Tag Archives: jump

1394043048-leaked-t-mobile-memo-reveals-blackberry-loyalists-jumping-ship-2

T-Mobile Tries to Help BlackBerry

T-Mobile has found itself in the news quite a bit lately. Over the past several quarters, the mobile service provider has ramped up efforts to encourage customers bound to contracts with competitors (AT&T, Sprint and Verizon) to switch over to T-Mobile by promoting a no-contracts business plan — something that is assuredly shaking up the industry.

In addition to offering contract-free mobile service, what else has T-Mobile been promising? To start, T-Mobile announced the JUMP! plan late last summer, which allows customers to upgrade their cell phones (including the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy) without waiting the typical two-year gap that other service providers require. For an extra $10 per month (which includes comprehensive phone insurance), JUMP! customers can trade in their phone for the newer iteration every six months. Without something like the JUMP! plan, it’s not unusual for a cell phone customer to skip a generation of their cell phone while waiting to become eligible for an upgrade.

In early 2014, T-Mobile announced that they promise to pay off new customers’ early termination fees charged by rivals AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. T-Mobile CEO John Legere called these early termination fees (ETFs) part of a “scam” and denounced the lack of transparency demonstrated by other cell phone service companies. Though T-Mobile’s promise could cost as much as $650 per line, the cell phone service provider has promised to eat the costs levied by their competitors.

Another enticing feature of T-Mobile is the massive rollout of its LTE network. Legere believes T-Mobile to be the fastest nationwide LTE network with faster average download speeds than Verizon, AT&T and Sprint networks.

These offers clearly worked: T-Mobile saw a boost in new cell phone service subscribers in late 2013/early 2014. They also earned high customer satisfaction marks in a J.D. Power survey, taking third place among the big carriers and being named the most improved.

Last month, while reports circulated that T-Mobile had yanked BlackBerry devices off of their store shelves, the company sent their current BlackBerry users an email blast containing a great offer. T-Mobile asked BlackBerry customers to upgrade not to BlackBerry handsets, but to the iPhone 5S for no money down.

In response to T-Mobile’s brazen move, BlackBerry customers contacted T-Mobile directly to express their disappointment, even Tweeting at T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen crafted a blog post thanking BlackBerry customers who defended the phone maker and praising their loyalty. He also expressed confusion with “the behavior of our longtime business partner” and promised loyal customers on the T-Mobile network “an offer in the works designed especially for you.”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere acknowledged the feedback from BlackBerry fans and came back with a counter offer. He allowed BlackBerry customers to trade in old BlackBerry devices for new T-Mobile BlackBerry devices at a discounted price — or in some cases, for free.
BlackBerry users on T-Mobile who want to upgrade can receive $250 toward any BlackBerry phone, or $200 toward any other phone in T-Mobile’s stores. This was considered to be T-Mobile’s way of apologizing for the mix-up and the resulting backlash.

Even though T-Mobile tried to make it right with BlackBerry and with their customers, scores of customers decided they wanted another type of device instead of a BlackBerry. T-Mobile offers a myriad of BlackBerry devices such as the Q10, Curve and Z10, but the majority of customers opted for other devices on different platforms.

Some reports say that T-Mobile’s offer garnered 15 times the normal amount of BlackBerry trade-ins; however, 94 percent of those customers chose to upgrade to a non-BlackBerry device.

housing.prices

Phoenix leads nation in home price increase

U.S. home prices jumped 10.9 percent in March compared with a year ago, the most since April 2006. A growing number of buyers are bidding on a tight supply of homes, driving prices higher and helping the housing market recover.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday also showed that all 20 cities measured by the report posted year-over-year gains for the third straight month.

And prices rose in 15 cities in March from February. That’s up from only 11 in the previous month. The monthly figures aren’t seasonally adjusted and may reflect the beginning of the spring buying season.

Prices rose in Phoenix by 22.5 percent over the past 12 months, the biggest gain among cities. It was followed by San Francisco (22.2 percent) and Las Vegas (20.6 percent).

New York City had the smallest year-over-year increase at 2.6 percent, followed by Cleveland at 4.8 percent.

“Rising home prices may begin to alleviate a lack of housing inventory … by encouraging more homeowners to put their properties on the market,” said Maninder Sibia, an economist with Economic Advisory Service, in a note to clients. “The housing market is clearly improving.”

The index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The March figures are the latest available.

The U.S. housing market is steadily recovering, buoyed by solid job gains and near-record low mortgage rates. Sales of new homes rose in April to nearly a five-year high. And sales of previously occupied homes ticked up in April to the highest level in three and a half years.

Despite the gains, a limited number of homeowners are putting their houses on the market. That’s helped lift home prices. And it’s made builders more willing to ramp up construction. Applications for building permits rose in April to the highest level in nearly five years.

housing.prices

Phoenix home prices jump 18.8% in year

Home prices rose in August in nearly all U.S. cities, and many of the markets hit hardest during the crisis are starting to show sustained gains. The increases are the latest evidence of a steady housing recovery.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller index reported Tuesday that national home prices increased 2 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago. That’s the third straight increase and a faster pace than in July.

The report also said that prices rose in August from July in 19 of the 20 cities tracked by the index. Prices had risen in all 20 cities in the previous three months.

Cities that had suffered some of the worst price declines during the housing crisis are starting to come back. Prices in Las Vegas rose 0.9 percent, the first year-over-year gain since January 2007. Prices in Phoenix are 18.8 percent higher in August than a year ago. Home values in Tampa and Miami have also posted solid increases over the period.

Seattle was the only city to report a monthly decline. Still, prices there fell just 0.1 percent in August from July and are 3.4 percent higher than a year ago.

Prices in Atlanta have fallen 6.1 percent over the 12 months that ended in August, the largest year-over-year decline. But Atlanta has posted the largest price gain among the 20 cities over the past three months, according to Trulia, a housing data analysis firm.

“The sustained good news in home prices over the past five months makes us optimistic for continued recovery in the housing market,” David Blitzer, chairman of the Case-Shiller index, said.

The steady increase in prices, along with the lowest mortgage rates in decades, has helped many home markets slowly rebound nearly six years after the housing bubble burst.

Rising home prices encourage more people to put their homes on the market. They may also entice would-be buyers to purchase homes before prices rise further.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The August figures are the latest available.

The figures aren’t seasonally adjusted, so some of the gains in August reflect the benefit of the summer buying season.

Stan Humphries, chief economist at the housing website Zillow, expects the monthly price figures will decline in the fall and winter.

“This doesn’t mean the housing recovery has been derailed,” he said. “This is exactly what bouncing along bottom looks like.”

Other recent reports show that the housing market is improving, albeit from depressed levels.

Home builders started construction on new homes and apartments at the fastest pace in more than four years last month. They also requested the most building permits in four years, a sign that many are confident that home sales gains will continue. Home building is still far below the pace that economists say is consistent with a healthy housing market.

New home sales jumped last month to the highest annual pace in the past two and a half years.

Sales of previously-occupied homes dipped in September but have risen steadily in the past year.