January 3, 2014
AT&T Targeting T-Mobile Customers With $450 Offer
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Onlinepress statement, AT&T will give T-Mobile customers $250 for trading in their current smartphone and an additional $200 for transferring their wireless service over.
“Beginning Jan. 3, under the limited-time offer, T-Mobile customers who switch to AT&T can trade-in their current smartphone for a promotion card of up to $250, which can be used toward AT&T products and services,” AT&T wrote in a statement.
The move is most likely in response to T-Mobile shaking things up in the US carrier market last year with its “un-carrier” plans. In March last year, T-Mobile announced that it would begin selling iPhones to customers without contracts. T-Mobile customers are required to pay $100 down on an iPhone, then an additional 24 monthly payments of $20. The company pointed out that other companies are already doing this by building these payments into their monthly plans, except when two years is up, they continue to collect subsidy repayments as profit.
AT&T is launching this plan right before T-Mobile takes the stage at the International CES next week, where the carrier is expected to announce the next stage of its program. Rumors have suggested that T-Mobile has plans to encourage family plan holders to switch carriers, perhaps through subsidizing early termination fees imposed by other carriers like AT&T.
Not every customer making the switch from T-Mobile to AT&T will be receiving the full $450. AT&T said that trade-in values on smartphones will be based on the make, model and age of smartphones, so chances are only the latest-and-greatest smartphone version owners will actually receive the full amount.
T-Mobile customers are being offered an additional $200 credit per line when they transfer over their wireless service to AT&T, and they can even activate a device they currently own.
“In addition to a larger and more reliable 4G LTE network, T-Mobile customers who switch to AT&T will benefit from a superior smartphone line-up and award-winning customer service,” the company said in a statement.
AT&T even goes as far to say T-Mobile customers can learn more by visiting a URL specifically created for the cause.
AT&T is choosing to pick the fight with T-Mobile, a lesser carrier, because the company has posted two good quarters of subscriber growth after it made its adjustments last year. T-Mobile posted the growth after four years of losses, so the move by AT&T means the company sees T-Mobile as a rising threat.
T-Mobile's Chief Executive John Legere will be taking the stage on January 8 at CES in Las Vegas to announce the company’s next move.