T-Mobile Buys Good Will With Gift Cards For Customers

How does that old phrase go? “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch?” Intellectual heavyweights like Milton Friedman and Robert Heinlein got a fair bit of mileage out of the quote, and it seems at least one person over at T-Mobile HQ has heard it.

The result? According to TmoNews, T-Mobile has begun to send out free $25 gift cards for use on anything (short of bill payments) inside T-Mo corporate stores. Sounds like a free lunch so far, right?

The gift cards have been trickling out into the public for at least a few days now, but nothing solid has turned up about exactly which customers are able to benefit. If typical carrier logic applies, I’d wager T-Mobile would focus on getting these out to folks nearing the end of a contract term, or to those who just re-signed or recently activated.

Still, there’s probably much more at play here. If a good database marketer was involved, then I’d expect them to have a precise subset of customers they deem worthy of free T-Mobile money. Depending on the criteria (years with company, average bill amount, recency of last contract extension, etc.) are found to be most important, they’ll generate a list of deserving people based on how well they rank in each criterion. In short, they would have found a way to send those gift cards to those most worth it for T-Mobile to please.

On top of that, there’s usually a temptation to spend more than originally expected when gift cards come into play, so T-Mobile certainly aims to gain from this stunt. Regardless of motive, all your T-Mobile customers out there should keep an eye on your mailboxes, just in case.