T-Mobile announces prorated ETFs

Well, it took them a while, but after Verizon and then AT&T did it, the move was inevitable from T-Mobile’s standpoint. The nation’s fourth largest cell provider announced that they will join the trend of prorated early termination fees. That leaves Sprint as the only one of the major four that doesn’t offer these terms. We expect that announcement will come within two weeks. After all, you can’t be the third largest carrier and expect to turn around your declining ways if you don’t put your customers first. Not that this signifies putting customers first. But it’s a step. We expected more from T-Mobile, actually. We’ve always touted them as having the best customer service of the major four, and were backed up by J.D. Power and his associates, who ranked the company No. 1 in Wireless Customer Care Performance for six straight surveys.

“T-Mobile is widely recognized as the undisputed service leader in wireless. We want to do everything possible to create a great experience so customers want to stay with us for years,” said Sue Nokes, senior vice president, Sales and Customer Service, T-Mobile USA. “This announcement builds on our heritage of listening closely to our customers and always striving to meet their needs.”
Had they listened closely to their customers, they would have enacted a policy like this years ago. Instead, they just followed the rest of the industry. We appreciate the gesture, but we don’t appreciate T-Mobile spinning it like they’re some kind of boon for consumers. The only downside we see is that the policy will not be effective until the first half of 2008, which could mean May for all we know. Plus, customers currently under contract will not receive the benefits. According to the press release: “the terms will apply to new customers as well as current customers renewing contracts with T-Mobile.” So if you have three months left in your current contract once this policy is effectuated, you’re still paying the full ETF if you want to leave. Hello? Sprint? Now is the time to announce your own measures. [Business Wire]]]>

Posted in