T-Mobile's recently announced Test Drive program has officially launched, and it's already off to a wild success. Over 12,000 people pre-registered for the trial before today's official start date. With Test Drive, T-Mobile will send you a brand new iPhone 5s set up with unlimited data, text, and calls on the T-Mobile network for a free trial.
Users have 7 days to see if they enjoy using T-Mobile's 4G LTE network and the iPhone. If they choose not to keep the phone they can simply return it to any T-Mobile store without being charged. Test Drive is currently only available online, meaning you have to order from the T-Mobile website and have the device delivered to your home.
Your trial period begins when you sign for the delivery of the device. T-Mobile is also very clear about returns; you have to take the iPhone 5s to a T-Mobile store, not a T-Mobile authorized retailer. You can't just take it back to Best Buy, folks.
Test Drive customers are under no obligation to buy the device or the service, but if the device is returned in any sort of damaged condition -- cracked screen, damaged display, water damage, unable to power on, or with Find My iPhone still activated -- the user will be charged a US$100 damage fee. That last item in the list is important -- seriously, don't activate Find My iPhone during the trial unless you're planning to keep the device.
While you're using the trial, T-Mobile will put a hold of $699.99 on your credit card, plus taxes, to cover the cost of the device if it is not returned. Your card will only be charged the full price of the device if you don't return it.
While the idea of such an expensive hold on your credit card could turn some people off on the program, this is a great way to see if the iPhone 5s or the T-Mobile network is right for you. Head over to the Test Drive website if you're interested in getting started.