What does T-Mobile have to gain by slowly closing the door on BlackBerry? As their successful campaign of buying ETF fees from customers from bigger companies like Verizon and AT&T continues on, new customers pour in. It would seem that their only option is either Android or Apple. Even Windows phone has a bigger presence than BlackBerry. So what gives? What’s the problem?
When T-Mobile introduced their uncarrier plan 4.0, a lot of people were excited, including me. I’m a bit of a gadget junkie and waiting two years to upgrade is crazy, in my opinion. So the option to switch carriers, not worry about ETF’s AND get a shiny new phone, I was all in. I rushed over to TMO’s site and to my amazement, the only BlackBerry to be found was a Curve 9315. Come on! I want the hub! I want the BlackBerry 10! Just retire the curve and offer the Q5 for crying out loud, along with the Z10, Q10 and Z30. So I tweeted this and was given hope after their response. I went to bed thinking stuff was going to get done.
As I’ve been doing lately, I’ve been resorting to twitter for more news and a better insight. That’s where I quickly learned that TMO had a business site and that’s where you can find your BlackBerrys. Ok, next step, I went to the TMO store located in my local mall. To my surprise they actually had the Z10 and Q10 on display (going good). A lot of others have reported with less luck than me. But when I went to pull the trigger they didn’t have any in stock and the catch was, I had to leave the store with a phone at the time of the switch (things go downhill from there) so there I was looking Apple and Android in the face. I bowed my head, told the man thank you, and walked away. I was disappointed that couldn’t save my family at least $70 a month compared to AT&T, but I was also furious that they didn’t even try to make me happy, didn’t even try to come up with an idea for me. The gentleman was full of ideas on how to screw over AT&T but not a signal one on how to get me a BlackBerry. Just a simple Q10 is all I wanted, I stopped dreaming of the Z30 coming a while ago and THAT is a different rant all together.
Then I tweeted this and got this response.
A bomb went off in my head. I was mad. How can they go from “look at me, look how cool I am” to “I don’t have what you want, but here is something else. Oh, and I never really cared about your wants in the first place.” How could they? How could a company so bent on changing the whole industry, only leave customers with two damn options?
The BlackBerry community was ablaze.
One thing that I love about the BlackBerry community is that I never feel alone, I never felt like JUST a consumer. I felt like I belonged to a family. Perfect strangers would guide me to my answers, I felt connected, and here is t-mobile, hiding behind their loud mouthed CEO, trying to take away my family. So tweets went off like a shot in the night and the online community revolted.
TMO then did the stupidest thing anyone could have done. They sent emails to customers saying that they can switch to an iPhone. Well thank you very much, where do I sign up. I heard the voices of Tina Fey and Seth Myers going off. “Really” “really” “really t-mobile”
More shots fired, but this time they smarted up and the CEO himself, John Legere, said in a tweet on Feb 16th. “BlackBerry users, I’m hearing you loud and clear. Let me work with my team and I’ll get back to you.” Then the following day he tweeted this, “BlackBerry follow up- We give our customers choices, but you don’t have to give up your #loyalty. We will continue to support.”
So what does this all mean? Well for one, BlackBerry isn’t dead, not by a long shot. Secondly, BlackBerry users are like animals. Once they get backed into a corner, watch the fuck out. Thirdly, Mr. Legere talks a big game and he might have the balls to back it up. Especially when AT&T came out publicly during CES 2014 and said they have BlackBerrys back.
Right now I’m still with AT&T, chillin with my Q10 and my unlocked Z30. All we can do is continue our attack on the carriers and grab some popcorn.