T-Mobile’s Inexplicably Stupid Upgrading Policy

T-Mobile's inexplicably stupid upgrading policyWe’ve been with T-Mobile for well over a decade, first signing up when they were known with One2One.

We’ve always been on yearly contracts, but in recent years had elected not to take them up on their offer of a new handset at the end of the contract, preferring to take a discount instead.

As our contract had recently ran out, we gave them a call seeing what kind of deal we could get for the new G1 (which they have exclusive UK rights to). Here’s how the cheery call went:

Digital Lifestyles: “Hi. We’ve been with you guys for around ten years now, always on yearly contracts. As you know, our last contract has recently expired, so we’re looking to upgrade to the T-Mobile G1″

T-Mobile: “Certainly. That’ll be £305 on the G1 standard 18 month contract”

DL: “But we can get the phone for free if we start a new contract”

T-Mobile: “Yes. But, that’s the upgrade cost to you”

DL: “Right. So being loyal to your company for a decade actually works against us, with someone off the street getting the phone for free, while we have to pay £305 extra for exactly the same deal. Is that correct?”

T-Mobile: “Yes. That is correct”

Suitably baffled, we asked to speak to a supervisor who gave us the same response, so we’ve written to the company for clarification. Surely they can’t be treating loyal customers this badly when the mobile market is competitive?

T-Mobile's inexplicably stupid upgrading policy The Pain of ‘Exclusive Deals’

All of this highlights the annoying restrictions for consumers when phones are offered on exclusive network deals, where it becomes a case of “like it or lump it.”

Apple famously did this with their O2 deal, and now punters looking for some Android love are forced to face T-Mobile’s less than generous upgrade deals or walk and hope for other Android phones to emerge.

Meanwhile, we’re casting our eye over attractive looking deals on other networks, so it looks like after a decade with T-Mobile we’ll be leaving them behind. After all, treat your loyal customers like mugs, and they’ll web’n'walk.

5 Responses to “T-Mobile’s Inexplicably Stupid Upgrading Policy”

  1. on 05 Nov 2008 at 11:51 am Andy UNITED KINGDOM

    That’s appalling! I’m horrified! I’ve been considering moving to T-Mobile or 3 as they are good value for money and forward thinking when it comes to data plans. I’m a very keen google user (email, calendar, reader etc) and am interested in the G1 but it’s too pricey for me at the moment. I think T-mobile are just trying to milk the hype as much as they can and I’m hoping the G1 will soon become a lot more affordable. Here’s hoping anyway!

  2. on 05 Nov 2008 at 4:40 pm Paul UNITED KINGDOM

    I have had the exact same experience with T Mobile. I have been with them for 10 years and was told that the upgrade policy changed on the 1st October. If I wanted to upgrade my phone I would be charged £75 + the cost of the new phone! They must genuinely think I have ‘mug’ tattooed on my forehead! Why on earth would any existing customer want to do that. I complained to Jim Hyde by email and was absolutely shocked when I got the same response. It is clear that they place a higher value on New customers than existing.

    I have now cancelled my contract with them and will not contemplate dealing with them again. A 10 year continuous customer and thats what you get. So much for loyalty eh?

  3. on 05 Nov 2008 at 6:39 pm Mike Slocombe UNITED KINGDOM

    I’ve been looking at the deals that 02 are currently offering and they knock T-Mobile into a cocked hat. Their sim only deal gives you 600 minutes, 1000 text, unlimited net on a 30 day rolling contract for just £20/month.

    It’s a real shame that T Mobile have the sole franchise on the G1 phone in the UK because their intransigence is going to hold back sales.

    I’d really like to get the phone but I’m not going to be ripped off and treated like a mug in the bargain, so I’ll have to wait for another Android phone to be released.

  4. [...] « T-Mobile’s Inexplicably Stupid Upgrading Policy Posting will be sporadic this week. Full service will return on [...]

  5. [...] been the focus of our Christmas too, but thanks to T-Mobile shafting loyal customers with their Inexplicably Stupid Upgrading Policy, we won’t be upgrading any time [...]