Are T-Mobile Tuesdays T-Mobile Terrific, Or T-Mobile Trash?

Image courtesy of Ron Dauphin

T-Mobile Tuesdays, which launched in June, have sometimes been T-Mobile Trouble for the big pink carrier. Two months in, it’s hard to tell if the rewards program is actually useful… or if it’s the digital version of that set of useless roofing and carpet-cleaning coupons that you throw out from your mailbox every week.

When the program started, it was done in by its own overwhelming popularity — admittedly, the problem a business would rather have. That demand meant connection issues struck hard the first week, leaving would-be freebie-getters unable to see or redeem offers.

On week two, users were able to reach the servers to get their codes for free pizzas. But that demand proved too high for pizza partner Domino’s, which had to pull out of the offerings after running out of free pizzas early.

Successive weeks have not necessarily fared any better. The app continued to suffer from connection issues, locking users out. Browsing Reddit and Twitter on any given Tuesday will show you a whole bunch of less-than-satisfied customers, with opinions like:

  • “literally garbage… what a gimmick at this point.” [link]
  • “I honestly want to know what John Legere thinks of this. And whether he wants to do anything about it.” [link]
  • “These deals are worse than what you get in the mail when you move…” [link]
  • “T-mobile Tuesdays went from being the must [have] app on your phone to being a useless one real quick” [link]
  • “it’s been going downhill. If there isn’t something that anyone could use every Tue, we will stop looking.” [link]
  • “come on T-Mobile Tuesday’s is getting worse every week” [link]

…and dozens upon dozens, if not hundreds, more comments in that vein (many of which employ select four-letter words to express displeasure).

Of course, it’s unfair to judge a promotion solely by what angry people say about it on social media. Unhappy users always speak loudest; people for whom everything is working well don’t take the time to shoot off an angry tweet to a support line.

But finding out just how many happy users there may be isn’t exactly easy.

We went to the source, and asked T-Mobile directly how the Tuesday promotions seem to be going from their end. A representative for the company declined to provide Consumerist with any specific user numbers or even a rah-rah statement about the program, and instead directed us to video statements that CEO John Legere has made on several mobile-friendly platforms.

On June 28, in a video on Facebook Live, Legere discussed T-Mobile Tuesdays while conspicuously running on a treadmill.

“We’ve given away well over a million gifts, the app’s going great, it’s really going smoothly,” Legere bragged at the time, calling it T-Mobile’s biggest Tuesday ever.

He also spoke about the Tuesday promotion in a Periscope video broadcast last Wednesday, July 20. In that video, Legere specified that the T-Mobile Tuesdays app has over 4 million downloads. But “downloads” is not actually the same as “active users, happily redeeming codes for stuff.” That latter number hasn’t been updated since the June 28 video.

So, we’ll do our own back-of-the-envelope math. At the end of the first quarter of 2016, T-Mobile boasted 65.5 million customers, and 4 million have at least checked out the app. So while on the one hand that means no more than 6% of the company’s customers are getting the “thanks” that T-Mobile Tuesdays promises… it also means that no more than 6% of them can be unhappy with it, either.

Meanwhile every week, in whatever video statement he makes, Legere likes to remind customers that “there’s a Tuesday every week,” implying that if they don’t like this week’s offerings, well, last week’s and next week’s might be great for them instead.

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