T-Mobile Attacks AT&T’s Device Upgrade Plan in New Print Ad

Tue, 07/23/2013 - 10:00am
Ben Munson

The wireless carrier print ad wars just got a whole lot more entertaining. In T-Mobile’s new print ad running today in USA Today, the gloves are off as the carrier comes right out and calls AT&T’s new early device upgrade plan, Next, “calculating, sneaky, and underhanded.”

Amid a sea of magenta, the ad reads “AT&T’s reaction to T-Mobile’s transparency is to be more deceptive than ever.” That quote is pulled from a scathing article from The Verge in which AT&T’s Next is called a “huge ripoff.”

The ad goes on to reiterate the central thesis for The Verge’s article, that AT&T’s Next makes customers pay the full cost of a device on top of the assumed device subsidy built into the service payments. T-Mobile asserts that customers can save more than $50 a month with T-Mobile’s early device upgrade plan, Jump.

AT&T declined to comment on the ad.

T-mobile admitted it had timed publication of the ad with AT&T’s earnings, which are scheduled for Tuesday. In an email, a spokeswoman noted, “what better day to do some truth-telling.”

The ad is also running tomorrow in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

T-Mobile’s attack on AT&T comes after Verizon yesterday took out its own full-page ad in response to AT&T’s claims of being the nation’s most reliable carrier. 

In the last two weeks, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon all rolled out new early device upgrade plans. T-Mobile’s Jump charges a $10 monthly fee for allowing customers to trade-in and upgrade their devices up to twice a year. AT&T’s Next waives the device down payment, instead charging 20 monthly device payments with the option to trade-in and upgrade after 12 months. Verizon’s Edge also skips the down payment and divides the device cost into 24 monthly payments while giving customers the option to upgrade once they’ve paid off 50 percent of their device’s cost.



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