Uncarrier 4.0: T-Mobile will pay you up to $650 per line to switch from competitor

T-Mobile's CEO John Legere is quickly generating a cult of technology enthusiasts around him after incessantly bashing other carriers for their greedy and conniving behaviors while promising better prices and services for T-Mobile customers. The carrier's (or should I say Uncarrier's) latest plan to win customers over is to pay for their early termination fees, the main reason why most people feel stuck on their current networks.

Here's the deal. If you're signed up as a customer with Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T, you can walk into a T-Mobile store and turn in your current phones on those networks for up to $300 per phone, based on the individual value of each phone, if you buy a new device with T-Mobile. On top of that, when you cancel your service with your current carrier, if you mail in your last bill to T-Mobile or upload it to switch2tmobile.com, T-Mobile will cover your early termination fees, up to $350 per line, and up to five lines total.

T-Mobile is willing to pay you up to $650 per line, or up to $3,250 for a five-person family, to switch to its network.

This is a huge deal, especially for people on family plans. Since customers on family plans often have varying contract-end dates, if just one person wants to buy a new phone at the end of their own contract, they have to sign another two-year agreement and pretty much lock everyone else in on the network. This is what makes it so difficult for families to switch carriers. T-Mobile's offer is a blessing for people with this problem, and there are many.

"We're giving families a ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card,' said Legere. "Carriers have counted on staggered contract end dates and hefty early termination fees to keep people bound to them forever."

Source: T-Mobile | Image via The Verge

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I have been with t-Mobile for many years and do not have any plans to switch. I really like them although at times it was either my phone or them where I had missed calls or messages I would not see until a few days later.

This has not happened to me in more than a year so they have improved their network and the prices were always pretty good on my plan. Middle of last year the contract was up so I jumped into no contract plan and have 24 months to pay off the phone. Got at the time the latest version of Samsung Galaxy Exhibit and I love the phone. Best one I ever owned and I am very connected.

Body Glove case in black keeps in protected well, nice camera, etc. Love Jelly Bean and being able to connect to email, networks, internet, etc.

I should also mention that when I got to Peru on our recent trip as soon as I got out of the airport and into taxi my home screen changed to show I was in Peru with Movi Star. That is a big carrier over there that handles the roaming with T-Mobile. It was cool to see the times for Miami and Peru at the same time on the home screen and immediately I got 3 text messages from them welcoming me to Peru and telling me about the rates.

Now I wish roaming was in the plan but they charge .20 cents per minute. I ended up only spending two dollars as I used text message for almost all conversations with family in Miami and email. I did not get charged extra for text, multimedia text or internet/email. Only voice cost extra.

The catch: You have to buy another device, which means two years of tacking $20+/month onto your bill. However, the credit is a per-line credit, so it's up to $300 phone credit per working phone, up to $350 ETF credit per line.

awesome! Before reading this, I was planning to wait until 2015 to avoid Verizon's termination fees, which is over $700 for me (I got a family plan). I've been paying $250/mo with Verizon for four lines while I can have the same thing with T-mobile for $110/mo. bye bye Verizon!!

im paying 250/mo with sprint, might wanna check my previous post because im trying to get $110/mo but the ETF promotion has a catch to it.

at the end though, once transferred, we will save alot of money in 1-2 years.

Hey guys help me out, trying to see what I should do.
I have 4 lines that I want to port over from sprint

The ETF promotion requires us to surrender our phones, which the trade value is **** and not much.
Samsung SPH-L710 white 16GB Galaxy S3 - Sprint trade-in value $57.00 (ETF FEE $160.00)
Samsung SPH-L720 white 16GB Galaxy S4 - Sprint trade-in value $143.00 (ETF FEE $320.00)
Motorola MB855 Photon - Sprint trade-in value $1.00 (ETF FEE $100.00)
Samsung Galaxy S2 - Sprint trade-in value $1.00 (ETF FEE $260.00)

I am thinking about paying the ETF for everything except for the galaxy s2 because there is no way to sell that phone and recoup $260.
I will sell the galaxy s3 & s4 since I cant even use it (no sim card slot)
I will keep the motorola phone because it has a sim card slot.

will use the motorola phone, and buy 3 nexus 5 phones.

So the ETF for Galaxy S2 will be reimbursed and trade in for the Motorola.

I was told that I have to get the unlimited 4G for ETF promotion. that is why I would rather pay off the ETF so I can just get the basic unlimited family plan. for 50+30+20+10.

but if I trade everything in, and get a new phone - i'll have to add 4G unlimited ($20 addition to each line) for 6 months before I can downgrade. So that bill now would be $180 just for the service plan. not including the payment plan for the phone. I'll end up paying more than my sprint bill for a few months.....

T-Mobile's CEO John Legere is quickly generating a cult of technology enthusiasts around him after incessantly bashing other carriers for their greedy and conniving behaviors

According to some around here that will drive away customers.

Carrier contracts being the main reason for not switching? Umm...how about T-Mobile's crap network. Yes, it is good if you live in the city. But if you want to do any rural traveling, AT&T is your only GSM option. They said they are fixing that with buying more spectrum, and said it should be much better by 2015. I guess I'll check back then to see how good their service is.

That being said, I will say I like them much more as a company than AT&T. At the very least, they are giving them competition. AT&T FINALLY has given in to giving you a discount if you are not in-contract, which is my situation since I bought a Nexus 5.

greensabath said,
Carrier contracts being the main reason for not switching? Umm...how about T-Mobile's crap network. Yes, it is good if you live in the city. But if you want to do any rural traveling, AT&T is your only GSM option. They said they are fixing that with buying more spectrum, and said it should be much better by 2015. I guess I'll check back then to see how good their service is.

That being said, I will say I like them much more as a company than AT&T. At the very least, they are giving them competition. AT&T FINALLY has given in to giving you a discount if you are not in-contract, which is my situation since I bought a Nexus 5.

Some people like Snickers, some Milky Way, others may not like any candy bars... Some people live outside of cities, some travel regularly outside them, and most don't travel regularly further than work...

Rural coverage is a problem for T-Mobile that I don't think needs fixing. The costs to provide it is too high and they should focus on where they can get a great return on their dollars. The cities have the density to make that a reality and have proven to work well.

Once they start having the infrastructure costs of AT&T they won't be all that much different...

When this was announced I started researching coverage for AT&T, Tmo, and Verizon in rural areas to see how well each network's connectivity was for various areas in the mid west where family members will travel. From what I've found ATT and Tmo both have very low coverage in rural areas if it at all. I read a lot of "this area is covered by a partner" on all three carriers I looked at.

Wow. This is nice of T-Mobile to do that. Too bad they lost me when I went to one of their stores and screwed it up for us.

Drive 2 hours only to find out it isn't possible to get an iPhone 4 after they told me over the phone that they could.

Was it actually a store by T-Mobile or a 3rd party store? When I worked for Verizon Wireless I got a lot of complaints about stores that were supposedly ours, that were actually 3rd party stores.

It was an actual T-Mobile store. It was listed on the T-Mobile website and had a T-Mobile sign on the front.

It basically went like this.

We called and they said yes they can get it in for us.
We go down there. They put the order in for the line but can't put the phone on it so they just do a sim card... They didn't inform me that the phone wasn't going on right away. At this point I suspect something but my mom is the one paying for the line and she pays the sim fee.
Next they try to order the phone separately but can't and call up support. They inform her that they can't get the phone in anywhere and she tells us. At this point we cancel and get a full refund as she is trying push an android phone.

We ended up going down to a Sprint location down the mall from where the T-Mobile store is and picking up a line under my name so I could get a corporate discount. Sprint was able to get me the phone that we wanted.