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What to Expect with T-Mobile Promotions



December 18, 2016


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T-Mobile has some really great offers, but they all come with a bit of bill navigation. T-Mobile’s latest promotion is free access to DirecTV and DirecTV NOW apps, when you activate at least 2 lines and port over a line from AT&T.

The press release of this offer makes it sound pretty simple: “To get a free year of DIRECTV NOW covered by T-Mobile, AT&T customers just need to activate two lines and bring their number to T-Mobile ONE. The Un-carrier will give you a $35 monthly bill credit, the monthly cost of DIRECTV NOW, for 12 months – up to $420 total – as long as your lines are active.

Keep in mind this is the same message you’ll hear from a T-Mobile employee or their site. Most people might understand this, but the $35 monthly credit isn’t as simple as a credit on your bill. The $35 credit won’t appear on your first bill, that’s because the $35 credit is applied to your first bill after you get it. Yes you’ve read it right, your first bill will be $35 less than what it reads. Now, we didn’t see a bill with free DirecTV yet but all of T-Mobile “free” offers usually come in the form of delayed credits but I can tell you what to expect. It’s a little bit of a windy path but work with me here…

T-Mobile One offered the 4th line for free (“4th line on us”) a few months back, and we had to try it out. It was marketed as $35/ Line for 4 lines if we signed up for Autopay and the T-One plan. The bill wasn’t as easy to understand though. Here’s how this worked out:

We activated the promotion on 10/12, and my bill cycle ended on 11/02. When I received my 11/02 the $25 credit (4th line on us) wasn’t on the bill. When the second bill came for 12/02, the $25 credit was applied to my previous balance on 11/11. See what happened there? The $25 credit was applied exactly 30 days after we activated the promotion, and I over-paid my first bill by $25. If I waited until 11/11 I would have logged into my account online and my total amount due would have been reduced by $25.

What to do

You could just pay the bill less the credit you know you will be getting. If you want to wait until you see the credit you can figure out what day your promotional credit will appear: Here’s the magical formula, are you ready? It’s (The day you activate the T-Mobile promotion – 1 =  Promotional credit day. For me that’s 12-1= 11. See how easy that is?

Getting credit

Simply put, prorated promotional charges aren’t automatically credited back, they fall through the cracks in T-Mobile’s billing system. If you call them though, they will credit your prorated promotional charges. Remember that I activated the T-Mobile One promotion on 10/12? My 4th line was billed $25 + $17.50 in prorated promotional charges. That’s normal, everyone has prorated charges when changing plans or carriers. While the $25 promotion charge was credited back, the $17.50 prorated version of this was not. When I called T-Mobile, they immediately agreed and credited me $17.50 as part of the promotion. The same will happen when you sign up for T-Mobile’s DirecTV offer: That $35 credit should have a prorated amount that is credited to you.

Figure: $25 Promotional Charge credited back but the prorated $17.50 was not

What to with any T-Mobile promotion that offers credits

Wait until you see the promotional credit appear on your 2nd bill, then call T-Mobile 1-877-746-0909. Thank them for the promotional credit you already received, but point out that you never received a prorated promotional credit and ask that they credit you.

If it doesn’t work for you, email me at I will help you get your credit!

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