T-Mobile punches back at BlackBerry after being dropped

T-Mobile is now offering BlackBerry users a $100 credit to trade in their device for any other phone

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 4, 2014
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/361c

As you probably heard, earlier this week BlackBerry decided that, following months of strained relations between the two companies, it would not be renewing its contract with T-Mobile.

Now John Legere, President and Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile, has finally decided to respond. And he has done so by taking an action that seems to suggest that he really has no interest in ever getting back in bed with the smartphone manufacturer.

"Being America’s Un-carrier is simply this. It’s about listening to and advocating on behalf of US wireless consumers. That’s it.  The simple act that first ignited this Un-carrier revolution – and set T-Mobile apart from the entire US wireless industry – was that we listened to the customer.  And that changed everything," Legere wrote in an open letter on Thursday. 

"And, of course, that goes for the BlackBerry loyal, too. We hear you and stand with you. We always have and always will. So, obviously, we were disappointed in BlackBerry’s decision this week to end their agreement with us."

Like BlackBerry CEO John Chen, Legere assured any existing BlackBerry customers that nothing would change for them. They can still get customer service on their phone, as well as "Un-carrier benefits like no annual contract, unlimited everything with no overages on our wicked-fast network, no hidden device costs, no upgrade wait – and international roaming at no extra cost."

Here is where it gets interesting though: Legere then writes that he is offering BlackBerry customers a $100 credit for any new device they buy, including a new BlackBerry.

While that may sound reasonable, it is exactly the same thing that got Chen so mad at T-Mobile in the first place.

In January, T-Mobile began offering a promotion for users to trade their BlackBerrys in for an iPhone. This prompted a blog post from Chen in February, in which he called the move an "anti-BlackBerry campaign," and said that he was "outraged" at what T-Mobile had done. 

To its credit, T-Mobile did try to make some kind of amends, by modifying the promotion to give BlackBerry users $50 back if they upgraded to another BlackBerry device.

Yet, despite that extra incentive, a full 94% of those customers who switched bought a phone from another manufacturer.

Given how successful the last promotion was in getting people to turn in their BlackBerry devices, it stands to reason that offering $100 to buy another new phone, including iPhones and Android phones, will be even more successful in getting people to switch.

"We hope to work with T-Mobile again in the future when our business strategies are aligned,” Chen wrote in his letter explaining his decision to drop T-Mobile. After a move like this, it’s hard to see that ever really happening now. 

(Image source: todaysiphone.com)

Related news