At least, it’s going to happen according to the T-Mobile official announcement that T-Mobile Jump On Demand (JOD) customers will be charged a certain amount of down payments on certain smartphones when they upgrade their devices sometime next year. When the JOD program started on June 28th 2015, T-Mobile promised that JOD customers would be paying zero down on upgrading their devices (to base model of the new devices) 3 times a year. You can take a look the announcement on T-Mobile’s webpage that “JUMP! On Demand is the best way to get a new smartphone whenever you want. Zero out the door. Zero at upgrade. Zero fees. Zero wait. Zero BS.” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. However, it’s been a difficult period of time to both T-mobile’s JOD customers and its retail stores employees ever since this program began.
Lack Of Communications Internally From Very Beginning
We should all agree that T-Mobile has been leading the wireless new movements in the past couple of years. The JOD move was one of the bravest and successful tactics that lured tens of thousands (if not millions) new customers from its competitors. However, due to its eccentric nature (it’s just unheard of this type of programs before), T-Mobile employees were not familiar with the program in the very beginning created so much headache for so many customers. We, as an example, had to call and talk to T-Mobile CSRs when we upgraded devices. Often time that JOD customers are more knowledgable than T-Mobile employees and it creates a certain degree of frustrations and caused some of the ill-fated results.
T-Mobile Walks On the Borderline All The Time
Due to the business nature, T-Mobile is always trying to maximize its bottom line; therefore, they try very hard to make the most money out of the existing customers every time when there are new devices released. It affects JOD customers the most since JOD customers are the ones who upgrade devices most frequently. T-Mobile tries to play words games on its contracts or the terms that they promised... for instance, the zero down for device’s base model often gets stripped… ever since the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge… Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge… and most recent that Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, T-Mobile asked their employees to get down payments up to $130 USD from JOD customers for the base model that they are upgrading to. According to T-Mobile’s announcement that base model is being distinguished by the storage capacity difference. However, if you don’t complain, you get charged for the down payment for the base model of the device that you are upgrading to.
T-Mobile even charges more $ from JOD customers for Galaxy S8 devices. To explain this, we need to let you know that JOD program is different from the installment program; however, the monthly payment is the same… only for the JOD that you pay for 18 months and return the device to T-Mobile and upgrade to another device. For the installment plan, you pay 24 months and you own the device.
Galaxy S8 64GB (base model) – $750 USD (first launched in T-Mobile network in April 2017)
Installment: $750 / 24 = $31.25 USD
* You pay $31.25 a month for 24 months then you own the device
JOD: $750 / 24 = $33 USD ???
* You should have just paid $31.25 a month for 18 months then you return the device to T-Mobile. After that you can decide if you would like to continue this program or not. If so, you will be able to get another device and being a JOD customer for 18 months… so on and so forth.
* T-Mobile charged JOD customers $33 USD a month for it.
Where does the $1.75 USD come from? Well… we know that most of the JOD customers are tired of arguing with T-Mobile (countless calling, waiting, and bullshitting from T-Mobile)… so … they sucked the mysterious charges up and moved on.
For the base model of Galaxy S8+, most of the JOD customers were charged for $130 USD down payment... again … because customers were sick of playing games with T-Mobile so … most of them just absorbed the cost themselves. However, a few of them spoke out and created a bit buzz on social media such as twitter then … T-Mobile social media specialist showed up and took care of them (meaning that credited $130 USD back to their accounts). Well… if we, as T-Mobile customers, need to go through this kid of hurdles every single time when we want to have a new device, we’d better off being full-time arguing specialists only for this matter. So … most of us … just … MOVE ON…
— Keith Lacourciere (@TheCourciere) April 18, 2017
T-Mobile Phased Out JOD
This is within their right … so … T-Mobile is trying to phase out this program but, at the same time, it is still accepting new customers for JOD… but charging them upgrading fee as a service fee. Every time when new JOD customers upgrading devices, they will be charged $20 USD. Well… again … it’s within their right but they need to have a better communication internally since they charged every JOD customer the $20 USD service fee when they first rolled out this new JOD statement. Again… countless calling to figure out what’s going on … why was the situation different every single time and it’s not just as described on the contract/announcement/tos of JOD? As customers, we only require transparency on the terms we agreed with. We don’t wanna take advantage of T-Mobile but at the same time that we do NOT want to be taken advantages of as well. Come on, T-Mobile… please have some decency to be more transparent on this. If you don’t want to continue the JOD program, please just spit out and find a better way to end this program once and for all.
Now… Again … an Ambiguous Announcement For The Upcoming Down Payments On JOD Customers
Well… it’s coming and we saw it a long time ago since we need to deal with T-Mobile’s BS every time when we upgraded our devices. We know that the next time when we want to get our hands on new devices via JOD, we will face new mysterious challenges. It lets us wondering that the un-carrier movement is really a BS since the cash we paid for the devices pilled up multiple times a year compared with the subsidized plan. Also the monthly payment we have been paying since the movement has been doubled (or even tripled). So… how about just move back to the subsidized plan for the better good? Being honest for once that the subsidized plan is the best plan for consumers. Still remembering that friends from other countries envied us having subsidized smartphones for only $99 USD or $199 USD and they needed to pay for $599 USD and $700 USD for the same phones in their countries? Well… those good old days are long gone thanks to T-Mobile who found the best $ generating machine for all the US wireless carriers.
US Wireless Market Is A Monopoly Market
You can argue that US wireless business is very competitive and no one is in control but it’s not our opinion here. We think that US wireless market is a monopoly market since every one of them is sort of having a silent agreement on the term that will strip the most $ out of consumers. For device makers, US market is one of the hardest market in the world since, believe it or not, you need to get devices through wireless carriers to survive. Ask around that how many countries have the locked phone policy? It’s ridiculous that we need to pay premiums for the phones that are locked to a specific carrier. Don’t they know that we are paying the full price of the device … if so … should we, at least, own the device? Well… yup … they will argue that you are in a installment plan or leasing plan but when you decide to end the agreement, you will need to pay the balance of the device so … it’s the same, isn’t it?
Consumers can just play the game with US wireless carriers right here, right now. Get whatever they offer right now at the current terms and do NOT expect that they will honor the term in the future. That’s the best we can do if you want to live a better life without getting into the BS argument with your carrier. And … hopefully, there will be a new carrier that will come to rescue… or our government might have enough of those BS and decides to intervene (e.g., get rid of the locked device rule…etc.)
For the T-Mobile JOD customers, good lock with your next upgrade. If you want to be treated fair and square (as the agreement you signed in the very beginning), you will need to put time and efforts to fight for it for sure.