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1/9/2014
10:42 AM
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T-Mobile: We'll Pay 'Evil' Family Fees

T-Mobile promises to pick up early termination fees, offers trade-in cash to get families to switch from its US carrier rivals.

T-Mobile USA's latest bid to tempt customers from its rivals is to pay the early termination fees on family plans and offer trade-in cash for eligible devices.

CEO John Legere, who wasted no time at CES 2014 in describing the way family plans are currently operated in the industry as "evil," said T-Mobile will offer families up to $350 to cover early termination fees on up to five lines from another carrier and up to $300 trade-in value on working devices.

(Note: A friend used an estimate tool to see the trade-in value for a couple of older Android devices on Verizon and found they were worth only a few dollars, so consumers should check out such details first.)

Read the rest of this story on Light Reading.

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kylelyles
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kylelyles,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/9/2014 | 11:26:43 AM
Irony Rings Loud!
Irony rings loud! T-Mobile was the very worst carrier about slapping early term fees.  They hit me with $450 because I ported to Verizon three days before the end of contract, even though I had paid through the end of the contract.  I had to hire a lawyer to sue this dying company.

The new CEO has a long way to go to make up for their horrible behavior.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2014 | 11:45:02 AM
Re: Irony Rings Loud!
Interesting to hear TMobile is still a brand over there. It converted over to Everything Everywhere, or EE, here in the UK after it merged with Orange. 
JayM139
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JayM139,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/9/2014 | 12:05:15 PM
Re: Irony Rings Loud!
I have to wonder about the validity of your story because the early termination fees are prorated so if you left just days early they would amount to 10 dollars per line.
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2014 | 1:10:12 PM
Churn Wars Coming?
I wonder if we are heading for something similar to the cable/satellite wars a few years back, where both were so focused on trying to get new customers, that they did very little to keep existing customers happy. They both were able to post massive numbers for new subs, but also were losing existing subs in droves.

Smart phone churn wars may be coming!
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
1/9/2014 | 3:25:50 PM
Trading coverage?
Coverage would be my #1 issue. Looking for a deal is great, but not so much if you can't send or receive calls and messages.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
1/9/2014 | 3:38:33 PM
Re: Irony Rings Loud!
I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile just before this promotion. Though I had to pay an early termination fee for one of the four family contract phones on the account, the switch paid for itself in two months. My monthly mobile bill dropped $100. Coverage so far has not been an issue, but it could be.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/9/2014 | 3:50:08 PM
Re: Churn Wars Coming?
The cable and (now) satellite companies are still doing this. They still haven't figured out how to keep the cash going will recruiting new subs.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2014 | 4:57:41 PM
Re: Trading coverage?
@Kristin exactly, so. But customer service is also an issue. I resolved never to use T-Mobile again after one of their employees deliberately cut off my phone just before I went on a trip. She did it to protest my taking up a new contract to qualify for rebate. But I was fully within my rights to do so, and she was wrong to cut my service. The company didn't offer anything beyond a lame apology, so I switched. While AT & T doesn't really have better coverage, I have no complaints about the customer service, and the price is consistent with what is offered in my area. All those promotional rates advertised are never available in my service area.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
1/10/2014 | 4:28:10 PM
Re: Trading coverage?
Yikes, sounds like a nightmare. Companies really underestimate the impact bad (or good) customer service can have.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
1/10/2014 | 4:34:43 PM
Re: Trading coverage?
@Kristin yes, a bad enough experience will keep them from coming back. It amazes me that customer service reps don't get better training. I've also had some from retailers give completely wrong information even when I told them that in my experience it had worked like X, they would insist that I had misunderstood and it really was Y. In that particular case, it turned out that I was right about how it works, but the way the employee presented it, not just presenting a completely unfair policy but acting very condescending to me put me off the business for a long time. The fact that their computer systems are down a lot is not pushing me off them altogether. 
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