Sunday, March 24, 2013

Leaked: T-Mobile’s UNcarrier plans revealed in employee training manual

T-Mobile wants everyone to be excited about their new pricing plans. The beleaguered carrier aims to make it clear that they are different from the competition now that they are partnered with MetroPCS, and that they don’t need AT&T to move forward. A training manual leaked to before heading out to stores this weekend demonstrates the company is moving full steam ahead with their “UNcarrier” branding and refreshed rate plans.
The last year hasn’t been great for T-Mobile. The company seemed to hemorrhage users after the AT&T deal didn’t go through, and at the time there was no clear upgrade path to LTE. There was some good news when it was announced that the company would finally start carrying Apple products, but there’s still no magenta iPhone on the shelves. Then T-Mobile used the extra cash they had made from the AT&T deal failure and merged instead with MetroPCS. It’s been unclear what that merger would actually mean to users on both networks, but a training manual we acquired paints a much clearer picture.
TMobile UNcarrier - leak classic plans
As you can see, T-Mobile is diving head first into calling themselves the UNcarrier. Bring your own device, pay for whatever you want, and don’t worry about contracts seem to be the major selling points they will be pushing.
The new plans are designed to allow multiple subscribers on a single plan to have their own allotment of data, completely separate from the other people on the plan. This in particular will be a big selling point for T-Mobile after next week, especially as Verizon continues to focus on their shared pools of data, text, and voice. This mentality is going to mean T-Mo will be training employees to thoroughly explain why this is a better way of paying for service, especially if customers are to ever embrace paying for the device outright.
The employee training forms accept that some customers will not yield to a credit check, and encourages employees to at least try and explain the benefits. Explaining the long term cost benefit to users is going to be a big deal, but if you pass a credit check, you’ll be able to subsidize the phone. We’ve been told that anyone selling T-Mobile’s products will be able to run credit checks for phone subsidies, but there will be a difference between what the retail partners like Best Buy will be able to offer versus what the T-Mobile stores can do.
Tmobile UNcarrier
Retail partners will be able to offer Classic and Simple plans, which will allow the upfront cost of the phone to be less, but the monthly subsidy to be higher. T-Mobile locations will offer Value Plans, which will only be available from T-Mobile locations, and will allow for a lower monthly plan in exchange for a greater upfront payment. These payment options will be per device, based on the cost of the phone. Essentially, users will be able to choose from a contract free prepaid style plan with many data options, or a slightly complex subsidy based system that binds the user to a 2-year agreement.
T-Mobile’s new UNcarrier plans aren’t earth shattering, but they provide a number of options for every kind of user. As long as the company’s employees can properly explain these plans — and can explain why it may be better to pay more up front — this could be really successful. It may not be completely “UNcarrier” but it’s a step in the right direction for sure.

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