Today, T-Mobile announced that they have already rolled out wideband LTE to 16 markets and VoLTE to 15 markets, with 100 million people currently covered by the 15 VoLTE markets and plans to expand this coverage nationwide by the end of the year. However, the real news this is their Test Drive program. This means that people can sign up to get an iPhone 5s with unlimited voice, text, and data. This trial period will last a week, with no money down or obligation to stay with T-Mobile once the week is over. In short, it’s possible to try T-Mobile with no strings attached for a week now. The real reason for this is to avoid buyer's rermorse, with the hope of also attracting more customers to T-Mobile by reducing the inherent risk currently present in the contract system when one switches from one carrier to another. CEO John Legere stated during the presentation that the remorse rate for those purchasing service from a wireless operator is worse than those that purchase a used car. According to T-Mobile, 46% experience regret over their choice of network operator, which is one of the main reasons for this program.

The program starts on June 23rd and the website to sign up for this program is

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  • cmdrdredd - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    There's gotta be a catch to this. I bet most people wouldn't qualify based on credit to just get a phone for a test drive. Something.
  • TrackSmart - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - link

    I'm sure they check to see that you have reasonable credit. I have no problem with that. And I don't see why there needs to be a huge catch. I'm essentially "testing" t-mobile right now. I switched this morning using an unlocked Nexus 5. If my service is inadequate, I can just move over to another carrier. That's how it should be.

    If their coverage is adequate for my needs, I'll be happy to be with a carrier that is pushing for more consumer-friendly policies in the wireless industry:
    - no 2-year contract lock-in
    - no obscuring of phone costs within plan prices
    - free unlimited international texts in most countries
    - free international data in most countries (capped speeds at slow speeds of ~128 kbps)
    - ability to get "full speed" data when abroad at reasonable short-term prices (if the slow, free data speeds aren't fast enough)
    - Lower prices than my previous carrier (Verizon)
    [Sadly, voice calls still cost ~20 cents/minute when abroad, but that is less than other US carriers when roaming.]

    I'm still a bit worried that their coverage won't be good enough when traveling outside of major cities, but in the meantime their policies make it pretty easy to give them a fair shot.

    To be clear, I'm no T-Mobile spokesperson. If their coverage is terrible in the areas where I need it most, I will drop them fast.
  • gigahertz20 - Thursday, June 19, 2014 - link

    So what’s the catch, you ask? Well, there is a bit of fine print worth mentioning. When you sign up for a Test Drive, T-Mobile will place a $699.99 hold on your credit card. If you return the iPhone 5s with a cracked screen or water damage, you’ll need to pony up $100. And if you decide not to return the iPhone at all, you’ll be charged $700 for the unit.
  • THizzle7XU - Thursday, June 19, 2014 - link

    So everytime you go to the store and grab a product off the shelf with the intention of keeping it for yourself, it's a "catch" when the store expects you to exchange money for said product? I think you need to go back to econ 101...
  • anandreader106 - Thursday, June 19, 2014 - link

    That's not a catch. That's common sense.
  • Homeles - Thursday, June 19, 2014 - link

    A reminder: this would be a "soft" credit check, that would not affect your credit score.
  • gigahertz20 - Thursday, June 19, 2014 - link

    There's no catch just don't break it and return the phone, details here
  • ratbert1 - Thursday, June 19, 2014 - link

    I think T-Mo way overbought on the iPhones.
  • Homeles - Thursday, June 19, 2014 - link

    Definitely a great way for people to not only try out an iPhone and potentially land T-Mobile a sale, but to assess the network strength in one's area.

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