T-Mobile launches phone trade-in guarantee, promises to beat any offer by $50

In advance of the release of the new iPhone and other high-end smartphones, T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) said it will guarantee the best trade-in value on customers' used devices when they upgrade to a new device. The offer is geared at enticing customers to switch to T-Mobile by offering them the most money for their used phone.

"We're going to see some of the most phenomenal devices ever in the coming months, and that means a whole lot of Americans trading-in their devices and upgrading," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. "For years, the big carriers have been ripping off their customers with low-ball trade-in values, so we're putting an end to that and guaranteeing we'll give customers what they deserve--the best value in the industry."

T-Mobile said it will "track the market every day to ensure we keep our promise." The carrier said that, if a customer can find a better trade-in offer from a major national carrier, T-Mobile will beat that offer, give them the difference back, and "because we value this help from our customer we will top it off with another $50!" The additional $50 will be paid as a bill credit within two to three billing cycles.

T-Mobile's offer is set to launch Sept. 17. That date could be significant since Apple is widely expected to announced its new iPhone on Tuesday--the company is expected to announce two new iterations of what's reportedly going to be called the iPhone 6, a version with a 4.7-inch screen and one with a 5.5-inch screen. In years past, Apple has started sales of its new iPhones around a week after announcing the gadgets, and T-Mobile may be timing its trade-in offer to coincide with the launch day of the next iPhone.

Further, this may be just one of T-Mobile's promotional efforts around the iPhone launch. The carrier is scheduled to make its "uncarrier 7.0" announcement on Wednesday in San Francisco, just one day after the iPhone's unveiling. It's unclear what T-Mobile may be planning to announce; the carrier said only that "this time it's personal."

Most wireless carriers' pricing promotions take into account the value of a trade-in phone. For example, carriers can offer $200 or more for a used but fully functioning high-end smartphone. That money is then applied toward a customer's new phone. If they're in working order, those used phones are then sometimes refurbished and resold; for example, AT&T has said it plans to sell refurbished phones through its Cricket prepaid subsidiary in an effort to lower the cost of those phones.

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- see this T-Mobile release

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