If there’s one thing T-Mobile CEO John Legere loves more than gratuitous swearing, it’s trolling Verizon’s marketing department. T-Mobile’s latest deal is a direct challenge to Verizon’s customers, as it’s making an offer that’s difficult to beat: bring an iPhone or Pixel from Verizon to T-Mobile, and the company will pay off any device payments you have left, in full, no questions asked.
The offer is valid for any Verizon customers who have had their Verizon contract for at least 60 days, and who have a recent iPhone or Pixel. Specifically, the iPhone SE, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, or 7 Plus are eligible, as are the Google Pixel and Pixel XL.
What this means is you can have bought a brand-new iPhone three months ago, still have $600 left to pay on it at Verizon, and T-Mobile will pay that off if you switch to one of its plans and let you keep the phone. That’s a hard offer to beat.
This is actually a better offer than most of T-Mobile’s free device offers, because it doesn’t rely on bill credits. T-Mobile normally gives you things for “free” by asking you to pay upfront, and gives you the money back in the form of bill credits. It works, kinda, but it means you need to front the money and then rely on T-Mobile to pay you back. Unfortunately, T-Mobile’s billing service is notoriously hit-or-miss, and public FTC complaints about T-Mobile are full of billing issues related to bill credits.
For this promo, T-Mobile is promising the entire rebate in one go on a prepaid MasterCard, within about 15 days of switching. That’s a far better solution, and should hopefully lead to fewer people stuck owing a debt to Verizon while T-Mobile sorts out its billing department.
There is still one catch: the announcement says that anyone switching under this deal has to insure the new device under T-Mobile’s $15-per-month insurance program. It isn’t a terrible deal, but it does bring the price of your new T-Mobile service up by a significant amount. If you don’t want insurance, a T-Mobile spokesperson has confirmed to BGR that “customers can cancel the device insurance at any time.”
To be honest, anyone with any significant payments left on a Verizon iPhone or Pixel would be dumb not to take this offer up. Porting numbers is relatively simple these days, and even if you hate T-Mobile’s service (which is probably better than you think), you can always switch back.
If you stick with T-Mobile, it’s even better: take the buyout, and when the next iPhone or Pixel comes out in a couple months, sell your current device, and you’ll be able to upgrade virtually for free. Verizon might still just edge out T-Mobile’s network these days, but I’m willing to bet that marginally better coverage isn’t worth $600 to you.