T-Mobile will now pay you to switch

T-Mobile offers to pay early termination fee on contracts from any of the three major carriers

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
January 9, 2014
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Some drama is going down between AT&T and T-Mobile. Just days after AT&T brazenly offered to pay T-Mobile customers $200 to switch, and just hours after T-Mobile CEO John Legere got kicked out of AT&T’s CES party (he just wanted to see Macklemore!), T-Mobile is retaliating and doing a little mud-slinging along the way. The “un-carrier” announced late Wednesday that it will pay off the early termination fees for customers who switch from AT&T (or Verizon, or Sprint).

Legere took the stage at CES yesterday to outline the plan, and the man did it with pizzazz. Early termination fees for ending your contract before it’s expired can run as high as $350 per line, so T-Mobile is offering to pay exactly what you’re charged up to that amount.

To be clear, this isn’t a deal where you can end you contract with Verizon and then say “my buddy over here is gonna get this.” It’s more of a rebate—you terminate, pay the fees, and then send proof of the fees over to T-Mobile and they’ll pay you the full amount—per line—when you switch. 

So obviously, the catch is that if you want to qualify, you have to trade in your old phone, purchase a new T-Mobile phone, and port your number. THEN you get paid.

And starting today, customers from any of the three major networks can trade in their device at any T-Mobile location and get a credit of up to $300, based on the value of their phone.

T-Mobile is expecting some big numbers to switch, citing an online poll conducted by GigaOM that found that 78% of respondents would switch to T-Mobile if their early termination fees were paid.

Legere added a touch of insight and depth to the plan:

"Try the network, try what we're doing. And if it doesn't work, these pricks will pay you to come back!"

Well said, Sir.

AT&T announced last week that it will pay T-Mobile customers $200 for every line they switch over to AT&T, plus a credit of up to $250 if they trade in their current phone. The credit can go toward any AT&T product or service except a new iPhone. And, interestingly enough, the promotion doesn’t include a two-year contract. Customers who switch have to pay full price for a new phone.

AT&T has said that the $450 offer is only available for a limited time (though it’s not clear how long the promotion will last). A T-Mobile spokesperson tells me that T-Mobile's offer is not for a limited time and will go on indefinitely (though he did say T-Mobile reserves the right to "update" the program based on customer feedback).


Image source: Mashable

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