AT&T offering up to $450 to customers that switch from T-Mobile [UPDATE]

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Rumors abound T-Mobile’s next phase of their Uncarrier program could involve buying customers out of their current contracts with competing carriers.  One of those competitors just beat them to the punch. AT&T is offering up to $450 in incentives to customers switching from T-Mobile in an effort to sway users away from a service provider that has been causing headaches for others in the same business.

AT&T is offering up to $250 (depending on condition) to folks who trade-in their current T-Mobile smartphone. The money is distributed in the form of a promotion card good toward AT&T products and services. Additionally, customers can earn a $200 credit by opting into an AT&T Next plan or buying a device at full price. Activating a currently owned device on AT&T’s network qualifies a customer for the promotion as well (basically the credit applies to anything but a traditional subsidized service contract).

It’s a brazen move by AT&T. T-Mobile has caused quite the shakeup in the wireless industry, introducing their JUMP program, redefining the payment and upgrade process for mobile devices along with lower service rates. Every major carrier has followed suit and offered similar buying options in the months since. AT&T has been a particular target, and it’s suspected T-Mobile’s next move — to be unveiled next week at CES — would target the carrier by offering to buy out the early termination fees of customers switching from one network to the other. Not wanting to again be caught playing catchup, AT&T has struck first. Good for them.

[Press Release]

UPDATE: T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere has issued a quick response via press release.

“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!”

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  • Steve

    This is good for everyone involved. Im sticking with Tmob.

    • JFK06

      This is better than watching gas stations go to war. Things like this always works in favor of the consumer. Will be staying with Tmobile as well….for now. Cant wait to see how interesting this gets.

      • Daury Morillo

        Thats why the competition it’s always good. Both for the company and for the consumer.

  • SmoothMalice

    AT&T just needs to offer unlimited data plans comparable to T-Mobile and I may switch.

    • a) youth.in.asia

      And price match them as well? Let me know when you want me to wake you from your dream. AT&T is NOT #2 for giving out charity lines of service. You get what you pay for and with T-Mob it’s a limited LTE / HSPA+ network area

      • WadeDogg

        they wouldn’t need to pricematch.

        if they offered an unlimited data plan like Tmobile(obviously for a higher price) and people had the opportunity to have limitless data with vastly improved coverage, ATT would keep and gain customers.

  • Delmar

    Why the heel would i want to limit myself?

  • Justtyn Hutcheson

    Terrible and facetious move by AT&T in response to the personal jabs from Legere. Rather than make their current customers happy enough to stay, they are trying to grab customers from the #4 carrier? Great strategy.

    • Roaduardo

      Ugh, I know right? Who can live happily on their measly data plans?

  • TechWings

    “First, $250 of that is the maximum you’ll receive in return for trading in your existing T-Mobile handset. To get the full $250, you’ll need a recent handset in good condition – in which case you’d almost certainly get more selling it privately …

    Second, the balance of the $200 you receive just for switching is dependent on you buying a new AT&T handset outright at full retail, or activating your own unlocked phone. You’ll only receive that credit when you’ve been paying your AT&T bills for 90 days.

    Finally, AT&T is not waiving its standard $36 activation fee, so you’ll have to pay that before you start seeing any money back. Oh, and it’s time-limited offer, but AT&T hasn’t yet said when it expires.”

    Source: 9to5Google

    • Kevin

      And all (or most) T-mobile phones will work on AT&T, so why would you need to sell your phone to move to AT&T? There are no more contracts on T-Mobile, you can leave at anytime..

      • TechWings

        Not selling the phone kind of negates the offer. The initial (up to) $250 is based on selling your current phone to AT&T. So if you don’t sell it, then all you get is the (90 days later) $200. But since this is AT&T we’re talking about, I’m sure it’s an all or nothing deal.

      • Aaron Davis

        They want you to trade in your old phone and buy a new one, so they can underpay you for the old one, and overcharge you for the new one. If you just transferred your old phone, at&t wouldn’t make any money from reselling it.

    • Jorell

      Uhhh…no. There is no $36 activation for next purchases.

  • Mark Washington

    Can they buy me out of Sprint !

    • spicymeatball

      Hopefully T-Mobile plays that card and keeps their awesome pricing.

  • patrick

    I have neither Tmob or ATT but i know TMob has unlimited data and fairly reasonable prices. why the heck would you go to ATT and get capped on your data. Sure Tmob could use faster coverage and better speeds(all dependent on where you live of course), but still.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    Wow, AT&T is so nice..NOT. Thanks but no thanks for capped data

  • Dean Politis

    Wouldn’t it make more sense for AT&T to make this offer to Verizon customers? Obviously, T-Mobile is making AT&T uncomfortable that they have to make such an offer. This really isn’t that great of a deal when you consider how much extra you will have to pay per month for AT&T plans and there is no unlimited data plan being offered.

    • Aaron Davis

      At&t is in collusion with Verizon, why would they try to lure customers away from their best friend?

  • Dan Fryling

    Sorry this ain’t no deal.

  • supremekizzle

    “Good for them” ??? The only reason AT&T did this is because T-Mobile was going to do it first. If T-Mobile wasn’t going to do it, do you think AT&T would ever do anything this good for their customers? And good for them for striking first? Um, we need more competition in the wireless industry now that smartphones are huge. AT&T has the subscriber base and is doing just fine. This is T-Mobile’s turn. Oh, but this is Kevin so he’s going to let his bias love affair with AT&T spill over into his writing.

    • jnt

      Both companies’ motivation is the same. More $$ for their shareholders. Whether Kevin has bias for AT&T is irrelevant as you’re clearly showing the same amount of bias on the negative side. (edit: sorry if that came across kinda rude, really didn’t intend for it to)

      So far AT&T and Verizon haven’t engaged with T-Mobile… so yes, good for them for deciding to engage, whether reactionary or not. As soon as AT&T and Verizon start swinging their big sticks (i.e. network coverage), T-Mobile’s run will slow down. I love what T-Mobile’s doing, but the fact is their network is still far behind ATT/VZW. It’s good in local patches, but in general it’s way behind.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      You realize Kevin is with Verizon, right? O_o

  • kev2684

    funny AT&T is only aiming at the 4th largest us carrier. they just showed everyone T-Mobile is that of a threat to them. lol.

  • WadeDogg

    OR…

    you could stay with Tmobile and save just as much money every few months when comparing Tmo’s unlimited all plan with ATTs highest talk/text/data offering.

    nice one ATT. you’ll get that $450 back in 2 or 3 billing cycles with how much you charge.

  • MrDivaNYC

    LOL. What people do not understand is that under AT&T Next, there is no contract. You’re paying Full Price for a device. For example, if you want the Note 3, you’re getting $200.00 Of of $700.00…LMAO! Another AT&T smoke & Mirror session, to fool the fools!

  • bob

    LOL! WEAK AT&T. WHY WOULD ANYONE TRADE IN A DEVICE FOR 250 THAT THEY COULD SELL FOR TWICE AS MUCH…

    • MrDivaNYC

      CAN YOU SAY STUPID AND DUMB? There’s a lot of those poeple still around that make up the customer base of Verizon and AT&T. Remember these are the “smart” people who never read an agreement before they sign it, and then whine like a baby when told thy’re going to be charged an ETF.

    • Aaron Davis

      Many people value their phone based solely on the $100-$200 they paid when they first got the phone, because they have no idea that they are also paying a monthly payment on the phone as part of their bill.

      Cell companies (including t-mobile until recently) have gone to great lengths to make sure the customers never actually know how much their phone is costing them.

      • spicymeatball

        Recently meaning for over a year TMO has been doing this. Probably closer to 2 years.

        • Aaron Davis

          Yeah, I meant “recently” as in 2-3 years ago. I really like the way t-mobile does it now. Nothing shakes up the market like showing everyone how they have been deceived, and how things can change for the better.

  • shooter50

    Losers, any fool who switches to ATT deserves the overpriced service they receive. This clearly indicates ATT’s fear of Tmobile as this incentive is only directed at them. The fine print on this offer is pitiful. ATT should be embarrassed.

  • Aaron Davis

    This is why t-mobile should have just kept their mouth shut about the details of UnCarrier 4.0 until they were actually ready to announce it, instead of giving out all those little teasers and allowing at&t to steal their thunder.

    Now T-mobile is going to look like a “me-too” player when it announces the exact same switcher incentive a week from now

    • MrDivaNYC

      Remember TMO didn’t release any details. The LEAK came from within TMobile. And they LEAKED the “4.0 INFO” to Tmo news. I believe it was done on purpose to mislead AT&T. Now that AT&T played their hand, it’s T-Mobiles time.

  • spicymeatball

    Trapping people in 2 year contracts stifles competition in the industry and isn’t the kind of change that it needs. This is just more trickery. $450 will be paid for through the subscriber in less than a year in overpriced fees. ATT will give $450 to get $900 over 2 years. Let’s not kid ourselves AT&T and Verizon place the hook and then yank.

    • Billy_B

      Except that you can now get AT&T’s mobile share plans for $15 less per phone if you don’t have a phone subsidy (a.k.a. no contract). T-Mobile is no longer that much cheaper. And I have a 24% corporate discount with AT&T. I now pay $91.80 for 2 lines with unlimited talk, text, and a shared 2GB of data. If I want to move to 4GB, it goes to $104. And I get a vastly superior AT&T network.

      I love what T-Mobile is doing, but AT&T has a lot of firepower to do some price matching. And they are starting to do that. They just have way more money than T-Mobile.

      • Brian

        You must work directly for AT&T. 24% is a hell of discount. The average person with a corporate discount gets 15%. Your discount is not a reason to say its equal or almost equal to T-Mobile’s cost. If a person gets a discount from AT&T they would get a discount from T-Mobile also.

        Also this special is for a person bringing a device, or joining Next. I would move to AT&T from Verizon but I have 8 months left. So if T-Mobile going to offer to pay the ETF for both lines I’m game.

        • Billy_B

          Nope I sure don’t. Also, at AT&T, you now can get the 4GB shared data for 2 phones for 120 without a corporate discount. Considering the better network and this more competitive pricing, it’s worth it.

          • Guest

            Tmobile offers unlimited data on two lines for the same price.

          • Guest

            tmobile offers unlimited data for two lines for the same price.

          • Billy_B

            I’m flying around the country 10-12 times a year and I need a more reliable network than T-Mobile. And most people don’t need unlimited data. It’s only the minute amount of people that either tether and use their mobile internet as their home internet OR it’s people that live on their devices streaming movies and music all the time. Most people are not these people hence why the most popular data plan at AT&T is their shared 4GB plan. I’m on WiFi at home like most normal people and also on WiFi at work. I don’t have enough time in the day to need unlimited mobile data.

          • Dictionary

            Hi At&T,

            Didn’t know you sunk this low. You want people back: bring back unlimited internet but you won’t do that you saw that calling minutes are going down and internet usage is going so you put up an “excuse” so you can meter internet.

            No.

      • WadeDogg

        great. so all we need to do is get hired at your company to get that massive corporate discount.

        • Jr Hernandez

          Can I get an application as well. I also want a discount. Actually NVM I’d rather stick with tmobille I already get $30 discount.. N I have unlimited data. Free porn for everyone….. Yay!!!

  • Eddie Villalobos

    $450? I make that up within 7 months on my Family Plan of 5 with T-Mo.

  • TechSwagg

    offer me a deal to switch from Sprint and I’m all in!

  • jesse

    I have unlimited talk/text and 2.5gb of data each from Tmo $69 a month after my discount. And we get fabulous coverage and data speeds, 20-30mb down

  • http://www.briomatrix.com/ New York Web Design Company Br

    AT & T going with successful business strategy where as T-Mobile is charging high price on customers. So obviously AT & T can attract the stock market as well as the US customer market too.

    • RCB0524

      You’re being sarcastic, right?

    • Brian Menius

      Step away from the crank…

  • RKSoni

    The offer of AT&T looks attractive but it is not easy to
    get it. Still there are few catches…. People are smart, AT&T
    customers will go over toT Mobile, and then switch back for the credit within
    14 days, att can’t verify account ownership time. They will basically just lose
    a ton of cash on tmobile… Again…T-Mobile will also announce a big relief at
    CES-2014…. The main attraction of T-Mobile is its cheaper unlimited plans
    which AT&T don’t . we should wait till next week before Jump…. http://www.telecomvibe.com

    • Willie D

      Or get a TMobile Prepaid account then switch to AT&T like I am. AT&T however does require you to remain on their plan for 90 days

  • Brian Menius

    John Legere is the perfect amount of cocky, pompous jackhole (and I mean that in the best way possible) crossed with no-nonsense, down-to-business mover and shaker. I enjoy his stark contrast to the stuffy, disconnected suits of Wall Street-driven corporations.

  • Fel Pe

    Att gives you $450 to lock you in 2 years of over charges that adds up to almost $2000. Very dumb IMO.

    • Willie D

      Not available with contract plans. The credit is only for NO CONTRACT PLANS

  • No_Nickname90

    I remember when we moved to Sprint and I was happy because at the time, Tmo didn’t have unlimited/no throttle data. It was too good to be true. So I’m sure this may sound good on the front end, but you’re still stuck with AT&T for 2 more years. LoL!!

    Like, really? If someone is using Tmo, they most likely don’t have a contract, and most likely wanted that way.

    • Willie D

      Did you not read the article?Additionally, customers can earn a $200 credit by opting into an AT&T Next plan or buying a device at full price. Activating a currently owned device on AT&T’s network qualifies a customer for the promotion as well (basically the credit applies to anything but a traditional subsidized service contract).
      These options are NO CONTRACT

      • No_Nickname90

        I thought AT&T’s Next Plan was a contract plan. Are you saying that it’s not? I guess I read the article wrong. Hmm…

        I’ll reread it.

  • Sam Glxy

    The much rumored HTC M8 will release on both AT&T and Sprint

    http://www.htcmate.com/htc-m8-features-top-10/