T-Mobile CEO John Legere told reporters at a big media event recently, “If you come to T-Mobile, you’ve signed your last [mobile phone] contract.” Only this is not, strictly speaking, true. If you lay out cash or bring your own device, then no, you will not have to sign a contract. when switching to Big Pink. However, customers who buy a new device on an installment plan do need to sign a contract binding them to T-Mobile for as long as they’re still making payments on the phone.
It’s not the traditional service contract that American mobile phone users are used to, but it is a service contract. Calling it an “equipment installment plan,” as T-Mobile does, doesn’t really change things. What customers can do is make higher payments and pay the phone off faster if they want the right to walk away. Or pay up front and avoid signing the installment plan in the first place.
Business Insider got hold of a new customer’s contract, and posted a copy.