The war between mobile carriers is heating up.
While there’s nothing new about one public-facing company issuing a challenge to another, being called out in the era of social media is an all-new kind of beast.
In fact, many brands have made a game of it on Twitter, often to hilarious results. But those are often of the ribbing variety, more in good fun than any kind of actual challenge.
On May 31, the mobile carrier–or, as it calls itself, the “Un-Carrier”– sent out a release that not only highlighted both AT&T and Verizon (VZ) – Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report‘s recent news about price increases, but also announced Price Lock, a new guarantee that T-Mobile would not raise its prices.
Calling it a “Carrier Callout Throwdown,” the company issued a challenge to the other carriers in the release as well.
“Verizon and AT&T, do your customers a favor and adopt a version of T-Mobile’s Price Lock,” it says. “It’s as simple as it sounds. Just commit to not raising rate plan prices for existing customers while they remain on their current plan.”
“But hey, if that’s not a promise you can make, we’ll make sure your customers know it,” it said. “Oh, and we’ll have fun along the way at your expense, so consider this challenge carefully. Otherwise, it’s game on.”
Verizon Cuts To The Quick
Clearly not pleased with the tone T-Mobile took, Verizon issued its own press release on June 1, and boy, was it spicy.
“Sometimes the truth hurts, big time,” it reads. “And Verizon will not sit on the sidelines and watch as the Un-carrier continues to hoodwink consumers by dazzling them with one catchy announcement after another, only to Un-ravel and Un-do them just as soon as people forget. So we’re doing a #CarrierClapback to expose these #TMyths for just what they are.”
The release went on to list a timeline of T-Mobile’s changes since 2017, when it announced that taxes and fees would be included in customer plans.
Verizon points out that T-Mobile launched its Essentials plan on August 6, 2018, which it calls “a way to bring back taxes and fees.” It also claims that T-Mobile did the same by raising its fees on consumer voice and data lines in January 2022 and then, two months later, launched the Connect plan without taxes included.
But perhaps the biggest dose of salt comes from the last two points of the timeline.
“May 5, 2022: Price Lock. Touted as a win for customers, it promises customers will never see their bills increase. Sounds great if it wasn’t one of the ways they sweetened the pot to get their merger complete,” Verizon wrote. “June 3, 2022: Assisted support and upgrade support cost jumps to $35. Ok, so your plan price may not change, but your admin fee has gone up and it now costs $35 for support? Seems like just another name for a fee.”
After that mic drop, there’s no telling if T-Mobile will reply with a comeback, if AT&T will throw down next or choose to stay silent in this spat, or what. But if you like a good fight, at this point, it’s time to go get your popcorn.