T-Mobile’s Smartphone Equality policy may sound like used car salesman talk, but according to CEO John Legere, it will allow millions of people to get the same great deals on smartphones that everyone with good credit gets. Now, any customer who pays their bill on time for 12 months will be eligible for all the best device price promotions T-Mobile offers.
Every time carriers offer a deal like $0 with 24 monthly payments of a certain amount each month, they check the customer’s credit before the purchase can go through. Customers who have great credit scores easily get the promotions and walk out the door with a heavily discounted device in their hands. Meanwhile, those who don’t have the best credit miss out on the deals and often have to pay more money up front, or the full price.
“So 1 out of every 2 people walks into a store only to find they don’t qualify, because they’re not ‘well qualified.’ How insulting is that?” Legere asks indignantly in his blog post.
Legere continues, saying that some “nameless, faceless bureaucracy,” shouldn’t prevent Americans from owning a smartphone. To do away with credit checks for the most part, T-Mobile will now ask customers to pass a sort of litmus test before they qualify for a deal on a smartphone, no questions asked. All customers have to do is pay their bill on time for 12 months. At that point, they’ll be able to take advantage of every promotion without a credit check.
“This isn’t just the right thing to do,” Legere said. “It’s good business.”
However, the 12-month trial period requirement makes Smartphone Equality best suited to existing T-Mobile customers, as new customers will still have to submit to a credit check to get a device.