T-Mobile’s New Customer Reward Program Includes Free T-Mobile Stock

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

It’s not just AT&T that’s decided the way to a customer’s heart is through free stuff. As of today T-Mobile is joining the club, with give-aways ranging from pizza to company stock. Yes, literal shares of the business.

The company made the announcement at their “Un-carrier 11” promotional event today. And because T-Mobile can’t let anything happen without a little, highly tweetable phrase attached, the theme of this event was #GetThanked.

The pinkest company in wireless plans routinely uses these events to make big, splashy announcements of new customer initiatives; at the event last fall, for example, T-Mo introduced their occasionally-controversial BingeOn program, an opt-in plan exempting some video services from counting against subscribers’ data caps.

Today’s event went far beyond the boundaries of regular service and introduced a whole passel of new bonuses for T-Mobile’s customers.

Foremost among those? “Stock Up,” a program that literally offers every exiting customer a share of actual T-Mobile stock. Or at least, one share per account; if you’re a family of five, only the primary account holder gets a slice of the company.

After that, it’s a recommendation program: subscribers who refer others to T-Mobile can theoretically earn up to 100 shares of stock per year. (As of this writing, TMUS shares trade on NASDAQ for about $43.50 each, their highest in the last five years.)

T-Mobile customers traveling on flights with Gogo WiFi will also get a free hour of use per flight on their T-Mobile devices… for what that’s worth. Outside of that hour, T-Mobile customers can also use the in-flight wifi to send SMS messages, or use iMessage, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, or Viber without extra charge. To get that free hour, though, subscribers have to first make a WiFi call.

Company president and CEO John Legere also announced “T-Mobile Tuesdays,” a rewards app that customers can use on, appropriately enough, Tuesdays to get, and we quote, “free stuff and epic prizes.” Like AT&T, T-Mo is giving away Tuesday entertainment goodies — a good way for both carriers to help their partners generate business on one of the slowest nights of the week. Partner companies participating in the virtual goody bags include Domino’s, Wendy’s, Fandango, Universal Pictures, Lyft, and others.

The T-Mobile Tuesdays app is also how customers can claim their stock shares, and how they become eligible to win certain grand prizes. The first of these “epic prizes” is “a trip on a party bus to a private screening of Warcraft along with 40 of their closest friends with all the candy, popcorn and soda they can handle.” Which sounds like a great way to make 40 people hate you and lose a customer, as that particular film is barely clearing a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Other prizes however — like a hiking trip in Machu Picchu, or a trip to the MLB All-Star game — are more likely to find willing takers.

It’s worth noting that also like AT&T, T-Mo will be using some of your personal info to send “partner offers” your way. The terms and conditions note that handing over the personal data is “purely optional,” but then notes that without it the app may not so much actually work (“if you elect not to provide such information, you may not be able to participate in Promotions or otherwise utilize certain features of the App or website(s)”).