T-Mobile is starting a new program they are calling Test Drive. Why a cell carrier hasn't thought of doing this before is beyond me, but kudos to T-Mobile for rocking the boat with this. Basically, the free 7-day trial gives you a no commitment test drive of an iPhone 5s on the T-Mobile network. Finally you can use a cell phone for a week to determine if the network coverage they provide actually works with where you use your cell phone. No more squinting at blocky coverage maps before signing on the dotted line for a $2000+ 2-year contract. If you think about it, you would't buy a car without test driving it 1st and some cars cost as much as a 2-year cell phone contract! Here is how it works:
- Sign up T-Mobile. It requires you to supply a credit card number but you are not charged for the trial. They do place a $699.99 +tax hold on your credit card and that hold is released once the phone is returned.
- You order the iPhone 5s online from T-Mobile and it is shipped you.
- Once you sign for delivery of the device your 7-day free trial officially starts
- After 7-days you must return the phone to a physical T-Mobile store to avoid getting charged for the full cost of the device
- As long as you return the phone to a physical T-Mobile store within 7-days without a cracked screen or any other significant damage (small dings and scratches are ok) you are not charged a cent.
The Test Drive program comes with unlimited domestic phone calls, unlimited 4G LTE data (including up to 3GB of Smartphone Mobile HotSpot Service and 50 MB of data roaming). You can't use your existing phone number however, which makes sense. The phone comes with a new number pre-assigned.
T-Mobile has a lot of things going for it and this is just one more thing that could lure people away from the 2 dominant cell carriers in the U.S. (AT&T and Verizon). The Test Drive program starts today, Monday June 23rd.