekete on January 9, 2014

T-Mobile announced yesterday its next milestone in the Un-Carrier initiative: it will pay up to $350 in early termination fees for individuals and families (up to five lines) willing to switch from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. The compensation for joining T-Mobile could reach $650 if coupled with phone trade-ins.

“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 Un-Carrier 4.0 initiative starts today in the US. Customers who trade-in eligible AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon devices at a participating T-Mobile location will automatically receive instant credit. Depending on the value of the phone handed in, this credit can go up to $300.

Also, customers need to switch to a postpaid Simple Choice Plan and purchase any eligible device from T-Mobile’s offers, which includes popular smartphones priced at $0 down (plus 24 monthly device payments for well-qualified customers).

As a next step, customers can forward the final bill from their old carrier showing their early termination fees to T-Mobile. Then T-Mobile sends them an additional payment equal to those fees of up to $350 per line. Trading in an old phone, purchasing a new T-Mobile phone, porting a phone number, and a new T-Mobile plan are all required to participate in the Un-Carrier 4.0 initiative.

“Carriers like to make you think you`re just signing up for two years with their family plans, but with staggered expiration dates and early termination fees, they`re really locking you in forever,” said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile. “Now, families are free to switch without worrying about early termination fees. And by switching to T-Mobile, a family of four can save $1,880 over two years compared to an AT&T shared family plan.”

The move comes after research by Nielsen suggested that up to 40% of families decided not to switch carriers because of the high early-termination fees. Also, a recent poll conducted by GigaOm suggested that about 78% of the surveyed wireless subscribers would switch to T-Mobile if their early termination fee was paid.

Earlier this month, AT&T announced plans to offer up to $450 in credits for those switching from T-Mobile to AT&T. Back then, John Legere said AT&T was bribing customers to make them switch carriers.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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January 10, 2014 at 5:31 am

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