updated 04:35 pm EDT, Tue May 17, 2011
Customers get up to $300 for old phones
T-Mobile today announced a trade-in program for its customers. Current subscribers can bring in their old phones to any T-Mobile retail store and receive up to $300 towards any new handset, including smartphones that run on their "4G" (HSPA+) network. T-Mobile will also accept phones from competitors.
Phones must be in good working condition. The value of the trade-in allowance will be based on the phone model but will be handled by The Wireless Source, an outside firm that handles collecting older phones. Customers must mail in their phone using a prepaid envelope and will get their rebate as a check through the mail.
Customers trading in their old phones for newer ones with data or 4G services may have to upgrade their service plan. Although not specifically mentioned, it's likely that this could mean extending or signing up for a new-2-year contract. This could effectively lock a customer into T-Mobile and subsequently into AT&T if/once the two companies actually merge.