T-Mobile offering upgrading BlackBerry users $250 following backlash

By , Feb 20, 2014

T-Mobile iPhone launch line

BlackBerry users on T-Mobile who want to upgrade to a new device will now receive $250 towards the purchase of any BlackBerry phone, or $200 toward any other smartphone. The deal follows backlash from both BB loyalists and CEO John Chen regarding a recent promo offer.

For those that missed it, T-Mobile sent out an email to its BlackBerry-using customers suggesting they switch to an iPhone 5s. Loyal BB users took to Twitter to voice their outrage at the insulting offer and BlackBerry’s Chen penned a blog post calling the whole thing “inappropriate.”

And here’s how T-Mobile has decided to respond…

First, an excerpt from a counter blog post by T-Mobile’s CMO Mike Sievert:

Wow. Mind blown. 

The passion we’ve seen from the BlackBerry Loyal over the past couple days has been pretty amazing. I want you to know we’ve heard you.

Yesterday BlackBerry CEO John Chen posted a blog criticizing T-Mobile’s marketing to BlackBerry users.  The premise of his article was that it’s best for customers if we restrict the free flow of information and limit consumer choice.  At T-Mobile we totally reject that premise. We believe the best wireless service gives customers complete freedom and choice, and that’s what we are doing with a new offer for BlackBerry users we are announcing today.

The way they’re handling this is actually kind of ingenious:

Starting this Friday, we’re offering $200 credit toward a new device when you trade in your current BlackBerry and upgrade to one of the latest, greatest devices.  Purchase any device we offer at T-Mobile.  It’s that simple. Bring in your old, working BlackBerry and we’ll give you $200 toward a new BlackBerry or any of our other state-of-the-art smartphones.i  In addition, for those existing T-Mobile BlackBerry customers trading-in and choosing a new BlackBerry Q10 or Z10, we’re offering an ADDITIONAL $50 off the purchase price of that new BlackBerry. These offers will be available for a limited time. 

This seems like less of a ‘we’re sorry’ offer and more of a subtle, clever jab at the folks in Waterloo. Sure, upset BlackBerry owners get a $250 credit for a new one, but they also get $200 to choose something else. It’s like a social experiment: how many customers will take the extra $50?

You know CEO Johne Leger is loving this:

In the end, though, current BlackBerry users on T-Mobile are getting a heck of a deal—regardless of which new device they decide to go with. So if you fall in that category, I recommend taking advantage of it before it’s gone. It’s not every day you get $200 to $250 off a full retail smartphone.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

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  • Rowan09

    Blackberry should be ashamed for running their company into the ground. At one point they were the standard for emails, government contracts and security and now look at them. Such a shame that they allow Apple and Google to just run them into the ground without even putting up a fight and costing people their jobs.