Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

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

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

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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik