T-Mobile making changes to its ‘Jump’ upgrade program this month

T-Mobile Jump (logo, small)

TmoNews is reporting that T-Mobile plans to make some changes to its early upgrade program ‘Jump’ in the near future. The site says that the carrier will soon get rid of the 6 month waiting period, essentially allowing customers to upgrade their devices as often as they want.

But don’t get too excited yet. In addition to eliminating its equipment upgrade waiting periods, T-Mobile is also going to raise the amount that customers have to pay off before they can trade in their device for a new one to 50%, or half of their old handset’s full retail price…

Here’s the press release via TmoNews:

T-Mobile sparked a revolution in the wireless industry in 2013, beginning with the elimination of service contracts and a call for ‘Contract Freedom.’ Our innovative JUMP! handset upgrade program is an important cornerstone of our Un-carrier movement, and soon you will be able to upgrade as many times as you like:

  • Whenever you’re ready to upgrade, trade in your device and T-Mobile will pay your remaining device payments up to 50% of the device cost. There is no more waiting period or limit to the number of times you can upgrade per year.
  • And we didn’t stop there – we’ve also added tablets to the program!   We’re excited about how these program enhancements give our customers even more freedom to upgrade when they want, instead of when they’re told.

The old-guard carriers all tried to follow our lead last year, but none can match the variety of freedoms we provide to our customers with JUMP!”

To give you an idea of what this means, under the previous program a T-Mobile subscriber could upgrade to a new iPhone after 6 months. That’s 6 months of payments multiplied by $27/month (for a 16GB 5s), meaning you’d essentially have to pay $162 before upgrading.

But under the new terms of the Jump program, T-Mobile customers must pay at least half of the full retail cost of the device before upgrading. So again for a 16GB 5s, which runs about $650 full retail, that’s $324 (or 12 months of payments) you’d have to pay before upgrading.

The good news is, T-Mobile is allowing current Jump customers to be grandfathered in to the existing plan, so they’ll be eligible to upgrade to a new phone after 6 months, as they were initially promised. The new Jump program launches February 27.

What do you think about these changes? Good/bad move by T-Mobile?