Apple T Mobile: It was just about a month ago when we announced that T-Mobile was finally going to offer the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 to its growing customer base. At the time, we discussed how this was a good thing for both the mobile carrier as well as Apple.
While things have been progressing just fine in terms of sales, it appears that T-Mobile has crossed the line with its marketing strategy.
Before we go any further, it is hard to blame T-Mobile for doing everything it can to show the market that its Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 deal is among the best of the best. After all, the company is trying to track down AT&T and Verizon from behind.
Of course, none of this matters when the law gets involved.
According to the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, T-Mobile has been asked to clean up its act without delay.
Here is the problem, as stated in the official release by the Attorney General’s office:
“Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has entered into a court-ordered agreement with T-Mobile to correct alleged deceptive advertising that promised consumers no annual contracts while carrying hidden charges for early termination of phone plans.”
When T-Mobile rolled out the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 earlier this month, the company did so with new rate plans. While there is nothing wrong with this, it appears that there was some gray area that confused consumers.
According to Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the wireless carrier neglected to show that even though there is no annual contract for subscribers, those who stop using the company’s service are still required to payoff any remaining cost of the device.
This is related to the plan that allows Apple iPhone buyers to purchase the device over the span of 24 months.
Ferguson took a hard line stance on T-Mobile, stating that:
“As Attorney General, my job is to defend consumers, ensure truth in advertising, and make sure all businesses are playing by the rules. My office identified that T-Mobile was failing to adequately disclose a critical component of their new plan to consumers, and we acted quickly to stop this practice and protect consumers across the country from harm.”
T-Mobile has been asked to more clearly disclose the details of its contract free plans while also offering a full refund to customers who made a purchase between March 26 and April 25, 2013.
While this is no fault of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), T-Mobile saw the chance to capitalize on the popularity of the iPhone 5 and stretched things a bit too far to make this happen.
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DISCLOSURE: I have no positions in any stock mentioned.
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