Photo via Mike Mozart/Flickr (CC-BY)
The latest version of T-Mobile's ongoing strategy to differentiate itself from the other major mobile carriers with what it's branded as its "#GetThanked" campaign. The effort will toss one-time and weekly offers for free stuff at the company's existing customers.
The first part of T-Mobile's plan, which feels like it's just missing a message of "But wait, there's more if you order now!" like the Home Shopping Network, turns subscribers into investors by giving each customer a single stock in the company. New and existing T-Mobile customers can claim a full share of T-Mobile stock, and can earn up to 100 total shares per year by referring others to the service.
"Customers have always been in charge of the Un-carrier – now, it’s official. Customers are the boss!" T-Mobile said in its press release, while obviously realizing that one share in a company is enough to assert exactly zero control over any part of the business. It gives T-Mobile customers the same control over the company as Green Bay Packers stock holders have over the team's roster moves. Oh, and T-Mobile's stock is down in after hours trading following its recent announcement. So enjoy that.
The stock is essentially free money to those who want it, even if they decide to sell immediately—the brokerage firm that the free stock has to be claimed through, Loyal3, places zero fees on trading or transferring in the first year—but it's not the only freebie T-Mobile is offering; the company will also be giving away stuff every Tuesday through its new T-Mobile Tuesdays app.
The promotion promises new assorted free stuff from #brands that want to tap T-Mobile's subscriber base. The first run of the promotion will include free pizzas and ice cream, as T-Mobile does its best to clog the arteries of its customers once a week for the foreseeable future.
Finally, T-Mobile will also extend its Un-carrier promotion to those well above its network towers by giving away a free hour of of Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi on their smartphones, which is just long enough for one YouTube video to buffer because Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi is notoriously unreliable.
This expansion of the Un-carrier platform builds upon the existing promotions, which include unlimited streaming of music and video through certain apps without eating away at data—a plan known as zero rating that almost certainly infringes upon the primary tenants of net neutrality, despite the company's assertion that it's in the clear.
Being a T-Mobile customer undoubtably has its perks thanks to all of the giveaways and budget-saving efforts the carrier has put forth. Not included in those perks, according to a recent RootMetrics report, is a consistent network connection; T-Mobile finished fourth behind Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint when it comes to overall network performance. But hey, free pizza!