T-Mobile is adding a lot more investors.
The wireless phone company is giving every postpaid subscriber one free share of T-Mobile stock in a new rewards program called “Stock Up.” Additionally, for every new customer a subscriber refers to T-Mobile, the referring party will receive another share of T-Mobile up to 100 shares.
CEO John Legere said in a release:
Get ready for a gratitude adjustment, America! This Un-carrier move is all about giving you a good thanking! No strings. No gotchas. Just “thank you for being a customer!”
At T-Mobile, we already wake up every day working for our customers-so I’ve decided to make it official and turn T-Mobile customers into T-Mobile owners by offering them stock.
The service is set up through the online brokerage Loyal3 and, according to T-Mobile, there will be no fees for customers to trade the stock through the platform.
Said the release:
It costs nothing to get your shares or set up an account with T-Mobile’s brokerage partner, Loyal3, and there are absolutely no fees to get or sell your share this year – and no fee to maintain your account as long as you’re an active customer. Your T-Mobile stock is completely free. It’s yours to do with what you want-you can hold on to it or sell it and pocket the cash whenever you choose.
According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company will go through Loyal3 to purchase already outstanding shares to then give to the 29.4 million postpaid phone subscribers at T-Mobile. This prevents the move from being dilutive to current shareholders.
In addition, while customers do not pay any fees to redeem the share or sell it within 12 months after receiving it, Loyal3 can charge up to $5.00 to sell the share a year after redemption and up to $25 to transfer the share to another brokerage account starting January 1, 2017.
T-Mobile will also be offering rewards such as airline Wi-Fi, food from Domino’s and Wendy’s, and more.
This is not the first unconventional move from the the provider. The firm created a drinking game for its earnings call last quarter, and Legere has taken to calling rivals AT&T and Verizon “Dumb and Dumber.”
The company painted the plan as a different way to reward loyal customers. From the release:
Most corporations say “thank you” with rewards and loyalty schemes that are not much more than thinly veiled attempts to manipulate customers into forking over more of their hard-earned cash. 7 in 10 (72%) people see through it and agree loyalty programs exist to squeeze more money out of them. That’s why 90% of comments about loyalty programs in social media are negative and why customers don’t bother to use well over half (58%) of the programs they’re on.
T-Mobile is turning all that on its head by saying “thank you” to customers and asking nothing in return. With Stock Up and T-Mobile Tuesdays, you don’t have to spend more, stay longer, collect points, or qualify for special, elite tiers to be thanked for being a customer. Un-carrier 11 is about T-Mobile showing its loyalty to customers-not the other way around.
Customers can claim the initial stock from June 7 through June 21.