Jan 08 AT 6:22 PM Nick Sarafolean 15 Comments

T-Mobile reveals Uncarrier 4.0, offering to pay your ETF if you switch


Since CEO John Legere took over, we’ve seen some pretty drastic things happening at T-Mobile, all under the mantra of “Uncarrier.” Today at CES, the next phase of the plan, Uncarrier 4.0, was shown off to the public. With this step, T-Mobile is feeling pretty confident that it has finally cracked the key to getting even more customers to switch.

To sum up Uncarrier 4.0, T-Mobile wants to pay your ETF (Early Termination Fee) if you switch to T-Mobile from AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. In case you’re not aware of what an ETF is, it’s the penalty fee that you pay your carrier if you leave them while you’re still stuck in a contract. Generally, they’re somewhere around $300-$350 which is not a price to be taken lightly. But in an effort to move even more customers over to its side, T-Mobile is offering to cover that fee (up to $350) if you switch to T-Mobile. It sounds as though you simply have to send T-Mobile a copy of your final bill with the ETF cost on it and within a few weeks, T-Mo will send you a pre-paid Mastercard with an amount that matches your ETF.

For those who have been on the edge about switching but have been held back by their pricey ETF, worry no more. And one of the better features is that it works for families who are on the same plan. With this deal, there’s not much to hold you back from switching aside from possibly coverage, which isn’t as great as what some of the other carriers offer. Nonetheless, it’s a deal that should definitely be considered.

What do you guys think of this latest move? Are you planning to make the switch?

Show Press Release
T-Mobile Delivers Contract Freedom for Families By Paying Off Early Termination Fees

Company marks 1st anniversary of Un-carrier revolution by offering to reimburse entire amount of customers’ early termination fees when they switch from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon

LAS VEGAS – Jan. 8, 2014 – One year ago at International CES, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) threw down the gauntlet, promising relief for customers fed up with a broken, arrogant wireless industry. Since then, the company has delivered on its promise with a relentless barrage of Un-carrier industry innovations.

In its latest move, T-Mobile is eliminating one of the last remaining obstacles for individuals and families wanting to switch from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon to the Un-carrier by offering to pay off their early termination fees. With an eligible phone trade-in, the total value of the offer to switch to T-Mobile could be as high as $650 per line.

“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.”

Customers have been flocking to T-Mobile for its no annual service contract Simple Choice Plan, industry-leading JUMP!â„¢ upgrade program, unlimited global data at no extra charge in 100-plus countries, and most recently for Free Data for Life on every tablet – up to 200 MB of free 4G LTE data every month for as long as they own their tablet and use the registered device with T-Mobile. But Nielsen research suggests up to 40 percent[i] of families hold back from switching because of high early termination fees (ETFs), and a recent online poll conducted by GigaOM suggests that 78 percent[ii] would switch to T-Mobile if their ETF was paid. ETFs can cost as much as $350 per line. Multiply that two, three or four times for a family, and switching becomes an extremely expensive proposition.

“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[iii].”

Here’s how T-Mobile’s offer to pay off these fees works:

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, including T-Mobile’s most popular smartphones, now priced at $0 down (plus 24 monthly device payments, for well-qualified customers). 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.

This offer to pay early termination fees provides families with a quick way to escape carrier contracts that have deterred them from pursuing a better and more affordable wireless experience with T-Mobile.

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. In short, a family could get four lines for just $100 per month (plus taxes and fees). The potential savings are so significant that if every single AT&T, Sprint and Verizon customer switched to a Simple Choice Plan, T-Mobile estimates they would save up to $20 billion [iv] collectively each year.

In addition to great family plan savings, individuals and families can also enjoy an incredible wireless experience thanks to T-Mobile’s rapidly expanding nationwide 4G LTE network— now the fastest[v] in the United States. For more information, visit the T-Mobile newsroom.

About T-Mobile US, Inc.:
As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: “TMUS”) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The company’s advanced nationwide 4G and expanding 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences for customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. For more information, please visit http://www.t-mobile.com.

Source: T-Mobile

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Matt

    Maybe I overlooked it but when will this go into effect. I want a nexus 5 and verizon doesn’t have one.

    • josh

      starting tomorrow

    • Richard Yarrell

      I have said before and it has been well prove that Plain and simple nothing beats Tmobile period.

      • squiddy20

        Says the guy who, not even 2 years ago, was claiming the *exact* same thing about Verizon, and Sprint before that. Just another mindless, bandwagon jumping sheep.

      • Orion78

        Ok can we just ban this dude already. He repeats the same crap.

    • Jeff U

      I just ditched Verizon and got my Nexus 5. Very easy!

  • Arthur

    They don’t state if their are any requirements as to which plan you choose to sign up for on T-Mobile after you have agreed to have them pay your current carrier ETF and jumping ship to T-Mobile.

    If it has one of their latest “post paid” payment type plan’s where you have to pay $20 on top of your plan each month till the phone is paid off then this wouldn’t work for me but if the Simple Choice pre-paid plans apply as well then that is worth doing.

  • Bart

    T-Mobile’s coverage is not very good where I’m at so switching would not be a good deal.

  • redraider133

    I like what they are doing, but hope they can really revamp their coverage. I would love to switch but the coverage where I am is lacking. If they bumped it up to at least 3g I would definitely switch.

  • jayhawk85KC

    the good news for me being with t-mo is that the other carriers are sure to follow suit then maybe finally i will be able to switch from T-mo’s God Awful coverage to ATT or Verizon!!!

  • 436

    Picture taken from the hood? Looks disgusting

  • gatoremt

    I am a T-Mo customer. I love their service. I just SO WISH they would make all of their 2G and EDGE towers at least 3G. Also wish they would work on making their footprint larger. I switched to them from Verizon to save a bunch of money.

  • Prince77

    Are you sure this is correct?? What I was reading yesterday was this is only for family plans not individual plans.

    • Screw sprint

      I think u can switch one line as long as u give them ur phone thats eligible u port ur number and u pick a simple choice plan, if u have a etf then send them ur bill and u should be good. I just switched 3 lines from sprint in less than 30 days. Go figure. Our first sprint bill 378.84 for real. Cant believe it. Called Sprint and told them and no attempt to keep me as a customer not an effort to lower my bill 5 cents. Bye Sprint Hello Tmobile!

  • donger

    Go T-Mobile!