Thursday, January 23, 2014

T-Mobile ETF Program - Think Twice!

T-Mobile CEO John Legere
So, you've become memorized by T-Mobile's new advertising where they will pay you to terminate your contracts with other major carriers? They have promised consumers the world: the fastest wireless network on the planet, free international roaming and calling, no contracts, upgrade your phone every 5 minutes if you feel like it, and they will reimburse your $650 per line to get you out of your contract with a competitor and onto their network with a new device. No doubt T-Mobile's corporate CEO John Legere will let you use his corporate jet, crash Hollywood elite VIP parties, and will personally come to take out your household trash.

Do you sense any sarcasm yet?

Consider the following, as this deal seems too good to be true:

  1. T-Mobile’s requirements: Eligible device trade-in, new device purchase, qualifying credit, number port in  from AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, and qualifying postpaid service required. Missing any one of these and you're out in the cold and not eligible.
  2. T-Mobile's trade in program: This is an absolute joke. I was offered a mere $200 for my AT&T iPhone 5. If I sold it as a trade in to any competitor, I was offered far more. Hell, if I sold it online or through Craigslist, I would have earned twice as much.
  3. T-Mobile's ETF Rebate: If I were you, I would not be holding my breath folks. Read the fine print. You could be waiting 8 weeks or more for your ETF credit. Think you will be receiving a check or cold cash? Think again! You will receive a prepaid Mastercard in the mail. If it is like other rebates I have received in the past, good luck trying to get the cash out of an ATM. You have to spend it like you would at a merchant... Perhaps Mr. Legere believes you will pay your T-Mobile bill with that money?
  4. Fastest Network: Seriously? Carriers are still fighting over this? It is a completely subjective and arbitrary argument. You mean to tell me that T-Mobile, which has questionable suburban coverage north of Boston, is always faster than it's AT&T or Verizon counterpart? If that is the truth, then why did T-Mobile have agreements with AT&T to use their towers and their bandwidth for so many years? I suggest you check the coverage maps and then confirm that the areas you live, work, and play are "ON NETWORK" versus "OFF NETWORK" before buying and locking into a contract.
Just my two cents, but this consumer will not be jumping ship anytime soon. 

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