This evening at Seattle’s Paramount Theater, T-Mobile announced another change in the way they’ll do things moving forward. Their latest move? Free trials, meant to convince potential subscribers that T-Mobile’s network is up to snuff.
In a new program that they call “Test Drive”, T-Mobile is offering free trials to potential customers, offering them an iPhone 5S and 7 days of unlimited service to give their network a spin.
Starting on June 23rd, anyone interested in giving T-Mo a spin can sign up for a test drive online. A few days later, an iPhone 5S is dropped off at your house, complete with a week’s worth of unlimited data/text/web service. And when your week is up? If you’re unconvinced that T-Mobile is for you, you just drop the iPhone off at any T-Mobile store and you’re done.
“But wait!” you say. “What keeps me from just running off with the iPhone?”
There is, of course, at least one small catch: they put a $700 hold on your credit card until the device is returned and, if you beat the thing up, they’ll charge you $100.
At the event, T-Mobile also announced that they’ve expanded their Wideband LTE Network to 16 markets, bumping the download speed in those areas up to a theoretical max of 150 Mbps on phones that play friendly with T-Mobile’s LTE network. Meanwhile, the Voice-over-LTE network that they started testing in Seattle back in May has been rolled out to 15 networks, with plans for it to go nationwide by the end of the year.
This is the fifth announcement in a string of changes that T-Mobile has dubbed their “Uncarrier” series.
The other “Uncarrier” changes so far? In March of 2013, T-Mobile kinda-sorta-but-not-really dropped their use of 2-year contracts. In July, they debuted a program that would let people upgrade their devices up to twice a year — then in October, they killed off the crazy fees associated with sending texts or using data while travelling internationally. Finally, back in January of this year, T-Mobile started covering the early termination fees of anyone willing to switch from another carrier.