T-Mobile’s Get Out of Jail Free Offer: How It Works

Written by Sandy Berger

Unveiled after its CEO was bounced from AT&T’s CES party, T-Mobile’s Get Out of Jail Free frees people from carriers’ termination fees. How it works.

aNewDomain.net —  T-Mobile didn’t make a huge splash at  CES 2014, but when its CEO John Legere got bounced from AT&T’s CES 2014 party, he sure made up for it. He announced T-Mobile’s new Get Out of Jail Free feature, which lets AT&T customers get out of stifling mobile plans.

Too bad rapper Macklemore, AT&T’s entertainment for the night, had to endure the scuffle. But I bet few customers were complaining afterward when Legere announced that T-Mobile will pay early termination fees for anyone who switches to its network from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon.

 Shaking It Up

Last year T-Mobile shook up the mobile biz when it introduced its No Contract service. The firm simply sells phones at the regular retail price. No one could believe it at the time.

After the down payment, T-Mobile lets you pay a monthly amount until you pay off your phone. You’re able to leave at any time and you are only liable for the balance on the hardware.

T-Mobile at CES 2014 also introduced a quicker upgrade plan called JUMP!

This plan allows you to swap out your phone for newer models, as soon as six months after enrolling. Verizon and AT&T both countered with their own early-upgrade plans. Check out how T-Mobile’s so-called Get Out of Jail Free plan works.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The new T-Mobile Get Out of Jail Free program first lets you trade in your current phone for an instant credit of up to $300.

Then you choose a new phone from the T-Mobile line-up.

You pay for the new phone in 24 monthly installments.

When you get the final bill from your old carrier showing the early termination fee you take it to T-Mobile and they will issue you a MasterCard debit card, with up to $350 per device.

It is unclear if there will be more competing responses to T-Mobile’s new payment plan. But note T-Mobile’s Legere underlines that this is not a short-term promotion. It’s permanent. We’ll hold him to that.

T-Mobile added 4.4 million customers in 2013. This move will increase those numbers for anyone feeling that they’re in mobile cell phone jail — or any other kind of mobile payment prison. I’ll be watching.

For aNewDomain.net, I’m Sandy Berger.

Based in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Sandy Berger is a veteran tech journalist and senior editor at aNewDomain.net covering tech tips and tricks, apps, gadgets, and consumer electronics. Email her at Sandy@aNewDomain.net. Follow her on Twitter @sandyberger+SandyBerger on Google+, and on Facebook.