T-Mobile recently unveiled plans to cut out its employer discount program. It will instead offer gift cards for when employees upgrade. It’s probably not something that anyone wants to hear — especially for folks who have steep discounts due to their employer. iMore points out, for example, that someone in the armed forces can receive up to a 15 percent discount on a wireless bill. T-Mobile’s argument? That its rates are already good enough for everyone.
CEO John Legere said the move, which officially goes live tomorrow, was made in an effort to be more transparent on the discounts that everyone receives — no matter who they work for. Legere tried to soften the deal by saying that, for a family of four people, an employee could save as much as $100 a year. That’s not really much savings, especially considering that a family of four is paying thousands of dollars over a two-year contract — or thousands in monthly device installment payments over two years.
“The old programs were designed to help big carriers close big corporate contracts, with employees as bargaining chips,” Legere explained. “We aren’t playing that game anymore. This change is about simplifying wireless for everyone … including employees of small and large companies alike. The other guys’ best plans with fat corporate discounts still can’t match the value of our Simple Choice plan.” Except, what Legere isn’t mentioning is that T-Mobile is removing discounts to people who had one with the Simple Choice plans, so those rates are still increasing.
We wonder how well this will go over with T-Mobile’s corporate clients. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint can, and probably will, move in on the enterprise to scoop up anyone who doesn’t find a $25 gift certificate satisfactory for their business with T-Mobile.