T-Mobile US has made an effort to appease BlackBerry customers after it incurred their wrath for encouraging them to switch to the iPhone. It couldn't resist having a sly dig at BlackBerry chief John Chen at the same time though.
From Friday, the operator will offer a $200 credit towards any new device when a customer trades in their BlackBerry. Should they choose to upgrade to a new BlackBerry, their loyalty to the Canadian smartphone maker will be rewarded with an extra $50 credit.
"We've been working overtime here to find the best possible way to show BlackBerry users exactly how much we appreciate and respect your passion for and loyalty to T-Mobile and to BlackBerry," said T-Mobile's chief marketing officer Mike Sievert, in a blog post late Wednesday.
The move came after an email campaign that offered a free iPhone as an "upgrade" for BlackBerry customers was met with indignation on various social media. T-Mobile CEO John Legere acknowledged his company had caused consternation among the BlackBerry faithful and reiterated the operator's support for their devices.
That didn't stop BlackBerry CEO John Chen wading in though.
"I can assure you that we are outraged too," he said in a blog post on the subject, describing the T-Mobile promotion as inappropriate and ill-conceived.
"The passion we've seen from the BlackBerry loyal over the past couple days has been pretty amazing. I want you to know we've heard you," said T-Mobile's Sievert.
However, he wasn't quite so conciliatory when it came to Chen's missive.
"The premise of his article was that it's best for customers if we restrict the free flow of information and limit consumer choice," he said. "At T-Mobile we totally reject that premise."
Did we miss something?
It's just that we can't find the part of Chen's blog post where he advocates restrictions on the free flow of information and endorses limits on customer choice. It just seems that he saw an opportunity to reach out to BlackBerry customers by joining them in taking exception to a marketing campaign that threatened his business.