Last night we reported that BillShrink, a scrappy startup that helps users lower common household bills, scored a major marketing deal: T-Mobile is promoting them in shops and via a national television commercial in a huge way.
T-Mobile urges people to have a “mobile makeover” to “find a wireless plan that has the best coverage and price for you – even if it’s not with us.” The advertising goes on: “We’ll send you to BillShrink.com, an independent, third-party website that evaluates all of your unique needs against every national wireless plan.”
Sounds awesome. Kudos to T-Mobile for promoting an independent site. And +1 to BillShrink for convincing them to put serious marketing dollars towards promoting BillShrink.com.
…just one problem. The BillShrink tool that analyzes a user’s mobile usage to find the right plan for them says that a T-Mobile plan is almost always the right choice.
In every query we ran, where minutes, text messaging, data and other variables can be changed, T-Mobile came out as the top result that saved users the most money. In some queries T-Mobile took every result on the first page.
Now it turns out the T-Mobile, which is the smallest major network in the U.S., happens to offer more minutes and other features than the others for a lower price. Other sites like MyRatePlan agree.
In other words, BillShrink didn’t tweak the results because of their marketing partner. It just so happens that T-Mobile has real incentive to push them as an independent third party. Because they always come up with T-Mobile on top. Something tells me the other networks won’t be doing similar deals.
BillShrink has not yet responded to our request for comment. Update: Peter Pham has responded in the comments.
Update: Wait, we found one search where T-Mobile came up second! 1800 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data shows Sprint first, T-Mobile second.