Breaking News Bar
posted: 2/23/2014 6:07 AM

T-Mobile offers infinite phone upgrades, catch

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • T-Mobile says it will let people upgrade phones more quickly for a $10 monthly fee. With the new Jump plan, a customer will be able to get a new phone if the old one malfunctions or gets lost, or even if there's a better phone that comes out. The plan lets customers upgrade up to twice a year.

      T-Mobile says it will let people upgrade phones more quickly for a $10 monthly fee. With the new Jump plan, a customer will be able to get a new phone if the old one malfunctions or gets lost, or even if there's a better phone that comes out. The plan lets customers upgrade up to twice a year.
    Associated Press

 
By Associated Press

NEW YORK -- T-Mobile is allowing people who participate in its $10-a-month Jump program to upgrade their phones anytime, eliminating the previous limit of two upgrades a year.

As introduced last summer, Jump participants get insurance to cover loss and damage, plus the right to upgrade before fully paying off the phone in installments over two years. The customer must turn in the old phone. There was a six-month waiting period before the first upgrade and a limit of two upgrades per year.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Starting Sunday, the waiting period and the upgrade limit are both eliminated.

The catch is that customers must have paid at least half of the phone's costs before turning it in. Typically, that means customers who have had the phones for less than a year would have additional payments to make right away.

But in an interview Thursday, marketing vice president Mike Katz said most customers will likely keep the phone for a year anyway.

"Most customers are upgrading phones when a new model of their device comes up," he said. "For the iPhone or (Samsung) Galaxy series, those customers (are upgrading) every single year."

The change brings T-Mobile's terms closer to what Verizon Wireless offers through Edge. Verizon customers could upgrade every 30 days, but must pay at least half of the phone's costs first. Unlike Jump, Edge doesn't carry a $10-a-month fee on top of the installment charges for the phone and the service charges for voice, text and data. But Jump includes insurance, which typically costs $8 a month already.

Sprint's Easy Pay program requires full payment before an upgrade, while AT&T limits upgrades to once a year, without any minimum payments required.

Existing participants will be allowed to keep the old Jump plan and forgo having to make up the payments if upgrading before the year. However, the waiting period and the two-a-year limit apply.

Earlier this year, T-Mobile eliminated down payments for most phones. The down payments had been one factor in making the Jump plan expensive for frequent upgraders. For instance, a customer might have to pay a $150 down payment on a high-end phone when upgrading, while keeping the old phone would have meant paying only an installment payment of $20 or so a month.

With the elimination of down payments, there's no extra cost for upgrading once a year, other than the $10 monthly fee to cover the membership in the program.

T-Mobile said it is also extending the Jump program to tablets, so that customers can upgrade whenever a new model comes out. Previously, it was limited to smartphones.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.