Talking tech since 2003

Confirming rumors from earlier today, during T-Mobile’s press conference at CES, the company announced that it will pay up to $350 in cancellation fees for new customers looking to break free of their contracts at other carriers. The move is clearly a response to AT&T’s own move from last week, which offered former T-Mobile customers $450 to switch over. Moreover, this announcement comes on the heels of news that Legere was kicked out of AT&T’s party last night. So that’s interesting.

According to a press release published by T-Mobile regarding the promotion, new customers will be eligible to have their cancellation fees covered by T-Mobile for up to $350. And while the AT&T offer was targeted specifically at T-Mobile, the un-carrier’s offer is good for customers at AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, widening the net for potential new customers. That’s pretty exciting—especially as someone who’s been pretty unhappy with Sprint for a long, long time.

Of course, the deal isn’t as simple as that—there are a bunch of boxes you’ve got to check before you get your reimbursement. For starters, you need to trade in your current phone, buy a new phone from T-Mobile, get a new plan with them, and move your number to them as well. Another catch there? The phone you can turn in has to be an “eligible device,” meaning that it’s a good bet that if you’ve got a phone that’s exclusive to a particular carrier, such as my HTC EVO 4G LTE, I’ll probably be SOL.*

Even still, it’s worth looking into. It’s entirely possible that there are some lesser deals available for schmucks like me who have exclusive phones that no other carrier wants, and maybe my local T-Mobile location will be able to help me out if I want to switch. Because, holy hell, I do want to switch. I remember looking into T-Mobile back when the company announced its JUMP promotion, but I didn’t go for it precisely because of the huge cancellation fees I’d suffer as a result. Maybe this time things will go differently.

The deal takes effect tomorrow, at which point I’ll know for sure just what they mean by “eligible devices,” and whether or not they’ll be as welcoming as CEO John Legere would like us to believe they are.

Will you too be investigating the “un-carrier”?

*Update! I investigated the promotion via T-Mobile’s website and it seems that they’ll take back my carrier-exclusive phone with no problem. This has all the makings of a wonderful deal.

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