There are a lot of smartphone trade-in programs from both retailers and carriers, and to be frank, they suck. In just about every situation you can get more for your current gadgets by selling them yourself on secondary markets like Craigslist, eBay, or Swappa. The only reason to sell gadgets to carriers (or any retailer) is the convenience factor. But T-Mobile is positioning itself as the self-styled people's champion of smartphone trade-ins, or at the very least, the best option among its competitors.
Update 6/24: In a statement to Tmonews, T-Mobile has confirmed that it has a system in place that allows users (and UpgradeSwap) to check the IMEI to verify whether or not the device is being financed. You can find that tool here.
If a customer wants to purchase a T-Mobile phone and is checking the IMEI number, they should be using our tool for the correct information.
Update 2 6/24: In this ever-increasing back-and-forth battle, UpgradeSwap has now responded with a claim that T-Mo's own system doesn't even work correctly half the time.
It's easy for the tech world to forget that not everyone is looking to buy a new $200 phone on contract every six months. Vodafone UK hasn't forgotten, though. The British carrier is launching a new service to help put top-tier smartphones in the hands of pay-as-you-go customers by selling them lightly used hardware. More specifically, phones exchanged within the carrier's 7-day return window.
If you're buying a phone without a contract, the up-front cost would be slightly cheaper, as one would expect from a used device.