Bad Credit, No Problem: John Legere And T-Mobile Want Your Business

T-Mobile CEO John Legere made it his mission last year to knock Sprint of its perch as America’s third-largest wireless carrier. Legere made his proclamation at the beginning of August and despite a huge 2014 for T-Mobile, with over 8 million customers adds during the year, it wasn’t enough to overtake Sprint. However, Legere and company are looking once again to kneecap Sprint during 2015, and a new, rather unorthodox promotion just may be the ticker to secure customers that might have otherwise passed T-Mobile by when looking for a wireless carrier.

John Legere

According to Legere, 63 percent of Americans have “less than the perfect credit score” and often don’t qualify for carrier promotions that include free phones, or “zero down” for smartphone upgrade plans like T-Mobile’s JUMP! As a result, T-Mobile is introducing what Legere calls its Smartphone Equality initiative.

With Smartphone Equality, T-Mobile will reward customer loyalty over credit scores. “Every T-Mobile customer who’s paid their wireless phone bill on time for 12 straight months will qualify for our very best device pricing on every smartphone and tablet we sell − including zero down with no interest and no credit check,” said Legere.  “It’s a simpler, saner way to evaluate credit − our history with you. And it’s more effective. Because the simple truth is that our relationship with that customer is actually a better predictor of future behavior than their credit history.”

Legere hopes that Smartphone Equality will “lower the barrier” for millions of Americans that have been unable to afford upgrading to the latest and greatest smartphones that T-Mobile has to offer. “There are more than 100 million American adults who don’t have a smartphone according to data from Pew Research and the US Census Bureau,” Legere added. “That’s 100 million too many.” After all, according to Legere, a smartphone isn’t a luxury, “It’s a lifeline.”

John Legere’s efforts are admirable, but we have to wonder what parent company Deutsche Telekom thinks about another expensive, unsustainable strategy.