Rumor: T-Mobile planning to pay your carrier's early termination fees if you switch

T-Mobile is planning to add to its recent "Uncarrier" promotional theme, which aims to destroy current perceptions of how carriers work (usually in a negative light) and provide new services that make the competition just look downright greedy. The announcement will come on Jan. 8, and while we don't know what's coming just yet, rumor has it that T-Mobile will announce that it will pay off early termination fees of people who make the switch from a competing wireless carrier.

That's according to an anonymous tip given to TmoNews, which is calling the product by its apparent codename "Houdini". T-Mobile would pay up to $350 for your early termination fees if you switch over. "New customers will receive instant credit when they trade in a smartphone, then get a credit for the ETF charged by their old carrier when they submit the final bill to TMO," the anonymous tipper writes.

"Emphasis will be on families switching up to 5 lines regardless of contract end dates…" they add. This makes far more sense for T-Mobile, financially speaking, because $350 is an awful lot of money to pay to get one person to join your network. Although now more than ever T-Mobile is willing to do quite a bit to grab your attention. Plus (reporting as someone who knows very well the pains of being in a family plan with various contract end dates) it'd be more enticing for entire families to make the switch if they're unhappy with the contracts they have with their current carrier.

This would truly be an incredible feat if T-Mobile goes through with it. We'll find out Jan. 8.

Source: TmoNews | Image via BGR

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When I went in there, they offered me $50/per device if I went with them.

I'm testing out the $30/month (100 minutes, 5GB LTE data/unlimited texting). If I like T-Mobile and they want to pay my $350 ETF for 2 phones, I'll do it. They offered me $100/month for unlimited calling / texting and 2.5GB data. Which in my eyes is WAY better than $160.

I like T-Mobile payment plans. We have 5 phone lines for 160 a month. I'm the only that have the unlimited plan. The only problem I have is that phone selection is not that good more so with Windows Phone. Which they had the 1020 and 925 is really. It a good looking phone or spec.

The 925 isn't a bad phone. My brother and I both have it and definately have not regretted our choice of moving from our Galaxy S3's.

Wow. if T-Mobile worked well in rural areas, would be great. But they work best in the city. I was with T-Mobile for close to 10 years but had to switch because I moved and their service sucked.

Been with T-Mobile for a bit now and I do like their service, price and options. Doing this will definitely shake up the market and based on what they've been doing lately I could see this as a real thing they have planned.

My only wish is that they'd work on stable 4G in my area and allow MMS over WiFi caling (only SMS is allowed, not MMS).

Been on straight talk for over a year using the at&t sim $45 a month and completely happy, tmobile has great LTE speeds but their coverage is terrible.

Order_66 said,
Been on straight talk for over a year using the at&t sim $45 a month and completely happy, tmobile has great LTE speeds but their coverage is terrible.

Coverage varies by location... I have no really discernible difference between any of the major carriers in Philadelphia, PA. So if you're going to cite coverage it might be helpful to also cite your area so people can get an idea.

Also, for some Straight Talk and other MVNOs work. For some of us they don't. I couldn't pull down over 13GB of data on my phone in 3 weeks on Straight Talk via AT&T. If I did they'd throttle or cancel my service.

Much like phones there is no one size fits all carrier.

LogicalApex said,

Coverage varies by location... I have no really discernible difference between any of the major carriers in Philadelphia, PA. So if you're going to cite coverage it might be helpful to also cite your area.

I was on tmobile right before I went with straight talk, did a lot of traveling in ohio, PA and Indiana, coverage was decent in major cities but that was about it, had sprint before that and never lost a signal but their data was horrible.

Had Aerial (picked up by T-mobile) a long time ago as a carrier, then kept having dropped calls and coverage issues when they took over. Left them, but T-mobile has fixed up their coverage and added new plans that 'save' me a ton over other companies. I called them up earlier this year and boom, they offered to get the family 'no matter' what.

Glad to see they are moving forward with that type of service. They seem poised to carve out and provide a more customer focused service.

LogicalApex said,

T-Mobile no longer has contracts so...

No, they only stretch out payments for the cost of the phone over two years. And if you cancel your "non-contract" early then they charge you full price for the phone.

Figure 8 Dash said,

No, they only stretch out payments for the cost of the phone over two years. And if you cancel your "non-contract" early then they charge you full price for the phone.

Correct, but in many cases it can be cheaper for that than an ETF would be. For example, I started services 3 months ago and owe $415 on my two Lumia 925s total (so roughly $207.50 for each). Right now I'd have a flat $700 ($350/ea) ETF if it were VZW or Sprint.

Figure 8 Dash said,

No, they only stretch out payments for the cost of the phone over two years. And if you cancel your "non-contract" early then they charge you full price for the phone.

They don't stretch any payments out for me since I buy my phone outright. It also doesn't leave me with an artificially high bill thanks to paying for a phone subsidy I don't need like AT&T would prefer.

Figure 8 Dash said,

No, they only stretch out payments for the cost of the phone over two years. And if you cancel your "non-contract" early then they charge you full price for the phone.

What do you mean by charge you the full price? You have to pay off the balance of the loan assuming you got one. It would be the same as just putting a phone on a credit card and paying it off slowly. That's unlike the contract based services where you always have a hidden hardware charge even if you're not on a contract.

I had 6 months to go on my Three contract (UK) back in July and T-Mobile offered to pay the cancellation fee for me if I took out a 2 year contract with them. Didn't take them up on the offer but I was pretty surprised.