T-Mobile US yesterday made an offer that is seemingly too good to refuse. AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint customers can jump to the underdog “Un-carrier” and get a lower monthly bill, a phone trade-in credit of up to $300, and T-Mobile will pay off their early termination fees (ETF). T-Mobile CEO John Legere celebrated the offer by calling his competitors’ offerings “horseshit.”
But like anything, it’s not a slam dunk for everyone. If I were to switch from Verizon Wireless to T-Mobile, for example, I’d end up paying T-Mobile $150 more than I would pay Verizon over the next two years. Here’s why.
Un-carrier marketing, real carrier restrictions
It comes down largely to the fact that, as we reported yesterday, T-Mobile’s promise to pay off early termination fees is contingent on customers trading in their old phones and purchasing new ones from T-Mobile. While you can still bring your own phone to T-Mobile if it’s unlocked and compatible with the network, if you do T-Mobile won’t pay off your ETF.I have an iPhone 5S with 64GB of storage that I bought for $400 which (sadly enough) is the subsidized price that required me to enter a new two-year contract with Verizon Wireless. I pay Verizon $75 a month (plus $6 in taxes and fees, but I’m setting that aside to make the comparison with T-Mobile an apples-to-apples one). That gets me 250 texts, 450 minutes, and 6GB of data. The amount I actually use is much less so it’s plenty. I barely talk on my cell phone and I’ve only gone over 250 texts once in 10 years (due to excessive texting caused by the Red Sox romping through the World Series).
via Ars Technica http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/index/~3/ghj7a8uUv_c/