Thank you for the response. I appreciate T-Mobile’s “gesture” to honor the offer if I switch to a “qualifying plan” – since that term isn’tdefined in the ad, it’s really hard to do the math. But in researching further and calling customer care, this is what I was able to calculate:
On the “Classic Plan:” I would be paying a total of $28″ per month total for a 24 month commitment to get the “Free” Optimus L9 as offered. That would be $672 over the course of 24 months – on top of my normal bill – so there is in fact no subsidy as much as it is financing the phone for $672 over a period of 24 months considering I get the same service I get now without the $672 over the course of 24 months. Value plans could be considered a “discounted rate” or “classic plans” could be considered “a finance option for phones” depending on how you look at it. It’s like T-Shirts at the store “Hot Topic”  – “buy one get one half off”, “2 for $30″ and $15 each” are all the  same – $15 per shirt considering retail is $25/shirt.
I priced out a NEW optimus L9 – in fact several – the average cost to buy one outright is $199.
So without a plan-switch – this offer as it was made to me when I was on the “Value” plan is a GREAT offer, $50 with a $50 rebate but the offer as intended with the “qualifying plan” which is not specified in the ad is NOT a great deal at all $672 for a $199 phone.
What would have resolved it for me is if the AD and Video that is linked on my website read “qualifying CLASSIC plan”. It’s left up to the customer, who is thinking he is being rewarded for being “loyal” to find out he / she must be on the “classic plan:”. But T-Mobile fails to disclose that in the small print.
In closing I want to tell a story: In 2005, I celebrated my 9th year as an AT&T Wireless customer having transitioned from Cellular One to Cingular to AT&T. I started with the the Diamondtel 22x to a Mitsubishi Mio to Go phone in the mid 90’s to the Nokia line of phones from the late 99’s to the early milienium. When Paris Hilton brought fame to the Motorola Razr Line, I asked AT&T if I could get one of those as a “free” upgrade. They declined me. I asked again and their media relations people said “Walk down to the AT&T Wall Street Location where you will get your Razr, a true upgrade befitting  a customer of 9 years”. That was a $400-$600 phone at the time and not everyone had one. I suppose it was the “Iphone” of it’s day. There were no strings attached and I walked down to Wall Street and got it.
8 years later T-Mobile sends a movie offer to my phone about a free Optimus L9. It only costs $50 plus a $50 rebate – in the ad it rewards me for my loyalty. I inquire further and blog about it. After many phone calls and emails it turns out I need to be on a “qualifying plan” , that I will in fact pay $672 more over the cost of 2 years, which amounts to an equipment subsidy.
While I appreciate T-Mobile’s offer to honor the advertisement if I switch plans, I don’t see how it honors what seemed to be the offer when it came to me. My loyalty to T-Mobile has not been in question, the switch to the value plan including another line and financing of a second handset for my daughter. On the other hand, T-Mobile’s loyalty to me is in question.
I would like the Optimus L9 set for $50 / $50 rebate and to stay on my current plan, unchanged. That’s the offer that came to my box and the plan I was on at the time. It’s not my fault I changed and the MMS delivery system didn’t remove me. Further, “qualifying” should have indicated “qualifying classic plan” and including wording that “may require change of plans”. As a loyal T-Mobile Customer I thought I was being rewarded – not recruited.
Best – Ron