T-Mobile targets Verizon customers with free two-week trial

In the battle for marketshare, T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) is now putting its focus on competitor Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ). With its new "Never Settle Trial" T-Mobile is offering Verizon customers the opportunity to try T-Mobile's network and service for up to two weeks at no cost.

Verizon's recent advertising slogan uses the "never settle" tag line, and implies that customers who choose the other carriers are settling for inferior network quality. Verizon continues to be the leader in overall performance, network reliability, data speed, data performance and call quality, according to network testing firm RootMetrics.  

After spending much of the last two years training its advertising and aggressive marketing tactics on AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T), T-Mobile is now shifting its focus to Verizon, which it feels it is closing the gap with in terms of network reach and performance.

Under the promotion, Verizon customers will port their number to a new T-Mobile smartphone and hold on to their old Verizon phone. After the trial, if customers want to switch to T-Mobile, T-Mobile will pay any of Verizon's Early Termination Fees (or outstanding device payments up to $650 when customers trade in their phone and purchase a new one from T-Mobile).

If customers do not want to switch to T-Mobile, they will hand in their T-Mobile phone within 14 days, and T-Mobile will refund any trial costs. T-Mobile also will pay any service costs for returning to Verizon, such activation or other related fees. The trial starts on May 13, and Verizon customers can sign up through May 31.

"Last week, I said we would hit right back at Verizon--I meant it," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a statement. "T-Mobile's 4G LTE network is the nation's fastest. Not faster for the price…just faster, period. With T-Mobile, you don't have to settle for trickery, gimmicks and carrier BS the way you do with Verizon.  I'm so confident in our kick-ass network experience that we're footing the bill so Verizon customers can give T-Mobile a try."

A Verizon spokesman declined to comment. 

T-Mobile's LTE network now covers 275 million POPs and the company said it is on track to cover 300 million POPs by year-end. Verizon's LTE network covers more than 306 million POPs.

"Let's face it, we are the fastest 4G LTE network in the country," T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said last week during T-Mobile's first-quarter earnings conference call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of his remarks. "We have more data capacity per customer than AT&T or Verizon and now we have this rapidly unfolding coverage footprint. By the end of the year we'll compare with anybody."

T-Mobile is also launching a new advertising campaign targeted at Verizon under the banner of "#NeverSettleforVerizon." T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert indicated last week during the earnings call that T-Mobile will get aggressive with Verizon.

"Everyone knows that Verizon, for example, is more expensive, they're more complex, they are less flexible, they are less focused on their customers and they are less likely to adapt to what customers want in the future," Sievert said. "Now I can't tell you the date but there will be a time when T-Mobile coverage will be superior or equal to Verizon. Then what? We're faster. We're bigger. We're more focused on customers. So that day is coming. I can't put it on the calendar but it's coming." 

For more:
- see this release
- see this The Verge article
- see this Re/code article

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