This morning, after weeks of rumors regarding T-Mobile’s next UnCarrier initiative that’s supposed to be focused on families, AT&T has jumped ahead of T-Mobile’s expected announcements next week during CES by offering T-Mobile customers dual incentives to switch, with device trade-in credits of up to $250 depending on device and condition on a prepaid debit card, which can be used towards AT&T goods and services.
AT&T is also offering T-Mobile customers that port numbers out to AT&T a $200 credit per line, with the credit dependent on T-Mobile customers signing up for an AT&T Next plan by buying a device at full retail price or activating a compatible device they already own. The offer will only be available for a limited time and requires maintaining the new account in good standing for 90 days to receive the credit, with the credit being applied within 3 billing cycles.
After the announcement this morning, T-Mobile CEO John Legere, who has made no secret of his disdain for AT&T and the other carriers (despite being a former AT&T executive himself) has issued the following executive statement regarding the move:
This is a desperate move by AT&T on the heels of what must have been a terrible Q4 and holiday for them. I’m flattered that we have made them so uncomfortable! 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! 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!
-John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile USA
The T-Mobile CEO has also taken to his Twitter account, retweeting reactions from both T-Mobile and AT&T customers as well as the wider press about AT&T’s announcement. T-Mobile’s previous UnCarrier initiatives have eliminated international data roaming and conventional agreements with subsidies.