In yet another unusual move, T-Mobile, "the Un-carrier," plans to offer iPhone 5s, the latest model iPhone, on a one-week trial basis to people who currently use other carriers. T-Mobile CEO John Legere and the folks at T-Mobile are apparently certain that the T-Mobile network is robust enough, and has enough capacity, that people will be impressed when they get a free chance to try it out. On June 18, Recode.net quoted Legere as saying that people can cheat on their carriers and have a free "seven-night stand" with T-Mobile. In addition to demonstrating the availability of T-Mobile's network, the seven-night stand event is a splashy way to remind people that T-Mobile offers iPhones. T-Mobile was the last of the four major U.S. carriers to get the iPhone, and they only began offering it in 2013.
Sign-up for the seven-day trial of T-Mobile's network begins June 23, online. T-Mobile expects that about one million people will try out iPhone 5s devices during the trial. Apple is backing the T-Mobile event as well. Customers will not owe for the trial unless they damage or lose the trial iPhone. You'll still need a credit card to get a trial iPhone. The iPhone should arrive a few days after you sign up. Your credit card should not be charged if you return the iPhone to a T-Mobile store on time.
T-Mobile has been ahead of the other major U.S. carriers when it comes to innovative ways to attract customers, and they gained more new customers than the other carriers gained during the first quarter of 2014. T-Mobile's fun ways of attracting customers have not been profitable yet, however. As a result, T-Mobile and Sprint are having merger discussions, with Sprint likely to acquire T-Mobile, according to Reuters.com.
Here's a recap of a few of the benefits T-Mobile has offered in recent months to attract customers: (1) T-Mobile offered to pay early termination fees imposed by other carriers: up to $350 per line, for up to 5 lines in a family plan; (2) T-Mobile offered to reimburse you for the value of any phone you have to trade in as you convert to T-Mobile service, up to $300 per phone for up to 5 phones; (3) T-Mobile allows you to use cell phone and cellular data service in over 100 countries without additional charge; (4) T-Mobile will spread the cost of a new phone over a 24-month period and then reduce your monthly rate beginning in month 25.
It's good for consumers that T-Mobile is finding ways to offer friendlier policies, such as the ability to get a new phone less than two years into a contract with more reasonable buy-out costs, and the ability to use a smartphone outside the U.S. without incurring extra charges. When you compare costs, T-Mobile routinely beats AT&T and Verizon. The upcoming trial will give about one million prospective customers a chance to see whether the T-Mobile network delivers service that stands up to the service that Verizon and AT&T provide.