T-Mobile US Inc. is once again taking aim at its favorite target: AT&T Inc.
The company plans to run ads tomorrow in major newspapers ribbing AT&T for its latest promotion: an offer of as much as $450 to T-Mobile customers if they change carriers. Since T-Mobile has already agreed to pay the switching costs for subscribers who defect to T-Mobile, AT&T customers can now go to T-Mobile and then come back at no cost.
“T-Mobile announced they would pay early termination fees for customers if they broke up with AT&T and traded in their device for a new one at T-Mobile,” the new T-Mobile ads say. “Now AT&T has made that offer essentially risk free.”
The move is the latest salvo between two one-time merger partners that have become fierce rivals. Under Chief Executive Officer John Legere, T-Mobile has sought to undercut AT&T’s prices and overturn industry practices, such as long-term contracts. The effort has helped T-Mobile add more than 2 million customers this year, reversing a decline for the fourth-largest U.S. carrier.
T-Mobile is now adding more than two AT&T customers for each one it loses to the rival carrier, Chief Marketing Officer Mike Sievert said in an interview. That’s an increase from earlier this month.
“People are flocking to T-Mobile more than any time since we have been tracking it,” he said.
Mark Siegel, a spokesman for Dallas-based AT&T, declined to comment.