T-Mobile CEO Misleads on ‘No Strings Attached’ Free Data, New Customers Require $20 Data Plan to Finance iPads

Argh!! I was almost tricked in to this! I was considering returning the iPad Air Wifi only and get a iPad Air thru T-Mobile, since it’s basically free financing.

It was too good to be true! and even the sign up page is confusing! T-Mobile website sign up kept changing, and now it requires the $20 minimum per month.

Last week there was some confusion around T-Mobile’s so-called “uncarrier” plan. Legere claimed via Twitter that “everyone” would get 200MB of free monthly iPad data, butCNET‘s Roger Cheng discovered otherwise.

T-Mobile clarified to CNET that new customers who want to take advantage of T-Mobile’s no-money-down plan are required to sign up for a $20-a-month plan.

Unlike the On Demand plan, which was simply a fee for staying on T-Mobile’s network, the $20 plan does provide for an additional 500MB of data at its 4G LTE speed. The 200MB of data is “free,” but doesn’t kick in until after you sign up.

Existing T-Mobile customers with a phone plan can access the 200MB of free data without signing up for additional plans. New customers who paid full price for their iPad Air or any other tablet will be able to get the 200MB data plan for free. Or customers can bring in their own T-Mobile-compatible tablets.

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While many customers will be able to take advantage of T-Mobile’s 200MB/month offer for no charge, there are some exceptions. Customers who do not have an existing monthly voice account with T-Mobile that wish to purchase an iPad with T-Mobile’s financing plan will need to purchase a $20-per-month 500MB data plan, and will receive an additional 200MB of data for free.

iPad owners that purchase an iPad elsewhere and bring it to T-Mobile — or buy an iPad from T-Mobiile at full price — or that have an existing voice account with the company and finance the iPad, can receive the 200MB data plan for free.

AT&T, for its part, offers similar zero-down and zero-percent financing on iPads to its customers through its AT&T Next program with standalone data plans, session-based on-demand data plans, or a $10/month addition to its Mobile Share plans. It does not offer free data, however.