updated 11:33 pm EDT, Wed July 2, 2014
Smartwatches, fitness bands, headphones among possible options to finance
Anticipating a plethora of new add-on equipment releases over the rest of the year, carrier T-Mobile in the US has issued a memo saying it will start adding certain accessories to its Equipment Installment Plan (EIP) beginning July 20. This would allow users to upgrade the amount being financed on their two-year agreements alongside the smartphone itself in order to add the accessories. Smartwatches, fitness bands and other high-end devices could be among the devices considered for financing.
The accessories could be added to a users' bill at the time of purchase or later on to enhance and be "part of the complete solution" for smartphone or tablet buyers, said the memo. What price range and the nature of the items T-Mobile is considering for eligible "accessories" in the program has not yet been made clear, reports TMOnews. Essentially, customers would be paying off the price of the accessories as part of their monthly smartphone payment, which is on top of the data and voice plans they have chosen.
The memo seems to tie the new program closely to the current iPhone 5s "test drive" promotion, which allows customers with another carrier a week trying out the iPhone 5s on T-Mobile's LTE and 3G network for free. The promotion is an effort to woo customers who are close to renewing to try out T-Mobile as an option. Currently, the promotion only offers the iPhone 5s as part of the package: a credit card is required to register, but no charge or hold is placed on it until after the one-week trial is over, say T-Mobile representatives.
One moderate "catch" in the program is that while customers receive the iPhone 5s and introductory offer in the mail, they are required to physically return the iPhone to a company or franchise store if they intend to stay with their carrier - giving T-Mobile employees another chance to convince them otherwise. For those who come in to confirm that they are keeping the iPhone and switching to T-Mobile, the memo reminds associates to be "honest and genuine" with each customer about their experience, and to be sure to mention the concurrent "Music Freedom" streaming promotion, and the option to put accessories onto the total EIP bill if the customer signs up for the iPhone 5s.