T-Mobile CEO Misleads on 'No Strings Attached' Free Data, New Customers Require $20 Data Plan to Finance iPads

Contrary to T-Mobile CEO John Legere's assurances that all customers would get 200MB of free monthly iPad data with "no exceptions" and "no strings attached", new T-Mobile customers who wish to take advantage of the carrier's 0-percent financing offer on the iPad will be required to sign up for a $20/month 500MB data plan in order to get an additional 200MB of monthly data "free".

Last week there was some confusion around T-Mobile's so-called "uncarrier" plan. Legere claimed via Twitter that "everyone" would get 200MB of free monthly iPad data, but CNET's Roger Cheng discovered otherwise.

T-Mobile iPad Air
T-Mobile clarified to CNET that new customers who want to take advantage of T-Mobile's no-money-down plan are required to sign up for a $20-a-month plan.

Unlike the On Demand plan, which was simply a fee for staying on T-Mobile's network, the $20 plan does provide for an additional 500MB of data at its 4G LTE speed. The 200MB of data is "free," but doesn't kick in until after you sign up.

Existing T-Mobile customers with a phone plan can access the 200MB of free data without signing up for additional plans. New customers who paid full price for their iPad Air or any other tablet will be able to get the 200MB data plan for free. Or customers can bring in their own T-Mobile-compatible tablets.
While many customers will be able to take advantage of T-Mobile's 200MB/month offer for no charge, there are some exceptions. Customers who do not have an existing monthly voice account with T-Mobile that wish to purchase an iPad with T-Mobile's financing plan will need to purchase a $20-per-month 500MB data plan, and will receive an additional 200MB of data for free.

iPad owners that purchase an iPad elsewhere and bring it to T-Mobile -- or buy an iPad from T-Mobiile at full price -- or that have an existing voice account with the company and finance the iPad, can receive the 200MB data plan for free.

AT&T, for its part, offers similar zero-down and zero-percent financing on iPads to its customers through its AT&T Next program with standalone data plans, session-based on-demand data plans, or a $10/month addition to its Mobile Share plans. It does not offer free data, however.

Top Rated Comments

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82 months ago
Okay, let's be real here. If you have to finance an iPad, you shouldn't be buying one.
Rating: 41 Votes
82 months ago
this is going to be a PR nightmare for T-Mo
Rating: 28 Votes
82 months ago

Can't imagine Apple would be too happy about this either? Now Apple's website is incredibly misleading when going to purchase a T-Mobile iPad.

Apple's web site isn't the least bit misleading. It is 100% accurate. If you buy from Apple, you don't get to finance. You're paying for the whole iPad up front, and when you do that, you do indeed get completely free 200MB/mo from T-Mobile.

It is only when you buy from T-Mobile directly and use their nothing down, no-interest financing that you find out you must subscribe to at least the $20/mo data plan.
Rating: 27 Votes
82 months ago
I don't understand what is misleading about this? Yes, the 200mb is still free for whoever. No, they aren't going to give you free financing and free data. You either buy the iPad straight up, or you pay for monthly access. It's called business.
Rating: 27 Votes
82 months ago

Okay, let's be real here. If you have to finance an iPad, you shouldn't be buying one.

iPad isn't just a toy, it is a productivity tool. Some people don't have the money to shell out for one -- why judge them because they finance something like this?

Besides, T-Mobile is providing FREE financing. Why, exactly, is that a problem is anyone's world? I often take advantage of free financing because it is free money and I can keep making money on my money during the promotions period.

I guess consider yourself lucky you can shell out cash for an iPad, but don't judge others.
Rating: 12 Votes
82 months ago

So lets wait 24 hours and see what they will come up with tomorrow. Maybe only owners of the silver iPad will get the 200MB.
Rating: 11 Votes
82 months ago

I think Apple's site is a little misleading too. There is no asterisk or anything. It just says 200 MB free per month.

Apple's site is for full price. When you buy the iPad upfront you are not signing up for T-mo's financing plan, and thus you are able to get real free 200MB data.
Rating: 10 Votes
82 months ago
Um, well, what did you expect

If you are "financing" the iPad with T-mobile, I would expect to have to get a data plan. But, it you buy it "outright" from Apple (With t-mobile connectivity), you do get 200MB a month free. I did exactly that was was able to signup for the account with no credit card info.

I always thought that would be the case and it is. Don't see where the controversy is…
Rating: 8 Votes
82 months ago
he should be sued personally for lying to get new customers. isnt that a clear case of fraud?
Rating: 8 Votes
82 months ago
T-Mobile never said that you could finance a new iPad with them, without being a customer. They addressed this specifically in their press conference. A recording of the press conference is here: http://newsroom.t-mobile.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=251624&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1867397

It's simple. Everyone gets 200MB of extra data for free, regardless of whether you bought your iPad from T-Mobile. Period.

If you want T-Mobile to offer you 0% financing for 24 months, you need to be a customer. You can have a cell phone plan, and pay nothing for tablet data, and still get 200MB.

If you don't have a cell phone plan, you can pay $20 per month for 700MB of high-speed data (500MB plus 200MB), and unlimited low-speed data.

Why would T-Mobile offer 0% 24-month financing to non-customers? They never said they would, specifically said "you'll need to be a customer," and it would make zero business sense for them to offer it.
Rating: 7 Votes

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