"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."
Early termination fees (ETFs) can cost as much as $350 per line.
"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," said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer for T-Mobile.
Starting tomorrow, 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. 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.
AT&T tried to trump this T-Mobile announcement, but their $250 credit, and swindling Next service obligation for the other $200, is a weak offer compared to what T-Mobile announced.
T-Mobile is also making it easier for its longtime customers to migrate to 'Simple Choice' plans as well without incurring any migration fees. To qualify for this option a current customer under contract trades in their current device and purchases a new T-Mobile device and switches to Simple Choice. In addition to waiving the migration fee, T-Mobile will also eliminate the existing annual service contract for that customer?s line.
With a Simple Choice Plan from T-Mobile, families start with one line at $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and Web with up to 500 MB of 4G LTE data. They can add a second phone line for $30 per month, and each additional line is just $10 per month.
T-Mobile also said on Wednesday that it added 1.645 million net customers in the fourth quarter up from 1.023 million in the third quarter and a loss in the year-ago quarter.
The company said its customer additions included 869,000 postpaid customers who pay monthly bills and 112,000 prepaid customers who pay for calls in advance.
Customer defections, stayed at its third quarter levels of 1.7 percent and compared with 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
T-Mobile also presented the results of mobile data speed tests collected from consumers using the Ookla Speedtest app. The company claims that its nationwide 4G LTE network is the fastest in the U.S., delivering the highest average network speeds of all U.S. wireless providers, with 17.8 Mbps.