T-Mobile made a lot of headlines this week.
Not just because it’ll finally start selling the iPhone on April 12, but because it claims its customers no longer have to sign a contract to get service.
“If you come to T-Mobile, you’ve signed your last contract,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said at a press event Tuesday announcing the iPhone and the new contract-free plans.
That messaging has been reiterated several times this week during T-Mobile’s media blitz for its new service plans.
But that’s not the case.
A source purchased a new BlackBerry Z10 from T-Mobile yesterday and forwarded the complete contract to us. It’s five pages long and includes a section where the customer agrees to pay a service plan. We embedded the contract below this story, but blocked out the source’s name and other personal information.
The contract requires the customer to pay off the new smartphone in monthly installments for 24 months. In this case, our source paid $99.99 up front for the Z10 and agreed to pay $18 per month for 24 months.
The contract also includes an agreement to pay for service for the phone, whether its through one of the new set plans or by paying for however much data, voice, and messaging the customer uses in a billing period. T-Mobile said this week that phones are locked to the carrier until you pay it off.
There are other stipulations in the contract too, such as a $35 activation fee and a clause that says you may not be able to switch plans after signing.
To be fair, this is pretty standard for any carrier. But it’s strange that T-Mobile has gone out of its way to boldly claim its customers won’t have to sign a contract…and then makes them sign one.
We reached out to T-Mobile repeatedly for comment today, but no one was able to respond. We will update if we hear back.
Here’s the contract:
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