Friday, July 26, 2013

T-Mobile has a $0 down summer promotional special

There is always a catch though
T-Mobile announced a new summer promotion today, offering up its full selection of top tier devices for $0 down starting July 27. The catch, because there’s always a catch, is that your monthly payments will increase to make up the cost. We did the math, and it turns out that T-Mobile isn’t trying to gouge you in the longterm, but it isn’t really a promotion.
Take the iPhone 5 for example. If you buy it today from T-Mobile as a new customer you can either pay $649 upfront, or a down payment of $145.99 plus $21 monthly payments for the next 24 months, which adds up to $650. With the carrier’s new promotion, you’ll pay $0 down and $27 every month for 24 months, which comes out to $648. Ultimately it isn’t a deal at all; you’re still paying about the same amount, just spread out over two years instead of at the time of purchase. Add in two years of inflation, since you’re spreading that cost out, and you’re paying more. But we won’t get too deep into the economics of it all.
T-Mobile also notes that its summer promotion works with the network’s new JUMP! plan, which lets users upgrade their handsets twice-per-year, but at a $10 monthly cost. That means you could pick up a new phone from T-Mobile for free starting tomorrow, make down payments for six months, and then upgrade to a new device. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, but before you run out remember that JUMP! isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. There’s always a catch, after all.

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