T-Mobile issues ridiculous press release with fake quotes lambasting AT&T

John Legere

John Legere

T-Mobile US and CEO John Legere have been taking shots at competitors in past few months, but today’s stunt is something else.

The Bellevue-based mobile carrier issued an official press release today with a slight, odd twist: The entire thing is a piece of satire.

In what may be more appropriate for April Fools Day, T-Mobile writes about AT&T’s new deal announced earlier this month offering up to $450 to those who switch to its service from T-Mobile.

“T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) today announced that pretty much everyone at the company is overcome with emotion and still kind of processing the decision by now-ex-rival AT&T to leave the dark side, step into the light, and join hands in supporting the Un-carrier consumer revolution,” the opening paragraph reads.

Then there’s a fake quote from AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega:

“Call it an awakening,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, “but I felt it was time to really stir things up and put the customer first for a change.  And by “customer” I’m referring to our former customers who switch to T-Mobile, because our current customers don’t really qualify.”  De la Vega said that the new T-Mobile switching offer was custom designed to entice its millions of contract customers to go ahead and give T-Mobile a try. “If for any reason you don’t love T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, which is now faster than ours, we’ll actually pay you up to $450 to come back to AT&T, I kid you not.”

Legere is then quoted a bit later, calling AT&T “the darkness,” and ripping his company’s rival:

“It’s kind of like that scene where Darth Vader’s lying there and Luke helps take off his helmet,” Legere continued, “and you see that, okay, sure, Darth Vader’s pretty ugly, but he’s human after all.”

The press release includes the full-page advertisement that T-Mobile plans to run tomorrow:

ATT Ad Deathstar

At the very bottom of the release, T-Mobile does acknowledge the fact that this is a joke with an “editor’s note,” that notes “the preceding mock press release was written with tongue firmly planted in cheek.”

Legere, who was recently kicked out of an AT&T private party, tweeted out the press release twice today from his personal account:

He also tweeted out another version of tomorrow’s advertisement, which calls out AT&T for “wetting their pants.”

Should be noted that the release isn’t published along with T-Mobile’s other official news, but everything else about it mocks an actual release. T-Mobile’s timing with the joke is also important, as AT&T’s 4Q 2013 earnings also just published this afternoon.

Here’s the satirical piece in full:

T-Mobile and Americans Everywhere Celebrating
As AT&T Dismantles Death Star, Joins Un-carrier Revolution
AT&T’s “Up to $450” Customer Buy-Back Promotion Heralded as
Greatest T-Mobile Trial Offer in History

BELLEVUE, WA — Jan. 28, 2014 —T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) today announced that pretty much everyone at the company is overcome with emotion and still kind of processing the decision by now-ex-rival AT&T to leave the dark side, step into the light, and join hands in supporting the Un-carrier consumer revolution.

“Call it an awakening,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, “but I felt it was time to really stir things up and put the customer first for a change. And by “customer” I’m referring to our former customers who switch to T-Mobile, because our current customers don’t really qualify.” De la Vega said that the new T-Mobile switching offer was custom designed to entice its millions of contract customers to go ahead and give T-Mobile a try. “If for any reason you don’t love T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, which is now faster than ours[i], we’ll actually pay you up to $450 to come back to AT&T, I kid you not.”

Ok, De La Vega didn’t actually say that, but he might as well have. Thanks to AT&T’s apparent change-of-heart and incredibly generous $450 T-Mobile customer buy-back campaign, insane numbers of its very own customers and even families of AT&T employees are enjoying a risk-free, zero-cost opportunity to switch to the Un-carrier. If customers making the switch are not completely satisfied with T-Mobile and its state-of-the-art nationwide 4G LTE network (now fastest in the U.S.)i, AT&T will cover the costs for customers switching back to their own slower network, up to $450 with trade-in[ii]. Details of the new AT&T offer can be found at att.com/att/switcherpromo.

“Wow. I mean … wow,” breathed John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “I guess we all have moments of doubt. You know? Like, can the darkness ever be defeated? But that they’ve singled us out in this way is just so affirming. I guess we must be doing something right. I mean, if AT&T can change, it feels like anything’s possible.

“It’s kind of like that scene where Darth Vader’s lying there and Luke helps take off his helmet,” Legere continued, “and you see that, okay, sure, Darth Vader’s pretty ugly, but he’s human after all.”

This is all a result of T-Mobile’s latest game-changing “Contract Freedom” offer, announced as “Un-carrier 4.0” earlier this month. T-Mobile now pays contract termination fees to any new or existing customers who switch their number to a post-paid Simple Choice plan and trade-in their eligible phones[iii]. With Contract Freedom and the added assurance of AT&T’s amazingly synergistic offer – massive numbers of AT&T customers nationwide are leaving the dark side and switching over to the Un-carrier. And, though Sprint and Verizon customers are also signing on to the Un-carrier in unprecedented numbers, nearly 39% of those new T-Mobile customers are coming over from AT&T. Even families of AT&T employees are joining in the joyful exodus – as they discover T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Family Plan is actually a better option than its own employee family rate plans that AT&T offers.

“Somebody pinch me,” said Mike Sievert, Chief Marketing Officer. “By offering a risk-free way for their millions of customers to come over to T-Mobile – AT&T has helped put this Un-carrier consumer movement into overdrive. At T-Mobile we stand for Contract Freedom, and I want to thank our friends at AT&T for helping us liberate their former customers. This isn’t just about switching offers — it’s about T-Mobile giving customers the service, the network, and the wireless experience they deserve, without having to worry when they switch.”

Sievert noted that AT&T’s recent full-page ad in The New York Times had signaled a real turning point in his mind – that the former industry rival had truly stepped out of the darkness and was seeking to mend its ways and support the Un-carrier consumer movement.

“I mean, a full page ad in The New York Times,” said Sievert. “That says commitment to me.”

  • http://timandjeni.com/ Timothy Ellis

    This is awesome and T-Mobile is awesome.

  • Jamie

    Pretty stupid and cheap trick. However I have no sympathy for ATT so..go on tmobile.

  • Guest

    Awesome! Once John Legere is gaolled and T-Mo fined by the FTC for her deception, our nightmare will be over.

    Thank you, John. You’ve timcooked America’s least viable motelco.

  • Red Russak

    This ad was on the back of the Wall Street Journal today.