T-Mobile US turns customers to shareholders - Mobile World Live

T-Mobile US turns customers to shareholders

07 JUN 2016

T-Mobile US plans to give millions of customers a share in the company for free, as part of its latest “uncarrier” initiatives, in a move designed to thank existing subscribers.

In a glitzy event held yesterday, CEO John Legere announced the company’s latest unconventional move, branded Stock Up, which it said will turn millions of T-Mobile customers into owners, “something that no other publicly traded company has done before”.

T-Mobile will offer one full share of its common stock to its contract customers, which accounts for roughly 10 million of its subscriber base, while offering them the ability to earn an extra share for every new customer referred, with a limit set at 100 shares a year.

Customers of five years or more can earn two shares for every new referred customers.

These new customers are also offered one share in the company, as a “welcome present”, said Legere.

“This is huge,” he said. “Only 7.4 million customers own stock with the companies they do business with, and that is just wrong. At T-Mobile, we already wake up every day working for our customers, so I’ve decided to make it official and turn T-Mobile customers into T-Mobile owners by offering stock for free.”

The move came as part of the 11th uncarrier announcement, with the series having previously seen the company unveil consumer friendly plans like free video streaming service Binge On and data rollover plans.

T-Mobile will not be issuing new shares as part of the Stock Up initiative, while its brokerage partner will buy the shares and distribute them to customers. The company also said it would cover all associated charges.

Free pizza and Wifi
Along with Stock Up, the company said it will also launch a T-Mobile Tuesdays app to give customers free rewards, partnering with brands such as Dominos Pizza, Universal Pictures and Lyft, with new gifts and partners unveiled every Tuesday.

“All the other carriers, they want to screw you. We just want to take you to a dinner and movie,” said the outspoken Legere.

It also will offer a full free hour of Gogo Wifi, on every compatible domestic flight, for all its customers, which it said accounts for 67 per cent of all connected domestic planes. It has previously unveiled free texting plans on flights with Gogo.

“Get ready for a gratitude adjustment, America,” added Legere. “Uncarrier 11 is totally different. It’s all about thanking you, not selling, not pitching, it’s all about thanking you. No points, no strings, no schemes.”

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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