T-Mobile announced today that the company will not offer employer rate plan discounts as of April 1st. This means T-Mobile customers that received discounted rate plans through their employers will see an increase in their monthly bills. But the company is giving something back: CEO John Legere writes in a blog post that customers who did receive those discounts will now receive $25 gift cards for every new device they purchase.
A terrible consolation prize
This move stands out in contrast to T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" moves of late, which typically offer better prices and services for consumers. Legere claims that it's just another way the company is "simplifying wireless for everyone," but in fact it's a substantial blow to customers who might have been saving 5 to 30 percent on a discounted employer rate. While these types of plans are usually a way for large carriers to get deals with corporations in order to get more customers, the more employees that sign up, the larger the discount. This makes those discounted plans typically a better deal for employee customers than a $25 gift card with each device purchase.
The change could be T-Mobile's way to address its recent losses: while the company gained 869,000 postpaid customers last quarter, it did not have such good news in its overall earnings, reporting a loss of $20 million.