Wireless carriers know it can be a pricey headache to switch from one provider to another—and T-Mobile is hoping to get a leg up on its competitors by covering those costs, the New York Times reports. Engadget explains the process, for which customers of AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are eligible: First, you bring your old phone to T-Mobile in exchange for up to $300 in credit. Use that money to buy your new T-Mobile phone, then send your last bill from your previous carrier—the bill that lists your termination fees, the company notes—to T-Mobile; the company will provide you with up to $350 in credit for each of up to five canceled lines.
The plan could work well for T-Mobile, since for customers, "It’s a pretty low-risk thing to do," an analyst tells the Times. "Switch to T-Mobile, get a bunch of money for your devices, and then switch back if you don’t like it." Indeed, AT&T has taken note of the offer and made one of its own specifically for T-Mobile customers looking to switch carriers. "What we are going to do is force the industry to get healthier," says T-Mobile's CEO. Some are wondering whether the company's latest moves are part of an effort to boost its customer base before a sale. Speaking to reporters, CEO John Legere didn't deny such talk, the Times notes. (Read more T-Mobile stories.)