T-Mobile says goodbye to monthly corporate discounts

John Legere

John Legere-

T-Mobile CEO John Legere recently announced that the Bellevue-based wireless carrier is simplifying its rate plans even further by replacing a system of variable corporate discounts with a system that will give qualifying customers a $25 T-Mobile reward card whenever they purchase a new device.

Legere dismissed the traditional system of negotiating special employer rates as something that’s “designed to help big carriers close big corporate contracts, with employees as bargaining chips.”

While that’s simpler than trying to figure out what percentage reduction a user will get on their monthly bill, it could be a hefty price increase for some customers, considering T-Mobile offered discounts of up to 15 percent off a monthly bill. Legere pointed out in his blog post that a family of four that upgrades their phones once a year will get $100 off, but users who upgrade less frequently will see smaller savings.

T-Mobile has been rolling out some significant changes to its rate plans over the past couple months that are designed to roll back the steepest discounts the company offered in the past. Earlier this month, the company announced that while it was increasing the amount of data available to users of its cheapest rate plans, getting truly unlimited 4G LTE data will cost users $10 more a month.

In addition, T-Mobile’s JUMP early upgrade program has been changed to require that users pay off at least half of the purchase price of their device before they can upgrade to a new phone or tablet, though they can do so whenever they want.

There are big things on the horizon for the carrier, though: T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert recently tweeted that he was discussing the company’s next “Un-Carrier” move.

Update: John Legere has updated his blog, saying that customers who are already signed up for one of these plans will be grandfathered in.

“Over the past couple days, I’ve been doing a lot of listening to our customers.  And, we’ve decided to update our implementation plan for the changes I announced to the Advantage Program.  Everyone enrolled in the Advantage Program or who applied to enroll before April 1st will be able to keep a rate plan discount as long as they work at a participating employer and remain on a qualifying plan.”