T-Mobile offering upgrading BlackBerry users $250 following backlash

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?