If You Finance An iPad Air, That “Free” T-Mobile Data Plan Isn’t Free

t-punktNo revolution is ever easy. The launch of T-Mobile’s plan to offer 200 megabytes per month of relatively slow free data to all tablet customers is no exception. The new plan happened to launch around the same time as the iPad Air, leading to some confusion. Customers were being forced into a $10 per month…but that couldn’t be right. Right?

No, and also yes. A glitch at launch meant that iPad customers were getting charged $10 per month for their free data, which T-Mo CEO John Legere eventually had to take to Twitter to dispel:

Turns out that the $10 fee is legit…if you financed your iPad purchase through T-Mobile. You get 200 free megabytes, all right, but that’s only on top of a mandatory $20 per month, 500-megabyte plan.

Customers can take home a 16 GB iPad Air for as little as $26.25 per month for 24 months, with no down payment. Like the installment plans for mobile phones, if you pay the iPad balance off early, you can shut off the $20 plan and go on your merry way.

Potential tablet-owners found this rather off-putting, and Legere issued a Twitter-based apology for the confusion.

T-Mobile’s no-money-down iPad offer requires $20 monthly plan for new customers [CNET] (via Appadvice – thanks, Adam!)