Contracts are a constant in adult life. You sign a contract to rent a home, to lease a car, to book travel, to accept a job, and more. But with all of the topics that contracts cover, it would seem that no contract is harder to get out of than a cell phone contract. We hear it every day from our friends and family members – they hate their cell phone, but they’re stuck with what they have until the contract is up or an upgrade is available.
Luckily for some cell phone users, the tides are about to change. T-Mobile has announced that it will offer BlackBerry users $200 to upgrade to any new phone, or $250 for customers to upgrade to the BlackBerry Q10 or B10.
T-Mobile’s decision to pay users to upgrade their phone comes as more and more service providers are going to great lengths to secure more business. In fact, the company’s first attempt to lure BlackBerry users to upgrade was more aggressive, and actually offered customers an iPhone 5S in exchange for any BlackBerry model. The move drew criticism from loyal BlackBerry users who saw it as an attack on an already declining business, and sparked a feud between T-Mobile and BlackBerry CEO, John Chen.
“I want to thank our loyal customers for your commitment to BlackBerry,” Chen said in a blog post on BlackBerry.com. “By expressing your outrage directly to T-Mobile ?through tweets, calls and comments in the media and on blog posts, you sent a powerful message that T-Mobile could not ignore. Your partnership with our brand is appreciated by all of us at BlackBerry, and draws a sharp contrast with the behavior of our longtime business partner.”
Amidst the controversy, T-Mobile settled on its current promotion, which actually encourages customers to choose the BlackBerry Q10 and B10 models. T-Mobile is also offering free shipping on all BlackBerry devices.
This wouldn’t be the first time that T-Mobile has stepped on its competitors shoes. The company has been among the most unapologetic when it comes to tactics for attracting new business, and just last month began offering to pay up to $350 in early termination fees for new customers who left other carriers, including Sprint, Verizon and AT&T.
Other promotions that the company is offering that go against the grain include “JUMP!” which allows users to upgrade their phone anytime they want, has no annual service contracts, and unlimited data and text in more than 100 countries.
Although some cell phone providers may see this as playing unfair, T-Mobile could be sparking a mind shift when it comes to shopping for – and sticking with – cell service providers, by finally putting the power in the consumers’ hands.