When T-Mobile began rolling out their “UnCarrier” approach to mobile, part of that plan was unsubsidized devices. In moving their company stores away from subsidized plans, they let the third party stores continue to offer devices with contracts. WalMart, Target, Costco — all offering subsidized devices when T-Mobile didn’t.
This morning, T-Mobile began sending out memos to those partners, letting them know that they’d have to start getting on-board the T-Mobile UnCarrier express. Those Classic Plans will no longer be offered as early as today, and T-Mobile hopes to have the phase-out complete by November 1st.
Retailers will have to send in their post-paid inventory to T-Mobile, and are being asked to send any customers who would like an exchange to a T-Mobile store to complete the process. Any customer suffering from buyers’ remorse who would like a refund may still go to the store where they purchased the device.
As T-Mobile’s popular Simple Choice plans become more widespread, and some very intriguing devices begin to roll out for the UnCarrier, this holiday season should be a good one for them. Now that their approach becomes more unified, it will be interesting to see if more consumers glom onto the new thinking of T-Mobile, or if their comfort zone is just too cozy to break away from.