T-Mobile has faced challenges trying to attract customers from AT&T and Verizon. So now they’ve hit on a new strategy: Giving free iPhones for 1 week so potential customers can take their network on a test drive!

The self-proclaimed “Un-carrier” did away with contracts back in 2013. But they’ve been having trouble getting the high-value customers they really want because of fears about their network. So now T-Mobile is giving people an iPhone 5s to use for free for a week. No obligation, no strings attached.

How you can qualify for the free iPhone 5s trial

This is a no-risk test drive. Once your week is up, you simply return the iPhone to a T-Mobile retail store. All that’s required is a valid credit card or debit card and you can request yours at t-mobile.com/testdrive.

Expect a $700 hold on your debit or credit card while you’re test-driving the phone. Anything like a cracked screen, water damage, or other damage will result in a $100 damage fee. And you’ll be charged the full $700 plus taxes if you don’t return the phone after 1 week.

The real beauty of T-Mobile is that the cost of their monthly service is one third to one half less than what you would pay with AT&T or Verizon. See other cheap smartphone plans here.

Sprint, meanwhile, has been rolling out a supposedly more reliable network and is offering a 30-day trial period beginning June 27 that’s supposedly without obligation. But in my experience, it’s never as clean and simple with Sprint as with T-Mobile. So I’m reluctant to say “without obligation” and “Sprint” in the same sentence.

I love the idea that Sprint, which has been so tarnished in the marketplace as of late, has a 30-day trial and that T-Mobile -- the most aggressive player in the marketplace -- is offering its own test drive.

Remember, there are no contracts with T-Mobile. I love that too. The industry is moving toward being free of contracts and I don’t want you to ever sign one again.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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