T-Mobile Says It Will Top Competitors' Trade-In Offers on Used Devices

As Apple releases its new iPhones today, T-Mobile is offering to top competitors' offers on used mobile devices to lure more customers.


With new iPhones and other feature-laden smartphones and tablets coming soon, T-Mobile is launching a new program aimed at luring consumers to trade in their old smartphones and tablets by guaranteeing higher trade-in values than those being offered by its major competitors.

The trade-in price guarantee was announced by the company on Sept. 8 as it continues to hustle to turn its fortunes around in a very competitive marketplace.

"We're going to see some of the most phenomenal devices ever in the coming months, and that means a whole lot of Americans trading in their devices and upgrading," John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement. "For years, the big carriers have been ripping off their customers with low-ball trade-in values, so we're putting an end to that and guaranteeing we'll give customers what they deserve—the best value in the industry."

The idea is to make it more affordable for customers to be able to obtain the latest devices and extend or bring their new business to T-Mobile by giving customers higher trade-in values for their old devices, according to the company. "Consumers can now have peace of mind when they're ready to upgrade, knowing that their trade-in at T-Mobile is the best deal they'll find anywhere compared to AT&T, Sprint and Verizon," the company said in a statement.

By paying more than competitors for old devices, T-Mobile is hoping to attract more customers when the device prices themselves are the same from all carriers.

To provide higher guaranteed trade-in prices, T-Mobile said it will track used device prices in the market daily and make adjustments as needed. "If a customer can find a better trade-in offer from a major national carrier, T-Mobile will beat that offer, give them the difference back and because we value this help from our customer we will top it off with another $50," the company said.

The program, which will begin Sept. 17, will only be offered for a limited time, though an ending date has not yet been announced. To participate, customers can call T-Mobile or go online within seven days of completing a trade-in at T-Mobile and provide details about a better trade-in offer they have found.

T-Mobile has been very busy in the last month working to attract new customers. In late August, T-Mobile announced that its customers will soon be able to get their hands on new smartphone models from HTC and Alcatel as the HTC One M8 for Windows and Alcatel OneTouch Fierce 2 and Evolve 2 models arrive for sale in the coming weeks. T-Mobile now joins Verizon Wireless and AT&T in offering the phones to users, after those companies announced the upcoming model back on Aug. 20.

Also in late August, T-Mobile announced that customers of its existing $40 monthly Simple Starter cellular phone plans could quadruple the amount of data they can use—from 500MB up to 2GB—for an additional $5 per month. The new 2GB data offer is a limited-time promotion, and it followed another limited-time data promotion that was unveiled earlier in August, when T-Mobile offered free unlimited mobile data for one year to any Simple Choice customer who gets a friend or relative to move his or her service from Sprint, AT&T or Verizon Wireless. There are no contracts for customers under the plans. T-Mobile unveiled the Simple Starter plan in April with the promise of no overage fees ever, according to an earlier eWEEK report. After 500MB, customers are pushed to a slower network.

The latest moves all follow a strategy the company has been taking since its long-rumored merger possibility with Sprint was scuttled by Sprint in early August. At the same time that the merger plans were dropped, competitor Sprint simultaneously replaced its CEO, Dan Hesse, with Marcelo Claure.

In the aftermath of the failed merger, T-Mobile has been going on the offensive for new customers, which it primarily hopes to poach from its biggest rivals: Sprint, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Earlier this month, T-Mobile US claimed rights to the top spot in the growing prepaid wireless marketplace in the United States. T-Mobile US said in an announcement that it now has 15.64 million prepaid wireless customers, compared with 15.19 million such customers for rival Sprint. AT&T has 11.34 million prepaid customers, while Verizon Wireless reports 6.04 million prepaid customers, according to T-Mobile.