T-Mobile (TMUS) has been wreaking havoc on the wireless industry for two years with disruptive customer deals that upset the tradition of binding two-year contracts. Now the company has another new initiative that its larger competitors may be forced to respond to.
On Thursday, T-Mobile announced Jump! On Demand, a new initiative that will let users upgrade their smartphones up to three times a year without having to pay any additional fees. Customers can get their first phone on the plan for $0 down, then pay a monthly fee toward the purchase of the new phone. When ready for a new phone, a customer can trade in their current device for another one at no cost.
Rates for the monthly payment plan vary, but an initial promotion will let customers get an iPhone 6 with a payment plan of $15 per month when they trade in their old smartphone. These phone payment rates are in addition to the cost of the wireless plan.
There is some fine print. T-Mobile has an older Jump! plan that charges a $10 per month fee but includes perks such as phone insurance. This new plan has no fee, but no insurance. The payment plan also is part of an 18-month lease, and after a year and a half, customers must either upgrade to a new phone or pay the balance on their current phone to purchase the device outright.
Still, for people who are constantly eager to upgrade, the offering is an affordable way to always have the latest and greatest device. It’s also more flexible than offerings by T-Mobile’s competitors aimed at frequent upgraders.
Jump! Unlimited kicks off on June 28 at participating physical T-Mobile stores.