T-Mobile backpedals a bit on corporate discount plans

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) has revised its decision to end employee rate plan discounts. Instead, the company said, via a tweet from T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert, that it is ending the discount plans for new customers but will continue to honor those plans for existing customers.

T-Mobile initially announced earlier this week that the operator would end all employee rate plan discounts, called Advantage plans, on April 1, and that it would replace them with $25 reward cards that would be given away every time an employee purchases a new device. T-Mobile said discounts for existing customers would have ended when their contract was up--if they no longer had a contract, the discount would end May 1. In explaining the reason for the changes, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said the plans were designed to help big carriers close big corporate contracts and use employees as "bargaining chips."

Now, though, T-Mobile said existing customers can keep the plans, and the changes would only apply to new customers. "It's all about listening to customers, has been ever since we launched Un-carrier. Simplify, listen, improve, listen, get better and better," Sievert explained.

Legere further elaborated on the change in a blog post April 2, saying he still believes that "complicated rate plan discounts and backroom deals with big corporations are unfair." He added that while the company will honor Advantage plan discounts for existing customers, it won't do so for new customers.  "We're moving away from the notion of different prices for different customers, so we can invest in providing simplicity and value to all customers," Legere said. 

T-Mobile has recently made many tweaks to its "Simple Choice" rate plans, including offering global roaming and texting at no extra charge, that benefit enterprise clients. In addition, the company increased the amount of LTE data customers can get before throttling to 1 GB for $50 per month, up from a previous allotment of 500 MB. Customers can also get 3 GB of LTE data, including tethering, for an additional $10 per month per line (up from 2.5 GB previously), or 5 GB for an extra $20 per month per line.

For more:
- see this Re/code article
- see this tweet from T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert
- see this blog post from T-Mobile CEO John Legere

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Updated on April 2 to include comments from John Legere's blog post