Photo by John Moore, Getty Images.
NEW YORK -- T-Mobile's John Legere thinks it's crazy that wireless providers lock customers into a two-year waiting period before they can upgrade their phones. So the outspoken CEO of the self-proclaimed "Uncarrier" is about to change that. T-Mobile announced Jump, a new plan that lets customers trade in their existing phone whenever they want following a one-time six-month enrollment period. Customers can upgrade up to two times within any 12-month calendar period. When you do trade in your old device, you'll get whatever new phone you want at the best price available.
Jump stands for Just Upgrade My Phone and costs $10 a month, which also covers the cost of insurance on your old phone. So if you turn in an old phone that has a cracked screen, water damage or simply isn't working, the prevailing deductible on that phone is applied. If the old phone is operating properly and you merely want the next best thing, you don't owe any remaining payments on that old device.
The Jump plan kicks in on Sunday.
"Why is this two-year contract good for me?" Legere asks. "We are going to refine a stupid, broken, arrogant industry."
To help market the new plan, T-Mobile is running amusing TV spots with Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader. And the company is teaming with Samsung on a promotion in which customers are encouraged to share their story on why waiting two years is too long -you're meant to use the hashtag #hate2wait. Customers with the most compelling tales can win a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.
"We saw (T-Mobile) build on this idea of the no-contract relationship and introduce more fluidity into the phone upgrade cycle," says Ross Rubin, an analyst at Reticle Research.
Also, today, T-Mobile announced an expanding footprint for its 4G LTE network - its flavor of LTE is now in 116 metropolitan areas, including 73 of the top 100 markets.
By Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY
Gannett / USA Today