This evening T-Mobile announced quite a few things at their Uncarrier 5 unveiling in Seattle, like Uncarrier 6 also. One of the announcements was a partnership with Apple and a new 7 night stand free trial. The basic premises let you cheat on your carrier for 7 nights 100% risk free. No obligations, no charges, no upfront payments, no anything. Well, almost anything.
“We think everybody should cheat on their carrier and enjoy every minute of it” said John Legere during the event when he started talking about the promotion. It all sounded good until we started looking through the terms on the test drive website. First thing to know is that it is for an iPhone 5s. You don’t get to test drive any device. John’s answer as to why an iPhone was simple, they found that not a lot of people know T-Mobile even carries the iPhone and second Apple wanted to help get their devices in more hands on the fastest growing network in America. Since the Uncarrier approach began T-Mobile has brought in over 17 million customers. It still makes a lot of sense for people to be able to at least try T-Mobile service in their area to see the coverage and the data speeds available before they spend the time and money to find out it just doesn’t work for their needs.
Now all the important details. To take the iPhone 5s for a 7 night stand test drive you have to visit the promotion page so you can order it. It will ship out to you and your 7 nights starts when you turn it on and register on the network. You then have 7 nights to use it and play about and see what you think. If it doesn’t bode well for you then take it to any T-Mobile store, with the box and everything, and turn it in. I will applaud the efforts T-Mobile took to make this happen and how upfront they are on the rest of the details. Heck, they are in BIG BOLD LETTERS on the website and not hidden in and term and conditions pages. When you place the order it has to go to the address that your debit or credit card is associated too. When you place the order there will be hold of $699.99 + applicable tax placed on your card until the device is returned, if it is not returned they will charge it officially. Basically, if you don’t have $700 chilling in your bank account or available on your credit card you are SOL. If the device comes back damaged in any way or won’t power on, you will be charged a $100 damage fee. That seems fair enough. Oh, you will also be charged that $100 damage fee if you activate the Find My iPhone feature too. So don’t do that if you have reservations about the process.
T-Mobile and Apple did a good job of covering themselves on this one. There are a lot of sneaky people out there that would try to use a pre-paid visa or something to walk off with a $700 phone. If you want to dig in a little deeper you will want to head over to the Test Drive page and do a little more reading.