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T-Mobile's 'Project Houdini' rumored to shoulder your ETF

A new report says T-Mobile's Uncarrier 4.0 strategy may include early termination credits for customers switching carriers.

Scott Webster
Scott Webster has spent the better part of his adult life playing with cell phones and gadgets. When not looking for the latest Android news and rumors, he relaxes with his wife and son. Scott also is the senior editor for AndroidGuys. E-mail Scott.
Scott Webster
T-Mobile CEO John Legere makes several big announcements in New York City during its big press event in July.
T-Mobile's CEO John Legere will carry boundary-breaking moves into 2014. CNET/Sarah Tew

Can T-Mobile unshackle customers from rival carriers' early termination fees? That could very well be behind T-Mobile's latest secret initiative, "Project Houdini," according to TmoNews.

A source close to the blog says that T-Mobile's project will give switching customers up to $350 in credit for leaving another provider. Reportedly, the deal would be aimed at families with up to five lines of service. What's more, it would not matter if each line had its own contract end date.

The tipster says new customers would receive instant credits for trading in their current smartphone. Once a copy of the final bill is turned over, T-Mobile would issue a credit to offset early termination fees (ETFs).

T-Mobile's CEO John Legere tweeted earlier this week that its Uncarrier 4 event will "eliminate another customer pain point." Making the early termination fees that often tether subscribers to their carrier disappear would absolutely draw more customers to T-Mobile.

While ETFs have certainly become a costly thorn in the side of unhappy customers, we should keep this report firmly in the rumor column. Besides, if Sprint ultimately bids for T-Mobile, as another huge rumor suggests, who knows what would happen to T-Mobile's boldly competitive strides.