John Legere may not have gotten to hear Mackelmore, but the T-Mobile CEO landed enough knock outs here at CES to make up for the slight.
Legere was escorted out of his favorite punching bag AT&T's party in Vegas earlier this week, recanting the tale during T-Mo's Unleashed 4.0 press event earlier today. Let's just say, Legere doesn't seem too sorry about it, or the resulting buzz.
But the real news from the press conference centered around a few key announcements, namely the confirmation that T-Mobile will start covering customers' early termination fees (ETFs) when they switch from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, plus give them an additional credit when they make the move.
In all, T-Mobile could end up forking $650 per line.
How T-Mobile's ETF plan will work
T-Mobile is going after family plans with its latest Uncarrier move, looking to unleash those with multiple lines on plans with varying start and end dates and give them the choice to switch services.
"When [a carrier] is not doing well, someone should be able to pick up and leave," Legere said in introducing the plan.
Here's how it will work: Starting tomorrow, customers with existing postpaid service on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint can come to T-Mobile if they trade-in an eligible device. They'll receive up to a $300 credit for the device along with up to $350 (in the form of a prepaid MasterCard) to cover the cost of the ETF.
T-Mobile is opening it up to those on family plans by covering the ETFs and offering credits for up to five lines.
"This is not a promotion. This is not a bribe," CMO Mike Sievert said during the event.
There are a few caveats. Customers will need to pick up a new phone from T-Mobile, and they'll have to port their numbers over to T-Mobile. Sievert said that all T-Mobile smartphones, including high-end models, are now $0 down.
When customers receive their final bill stamped with ETFs from their former carrier, they send it to T-Mobile or upload it to switch2tmobile.com. T-Mo then carts over the additional dollars to cover the cost of the ETF.
As for existing T-Mobile customers, the carrier is throwing them a bone by waving their migration fee when they sign up for a Simple Choice plan. It involves moving off-contract, picking up a Simple Choice plan, trading in a current device and upgrading to a new one. Those with 1-5 lines can take advantage of the deal.
We asked AT&T, Verizon and Sprint for comment on T-Mobile's announcement, and only AT&T responded by directing us to its offer of up to $450 to switch from T-Mobile to its network.
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