After hundreds of frustrated customers took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the T-Mobile’s plan to end all employee discounts April 1, the carrier seems to have backtracked. T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted last night that “Current corp customers can keep their discount.” Details are forthcoming.
The consumer anger stems from T-Mobile’s latest “uncarrier” announcement last Friday to replace reduced rate corporate plans with $25 reward cards for purchasing new devices. Legere defended the move at the time, saying employee discounts were “designed to help big carriers close big corporate contracts with employees as bargaining chips,” and that the change was about “simplifying wireless for everyone.”
Had the switch gone into effect, customers with corporate discounts would have seen their monthly rates increase by as much as $150.
The plan to end corporate discounts was seen by many as an attempt to cut down on T-Mobile’s continued losses. Though the carrier’s earnings have improved from a year ago, T-Mobile lost $20 million in the Q1 of this year.
Update: Here is the updated press release with note from T-Mobile –
Update: Current Customers to Keep their Employer Rate Plan Discounts
Listening to customers is what makes us the Un-carrier. In fact, the simple act that first ignited the Un-carrier revolution was that we listened to customers — what they want, what they need, what frustrates them about this crazy industry. That was the spark.
Over the past couple days, I’ve been doing a lot of listening to our customers. And, we’ve decided to update our implementation plan for the changes I announced to the Advantage Program. Everyone enrolled in the Advantage Program or who applied to enroll before April 1st will be able to keep a rate plan discount as long as they work at a participating employer and remain on a qualifying plan. All of our Simple Choice plans currently qualify. We will be asking that customers participate in a simple annual online employer verification. That’s it.
Listen, I still believe that complicated rate plan discounts and backroom deals with big corporations are unfair and part of what needs changing in the US wireless industry. And, I meant what I said: we’re not going to play that game anymore. As of April 1, new customers in these programs can get a $25 Reward Card whenever they buy a device. We’re moving away from the notion of different prices for different customers, so we can invest in providing simplicity and value to all customers.
As America’s Un-carrier we’re never going to stop listening and learning and – most importantly – changing what needs fixing in wireless. You have my word on that.