T-Mobile very recently announced its brand new version of JUMP!. Named JUMP! on Demand, instead of charging you extra on top of your EIP for the privilege of upgrading early, you’ll now lease a smartphone and upgrade whenever you like.
Since it was announced we’ve been bombarded with questions, and I’ve been sent an internal communication (or five) that lays out virtually everything you could possibly wish to know about the new program. Hopefully any of your questions will be answered.
T-Mobile’s JUMP! on Demand program is essentially a lease program. You sign an 18 month lease agreement for a phone. The price you pay monthly depends on which phone you choose. At any point during your 18 months you can upgrade your phone for another one. In fact, you can get up to three new phones within a year. Each time you upgrade your phone the 18-month term starts again.
At the end of your 18 month term you can either return the device or start a brand new lease. If you do return the phone you need to ensure that it’s in good working order. Staff in stores will be trained to perform a three-point inspection. Phones that don’t meet certain standards, or show signs of damage will be subject to damage fees (detailed below).
Unlike previous versions of JUMP!, handset insurance isn’t included within the price of the program. So, if you’re a little clumsy or have been known to drop or break phones in the past, it might be worth considering T-Mobile’s Premium Handset Insurance (PHP).
Available Phones and Special iPhone promotion
From launch, only a handful of phones will be available on the JUMP! on Demand program. Those are:
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy S6
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4
- LG G4
At launch, T-Mobile is also going to be offering a special deal on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Customers who trade-in a smartphone and sign up for JUMP! on Demand with a new iPhone (any storage capacity) can get $12 monthly bill credit. This reduces the standard monthly lease payment to $15 or $19 per month, respectively, for the 16GB iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models. Bill credits will show on your bill under the “Credits and Adjustments” section as “iPhone 6 promo credit”. This credit continues for the entire 18 month lease period – giving you a total of $216 in credit – as long as you don’t switch or JUMP! to a new device.
If your current phone’s trade-in value happens to be worth more than the $216 offered in this promotion, T-Mobile will refund the difference as a one-time credit on your bill.
Whenever you return a leased device – whether it’s at the end of your term or to upgrade – T-Mobile staff will check it for damage. They look for three key things: Cracked Screens, Liquid Damage and whether the phone powers on. If your leased phone fails to pass these three criteria, you’ll be fined. Each of the three criteria carries a fine of $250.
- Cracked Screen Damage fee – $250
- Liquid Damage fee – $250
- Device does not power on fee – $250
In the terms given to staff it states the following: “If there is damage(s) to the leased device, customers will be responsible for the SUM of the assessed damage fees.”
If you decide to pay the damage fees when you return the device, you don’t get to keep the device even if what you pay exceeds the Purchase Option Price (detailed below). So, if it’s going to cost you more to return it, it’s worth considering paying to own the damaged device.
Can Existing Customers upgrade?
Short answer is yes. Even if you’re not on a current JUMP! plan, you can upgrade and sign up to the new JUMP! on Demand program. However, it’s worth noting that you’re still subject to the terms of your EIP agreement. In other words, you’ll have to pay off any remaining EIP balance before signing up to the lease deal.
If you’re on a JUMP! plan, you’re subject to those terms still. For those on the first generation JUMP!, that means you’ll need to have had your most recent phone for at least 6 months. For those on the 2nd generation JUMP!, you can upgrade whenever you like as long as you’ve paid at least 50% of your EIP balance.
Credit Classes, Down Payments and Purchase Option Prices
T-Mobile sold this whole move as being able to sign up to a lease and get a new phone without paying anything at all up front. Not even sales tax. But that only applies – as usual – to those with good credit who T-Mobile regards as “well-qualified”. Remember, for T-Mo that now includes anyone who has successfully made 12 consecutive monthly payments. If you’re a long-serving customers with reliable payment history, you’ll be just fine.
Along with its snazzy new lease program, T-Mobile’s also started using some snazzy new legal lingo. There are two you should get familiar with: Capital Cost Reduction and Puchase Option Price.
Capital Cost Reduction is essentially the down payment, or security deposit, that customers will need to pay if they don’t fall in to the “well-qualified” credit classes. For the well-qualified, that figure is $0, just as John Legere said. For less qualified customers the Capital Cost Reduction (or down payment) will vary depending on how much the smartphone is worth. If you have a $700 handset, the down payment will be $200. But for those who do make down payments, monthly lease payments will be lower.
Keeping the example of the $700 handset, your total lease amount = (Full Retail Price – Purchase Option Price – Capital Cost Reduction) x Tax. On this particular $700 phone, your purchase option price is $250, the capital cost reduction for less-qualified customers is $200 which means the total lease amount is just $273.75. That’s $15.21 over the first 17 months and $15.18 for the last installment. Of course, this is an example only. Actually prices/amounts will change depending on which phone you want.
If you’re well-qualified and don’t pay anything up front, you’re monthly lease payments are higher to cover that $200 deficit. That’s roughly $11 per month more. In the end, everyone pays the same amount.
Purchase Option Price is the term used for the figure you’ll need to pay (plus your lease payments and any possible deposit) to own the device. Sticking with the example above, we’ll assume you’re at the end of your 18 months and that you’ve paid your monthly lease payments every month, as well as your initial $200 deposit. All you have to pay to make the device yours is $250 (plus taxes). If you want to do it before the end of the 18 months, you pay your Purchase Option Price plus any remaining lease payments. Once you’ve done that, T-Mobile will send you an ownership certificate on your next month’s bill.
Can I upgrade to anything I want?
Not exactly. As I’ve already listed, there are only certain devices included in the lease program to begin with. Customers who excercise their right to upgrade do have to change to a different model of phone, or at least, change to one with a higher storage capacity. That means you can’t just change from a white 64GB iPhone 6 to a black 64GB iPhone 6 just because you fancy a different color. If you have a 16GB iPhone 6, you can switch to a 64GB iPhone 6 though.
Can I end the lease when I like?
Pretty much, yes. T-Mobile notes in its communication to staff that “customers have the option to terminate their lease and return the device at any time during their lease term.” If you get to the end of your 18 month, the same applies – you still need to return the device since the phone remains T-Mobile’s property throughout the term of the lease.
T-Mobile notes that: “If customers terminate the lease early, they must pay T-Mobile an early termination amount which is the sum of the following: Any past due payments or other unpaid amounts due under this lease, plus the remaining unpaid scheduled lease payments for the remaining items, plus any excess wear and use charges, plus any additional fees or taxes related to the payment of these amounts.”
Where can I get it?
Short answer – In store only. Leases can only be initiated in Retail/Branded locations. What’s more, they can’t be applied to Ship-To direct fulfillment orders. It’ll be available from June 28th.
Hopefully that answer most of your questions. If you have any others that I somehow missed out, I’ll either respond to you in the comments or update the article.