New T-Mobile Ad Argues AT&T’s Upgrade Program Is “Calculating,” “Sneaky” and “Underhanded”

Published on July 22, 2013
by Ina Fried

T-Mobile is continuing its argument that AT&T’s early upgrade program represents a raw deal for customers.

T-Mobile ad aims at AT&T Next upgrade program

In a new print ad set to run Tuesday in USA Today, T-Mobile lashes out at AT&T’s Next program, which T-Mobile argues is just a way for the carrier to make even more money. The ad is timed to run the same day that AT&T reports its quarterly earnings.

The ad quotes from a Verge article that said, in part, “AT&T’s reaction to T-Mobile’s transparency is to be more deceptive than ever.”

“We wouldn’t call it deceptive, exactly,” T-Mobile quips in the ad. “Calculating, sneaky, underhanded, maybe, but not deceptive.”

T-Mobile earlier this month introduced its Jump program that lets customers who pay a $10 fee upgrade their phones up to twice a year by trading in their own model. Both AT&T and Verizon quickly announced early-upgrade programs of their own, but T-Mobile argues that customers aren’t benefitting since those companies are essentially eliminating phone subsidies without lowering their monthly rates.

For its part, T-Mobile did away with phone subsidies in March, but also offered lower monthly rates as well as financing plans that allow the devices to be paid for over a period of months.

“There are real and material differences between what we are doing and the so-called upgrade programs that AT&T and Verizon are doing,” T-Mobile marketing chief Mike Sievert said in a telephone interview on Monday.

Where T-Mobile’s Jump program can save some customers money, Sievert said that the other programs “are a mechanism for AT&T and Verizon to take more money from customers than even those companies have ever done before.”

Follow-up ads set to run on Wednesday in other major papers also take aim at Verizon, Sievert said.

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