T-Mobile reportedly plans to pay early termination fees for new subscribers

Brittany A. Roston - Dec 20, 2013, 7:00pm CST
T-Mobile reportedly plans to pay early termination fees for new subscribers

It is no secret that T-Mobile aims to make waves in the wireless industry with its Uncarrier push, something that has offered up various perks and seemingly spurred other carriers to adopt similar options. The carrier’s John Legere teased earlier this week “Uncarrier 4.0”, and according to a source that cropped up, this could mean paying other carriers’ early termination fees for new subscribers.

It certainly isn’t official at this point, but the folks over at TmoNews have revealed details provided by an anonymous individual regarding an alleged T-Mobile project codenamed “Houdini”. The folks at TmoNews say the message came through an apparently anonymous service, and that they have no way to verify the information, and so obviously it should be taken with a big grain of salt until something official surfaces either way.

According to this unnamed source, project Houdini will involve a subscriber who switches to T-Mobile from a different carrier being given up to $350 in credit by trading in their current smartphone. Once signed up and terminated with their current carrier, they will then be able to submit their final bill with the early termination fee to T-Mobile, which will provide a credit that covers the cost.

It seems this option would be available to any new subscriber, but the source says that T-Mobile will be especially targeting multi-line families (up to five lines), which makes sense from a financial standpoint. While surprising, this move — assuming it does come to fruition — would remove a major hassle those in contracts face when switching: the burden of paying an ETF or waiting for the contract duration to run out. In a multi-line family situation, getting out of this revolving game without paying an ETF can be especially difficult if there are different contract termination dates, leaving some to stay with the same carrier to avoid a hefty charge for leaving.

In the tweet Legere sent out earlier this week, he teased, “Time to eliminate another customer pain point? Time for #Uncarrier4? Yes it’s time! Stay tuned…Happy New Year #Randall.” Which certainly could be a foreshadowing for such a move, but we’ll have to wait for the next Uncarrier announcement to know one way or the other. One thing is sure — if T-Mobile does start paying ETF for new subscribers, other carriers have reason to be nervous.

Image via NY Post

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