T-Mobile Stung by Customer Anger Over iPhone for BlackBerry Trade-ins
NEWS ANALYSIS: T-Mobile rushes to perform damage control after an iPhone for BlackBerry trade-in offer angers customers who remain loyal BlackBerry users.T-Mobile had to perform damage control and so announced Feb. 18 that it will offer an expanded selection of BlackBerry devices after users expressed outrage in tweets and phone calls about the carrier's offer to accept BlackBerry trade-ins for new iPhones. This follows a series of tweets by T-Mobile CEO John Legere to outraged T-Mobile BlackBerry customers who received letters offering to accept trade-ins of their BlackBerry devices for iPhones. In a statement provided to eWEEK, T-Mobile said it will begin offering an expanded selection of BlackBerry devices as early as Feb. 21. The overtures to BlackBerry customers also came after BlackBerry CEO John Chen posted a blog on his company's Website that thanked BlackBerry users for their loyalty and reminded Legere of the long relationship between the two companies. T-Mobile started promoting the iPhone for BlackBerry trade-in offer the week of Feb. 10, and user protests increased in volume over the long Presidents' Day holiday weekend. BlackBerry users took the trade-in offer as a sign that T-Mobile would no longer sell or support their favorite mobile devices.
Although the trade-in offer still stands, a T-Mobile spokesperson wrote in a statement to eWEEK that the company will also make the full line of BlackBerry devices available for sale. "Customers can purchase some of the latest BlackBerry devices from T-Mobile—including the Q10 and Z10 that we have carried since they launched," the statement said.