AT&T beats T-Mobile to the punch, offers its customers up to $450 to switch

By on January 3, 2014, 2:00 PM
t-mobile, att, early termination fee, wireless carrier, john legere, uncarrier 4.0

The nation’s second largest wireless provider just went on the offensive in the battle against underdog wireless carrier T-Mobile by offering its customers up to $450 per line to switch to AT&T. The plan builds on the company’s existing smartphone trade-in program that offers up to $250 for a used handset by adding an extra $200 transfer credit on top of that.

What’s ironic here is that T-Mobile is expected to launch a similar program to pay for early termination fees during their press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 9. It would seem that AT&T may have beat T-Mobile to the punch this time around.

T-Mobile’s offering may ultimately prove to be the better option, however, as AT&T’s program is only valid for a limited time and only for those switching from T-Mobile. If Uncarrier 4.0 is indeed a plan to assist customers in paying for expensive early termination fees, they could come out ahead in the long run by making it a permanent promotion that’s available to anyone, not just those transferring from a specific carrier.

With less than a week before T-Mobile’s big press conference, they still have time to make adjustments to counter AT&T’s announcement and knowing how much CEO John Legere likes to shake things up, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did just that.

Even with T-Mobile’s success in 2013, however, the future of the wireless carrier remains largely unknown. Recent rumors suggest Sprint is interested in purchasing the carrier which could help them better compete against top-tier Verizon and AT&T.

User Comments: 6

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howzz1854 said:

This is great. more competition the better for us. I remember back in early 2000 when cell phones were taking off for the masses. everybody had the same phone, there were no exclusives. the monthly rate plans were all VERY competitive. I miss those days.

although the upfront credits of $200 seem enticing, and if you opt to trade in your phone that could be even more enticing. however, based on monthly rate plan comparison, AT&T is still lagging behind and more expensive. hopefully they can be more competitive on their monthly rate plan, because that's ultimate where customers will save the most money.

Guest said:

You are being very optimistic. AT&T will have to be dragged by the feet into competition. Even with this deal, you are still getting a worse deal than T-Mobile's plans. AT&T is just hoping that a few fools will be lured by upfront cash in return for bending over and taking it.

Mallok Mallok said:

I'd like to see how many people want to go back to contracts and ETFs after switching to T-mobile. Aren't more and more people switching to no contract plans every quarter? Probably still a long way to go until it hurts Verizon and AT&T but not so far out that we can't wring our hands in anticipation.


Oh yeah lots of people are switching away from the contract plans. I did and my family is right behind me along with a couple of friends. With the prices of some smart phones coming down it is no wonder. No one likes being bound up in a contract.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

The only time I'd sign a contract with any wireless carrier is if it was free. I cancelled my contract over 8 years ago and never looked back. It saves me a bundle.

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

Who cares what they give you when u spend 20 per phone per month more per line

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