T-Mobile backtracks, adds grandfather clause to employer discount program

By on April 2, 2014, 2:00 PM
t-mobile, uncarrier, john legere, employer discount

Update: T-Mobile has had a change of heart with regard to the elimination of employer discounts. In a blog post penned earlier today, CEO John Legere said he’s been doing a lot of listening to customers and has decided to update the implementation plan for the changes announced a few days ago.

As such, anyone that was enrolled in the employer discount program or who applied to enroll before April 1 will be able to retain the rate plan discount so long as they continue to work at a participating employer. All that they are asking is for customers to participate in an annual online employer verification process.

New customers that sign up for employer plans after the April 1 deadline will only qualify for the $25 reward card as per the story below.

Original story below

T-Mobile CEO John Legere on Monday revealed the latest step in his company’s Un-carrier approach – eliminating employer rate plan discounts. The outspoken executive noted previous programs were designed to help big carriers close big corporate contracts by using employees as bargaining chips.

T-Mobile isn’t playing that game any longer.

Instead, the wireless carrier will offer a $25 reward card each time an employee purchases a new device. For a family of four that upgrades once a year, that’s up to $100 off (or $200 off if they upgrade twice annually).

Legere said the change is about simplifying wireless for everyone which includes employees of small and large companies alike. True enough, it’s easier to calculate a $25 per device upgrade savings versus a percentage off of a wireless bill each month… but let’s not kid ourselves here.

Despite the spin that Legere put on the message, the only entity that really wins here is T-Mobile. For better or for worse, the change is still based on where you work – just as before. A $25 discount on a phone upgrade is a far cry from, say, a 15 percent monthly discount on wireless service and only applies if you upgrade your phone. Those that rarely upgrade are essentially left out in the cold.

There’s no doubt that T-Mobile will earn some extra revenue from not having to discount so many plans but the question is, will they use that money to fund better deals for customers down the road?

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