T-Mo CEO: 'No strings' on 200 MB iPad deal; $10 surcharge was a mistake

T-Mo CEO: 'No strings' on 200 MB iPad deal; 0 surcharge was a mistake

T-Mobile is carrying the iPad for the first time with the release of the new iPad Air, and the company is offering a unique enticement: 200 MB of free data every month. People trying to take advantage of the deal on Friday ran into a stumbling block, however: a $10 charge per month surcharge. The CEO now says that's wrong.

"The $10 per mo./fee written about today is incorrect. We had an executional mistake that we will make right," tweeted T-Mobile CEO John Legere on Friday. Shortly after, he added, "Yes. Everyone gets the 200MB of free data. No exceptions. No strings attached."

In addition to 200 MB of free data, T-Mobile is offering customers who only plan to use their cell-equipped iPads occasionally on demand service, in the form of daily 500 MB or weekly unlimited plans. The company's metered monthly plans start at $20 for 500 MB per month.

Check T-Mobile's coverage map for details about the company's 4G LTE coverage in your area.

Are you interested in getting an iPad on T-Mobile? Is their coverage good enough in your area? Sound off in the comments.

iPad Air

iPad Air
Apple's full-sized iPad gets slimmed down. Features include:

Complete review >

Released
November, 2013

Alternatives
Retina iPad mini, iPad 2, iPad mini (original)

Replacements
iPad Air 2 (iPad 6)
Fall, 2014

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Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

T-Mo CEO: 'No strings' on 200 MB iPad deal; $10 surcharge was a mistake

30 Comments

I've no affiliation with T-Mobile at all. I can walk into one of their stores today, purchase an iPad (cellular), and get the data free of any other expenses?

my experience (emphasis on "my experience"): after ordering the iPad Air through T-Mo via phone, and confirming that I'd pay $26.25/month for 24 months and $0 for the 200Mb/month mobile broadband data, I received an order confirmation via e-mail indicating that the $26.25/month was the device fee only. The confirmation indicated that I'd also be responsible for a $10/month mobile broadband fee.

I called T-Mo, and a rep explained that because I don't have a telephone line with T-Mo, and because I was not buying the iPad outright, I'd have to pay the additional $10/month mobile broadband fee.

So, in "my experience", unless I bought the iPad outright (i.e., no payments; pay full purchase price up front), I'd have to pay $36.25/month for the device and plan.

I cancelled my order (I'll save up and buy one later).

I got mine from Apple and as far as I know, didn't get charged anything on the T-Mobile side. We'll see if they bill me. :)

I'm in the same boat as you. I have AT&T for my iPhone. I chatted with a T-Mobile representative online yesterday morning. She confirmed that you pay a one time $10 charge for the SIM card kit and after that, it is just the monthly charge to pay off the iPhone.

The website still tries to charge you $10 a month. The T-Mo rep suggested I either visit a T-Mobile store or order over the phone to avoid that from showing up.

I thought the same thing too but that is incorrect. If you get the TMo iPad Air, it already has a SIM card in there. So all you need to do to claim the free 200MB free data per month is setup an account. It took me 10 min. Now I can surf anywhere. Sweet deal but their CSR sucks! They weren't very helpful. I got my TMo iPad from Apple store too, not TMo store. They prolly will try selling you something not needed.

According to a post on NBC News (I know, I don't usually trust major news outlets when it comes to technology), they spoke with a T-Mobile representative who said you can bring an iPad with cellular from another carrier. Here's the quote from the site:

"After you activate with AT&T, stop by T-Mobile and start an account with them, too! T-Mobile told NBC News before that an AT&T iPad (and many other phones and tablets) should work fine on their network and vice versa. We haven't tested it out (yet), but there's no technical reason it shouldn't work like a charm (AT&T and T-Mobile representatives both confirmed this)."

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/getting-4g-ipad-air-heres-how-outsmart...

Sounds tempting. I might sell my iPad mini on verizon for free data. I doubt I'd use 200mb with all the wifi I'm on.

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I use my verizon ipad Air with a T-Mobile SIM card and it is working great. Get full signal LTE where I am at. With verizon mini, I could only access T-Mobile "4G" not true LTE...

I noticed that on the website as well. I was able to chat online with a customer support rep who explained the surcharge was invalid. Excellent customer service.

You don't have to sell your old iPads with other carriers. Just buy a t mobile sim for 99c cents online or $10 at tmobile store and activate it for free data!

That's what I was thinking but it could come in handy in a pinch. If you need to download an app or a few web pages, the small amount would be fine.

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No. Carriers need to get out of that "top up" model of the past from feature phones.

With 200 MB you can't download one app.

Use Siri, listen to a check the weather and cloud updates will use that up in 5 minutes.

That's why I don't like T-Mobile. 200 MB offers just show how old of a company they are. 200 MB is like 200 KB.

Not worth mentioning.

It's good enough for checking e-mail in a pinch. I'll be using mostly Wi-Fi, but I'd like the connectivity to be there if I need it to check e-mails and the like, and not be charged monthly for not using it, or hassle with buying a month plan, then terminating afterwards... We'll see how well it works out though.

They automatically added it to my account for our iPad 3's, I might get rid of the 2.5 gig data plan, we rarely use the data out on the iPads. Save some money.

I was in two different T-Mo stores today and both of them insisted that since I don't currently have T-Mo service in order to get the iPad deal (0 down--or $99 for the 32 gb which is what I want-- plus 200 mb free data) I would have to purchase a $30 data plan. It seems every source I read says "no strings attached" but where do I find this elusive T-Mobile store that doesn't attach strings? Or am I interpreting the whole deal wrong? I want to have this ironed out by the time the Mini 2 is released. I would like to have a Mini 2 on T-Mobile's network to "test the waters", so to speak, so I can potentially move my three phones to them next year when my contracts are up at AT&T.

I bought an iPad Air from a T-Mobile company store yesterday and they told me the same thing. I politely said that was incorrect and cited where the T-Mobile CEO stated there were no strings attached. The rep asked that I call back in 30 minutes while he researches it. I called back and he found what I was referencing.

When I got to the store, there system forced the rep to choose a data plan. I told the rep that he could pick a plan and I will remove it later. He said that he would check my account on Monday and fix it.

In the end, there is a mistake in T-Mobile's system as stated by their CEO on Twitter. Hopefully they will get it fixed quickly so people can take advantage of their $0 down deal without any obstacles. As an aside, the two reps at my local T-Mobile store provided excellent customer service.

I was wrong. T-Mobile DOES require you to purchase some sort of data plan when purchasing an iPad using their $0 deal. The cheapest data plan is $20 per month for 500 MB. I read this on CNET, AllThingsD, and John Legere's Twitter account pointing to AllThingsD.

My frustration does not lie with the price of the plan, but with T-Mobile's marketing. T-Mobile really made it sound like you could purchase an iPad Air for $0 down and get 200 MB of free data per month and in exchange, you paid the full price of the iPad over 24 months. Now T-Mobile and Legere are saying that was never said.

The whole thing is so confusing and a total mess. I am going to return my iPad Air tomorrow to my local T-Mobile store. After this fiasco, I will never do business with T-Mobile again.

Source: http://allthingsd.com/20131104/t-mobile-finds-that-giving-away-free-data...