Switch To T-Mobile? Free Month-Long Test Drive Might Tempt You
Wireless carriers are always offering incentives to switch Now, oddly enough, T-Mobile is taking that down a notch: It’s offering an incentive not to switch, but merely to use T-Mobile, for free, for a month.
The nation’s third largest wireless operator last week announced Test Drive, giving consumers who don’t subscribe to T-Mobile a 30-day free sample but letting them use their own phone and their own cell numbers, and keep the carrier they have.
“Of course, the [other] carriers can’t even get something as simple as ‘try before you buy’ right. They want you to trade in your phone, transfer your life to a new one and burn an entire day switching … just to hope their network works for you," says T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere, who often tweaks the competition. “It’s arrogant, it’s broken and it’s time for backwards-buying to end.”
If you sign up for it, the so-called UnCarrier will send you a T-Mobile hot spot device. Slip in the SIM card that also comes in that package and connect it. That’s about it. You can use your existing phone via T-Mobile connections for up to 30 days or 30 gb of data, whichever comes first.
Switching carriers is often considered a risky, complicated move. T-Mobile claims 84% of people want to try a wireless network before they switch carriers, but it’s tough to pull the trigger. In fact, tech site TomsGuide.com opined in its how-to-switch tipsheet, “When it comes to arduous adulting tasks, switching your smartphone service from one wireless carrier to another ranks right up there with root canal.”
The Test Drive promotion coincides with a new T-Mobile ad campaign that stresses its sales pitch in the first line: “Introducing T-Mobile’s most powerful signal, reaching farther than ever before.”
T-Mobile says it upgraded every one of its cell sites to deliver LTE-Advanced to boost speed and help performance. It says it spent $300 billion to build up the network, including nearly $8 billion to purchase 600 MHz airwaves. It now covers 100% of the U.S. (Separately, T-Mobile's nearly approved merger with Sprint should make its competition with Verizon and AT&T closer than it is now.)
For users, the Test Drive is a pretty risk-free sample. When their 30 days are done, they can return the hot box device, which is about the size of a couple packs of gum, to T-Mobile, or pass it on to a friend to use the same way. Or, as the company jokes in its announcement, “Hell, put it under that wobbly table leg.”
Back in 2014, T-Mobile also offered a Test Drive, but only for a week and without offering a hot spot. You had to use a second phone, with a new number.
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September 3, 2019 at 12:14PM