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Yesterday morning it became abundantly clear that consumers had become very confused over the iPad+free data offer on T-Mobile. We attempted to clear it up a little. Essentially, the confusion arose when new customers without pre-existing phone plans on Tmo thought they could walk in to a store, get an iPad on the “zero down” financing offer and get the 200MB free each month without signing up to any other plan.
Today, T-Mobile has sought to bring clarity to the matter. Probably a good thing too, I think John Legere had his fair share of debates over Twitter with other tech journalists. In short: Anyone buying a new tablet will get the 200MB. New customers will need to sign up to an additional plan if they want to take advantage of the “zero down” offer. Regardless, they’ll still get the additional 200MB data.
Full Press Release (with some handy Q&As at the bottom):
“FREE DATA FOR LIFE
Anybody who wants to use a tablet on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network gets 200MB free data for as long as you own the device, whether you pay for it up front or you choose to finance it.
You can buy a tablet from us, or bring your own device. Either way, you will get 200MB free data for the time you own the device and use it on our network.
$0 DOWN TABLET FINANCING
If you want T-Mobile to finance your device, we offer $0 down interest-free financing. As with our smartphones, there are conditions that apply to EIP financing. Well-qualified new customers can finance their tablet if they establish a paying service agreement with us on the tablet, with plans starting at $20 per month. Existing T-Mobile voice customers who are on a postpaid plan can also get $0 down financing for their tablet, even if don’t take a paid plan on the tablet.
EIP financing is completely optional. New customers can buy their tablet outright from T-Mobile, the device maker or a third party retailer and automatically get 200MB of free data through T-Mobile.
Q. Why do I need to become a paying service customer if I want to finance my tablet and get $0 down?
A. Our EIP offer is the same for tablets as it has been for phones. We are happy to extend credit to you for a device with a value of several hundred dollars, but we do require that you establish a paying service relationship with us. You’re not locked in to a long-term service contract.
Q. How do I qualify for tablet EIP device financing if I am not already a T-Mobile customer?
A. First, you must have approved credit. Second, the purchase of a recurring data plan OR purchase of a postpaid Simple Choice voice line.
Q. If I am not a T-Mobile voice customer, how much do I have to pay per month with a monthly service agreement if I opt to finance my tablet with EIP?
A. New customers with no T-Mobile relationship will need to activate with a monthly postpaid plan, starting at $20.00 per month for 500MB data, plus 200MB free for 700MB total – in order to receive $0 down interest-free financing with 24 monthly payments on a new tablet.
Q. What was the $10.00 per month fee we heard about on launch day?
A. We had an executional error in our system at launch that created an erroneous $10.00 charge for network access. We have worked in the days since launch to correct this issue in the system and through employee training. There is no $10.00 per month fee for the 200MB of free data. We are crediting any customer that was erroneously charged this fee.
Q. I had to pay $10.00 for a SIM card kit, is that a one-time fee? Or is it recurring.
A. It is a one-time purchase of a SIM card kit instead of a much higher activation fee (that our competitors charge) to get your device readied to work on the T-Mobile network. This is not new and not specific to tablets.
Q. If I buy a tablet device outright, do I need a service payment relationship with T-Mobile?
A. No. Bring it in to us or buy it in full from us and we’ll get you on the network where you’ll get 200MB of free data (plus SIM card purchase), every month, for as long as you own your device.
Q. Your website still has some confusing content on it about $10.00 fees and other things.
A. We readily admit that we had some executional issues around our tablet launch on Nov. 1. Breaking with the industry norm and giving data away for free is complicated. There were legacy elements in our system and in our training activities that created the confusion. We are actively working to fix and clarify the website while re-educating all of our channel reps.
Q. What if I already have a voice line of service with T-Mobile and want a data plan for my tablet, in addition to 200MB free data?
A. Customers who already have a voice line of service with T-Mobile and want to add additional data on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network can get 500MB of data for $10 a month on top of the 200MB of free data they receive. That’s a $10 discount off of the price from stand-alone tablet customers. Customers can add even more data in 2GB increments for just $10 more per month.”