T-Mobile is trying to expand its customer base by offering existing Verizon customers a special two-week free trial to use T-Mobile's services and phones as part of the company's new "Never Settle … for Verizon" promotion.
The offer runs from May 13 through May 31, according to a May 5 announcement that pokes some fun at Verizon's recent campaign that urges prospective customers to "never settle" for the substandard mobile services offered by its rivals.
"Verizon seems to be spending billions on its latest ad campaign telling you to 'Never Settle,'" T-Mobile announced in a statement. "We couldn't agree more. So, today the Un-carrier launched the Never Settle Trial, exclusively for Verizon customers, so they can give the Un-carrier a try with no risk or extra out-of-pocket expense."
Under the Never Settle Trial promotion, Verizon customers can have their mobile phone number ported temporarily to a new T-Mobile smartphone, while they can keep their old Verizon phone during the trial period, just in case they would want to go back to Verizon, according to T-Mobile. When the free trial is completed, customers will be given the choice of staying with T-Mobile or returning to Verizon. If the customer stays with T-Mobile, the company will pay off any of Verizon's Early Termination Fees (ETFs) up to $650 or outstanding balances on their Verizon devices. Customers would then have to buy a new phone with T-Mobile and choose one of the company's Simple Choice mobile phone plans.
If the customer wants to return to Verizon, they just hand in their T-Mobile phone within 14 days and any trial costs will be refunded by T-Mobile, including any service costs for starting back up with Verizon, such as activation or other related fees.
"Last week, I said we would hit right back at Verizon — I meant it," John Legere, the president and CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement. "T-Mobile's 4G LTE network is the nation's fastest. Not faster for the price … just faster, period. With T-Mobile, you don't have to settle for trickery, gimmicks and carrier BS the way you do with Verizon. I'm so confident in our kick-ass network experience that we're footing the bill so Verizon customers can give T-Mobile a try."
T-Mobile continues to be ranked fourth in the rankings of the top four U.S. mobile carriers behind Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. In late April, T-Mobile actually took the third spot for a short time until Sprint announced its customer numbers earlier this week, reporting 57.1 million customers for the third quarter of 2014, compared with 56.8 million customers for T-Mobile. Verizon and AT&T continue to lead the race by a large margin over Sprint and T-Mobile.
T-Mobile recently reported mixed financial results for the first quarter of 2015, with a 13.1 percent revenue increase to $7.78 billion, but a loss of $63 million compared with the same quarter one year ago, according to an eWEEK report. At the same time, the company reduced its customer churn rate to a T-Mobile record low rate of 1.3 percent. The April 28 earnings announcement was a bit of a contrast to the company's fourth-quarter 2014 earnings results that were announced in February, when T-Mobile raked in a profit of $101 million and Q4 revenue of $8.15 billion. Overall, at the end of Q1, T-Mobile had 56.8 million total customers, up from 49.1 million customers one year ago, according to the company. In the first quarter, T-Mobile sold 8 million new smartphones to customers, which was an increase of 16 percent over the same quarter one year ago.
For T-Mobile and Sprint, which have been fighting for market share behind Verizon and AT&T for a long time, the rivalry increased in recent months as Legere has often boasted about how his company has or would soon surpass Sprint to take over the No. 3 spot. Legere made such comments during a recent earnings call and at a press event in New York in March.
Through the start of 2015, T-Mobile has been continuing to introduce new innovations to attract new customers and expand its business. In March, the company began offering new mobile services targeted directly at small and medium-sized businesses to bring them into T-Mobile's ecosystem.
At the same time, T-Mobile unveiled a new program aimed at consumers, starting with guaranteed rates forever and payments of up to $650 per line to buy out a new customer's existing smartphone payment plan from either Verizon Wireless or AT&T. The offers aim to help the company bring in new customers and keep them with T-Mobile for the long haul.
In the last two years, T-Mobile has unveiled a series of what it calls "Un-carrier" events that have ended mobile contracts for consumers, removed overage charges, created rollover data capabilities and more.