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Do’s & Don’ts for Un-carrier Wannabes

by John Legere, President & Chief Executive Officer
There’s a lot of talk about “disruption” in the wireless industry lately.  But with every “disruptive” move they make, the old guard telecoms are showing just how clueless they really are.  Case in point, this week Sprint killed the Framily (finally!) and rolled out their “best deal ever” to everyone – everyone except their own customers, that is.
 
These guys just don’t get it.  You can’t ignore your customers, and you can’t slash your way to growth.  You can’t innovate by rolling out lame knock-offs of our Un-carrier moves while giving customers more of the same old, same old.
 
I mean, these guys just keep botching it up so miserably.
 
From AT&T’s now infamous pay-twice-for-your-phone upgrade program to Verizon’s promise-two-give-one-year-of-free-data program, to Sprint’s deals-for-everyone-but-current-customers. It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cringe as they keep stumbling over themselves.  
 
It’s one step forward two steps back with these guys. So, in the interest of helping our less agile competitors get their bearings – and to expedite this consumer revolution – here are some Do’s and Don’ts for those Un-carrier wannabes.
 
I hope this helps.
 
DO:         Give your current customers the best possible value
DON’T:    Hose your current customers by refusing to give them your best deal
Earlier this week, Sprint put the Framily out of its misery (to cheers from everyone who ever had to watch one of those ridiculous commercials) and launched their newest deals. Problem is, their latest “best deals” are for everyone BUT current Sprint customers who are – once again – left out in the cold. Verizon and AT&T are no better. Any time they roll out a new “best deals ever” and try to cram it down your throat with hundreds of millions of dollars in ads, they make their existing customers jump through hoops and opt-in to get the new best prices.
 
We know how to treat our customers at T-Mobile−and continue giving them more without asking for more. Case in point, when we made international data and texting free in 120+ countries and destinations and doubled LTE data on our Simple Choice plan and unleashed music, existing Simple Choice customers got these benefits automatically without lifting a finger.
 
And, today, we have more news.  We are launching a great program for T-Mobile Simple Choice customers to get unlimited 4G LTE data for no extra charge.  All they have to do is rescue a Sprint (or Verizon or AT&T) customer by helping them switch to T-Mobile and both of them will get unlimited 4G LTE data on our blazing fast network for a full year.  Get unlimited, blazing-fast LTE data, and save a friend!
 
DO:         Give customers more of what they want … and give it to them straight
DON’T:    Insult your customers’ intelligence
In its original incarnation, AT&T Next essentially asked customers to pay 2x for their phones. Did they really think no one would notice?  And, don’t get me started again on AT&Ts “best ever pricing” or this industry practice of packaging up low-cost plans with tiny data limits to suck customers in and then bleed them dry with overages.  It’s bogus pure and simple.
 
American’s appetite for mobile data is growing exponentially. And nowhere is this more true that at T-Mobile, where our customers use more data than customers of AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. A lot more. At T-Mobile, our Data Strong™ 4G LTE network is the nation’s fastest. And we have 70% more network spectrum per customer than even Verizon. So, we can give American’s even more speed and data and what they really want−without restrictive contracts, overages, bill shock and all the other strings. And stay tuned for more news soon about our next offers and Un-carrier moves.  We will have more to share next week.
 
DO:          Invest in a better customer experience and a better network
DON’T:    Try to slash your way to growth
When I joined T-Mobile two years ago, we committed to doing three things really well….
 
  1. Become famous for re-inventing the wireless industry, listening to customers and giving them what they want.  Hello, Un-carrier.
  2. Offer the best customer care in the industry.  T-Mobile now has the industry’s highest customer care satisfaction according to JD Power.
  3. And build the best damn network in the industry.  We now deliver America’s fastest nationwide 4G LTE network. And we’ve built it Data Strong. (Meanwhile, Sprint has the nation’s slowest 4G LTE network.)
 
This week, Sprint tried a different approach:  introduce cheap plans so complicated they need four charts to explain them – all to distract from the fact that their network isn’t worth paying for at any price.  Even in the largest cities with Sprint’s “newest network” – NYC, LA, Chicago, Houston, Philly, Miami, Dallas – T-Mobile’s LTE speeds still blow them away.
 
If they think they can slash their way to growth, they’re dead wrong. And if they continue down this path, the ride is going to get even rougher for their customers.
 
T-Mobile remains the only wireless company in America committed to this consumer revolution. The Un-carrier movement is all about these things – listening to customers and treating them right, creating a great experience and eliminating the B.S. that’s plagued the U.S. wireless industry for so long.  Admitedly, that last one’s just going to take a little more time.
 
- John
 
 
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