Desperate AT&T will give you $200 to switch over from big, scary T-Mobile

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AT&T, it seems, reads the same T-Mobile rumors you do.

At the Consumer Electronics Show next week, T-Mobile is expected to announce a new program that would give customers up to a $350 credit if they switch from AT&T and other carriers. The amount, meant to cover the cost of early termination fees, is just the latest effort from T-Mobile to steal AT&T’s customers, all of whom apparently hate the carrier.

Now, in what it calls a “switcher bill credit,” AT&T itself has moved to do the same thing by offering T-Mobile customers up to $200 when they switch to AT&T.

Yes, you read that right: AT&T is copying a T-Mobile program that T-Mobile hasn’t even introduced yet.

The move isn’t surprising. When T-Mobile introduced its JUMP early upgrade program last year, AT&T did the same just six days later with NEXT, its own program. That move, like AT&T’s latest one, was a pretty clear indication that T-Mobile’s anti-AT&T screed was pushing buttons with AT&T’s customers.

AT&T’s switcher credit, however, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. For one, T-Mobile rid itself of service contracts last year, so any customer who wants to leave the carrier really has nothing standing in their way. More, I suspect it’s going to take a lot more than $200 to convince T-Mobile customers to willingly go back to AT&T.

To put it simply: AT&T officially sees T-Mobile a serious threat. And that’s not something I thought I’d ever write.