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T-Mobile USA is preparing its eleventh “Un-carrier” event for early next month, a person with knowledge of the company’s plans told VentureBeat. It will kick off a customer appreciation campaign that introduces an app called T-Mobile Tuesdays, which will earn subscribers weekly freebies, chances at prize giveaways, and even equity in the company itself, the person said.
Set to be promoted with the hashtag #GetThanked, the next Un-carrier move is primarily based on a trio of marketing partnerships, which will entitle customers to a Domino’s pizza, a Wendy’s Frosty, and a Vudu movie download every week. On top of those perks, prizes such as movie tickets, trips to events, and gift cards will allegedly be raffled off to select participants as well.
But the most interesting — if somewhat gimmicky — purported aspect of this promotion involves a limited-time giveaway of a quarter-share of T-Mobile company stock (currently trading around $40) per line to eligible subscribers who claim it within two weeks of the Un-carrier 11 event.
The Un-carrier marketing campaign is a successful series of promotions that debuted in March 2013, leveraging the cult of personality that CEO John Legere has fostered since taking the helm in September 2012. Un-carrier 1.0, as it’s now known, saw T-Mobile become the first national carrier to drop contracts and phone subsidies in favor of cheaper service and full retail (but installment-based) handset pricing. It helped stem the postpaid subscriber churn and set the company on a course toward increasing revenue, which peaked in the first quarter of 2016 at $8.6 billion.
It’s a pricing model that was also eventually adopted, at least in part, by T-Mobile’s three major rivals.
The most recent Un-carrier campaign, known as Binge On, became the subject of controversy when it introduced the ability to stream unlimited video from certain services without eating into monthly data allotments. Because only select content partners opted into the initiative, critics saw it as an application of the anti-net neutrality practice known as zero rating. Also controversial was the fact that T-Mobile began shaping its network traffic to handle the additional load in a manner some labeled throttling.
The Un-carrier 11 event is tentatively expected to take place on June 6, said the person privy to its planning, with the promotion beginning the next day.
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