Details on upcoming JUMP! changes – Confirmed for Feb. 23

jump!

Yesterday, we were given information by one of our sources on some upcoming changes to the JUMP! program. Shortly after publishing, T-Mobile got in touch to confirm that it is coming and to clear up some of the confusion, trying to make it as clear as possible.

Official PR spiel below:

T-Mobile sparked a revolution in the wireless industry in 2013, beginning with the elimination of service contracts and a call for ‘Contract Freedom.’ Our innovative JUMP! handset upgrade program is an important cornerstone of our Un-carrier movement, and soon (starting February 23) you will be able to upgrade as many times as you like:

  • Whenever you’re ready to upgrade, trade in your device and T-Mobile will pay your remaining device payments up to 50% of the device cost. There is no more waiting period or limit to the number of times you can upgrade per year.
  • And we didn’t stop there – we’ve also added tablets to the program!   We’re excited about how these program enhancements give our customers even more freedom to upgrade when they want, instead of when they’re told.

The old-guard carriers all tried to follow our lead last year, but none can match the variety of freedoms we provide to our customers with JUMP!

As you can see, this is pretty much exactly what we read and wrote about yesterday. Except that there’s a little more clarity on a few parts. The biggest talking point between us in the comments section was the whole 50% thing, so let’s tackle that first:

50% device cost

For some customers, and for most of you who read this blog, this could be the downside to the new plans. From February 23rd, if you sign up to the JUMP! plan, you can – if you want to – upgrade your phone whenever you like. But to do so, you must have paid at least 50% of the cost of the phone, and trade-in your current phone.

Let’s take the Samsung Galaxy S4 as an example. We’ll use the current price and standard EIP just to make the example easier. Its full price is $624, and we’ll assume you have great credit and got it without paying anything up front. If you decide after 3 months (three EIP payments) that you no longer want it, and would like to switch, you’ve already paid $78 (3x$26). In order to JUMP! (upgrade/change phones) you need to have paid $312 of the phone’s cost. So, you have a balance of $234 left to pay. And you have to trade-in your phone.

Currently, an S4 will fetch you $150 using the company’s trade-in program, but that value has no impact whatsoever on how much you need to have paid towards your phone. So, if you have an iPhone that’ll fetch you $300 through trading it in, that doesn’t change the fact that you still need to have paid at least half of your phone’s cost. So, trading your phone in is necessary, but its value has no impact on how much of your device cost T-Mobile covers. It’s still up to 50%.

In bullets:

  • You can upgrade whenever you like
  • T-Mobile will cover up to 50% of the original device cost when you JUMP!
  • You have to trade-in your current phone

Now, I know that may not sound great on first looks. It doesn’t seem like as great a deal. But if we think logically about how often someone might want to upgrade and consider other factors, it doesn’t seem quite as bad. At least, not to regular consumers. We – as tech nerds and the phone obsessed – don’t really fall in to that category.

If you’re an iPhone user, chances are you’re only going to upgrade once every 12 months, each time the next iPhone is released. The same can be said of Galaxy users. Even if you get your device with $0 down, chances are, you’ve already paid 50% of your phone’s cost through monthly EIP payments.

If you’re a phone nut, and like to change far more often, you can still do so and you don’t necessarily have to pay the big lump sum when you decide to change phones. You could – for instance – decide that you’re going to pay more than the regular monthly EIP charges to cover 50% of the phone quicker, or decide to pay an up front fee to soften the blow. Also, if you don’t happen to be someone with great credit, and you’ve had to pay an upfront fee anyway, this would significantly reduce the amount you’d have to pay to change phones.

For some, it’s clear, this isn’t going to be a good change. For most regular users, it is. You don’t find many chomping at the bit, impatiently wanting to change phones after just 1-2 months. But those who absolutely have to change phones that regularly can do, it’s just going to cost them. And for those who perhaps would expect T-Mobile should just pay off your entire EIP whenever you decide you want a new phone, perhaps looking at the numbers would persuade you it’s not good business sense to do so.

Existing JUMP! users

If you sign up (or have signed up) to the JUMP! program before February 23rd, you will continue under your original terms. You can upgrade from 6 months onwards, and change up to twice each year and T-Mobile will cover the entire device cost as it does now. However, you can change to the new JUMP! terms if you upgrade after the 23rd. Only if you want to.

If you currently have JUMP! and have only been on the program for a couple of months, you can’t just switch to the new terms. You have to wait until your next upgrade is due, and then change. And that’s only if you want to. You can continue on the original terms as long as you like, even if you upgrade. You’re grandfathered in.

Tablets

From the same date that these changes go live, tablets will be included too. So, if you have a tablet from T-Mobile, you can sign up to the JUMP! program anytime from the 23rd of Feb. It’s worth noting that tablets and smartphones are not interchangeable. So, if you have a phone on the JUMP! program, you can’t swap it for a tablet or vice-versa. You can only JUMP! from smartphone to smartphone or tablet to tablet. Not tablet to smartphone or smartphone to tablet.

Wrap Up?

This is official. These changes are happening, and it’s no longer just a rumor from our sources. It costs just the same as it already does. $10 per month, and includes the same insurance benefits. Only the terms will be changing. T-Mobile thinks this is a good change for customers. I’m not quite convinced.

Still confused? Ask in the comments, grab me on twitter @TiP_Cam, or send me an email to cam@tmonews.com, and I’ll do my best to explain it.

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  • william43

    Now can we get more Window Phone & Devices to make it worthwhile for me?

    • Singleweird

      flex, z1s, note 3, nexus 5, g2, 5s, 5c, 925

      whats the problem

      • william43

        That’s the problem. :-)

  • ryanmelendez93

    It seems like under the new program, if you pay for your phone the way you normally would ($20 a month), it’ll take more than 6 months to pay for half the device before getting an upgrade. It doesn’t seem like an improvement.

    • william43

      The improvement is you can just pay the % left to upgrade at wait for it…..Anytime! (with that being said yeah you could just buy the device outright and be able to upgrade anytime)

      • ryanmelendez93

        That’s not an improvement for me. If my phone costs $500, and I paid $20 a month for it like normal. In 6 months, I’d have paid off $120. Under the old program, I could trade in and get a new phone. Under the new program, I’d have to keep paying $20 a month for 13 months for it to cover 50%, or if I wanted 6 months, I’d have to pay them an extra $130, on top of the down payment for the new phone. That’s not an improvement.

        • william43

          So join Jump before the new plan comes into affect and you’re good. :-)

        • ryanmelendez93

          I’m already a member of JUMP, but I don’t know how long before they force old JUMP members to switch to the new plan. Just like AT&T with unlimited data

        • Frettfreak

          thats what i was wondering… that s5 needs to come out so i can get on it now! lol

        • Singleweird

          That will never happen. This exact point is outlined in the terms of the program. you are grandfathered forever.

        • duscrom

          Well, again, we are assuming that’s with $0 down. Most people are probably going to pay $99 or more for a high end phone out the door. So at $100 down, +$120 in payments, you’re paing $30 extra, PLUS you’ll still get the trade in value towards your new phone.

        • Bklynman

          I wanted to join the jump before they change it,when it 1st,started,
          I call up,I was told my credit was not good enough zero down.
          I told the rep. Forget. Call today to get one of the lower end phones
          they have,I was told I can get any phone for zero down,just paid taxes and shipping,I just wanted to get on the jump program.
          They didn’t have HTC One in stock,got the Note 3,for$70.35,
          no payments until April,glad I call,Tmo most of the time brings out
          the new phones in late May towards June.I am glad I call.
          I ask for loyalty,I did not feel any pressure when I call,the rep
          did a great job.Fyi to any tmo reps out here,I did give Chris rep.,a
          recomm.

        • Pong Bong

          What???? You have bad credit, but got the Note 3 for 70.35? How? No payments till April? Huh? This is earth ya know? It’s a little- I mean, a lot different here…wow..

    • Chulo

      Yea but, doesn’t it make sense to put a little money down on the device to bring down that monthly cost anyway? 27 dollars a month doesn’t seem like a lot, but trust me, on top of any plan you’re already paying-it’ll get old really fast.

  • Frettfreak

    I was a little concerned there for a minute because the whole reason i am on this is i like to change phones a lot. Every 6 months is not out of the question for me. I like android and dont get married to one OEM. so i can go from a one to an s4 or whatever. Glad you cleared up that i can stay on my original terms as this new option kinda sux. At least in my case.

    I can say without a doubt that if this was the program when they first unveiled it, i would not have gotten on it. Its still better than what any other carrier put out IMO, but it doesnt have the wow factor for me.

  • iceman502

    Not true. I have to (as of now) pay about $350 now to upgrade after six months. It’s fair for people with good credit and good standing with T-mobile to pay 50% after six months all because some people do not? I think it would be fair to have the option of both! I’ve been with you guys for almost a decade and would rather sign a 2 year agreement for a free phone since jump 1 is now void!

  • iceman502

    Please bring back jump 1!!!!!!

  • Chulo

    If you really think about it, the old program where you signed a contract for two years was better. So let’s pretend I walk into TMobile present time but with the old contract days- Pay 200-250, get your Galaxy note 3 and now you’re obligated to stay with T Mobile for two years. So then, after year one, your feel your phone’s outdated, considering that personally I take very good care of my ‘my stuff,’ I could sell my now year old Note 3 for about 300 on Ebay for example-(remember, it’s a year old now) take that 300 and put it towards the new Note 4-and use my Visa to pay the rest.

    By this time, I have a year left on contract with the phone I have sold even with my new phone I bought with my money/credit card, when the year is left, I upgrade again, get another phone for 200-250, and still have my new upgraded phone I bought a year ago to sell for 300, pay off credit card-and the whole process starts all over again. This is just one theory…

    I’m only with T Mobile because I’ve been with them, their rates are better than the others & Coverage is decent for me. But this new system changes every thing. I put 300 down on my phone because I knew that the 27 dollars a month on top of my 78 dollars would get old real fast. I’m also tempted to just pay off the EIP and own the phone which would mean Jump is no good to me. Then I can sell my Note 3 for about 500 present time-probably more, then just take that and go to At&T. Personally, I don’t like CDMA so Sprint (sucks anyway) and Verizon (too expensive anyway) are out..!

  • Chulo

    Personally I’m still trying to figure out if Jump is a good thing. But, something to keep in mind and worth noting is that, those of us with ‘bad credit’ who have to put down a down payment is actually a good thing. Less than a year goes by and you’re ready to Jump! Personally, Jumping more than once a year doesn’t seem reasonable anyway, especially if you stick with brands like iPhone/Galaxy who only comes out with new models once a year. So good credit or no/bad credit-I think it’s best to put down money towards device-especially with the new Jump.

  • bryan reyes

    I have a question, what about those 10$ per month that you pay? Where does it go? When you trade in your phone and T-Mobile pay all remaining cost , when you get your new phone you have to start paying all over from 600?

    • thepanttherlady

      Yes. Any time you JUMP! your EIP starts over based on the new device you purchase.

  • Steven Dodge

    So let’s say I’ve had JUMP! under the old plan for the past 6 months. Would I be eligible to upgrade even though t-mobile didn’t start my monthly phone payments until 2 months into paying for JUMP!?