AT&T Hits Back at T-Mobile with Up to $450 in Credits for Switchers

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Over the past year,
T-Mobile US has been shaking up the U.S. carrier market with its "Un-carrier" plans, the addition of the iPhone to its device lineup, and a frequent device upgrade program, enticing several other major carriers to make changes to their own services to align with T-Mobile's offerings.

Going beyond recent moves to uncouple device and service costs as T-Mobile has done, AT&T today announced that it is offering up to $450 in credits for customers switching to the carrier from T-Mobile. The offer consists of two parts: up to $250 for trading in their current smartphone as part of the carrier's usual trade-in plan and an additional $200 for transferring their wireless service to AT&T.
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. Trade-in values will vary based on make, model and age of the smartphone, but many of the latest and most popular smartphones will qualify for a value of $250. T-Mobile customers can receive an additional $200 credit per line when they transfer their wireless service to AT&T and choose an AT&T NextSM plan, buy a device at full retail price or activate a device they currently own.
Last month, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson noted that the long-standing U.S. wireless business model of carriers providing device subsidies in exchange for service contracts is no longer economically feasible. By uncoupling device costs from service, carriers believe they can offer customers more flexibility when it comes to deciding about device upgrades while still allowing customers to spread out their significant hardware costs through payment plans.

Following last year's series of Un-carrier announcements from T-Mobile, the company is set to announce the next stage of its program next week at CES. Details have yet to surface, but hints and rumors have suggested that the carrier may be making some changes to encourage family plan users to switch carriers, perhaps through subsidizing early termination fees imposed by other carriers.

The future of T-Mobile does, however, remain up in the air, as parent company Deutsche Telekom has been looking to exit the U.S. market. Following a failed attempt by AT&T to acquire T-Mobile US in 2011, Sprint has been reported to be mulling its own offer for T-Mobile that could allow the combined carrier to rival the much larger Verizon and AT&T.

Update: In an email to Re/code, T-Mobile CEO John Legere calls AT&T's new offer a "desperate move".
"This is a desperate move by AT&T on the heels of what must have been a terrible Q4 and holiday for them," Legere said in an e-mail to Re/code. "Consumers won't be fooled... nothing has changed, customers will still feel the same old pain that AT&T is famous for. Just wait until CES to hear what pain points we are eliminating next. The competition is going to be toast!" [...]

"We used AT&T's cash to build a far superior network and added 'un-carrier' moves to take tons of their customers - and now they want to bribe them back," Legere said. "I'm flattered that we have made them so uncomfortable!"
Update 2: T-Mobile has published a similar version of Legere's statement.

Article Link: AT&T Hits Back at T-Mobile with Up to $450 in Credits for Switchers
 

Windlasher

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2011
483
111
minneapolis
Fail...

Seems like too little too late... I guess no one is falling for the family shared plan. It actually would have raised our rates and given us less data.
 

jian

macrumors regular
Dec 5, 2008
221
2
San Francisco
well...

Nice try ATT. but being a valued ATT customer who upgrades his phone every year and gets locked into a 2 year contract every year...I must say...if Tmobile offers a similar deal where they will reimburse the ETF, I will be waiting outside of an Tmobile store to switch !

Now, in reality...IDK how much Tmobile is better than ATT or vise versa, but I doubt that's gonna make any major differences, plus I still have the grandfathered unlimited plan. To me, being able to upgrade to a new phone every year is much important than switching to another carrier...

unless Tmobile is way better...is it?
 

Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2010
828
80
New customers have to sign for mobile share plan at AT&T (this is the only option AT&T offers for new contracts).
2GB Data + Unlimited talk and text = $95 before taxes. Compare it to $50 from T-Mobile. That's $45X24 months (contract) = $1080 - $450 credit = $630 or $315 loss per year for this move (pre tax).

Every additional smartphone adds $40 to the plan and shares this 2GB, unlike T-Mobile where you get additional line with 2GB data for $40 (goes down by $10 for each additional line).
 

ZOZO

macrumors member
Nov 11, 2013
65
0
Well, T-Mobile must be doing something right if AT&T is this worried about them specifically.
 

jimmirehman

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2012
440
183
ATT why dont you have try loosening the reigns on your data pricing! DAMN. I have 8 lines with you and have had an account for 9 years, give me a reason to stay! Make me feel wanted.
 

krravi

macrumors 65816
Nov 30, 2010
1,173
0
Shucks! Just switched to ATT two weeks ago from T-Mobile!

Had no issues with TMobile, voice was great, WiFi calling was great but their Data coverage sucked. I thought I could live with it as I already knew this from their coverage map. But I couldn't!

TMobile, other than these tricks... increase your coverage!
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,181
670
As a long term AT&T customer, I would have switched to T-Mobile a long time ago if I could get decent coverage.

The $450 credit for customers is a very bad deal. You have to hand in your old smartphone for only $250 & buy another from AT&T at full price using their Next program. It would be cheaper if you just kept your old smartphone. AT&T will always find a way to screw you over.
 

CEmajr

macrumors 601
Dec 18, 2012
4,376
1,138
Charlotte, NC
Wow. Big AT&T is running scared of little T-Mobile. Looks like TMO is definitely doing something right for AT&T to aim this at them specifically. Gotta love this competition among the carriers.
 

ghettochris

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2008
774
0
FU att, how about a good deal for your current subscribers? line better pricing for out of contract plans, rollover data, etc.
 

mpantone

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2009
450
0
LOL, American mobile operators suck.

:D

(Disclaimer: I am currently a T-Mobile USA prepaid customer.)
 

mpantone

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2009
450
0
Because profit margin is important to shareholders and postpaid smartphone users are typically the most profitable consumer customers.

But don't just take my word blindly, go read AT&T's SEC filings.
 

noodle654

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2005
2,066
19
Never Ender
AT&T has so much revenue, don't even know why they are playing with t-mobile.
Because they can. On another note, I don't really understand the hate towards 2 year contacts and subsidized equipment. Am I the only one that thinks it is totally fine? Buy AppleCare + and sell your phone at the end of 2 years and you will never really have to pay out of pocket for a phone. T-Mobile plans seem great, but I think people are in for a rude awakening when they start upgrading their phones all the time and end up being broke. Just my $0.02
 

PsstGreek

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2010
3,774
58
Tampa Bay
I left ATT for TMobile back in April and couldn't be happier. Started off with the Uncarrier plan and then switched to the $30/month prepaid plan a few months back. ATT would probably have to a lot more if I were to ever switch back.
 

SomeGuyDude

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2011
730
2
NEPA
I left ATT for TMobile back in April and couldn't be happier. Started off with the Uncarrier plan and then switched to the $30/month prepaid plan a few months back. ATT would probably have to a lot more if I were to ever switch back.
Yeah, same with me and Verizon. The credits are nice, but don't offset the fact that I get unlimited data for a lot less than what they'd charge for 4GB/mo and limited minutes.
 

AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,890
941
However all this will be nothing once DT says "See Ya!" to T-Mobile US. Once that happens nothing will stop the fall of T-Mobile.
x1000.

T-Mobile can be cutting all their margins as thin as they want, but it only hurts themselves. Having Legere as their puppet doesn't cost them much, but network upgrades do. They can't afford to improve their network if they keep lowering prices and letting everyone onto their network.
 
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rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Mar 25, 2013
2,487
859
If AT&T hadn't recently jacked up for the services packages I might consider switching back to them from T-Mobile. Their 3GB data package w/ 450 anytime minutes was always more than enough for me but now they've gone the way of Verizon their price has gone way up. $110/month w/ 4GB of data, no thanks!

AT&T is going to lose customers to T-Mobile over this, especially if T-Mobile announces they will pay off their competitions ETFs as they are expected to do next week their gonna really get hit hard!

AT&T & Verizon better get with the program soon...
 

azentropy

macrumors 68020
Jul 19, 2002
2,290
1,309
Surprise
I would have switched to TMobile if the coverage was a bit better. I did get both my iPad Air and iPad mini setup with TMobile and when it works, it works well. But get spotty coverage sometimes.

The one change I really want from AT&T is to include personal hot spot in all their plans. I pay for 2gb of data, I should be able to use it however I want! In order for me to go from the single plan I have now (which isn't available any longer) to one that allows personal hot spot it would be an extra $40 a month!
 

mpantone

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2009
450
0
T-Mobile plans seem great, but I think people are in for a rude awakening when they start upgrading their phones all the time and end up being broke.
Nah, we're good.

Some of us can actually do math, figure out TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) during the research stage.

:D
 

rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Mar 25, 2013
2,487
859
However all this will be nothing once DT says "See Ya!" to T-Mobile US. Once that happens nothing will stop the fall of T-Mobile.
Softbank is in the final stages of getting ready to purchase T-Mobile so it should be interesting to see what happens then....

----------

Because they can. On another note, I don't really understand the hate towards 2 year contacts and subsidized equipment. Am I the only one that thinks it is totally fine? Buy AppleCare + and sell your phone at the end of 2 years and you will never really have to pay out of pocket for a phone. T-Mobile plans seem great, but I think people are in for a rude awakening when they start upgrading their phones all the time and end up being broke. Just my $0.02
Clearly you don't understand how T-Mobile's JUMP! program works. You can only upgrade twice a year so unless a customer pays out of pocket (same as a cutomer of any other carrier) how would they go broke exactly?
 

hudson1

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2012
378
178
Well, T-Mobile must be doing something right if AT&T is this worried about them specifically.
Is AT&T getting into a legal grey area with this move? I can see the DOJ having a problem with a very large competitor targeting the smallest national carrier without making the same offer available to customers of the other two large carriers.
 
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