Today, T-Mobile went loud announcing “Magenta Status”, a sort of rebranding of a lot of existing perks with a few bonus upgrades. On top of the press release, a video featuring Mike Katz, President of Marketing, Strategy, and Products is circulating their social feeds promoting the new move.
The spin is this: In a world where wireless companies continue to lock premium benefits on higher-tier plans, or remove rewards programs altogether, T-Mobile believes those benefits should be available to all customers. Is it really such an incredible deal?
Magenta Status Announcement Breakdown
Here’s a breakdown of everything T-Mobile is promoting as part of their VIP experience. Or, as they call it, “Premium benefits on the brands you love and can’t get anywhere else.”
- A special discounted rate at Hilton brand hotels worldwide: 15% off of hotel stays at the Hilton family of hotels. Hotel discounts have been a part of T-Mobile Tuesday for quite some time, but now customers also get Hilton Honors Silver Status immediately. Normally it takes 10 hotel stays to earn this level of benefit with Hilton, but it is now yours from day one.
- When you rent a gas-powered car at Dollar, the refill is on T-Mobile. Turn it in on empty, no problem! In addition, Hertz EV rentals will also not require a recharge before turn-in. This is a new benefit with the launch of Magenta Status.
- Movie deals have made their way into T-Mobile Tuesdays in the past, but Magenta Status aims to bring consistency to the program. $5 movie tickets every month are yours for every line on your account on select films. The hope is that T-Mobile’s featured film for that month will interest you, otherwise this benefit might be hit or miss. Mike Katz says “It’s $20 for a family of four,” and that can be quite the savings. Now if only T-Mobile could get a concessions discount in there too…
- The LiveNation announcement is actually quite on par with what T-Mobile has offered previously: Tickets to events at LiveNation venues at a 25% discount and magenta pass to skip the lines. Just remember – tickets are on a first come, first serve basis and each code can get 4 tickets at once. This deal has come and gone in the past, so to see it offered consistently now is a bonus.
- Finally, T-Mobile is also aligning some T-Life benefits as “always on T-Mobile Tuesday deals.” Complimentary gold status at Shell, which has been offered for quite some time, falls under this category. Also there is a weekly complimentary free “Crazy Combo” at Little Caesar’s with a pizza purchase, but again, this has been a part of T-Mobile Tuesdays prior to this announcement. The major promise here is that ‘more deals are on the way’, but none were announced at this time.
Katz then goes on about T-Mobile offering video benefits to customer – Apple TV+, Hulu, Netflix, and MLB.TV all included in Magenta Status. These, again, are mostly not new benefits and have been a part of T-Mobile’s portfolio for quite some time. Be aware though, both the Hulu and now Netflix plans included contain ads, and Hulu currently requires re-upping every year.
Does Magenta Status Come At A Cost?
The video ends with T-Mobile making the bold claim that they “reset the bar on what customers should expect from the companies they do business with.” Some might see this statement a bit ironic being that a company offering you 15% off premium Hilton hotels and rental car fuel is the same company that can’t help but charge you $5 to pay your bill in-store, cut thousands of jobs post-merger, suffers data breach after data breach on a regular basis, and recently backed out of forced plan migrations after massive backlash.
To many customers, the best value might be to scale back on nickel-and-dime fees and work harder to keep customer data safe. Not everyone is staying in Hilton hotels or getting rentals cars regularly enough to see the value of these benefits in the first place. Perhaps T-Mobile’s executive team sees great value in these benefits, at least from where they sit in this economy.
Some might say T-Mobile should just discount plans, stay simply wireless, and forgo all the unnecessary rabble of excess value. Though, if you’re in the market for cheaper service that just works, a prepaid service from companies like Mint Mobile (owned by T-Mobile) or Visible may work best for you.
In the end, wireless carriers want to raise major shareholder metrics like ARPU (average revenue per unit) which has been stagnant for quite some time across the board. With all these great perks, they can keep the price on plans higher and call it value instead.
What do you think? Is all of this just another smoke and mirrors T-Mobile move? Or do you see value you will use? Let us know in the comments below.