This might sound (and be) a little bit crazy but after 14 years of being with the same phone service provider (AT&T) I walked into the T-Mobile store yesterday and walked out in a miraculous 50 minutes fully converted.
Yes. Insane. Our entire family of 4 (4 iPhones, 2 x iPhone 7 Plus, 2 x iPhone 6S Plus). If you would’ve told me even a few weeks ago that I’d be considering this and making the trip over to local brick-and-mortar to make a swap I would have looked at you funny.
I mean, I was a seriously-dedicated and loyal customer to AT&T and had been grandfathered into some pretty serious plan(s)! I stuck around. But, I couldn’t any longer and now, today, I am the somewhat proud owner of a new contract with T-Mobile sporting a 50% reduced monthly bill with better services attached.
Insane. And I feel honestly a bit awkward even blogging about this publicly because it really is the last thing I thought I’d ever write about.
So, what prompted this significant shift? An announcement I heard about via the recent CES – a new program via T-Mobile that seemed too good to be true.
But the longer story might be about John Legere and his influence as a communicator for his company and brand. You see, year after year I observed him raise his middle finger to the more established and bigger telcos and simply saying that there was a better way.
(You can google for videos of him really going at it. I’ll let you do that later…)
Now 99% of all of that might actually be straight-up bullshit, but there’s something very direct and even mesmerizing about his consistent approach to communicating value around his business.
In fact, I think that he, like Steve Jobs, knows well the power of “deciding on who your enemy is” and doing this very early on, which only establishes your position and, if done masterfully, makes it a competitive advantage in a commoditized market.
And he’s been very plainspoken about the broken system and even admitting his own participation in it (for a time). But this honest and forthright approach to the industry as a whole is powerful and it really grabs you. It’s, well… again… honest.
And so, in a way, it has really been a game of attrition for me; he wore me down and the continued increase of costs over time with AT&T and the consistently reduction of costs on T-Mobile’s side made the decision become more obvious and easy.
Finally, something broke the dam and I had enough conviction to ask the three ladies in my life to give me their devices, to full backups, and find a time when all four devices could be “out of commission” for a time for the swap. I wanted to be fully prepared for a “worst case” scenario. In fact, I believed that the change would be one of incredible pain.
Instead, the entire experience was “pleasant” – that’s even a weird saying it aloud. Within 50 minutes (I timed it) the full conversion was complete. I didn’t have to do anything with my existing devices, we got to keep all of our numbers, and the billing was setup and done with. I paid for an hour meter on the street and had time left over when I hopped back into my car.
Oh, and they even gave me $600 to switch the entire family over ($150 per line). All upsides I guess.
At this point it sounds like a ridiculous love letter to T-Mobile, but, it really isn’t. I’m just really happy at the experience and I won’t even bore you with any specific details around service contracts, comparison of features, and cost (which, again, is a big reduction). I’m just freakin’ happy.
Okay. So, that’s that. Please do not interpret this blog post is an advertisement or a prescription for what you should do. Instead, it’s just a story of a guy who stuck with one shitty for service provider for almost a decade and a half. Hopefully, I’ll die a T-Mobile customer because I just don’t want to have to do this again, even if it was relatively painless.
And that’s that.
Also published on Medium.