Half of potential T-Mobile customers who apply for one of the wireless carrier’s plans and smartphones don’t qualify for the best deals because of below-average credit scores.
T-Mobile U.S. CEO John Legere says it’s not fair that a “nameless, faceless bureaucracy” represented by the credit bureaus dictates whether customers can get the best-priced plans and phones. So the CEO who’s led T-Mobile through industry-leading moves to help consumers, such as shedding two-year contracts and offering no-interest payment plans, is now leading a charge to help those with poor credit scores.
T-Mobile is introducing “Smartphone Equality,” a program which enables customers with poor credit to qualify for the carrier’s best deals. All they have to do is pay their T-Mobile bill on time for a year.
“Every T-Mobile customer who’s paid their wireless phone bill on time for 12 straight months will qualify for our very best device pricing on every smartphone and tablet we sell − including zero down with no interest and no credit check,” writes Legere in a blog post. “This new approach puts the relationships we’ve built with loyal customers above their credit scores.”
Legere’s blog post is full of insights into the global reach of technology and how poor credit can deny many access to the best devices and plans. (See video below.)
“At a time when mobile connectivity is sweeping the globe, the United States ranks a miserable 13th in the world in terms of smartphone penetration − behind a dozen countries including Australia, Ireland, Israel and Saudi Arabia among others,” the CEO writes. ” There are more than 100 million American adults who don’t have a smartphone according to data from Pew Research and the US Census Bureau. That’s 100 million too many.”
Moreover, 63 percent of Americans have a less than the perfect credit score. “So 1 out of every 2 people walks into a store only to find they don’t qualify, because they’re not ‘well qualified.’ How insulting is that?” he says.