T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere already let his feelings out on Twitter about rival AT&T. Now his company is using the newspapers to share similar thoughts about one of its biggest competitors.
The Bellevue wireless carrier is running a full-page ad Tuesday in USA Today that lambasts AT&T’s new upgrade plan, which allows customers a chance to ditch their two-year contracts and pay 20 monthly installments without a down payment in order to upgrade once a year.
T-Mobile quotes a story from The Verge that reads “AT&T’s reaction to T-Mobile’s transparency is to be more deceptive than ever.” Below that excerpt, T-Mobile says the following:
“We wouldn’t call it deceptive, exactly.
Calculating, sneaky, underhanded, maybe, but not deceptive.”
T-Mobile’s timing is also noteworthy: AT&T releases its Q2 earnings tomorrow.
T-Mobile debuted its own upgrade program called JUMP! that allows customers to upgrade their phones twice a year with a $10 per month subscription fee. Less than a week later, AT&T came out its own program called “Next,” offering something similar.
While both plans allow customers to upgrade their devices more frequently, T-Mobile’s JUMP requires a monthly program fee — which includes insurance coverage — and AT&T does not. However, T-Mobile lowered its monthly service payments rates to compensate for the removal of phone subsidies.
And that’s where many, including Legere, see AT&T’s plan as a ripoff. The AT&T monthly device payments can range anywhere from $15-to-$50 and that’s in addition to the monthly service plan rates that usually go for around $100 and designed for subsidized phones. Unlike T-Mobile, AT&T has not lowered those rates to make up for the lack of phone subsidies. And remember, on either plan, you never own the phone.
Verizon is also rumored to offer a similar plan in the near future.
Here’s T-Mobile’s ad: