April 1, 2020, otherwise known as April Fool's day was the day the Sprint and T-Mobile merger closed. But did T-Mobile fool government regulatory agencies and the public with that closure? It will likely take several years before we can truly answer that question. But early indications certainly leave a lot to be desired.
Where Are The Jobs?
In April of 2019, T-Mobile issued a press release stating that the New T-Mobile will create jobs from day one. The press release boasted:
"The New T-Mobile will be jobs-positive from Day One and every day thereafter. That’s not just a promise. That’s not just a commitment. It’s a fact."
We are now one-month post-merger, and so far those words ring awfully hollow.
Things actually started to turn south prior to the deal closure. In February of 2020, T-Mobile laid off a number of employees within its Metro By T-Mobile division. That was followed up with T-Mobile terminating all non-exclusive Metro By T-Mobile dealership stores, a story that was first reported by the National Wireless Independent Dealer Association in early April. Non-exclusive stores are dealerships that sell other competing brands alongside Metro By-T-Mobile.
Unfortunately, T-Mobile's layoff and termination spree did not end with those two moves. Just days ago news leaked that T-Mobile is going to close up to 2,000 Metro By T-Mobile exclusive retail outlets. T-Mobile did confirm the closing of more stores to news outlets but did not specify a count. The carrier told Mike Dano of Light Reading that some dealer stores will be transitioned to T-Mobile stores and a "small number" of stores deemed redundant will be closed.
WOW !Hearing @TMobile are cut 1500 to 2000 exclusive @MetroByTMobile stores today. With non exclusive being dropped that's 30% of there distribution the arm's race with the still owned by T mo Boost business is Now gone they don't need to be so aggressive,feel for those dealers. pic.twitter.com/oO8bv0Hw2l
— Peter Adderton (@peter_adderton) April 29, 2020
Ironically, back to that April of 2019 T-Mobile press release, T-Mobile boasted that since taking over the Metro brand years ago they added "tens of thousands of jobs...including employees, dealers, and contractors." The release continued "Compare these results to others in our industry who continue to lay off workers and it’s pretty obvious we’re not like the others."
Things change quickly in a year, don't they? Perhaps that press release needs to do a disappearing act.
What Can Dealerships Do That Have Been Left Out In The Cold By T-Mobile?
NWIDA is stepping up to help those Metro By T-Mobile dealers that have been dropped by T-Mobile. The organization is compiling a list of potential brands that dealers can replace Metro By T-Mobile with. Those interested in accessing the list will need to fill out a form on the NWIDA website.
Ultra Mobile and H2O Wireless are two brands mentioned by NWIDA that are actively seeking new dealers.
BestMVNO reached out to several MVNOs asking if they intend to be aggressive in filling the void left at dealerships by Metro's withdrawal. Boom Mobile was the only provider to respond by article publication time. Boom Mobile offers wireless services on the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon networks. Dealers interested in picking up the brand can submit an application to do so through the Boom Mobile website.