T-Mobile CEO John Legere has a long and storied history of calling out his company's rivals online, regularly blasting Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T on Twitter for their service, deals, and phone plans. While most of his complaints are met with stony silence from the other carriers, it seems not all of them are willing to take his constant needling lying down. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure finally snapped at Legere tonight, reacting to the T-Mobile boss' criticism of Sprint's new ad campaign with a four-tweet salvo in which he said he was tired of T-Mobile's "Uncarrier bullshit," and said that the company lied to consumers.
Claure referred to T-Mobile's new Jump On Demand program, a phone-leasing deal that allows customers to upgrade their smartphone three times a year, arguing that the carrier included hidden costs that increased the base $15 a month fee to $27 a month. "You say one thing but behave completely different," Claure said across two tweets, before closing on an attempt at a hashtag zinger that fizzled. "It's all a fake show. So its really #Tmobilelikehell"
Sprint tried to buy T-Mobile last year
Sprint has lost ground to T-Mobile in recent years as the two companies jostle for third place in the US carrier market. Sprint was reportedly aiming to buy T-Mobile in 2014, but finally abandoned its plans after being faced with too many regulatory issues. Claure was hired as Sprint's new CEO soon after news of the failed deal broke, and was expected to make the company competitive after years of under-performance, combating T-Mobile's own aggressive marketing with new deals of his own. Apparently part of his approach also involves squabbling with rivals online.
The late-night tweetstorm didn't get an immediate reply from the normally talkative Legere, but you can bet the T-Mobile boss wasn't cowed into submission by the force of his rival's words. Legere uses Twitter constantly, and doesn't just aim his public criticisms at his direct industry rivals, cheerfully constructing hashtags to lambaste other companies and individuals. He's called out the FCC in the past for its "disastrous" spectrum auction, and even entered into a war of words with Donald Trump — while staying in a Trump hotel. Based on these past interactions, Claure's testy response could be the beginnings of a beautiful new animosity between the two men.